Friday Funny September 26, 2014 Ig Noble Awards 2014


I know we have all been busy, so perhaps you missed the big ceremony at Harvard last week when the 2014 Ig Noble Prizes were awarded.  Yes, the 24th edition of the Ig Nobel Prizes to honor “achievements that first make people laugh, and then makes them think.”  The awards are physically handed out by real live Nobel Laureates in an effort to spur people’s interest in science, medicine, and technology.  Here are my favorites from this year.


PHYSICS PRIZE [JAPAN]: Kiyoshi Mabuchi, Kensei Tanaka, Daichi Uchijima and Rina Sakai, for measuring the amount of friction between a shoe and a banana skin, and between a banana skin and the floor, when a person steps on a banana skin that’s on the floor. (I wonder if they filmed their research?)

NEUROSCIENCE PRIZE [CHINA, CANADA]: Jiangang Liu, Jun Li, Lu Feng, Ling Li, Jie Tian, and Kang Lee, for trying to understand what happens in the brains of people who see the face of Jesus in a piece of toast. (I believe they have already been approved for funding for a follow-up study involving those who see the face of Jesus on freezer chests.)

PSYCHOLOGY PRIZE [AUSTRALIA, UK, USA]: Peter K. Jonason, Amy Jones, and Minna Lyons, for amassing evidence that people who habitually stay up late are, on average, more self-admiring, more manipulative, and more psychopathic than people who habitually arise early in the morning. (I guess I better quite blogging so late at night, but I am so good at it and you will keep reading the blog or something unfortunate might happen.)

PUBLIC HEALTH PRIZE [CZECH REPUBLIC, JAPAN, USA, INDIA]: Jaroslav Flegr, Jan Havlíček and Jitka Hanušova-Lindova, and to David Hanauer, Naren Ramakrishnan, Lisa Seyfried, for investigating whether it is mentally hazardous for a human being to own a cat. (I didn’t think one ever really “owns” a cat.)

ART PRIZE [ITALY]: Marina de Tommaso, Michele Sardaro, and Paolo Livrea, for measuring the relative pain people suffer while looking at an ugly painting, rather than a pretty painting, while being shot [in the hand] by a powerful laser beam. (I wonder how they explained the study to would-be volunteers?.)

ARCTIC SCIENCE PRIZE [NORWAY, GERMANY, USA, CANADA]: Eigil Reimers and Sindre Eftestøl, for testing how reindeer react to seeing humans who are disguised as polar bears. (Wonder if they would react differently to polar bears who are disguised as humans?)

Thought for the Week

Research is the process of going up alleys to see if they are blind. ~Marston Bates


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