Friday, October 09, 2009

Weird but Brilliant?

This column appeared in our Tampa St Petersburg Times Newspaper

The Annals of Improbable Research magazine bestowed the 2009 Ig Nobels last Thursday in a ceremony at Harvard. The awards honor scientific research that seems odd but has serious practical application. The awards were handed out by Nobel laureates.

And the winners are:

Veterinary Medicine: Catherine Douglas and Peter Rowlinson for showing that cows with names give more milk than unnamed cows.

Peace: Stephan Bolliger, Stefen Ross, Lars Oesterhelweg, Micheal Thali, and Beat Kneubuehl for investigating whether it is better to be struck over the head with a full or empty beer bottle.


Economics: Executives of four Icelandic banks for showing how tiny banks can become huge, and then become tiny again.

Chemistry: Javier Morales, Miguel Apatiga, and Victor Castano for creating diamonds out of tequila.


Medicine: Donals Unger for cracking the knuckles on his left hand for 60 years to see if it contributes to arthritis.

Physics: Katherine Whitcome, Liza Shapiro and Daniel Lieberman for figuring out why pregnant women don't tip over.

Literature: Irish police for issuing 50 tickets to Prawo Jazdy, which in Polish means "driver's license."

Public health: Elena Bodnar, Raphael Lee, and Sandra Marijan for inventing a bra that can be converted into a gas mask. Actually, two gas masks.


Mathematics: The Zimbabwean Reserve Bank for printing notes in denominations from 1 cent tot $100 trillion.


Biology: Fumiaki Taguchi, Song Guofu and Zhang Guanglei for demonstrating that bacteria in panda poop can help reduce kitchen waste by 90 percent.

*****

All I can say, is "So that's where our Research and Development grant $$ are going?"

What the "Fragglerock" is that all about?

17 comments:

Pam Archer said...

I read this article, too. It's pretty amazing that awards have been given for such incredulus feats of stupidity, isn't it? LOL

Vicki M. Taylor said...

Can you believe it?? Totally stupid?? Beyond Stupid in opinion. Government at its finest I guess! LOL

Evelyn Kalinosky said...

Ah, truth is stranger than fiction! Actually, I'm intrigued by the panda poop discovery! :-)

Vicki M. Taylor said...

Ah, yes, Evelyn, but where to get a Panda, then where to keep it? You know they live on Bamboo... can your climate handle that? :-) Then I say, Go for it! LOL

Debra Shiveley Welch said...

Very interesting! Sure glad we named our cows. LOL

Debra Shiveley Welch said...

Very interesting! I'm sure glad Pawpaw named his cows! LOL

Debra Shiveley Welch said...

Interesting read! I'm sure glad my grandfather named his cows! LOL

Debra Shiveley Welch said...

Interesting read! I'm sure glad my grandfather named his cows! LOL

Debra Shiveley Welch said...

Interesting read! I'm sure glad my grandfather named his cows! LOL

Debra Shiveley Welch said...

Interesting read! I'm sure glad my grandfather named his cows! LOL

Debra Shiveley Welch said...

Interesting read! I'm sure glad my grandfather named his cows! LOL

Eileen Williams said...

I loved this list! I hadn't caught the article and so appreciate you posting what has to be one of the most unique compilations of off-the-wall facts I've ever seen. My favorite is either the bra gas mask or the tequila into diamonds!

Debra Shiveley Welch said...

Very entertaining read!

Beverly Mahone said...

This is something Harvard has been doing for years. They always come up with some of the most interesting awards--like the Hasty Pudding awards. I guess it just goes to show you that the so called "intellects" have the ability to think on an entirely different and strange level and get paid for doing it.

Vicki M. Taylor said...

Debra I'm so glad you liked it!!

Eileen... my favorite is the bra gas mask too!! Especially since you can share with a friend!

Beverly, Intellects or not, it just goes to show what the government is willing to pay for nonsense, in my opinion.

Heidi Caswell said...

Strange it is, we should come up with our own awards.

Vicki M. Taylor said...

Heidi, I'm sure we can come up with much better awards than this!!