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?