[extropy-chat] FWD (SK) Ig Nobel winners
Terry W. Colvin
fortean1 at mindspring.com
Fri Oct 7 20:19:39 UTC 2005
[Doesn't a degree of obsessive compulsive behavior favor some of the
endeavors below? -Terry]
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
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
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
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.
"Only a zit on the wart on the heinie of progress." Copyright 1992, Frank Rice
Terry W. Colvin, Sierra Vista, Arizona (USA) < fortean1 at mindspring.com >
Alternate: < fortean1 at msn.com >
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