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The 2005 Ig Nobel Prize Winners

The 2005 Ig Nobel Prizes were awarded on Thursday evening, October 6, at the 15th First Annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony, at Harvard's Sanders Theatre. You can watch archived video of the live webcast.

AGRICULTURAL HISTORY: James Watson of Massey University, New Zealand, for his scholarly study, "The Significance of Mr. Richard Buckley’s Exploding Trousers."
REFERENCE: "The Significance of Mr. Richard Buckley’s Exploding Trousers: Reflections on an Aspect of Technological Change in New Zealand Dairy-Farming between the World Wars," James Watson, Agricultural History, vol. 78, no. 3, Summer 2004, pp. 346-60.
WHO ATTENDED THE IG NOBEL CEREMONY: James Watson

PHYSICS: John Mainstone and the late Thomas Parnell of the University of Queensland, Australia, for patiently conducting an experiment that began in the year 1927 -- in which a glob of congealed black tar has been slowly, slowly dripping through a funnel, at a rate of approximately one drop every nine years.
REFERENCE: "The Pitch Drop Experiment," R. Edgeworth, B.J. Dalton and T. Parnell, European Journal of Physics, 1984, pp. 198-200.
WHO ATTENDED THE IG NOBEL CEREMONY: John Mainstone

MEDICINE: Gregg A. Miller of Oak Grove, Missouri, for inventing Neuticles -- artificial replacement testicles for dogs, which are available in three sizes, and three degrees of firmness.
REFERENCES: US Patent #5868140, and the book Going Going NUTS!, by Gregg A. Miller, PublishAmerica, 2004, ISBN 1413753167.
ACCEPTING: "The winner was unable to travel, and deliverd his acceptance speech via videotape."

LITERATURE: The Internet entrepreneurs of Nigeria, for creating and then using e-mail to distribute a bold series of short stories, thus introducing millions of readers to a cast of rich characters -- General Sani Abacha, Mrs. Mariam Sanni Abacha, Barrister Jon A Mbeki Esq., and others -- each of whom requires just a small amount of expense money so as to obtain access to the great wealth to which they are entitled and which they would like to share with the kind person who assists them.

PEACE: Claire Rind and Peter Simmons of Newcastle University, in the U.K., for electrically monitoring the activity of a brain cell in a locust while that locust was watching selected highlights from the movie "Star Wars."
REFERENCE: "Orthopteran DCMD Neuron: A Reevaluation of Responses to Moving Objects. I. Selective Responses to Approaching Objects," F.C. Rind and P.J. Simmons, Journal of Neurophysiology, vol. 68, no. 5, November 1992, pp. 1654-66.
WHO ATTENDED THE IG NOBEL CEREMONY: Claire Rind

ECONOMICS: Gauri Nanda of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, for inventing an alarm clock that runs away and hides, repeatedly, thus ensuring that people DO get out of bed, and thus theoretically adding many productive hours to the workday.
WHO ATTENDED THE IG NOBEL CEREMONY: Gauri Nanda

CHEMISTRY: Edward Cussler of the University of Minnesota and Brian Gettelfinger of the University of Minnesota and the University of Wisconsin, for conducting a careful experiment to settle the longstanding scientific question: can people swim faster in syrup or in water?
REFERENCE: "Will Humans Swim Faster or Slower in Syrup?" American Institute of Chemical Engineers Journal, Brian Gettelfinger and E. L. Cussler, vol. 50, no. 11, October 2004, pp. 2646-7.
WHO ATTENDED THE IG NOBEL CEREMONY: Brian Gettelfinger and Edward Cussler

BIOLOGY: Benjamin Smith of the University of Adelaide, Australia and the University of Toronto, Canada and the Firmenich perfume company, Geneva, Switzerland, and ChemComm Enterprises, Archamps, France; Craig Williams of James Cook University and the University of South Australia; Michael Tyler of the University of Adelaide; Brian Williams of the University of Adelaide; and Yoji Hayasaka of the Australian Wine Research Institute; for painstakingly smelling and cataloging the peculiar odors produced by 131 different species of frogs when the frogs were feeling stressed.
REFERENCE: "A Survey of Frog Odorous Secretions, Their Possible Functions and Phylogenetic Significance," Benjamin P.C. Smith, Craig R. Williams, Michael J. Tyler, and Brian D. Williams, Applied Herpetology, vol. 2, no. 1-2, February 1, 2004, pp. 47-82.
REFERENCE: "Chemical and Olfactory Characterization of Odorous Compounds and Their Precursors in the Parotoid Gland Secretion of the Green Tree Frog, Litoria caerulea," Benjamin P.C. Smith, Michael J. Tyler, Brian D. Williams, and Yoji Hayasaka, Journal of Chemical Ecology, vol. 29, no. 9, September 2003.
WHO ATTENDED THE IG NOBEL CEREMONY: Ben Smith and Craig Williams

NUTRITION: Dr. Yoshiro Nakamats of Tokyo, Japan, for photographing and retrospectively analyzing every meal he has consumed during a period of 34 years (and counting).
WHO ATTENDED THE IG NOBEL CEREMONY: Dr. Yoshiro Nakamats

FLUID DYNAMICS: Victor Benno Meyer-Rochow of International University Bremen, Germany and the University of Oulu , Finland; and Jozsef Gal of Loránd Eötvös University, Hungary, for using basic principles of physics to calculate the pressure that builds up inside a penguin, as detailed in their report "Pressures Produced When Penguins Pooh -- Calculations on Avian Defaecation."
PUBLISHED IN: Polar Biology, vol. 27, 2003, pp. 56-8.
ACCEPTING: The winners were unable to attend the ceremony because they could not obtain United States visas to visit the United States. Dr. Meyer-Rochow sent an acceptance speech via videotape.

SEE SOME OF THE BEST PAST IG-NOBELs !!!


The Best of Annals of Improbable Research
by Abrahams Marc, Marc Abrahams (Editor)

"Science is too human, too much fun, and too important not to laugh at it." The Annals of Improbable Research (and its predecessor, the Journal of Irreproducible Results) has been making fun of science and scientists for... Read more

 

 

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History of Technology

Is this Monument Telling the Truth ?



This monument in downtown Boston is at odds with a recent Congress resolution, granting to Antonio Meucci - not Alexander Bell - moral rights for the invention of the telephone .... more
Here: IG NOBEL 2002
Improbable Research

The 2005 IG Nobel Prizes were awarded in a ceremony at Harvard University.

THE 2005 AWARDS:

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The Nobel Prize : A History of Genius, Controversy and Prestige
by Burton Feldman

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