The Ig Nobel awards have been a great event for many years. They offer the chance to celebrate the hard work of really smart people. The world is used to the Nobel prizes, these accolades are handed out (mostly) to men and women that have made a major contribution to the world as we know it.

The Nobel prize is a prize indeed. It is a rarefied atmosphere that the prize winners live in. I do not always agree with the choices made, I for one would have liked to have seen Jonas Salk who conquered Polio get a Nobel. But, no system is perfect!

The Ig Nobels are just as lofty, but with a slightly different slant. These awards pick out the more ‘off the wall’ scientific endeavors. Billions of dollars are spent each year on research, and billions of dollars seem to be spent on projects that the average man in the street would say Huh, they did what?

This years Ig Nobels were up to the usual high standards that are expected of this quest for greatness.

Psychology Prize: Anita Eerland and Rolf Zwaan [THE NETHERLANDS] and Tulio Guadalupe [PERU, RUSSIA, and THE NETHERLANDS] for their study “Leaning to the Left Makes the Eiffel Tower Seem Smaller”

Peace Prize: The SKN Company [RUSSIA], for converting old Russian ammunition into new diamonds.

Acoustics Prize: Kazutaka Kurihara and Koji Tsukada [JAPAN] for creating the SpeechJammer — a machine that disrupts a person’s speech, by making them hear their own spoken words at a very slight delay.

Neuroscience Prize: Craig Bennett, Abigail Baird, Michael Miller, and George Wolford [USA], for demonstrating that brain researchers, by using complicated instruments and simple statistics, can see meaningful brain activity anywhere — even in a dead salmon.

Chemistry Prize: Johan Pettersson [SWEDEN and RWANDA]. for solving the puzzle of why, in certain houses in the town of Anderslöv, Sweden, people’s hair turned green.

Literature Prize: The US Government General Accountability Office, for issuing a report about reports about reports that recommends the preparation of a report about the report about reports about reports.

Physics Prize: Joseph Keller [USA], and Raymond Goldstein [USA and UK], Patrick Warren, and Robin Ball [UK], for calculating the balance of forces that shape and move the hair in a human ponytail.

Fluid Dynamics Prize: Rouslan Krechetnikov [USA, RUSSIA, CANADA] and Hans Mayer [USA] for studying the dynamics of liquid-sloshing, to learn what happens when a person walks while carrying a cup of coffee.

Anatomy Prize: Frans de Waal [The Netherlands and USA] and Jennifer Pokorny [USA] for discovering that chimpanzees can identify other chimpanzees individually from seeing photographs of their rear ends.

Medicine Prize: Emmanuel Ben-Soussan and Michel Antonietti [FRANCE] for advising doctors who perform colonoscopies how to minimize the chance that their patients will explode.

I swear that this is true. I could not make it up if I tried! For many years I have had a distrust of anyone that had the letters PhD after their name. They tend to have IQ’s off the scale, but cannot tie their own shoelaces. Oh, crap, I probably have just given a PhD an idea for a paper hahahaha.

Simon Barrett

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