“The Ig Nobel Prizes honor achievements that first make people laugh, and then make them think. The prizes are intended to celebrate the unusual, honor the imaginative — and spur people’s interest in science, medicine, and technology.” Annals of Improbable Research
> List of 2009 Ig Nobel winners [from The Los Angeles Times]
The 2009 Ig Nobel winners, awarded at Harvard University by the Annals of Improbable Research magazine:
Veterinary medicine: Catherine Douglas and Peter Rowlinson for showing that cows with names give more milk than unnamed cows.
Peace: Stephan Bolliger, Steffen Ross, Lars Oesterhelweg, Michael Thali and Beat Kneubuehl for investigating whether it is better to be struck over the head with a full beer bottle or with an empty beer bottle.
Economics: Executives of four Icelandic banks for showing how tiny banks can become huge banks, and then become tiny banks again.
Chemistry: Javier Morales, Miguel Apatiga and Victor Castaño for creating diamonds out of tequila.
Medicine: Donald Unger for cracking just the knuckles on his left hand for 60 years to see whether knuckle-cracking contributes to arthritis.
Physics: Katherine Whitcome, Liza Shapiro and Daniel Lieberman for figuring out why pregnant women don’t tip over.
Literature: The Irish national police for issuing 50 tickets to one Prawo Jazdy, which in Polish means “driver’s license.”
Public health: Elena Bodnar, Raphael Lee and Sandra Marijan for inventing a brassiere than can be converted into a pair of gas masks.
Mathematics: Gideon Gono and the Zimbabwean Reserve Bank for printing bank notes in denominations from 1 cent to $100 trillion.
Biology: Fumiaki Taguchi, Song Guofu and Zhang Guanglei for demonstrating that bacteria in panda poop can help reduce kitchen waste by 90%.
Photo: the gas mask brassiere – from oldstersview.wordpress.com