2007 IgNobel prizes

It’s everybody’s favorite time of year again – the IgNobel prizes. This year the awards go to:

  • MEDICINE: “Sword Swallowing and Its Side Effects.”
  • PHYSICS: for studying how sheets become wrinkled.
  • BIOLOGY: for doing a census of all the mites, insects, spiders, pseudoscorpions, crustaceans, bacteria, algae, ferns and fungi with whom we share our beds each night.
  • CHEMISTRY: for developing a way to extract vanillin — vanilla fragrance and flavoring — from cow dung.
  • LINGUISTICS: for showing that rats sometimes cannot tell the difference between a person speaking Japanese backwards and a person speaking Dutch backwards.
  • LITERATURE: for studying the word “the” — and of the many ways it causes problems for anyone who tries to put things into alphabetical order.
  • PEACE: for instigating research & development on a chemical weapon — the so-called “gay bomb” — that will make enemy soldiers become sexually irresistible to each other.
  • NUTRITION: for exploring the seemingly boundless appetites of human beings, by feeding them with a self-refilling, bottomless bowl of soup.
  • ECONOMICS: for patenting a device, in the year 2001, that catches bank robbers by dropping a net over them.
  • AVIATION: for their discovery that Viagra aids jetlag recovery in hamsters.

Also see the splendid keynote speech of this year’s ceremony.

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