We're going to the Ig Nobels tonight! I've wanted to do this for years. You can tune in at home--
Last Year's Winners:
2007 Ig Nobel Winners
'Gay bomb' scoops Ig Nobel award
Pioneering research into a "gay bomb" that makes enemy troops
"sexually irresistible" to each other has scooped one of this year's Ig
A study on how to relieve jetlag in hamsters won one of the prizes
Other winners included work on treating hamster jetlag
with impotency drugs, extracting vanilla from cow dung, and the
side-effects of sword swallowing.
The awards, founded in 1991, mark achievements that "first make people laugh, and then make them think".
The prize ceremony took place at Harvard University, US.
Genuine Nobel Laureates handed out the much-coveted
awards to the winners, who took away no cash, but instead received a
hand-made prize, a certificate, and, of course, the glory of such an
Medicine - Brian Witcombe, of Gloucestershire
Royal NHS Foundation Trust, UK, and Dan Meyer for their probing work on
the health consequences of swallowing a sword.
Physics - A US-Chile team who ironed out the problem of how sheets become wrinkled.
Biology - Dr Johanna van Bronswijk of the
Netherlands for carrying out a creepy crawly census of all of the
mites, insects, spiders, ferns and fungi that share our beds.
Chemistry - Mayu Yamamoto, from Japan, for developing a method to extract vanilla fragrance and flavouring from cow dung.
Linguistics - A University of Barcelona team for
showing that rats are unable to tell the difference between a person
speaking Japanese backwards and somebody speaking Dutch backwards.
Literature - Glenda Browne of Blue Mountains,
Australia, for her study of the word "the", and how it can flummox
those trying to put things into alphabetical order.
Peace - The US Air Force Wright Laboratory for
instigating research and development on a chemical weapon that would
provoke widespread homosexual behaviour among enemy troops.
Nutrition - Brian Wansink of Cornell University
for investigating the limits of human appetite by feeding volunteers a
self-refilling, "bottomless" bowl of soup.
Economics - Kuo Cheng Hsieh of Taiwan for patenting a device that can catch bank robbers by dropping a net over them.
Aviation - A National University of Quilmes,
Argentina, team for discovering that impotency drugs can help hamsters
to recover from jet lag.