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The 2006 IgNobel Prizes

  1. Oct 13, 2006 #1

    Ivan Seeking

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    Ornithology - Ivan R. Schwab, of the University of California, Davis, and the late Philip R.A. May of the University of California, Los Angeles, for exploring and explaining why woodpeckers don't get headaches.

    Nutrition - Wasmia Al-Houty of Kuwait University and Faten Al-Mussalam of the Kuwait Environment Public Authority, for showing that dung beetles are finicky eaters.

    Peace - Howard Stapleton of Merthyr Tydfil, Wales, for inventing an electromechanical teenager repellant — a device that makes annoying noise designed to be audible to teenagers but not to adults; and for later using that same technology to make telephone ringtones that are audible to teenagers but not to their teachers.

    Acoustics - D. Lynn Halpern (of Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates, Brandeis University, and Northwestern University), Randolph Blake (of Vanderbilt University and Northwestern University) and James Hillenbrand (of Western Michigan University and Northwestern University) for conducting experiments to learn why people dislike the sound of fingernails scraping on a blackboard.

    Mathematics - Nic Svenson and Piers Barnes of the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, for calculating how many photographs a person must take to almost ensure that no one in a group photograph will have their eyes closed: "Blink-Free Photos, Guaranteed."

    Literature - Daniel Oppenheimer of Princeton University for his report "Consequences of Erudite Vernacular Utilized Irrespective of Necessity: Problems with Using Long Words Needlessly."

    Medicine - Francis M. Fesmire of the University of Tennessee College of Medicine, for his medical case report "Termination of Intractable Hiccups with Digital Rectal Massage"; and Majed Odeh, Harry Bassan, and Arie Oliven of Bnai Zion Medical Center, Haifa, Israel, for their subsequent medical case report also titled "Termination of Intractable Hiccups with Digital Rectal Massage."

    Physics - Basile Audoly and Sebastien Neukirch of the Université Pierre et Marie Curie, in Paris, for their insights into why, when you bend dry spaghetti, it often breaks into more than two pieces: "Fragmentation of Rods by Cascading Cracks: Why Spaghetti Does Not Break in Half."

    Chemistry - Antonio Mulet, José Javier Benedito and José Bon of the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia, Spain, and Carmen Rosselló of the Universitat de les Illes Balears, in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, for their study "Ultrasonic Velocity in Cheddar Cheese as Affected by Temperature."

    Biology - Bart Knols (of Wageningen Agricultural University, in Wageningen, the Netherlands; and of the National Institute for Medical Research, in Ifakara Centre, Tanzania, and of the International Atomic Energy Agency, in Vienna, Austria) and Ruurd de Jong (of Wageningen
    Agricultural University and of Santa Maria degli Angeli, Italy) for showing that the female malaria mosquito Anopheles gambiae is attracted equally to the smell of limburger cheese and to the smell of human feet.

    Some ignotable winners from the past:

    Biology - Presented to Ben Wilson of the University of British Columbia, Lawrence Dill of Simon Fraser University, Canada, Robert Batty of the Scottish Association for Marine Science, Magnus Whalberg of the University of Aarhus, Denmark, and Hakan Westerberg of Sweden's National Board of Fisheries, for showing that herrings apparently communicate by farting.

    Engineering - Presented jointly to Donald J. Smith and his father, the late Frank J. Smith, of Orlando, Florida, for patenting the comb over (U.S. Patent 4,022,227

    Medicine - Presented jointly to Steven Stack of Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, and James Gundlach of Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama, for their published report "The Effect of Country Music on Suicide."

    And a favorite of mine
    James F. Nolan, Thomas J. Stillwell, and John P. Sands, Jr.,
    medical men of mercy, for their painstaking research report,
    "Acute Management of the Zipper-Entrapped Penis." [Published
    in Journal of Emergency Medicine, vol. 8, no. 3, May/June 1990,
    pp. 305-7.]

    Many more dating back to 1991.
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2006
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  3. Oct 14, 2006 #2

    Chi Meson

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    This field was pioneered by Our Favorite Guy, Richard Feynman.
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