Thursday, October 06, 2005

The 2005 Ig Nobels

MEDICINE: Gregg Miller mortgaged his home and maxed out his credit cards to mass produce his invention -- prosthetic testicles for neutered dogs... The silicone implants come in different sizes, shapes, weights and degrees of firmness.

BIOLOGY: Benjamin Smith of the University of Adelaide in Australia, studied and catalogued different scents emitted by more than 100 species of frogs under stress. Some smelled like cashews, while others smelled like licorice, mint or rotting fish.

PHYSICS: Since 1927, researchers at the University of Queensland in Australia have been tracking a glob of congealed black tar as it drips through a funnel -- at a rate of one drop every nine years.

PEACE: Two researchers at Newcastle University in England monitored the brain activity of locusts as they watched clips from the movie "Star Wars."

CHEMISTRY: An experiment at the University of Minnesota was designed to prove whether people can swim faster or slower in syrup than in water.

LITERATURE: The Ig Nobel for literature went to the Nigerians who introduced millions of e-mail users to a "cast of rich characters ... 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."

ECONOMICS: A Massachusetts inventor who designed an alarm clock that runs away and hides when it goes off.

NUTRITION: A Japanese researcher who photographed and analysed every meal he had consumed during a period of 34 years.

AGRICULTURAL HISTORY: A study entitled 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.

FLUID DYNAMICS: Pressures Produced When Penguins Pooh - Calculations on Avian Defaecation.

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