An experiment that creates diamonds from Tequila, research proving that named cows produce more milk and analysis into why pregnant women don’t fall over.
Yes, it’s that time of year again for the significantly insignificant ‘Ig Nobel’ awards.
Regarded as the ceremony that awards “achievements that first make people laugh, and then make them think”, the Ig Nobels are presented by actual Nobel laureates and precede the more prestigious Nobel prizes.
Recently held on 1 October at the Harvard Sanders Theatre, the 19th First Annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony included a female Australian inventor, Dr Elena N. Bodnar, jointly winning the Public Health Prize for the bra that becomes a gas mask for the wearer and a ‘needy bystander’.
The full list of accolades is as follows:
VETERINARY MEDICINE PRIZE
Catherine Douglas and Peter Rowlinson of Newcastle University, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, UK, for showing that cows who have names give more milk than cows that are nameless.
Further reading: Exploring Stock Managers’ Perceptions of the Human-Animal Relationship on Dairy Farms and an Association with Milk Production
Stephan Bolliger, Steffen Ross, Lars Oesterhelweg, Michael Thali and Beat Kneubuehl of the University of Bern, Switzerland, for determining – by experiment – whether it is better to be smashed over the head with a full bottle of beer or with an empty bottle.
Further reading: Are Full or Empty Beer Bottles Sturdier and Does Their Fracture-Threshold Suffice to Break the Human Skull?
The directors, executives, and auditors of four Icelandic banks – Kaupthing Bank, Landsbanki, Glitnir Bank, and Central Bank of Iceland – for demonstrating that tiny banks can be rapidly transformed into huge banks, and vice versa – and for demonstrating that similar things can be done to an entire national economy.
Javier Morales, Miguel Apátiga, and Victor M. Castaño of Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, for creating diamonds from liquid – specifically from tequila.
Further reading: Growth of Diamond Films from Tequila
Donald L. Unger, of Thousand Oaks, California, USA, for investigating a possible cause of arthritis of the fingers, by diligently cracking the knuckles of his left hand – but never cracking the knuckles of his right hand – every day for more than sixty (60) years.
Further reading: Does Knuckle Cracking Lead to Arthritis of the Fingers?
Katherine K. Whitcome of the University of Cincinnati, USA, Daniel E. Lieberman of Harvard University, USA, and Liza J. Shapiro of the University of Texas, USA, for analytically determining why pregnant women don’t tip over.
Fetal Load and the Evolution of Lumbar Lordosis in Bipedal Hominins
Ireland’s police service (An Garda Siochana), for writing and presenting more than fifty traffic tickets to the most frequent driving offender in the country – Prawo Jazdy – whose name in Polish means “Driving License”.
PUBLIC HEALTH PRIZE:
Elena N. Bodnar, Raphael C. Lee, and Sandra Marijan of Chicago, Illinois, USA, for inventing a brassiere that, in an emergency, can be quickly converted into a pair of protective face masks, one for the brassiere wearer and one to be given to some needy bystander.
Further reading: Garment Device Convertible to One or More Facemasks
Gideon Gono, governor of Zimbabwe’s Reserve Bank, for giving people a simple, everyday way to cope with a wide range of numbers – from very small to very big – by having his bank print bank notes with denominations ranging from one cent ($.01) to one hundred trillion dollars ($100,000,000,000,000).
Further reading: Zimbabwe’s Casino Economy – Extraordinary Measures for Extraordinary Challenges
Fumiaki Taguchi, Song Guofu, and Zhang Guanglei of Kitasato University Graduate School of Medical Sciences in Sagamihara, Japan, for demonstrating that kitchen refuse can be reduced more than 90% in mass by using bacteria extracted from the feces of giant pandas.
Further reading: Microbial Treatment of Kitchen Refuse With Enzyme-Producing Thermophilic Bacteria From Giant Panda Feces, Microbial Treatment of Food-Production Waste with Thermopile Enzyme-Producing Bacterial Flora from a Giant Panda