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Friday, October 2, 2009

The IgNobel yearly fun

Always worth a good laugh, even if some of the winners actually researched truly interesting, albeit bizarre things.

While the winner that seems has caught the media attention has been a group of Chicago people who have developed the apparently absurd bra-gas mask (not just one but two!), I find that there are others more interesting and also funnier:

The IgNobel of Veterinary Medicine went to a couple of British researchers who demonstrated that named cows produce more milk. Love pays off and we all love that fact, right?

The Peace IgNobel was won by a Swiss team who researched what is better: to be hit on the head with an empty or full bottle of beer. Better to dodge it, right? Anyhow, according to an old friend and namesake of mine the best strategy is to break the bottle at the bar and put the remaining pointy half-bottle by the neck of your opponent, who will quickly admit defeat. If you don't have a beer bottle at hand, then maybe grab a stool and wave it over the opponent's head wildy (similar effect probably). Also, another self-defense trick is to use your home keys as improvised pointy knuckles and hit right to the eyes, though this applies more for an empty street than a crowded tavern. But well, my brawler friends are not IgNobel winners, so guess I'm just ranting.

The Medicine IgNobel was indeed well deserved: a Californian, Donald L. Unger, researched a possible cause of arthritis by cracking his left hand knuckles systematically every day for 60 years, while keeping his right hand untouched. Quite admirable sense of self-discipline, really!

The Physics IgNobel is quite weird too: a team of the University of Texas got it for determining why pregnant women do not tip over. Wonder why, really.

But the best is maybe the Chemistry prize that went to a team of Mexico University for creating diamonds out of nothing less than the national liquor: tequila! Diamonds may be forever but they are not anymore what they used to be, that's pretty clear.

For the rest, read the source: BBC.

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