22nd IgNobel awards – 2012

“The Stinker”, the official mascot of the Ig Nobel Prizes.

Researchers who worked on statistics which show brain activity in dead salmon, changed height perceptions when leaning to the left, a “speech-jammer” and a report that recommends the preparation of a report about the report about reports about reports are some of the winners of this years IgNobel awards.  

The Guardian

The 22nd Ig Nobel awards, organised by the humour magazine Annals of Improbable Research and awarded on Thursday at Harvard University, are a spoof of the Nobel prizes, to be announced next month. They honour achievements that “first make people laugh, and then make them think”. …….

….. This year’s Ig Nobels were handed out by five Nobel laureates including the 2009 physics laureate Roy Glauber, 2009 physiology or medicine winner Jack Szostak, and 2007 economics winner Eric Maskin.

Marc Abrahams, editor of the Annals of Improbable Research, and founder of the Ig Nobels, ended the ceremony with the traditional goodbye: “If you didn’t win an Ig Nobel prize tonight – and especially if you did – better luck next year.”

Psychology prize:Anita EerlandRolf Zwaan and Tulio Guadalupe, for their study entitiled Leaning to the Left Makes the Eiffel Tower Seem Smaller.

Peace prize: The SKN company, for using technology to convert old Russian ammunition into new diamonds.

Acoustics prize:Kazutaka Kurihara and Koji Tsukada 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 BennettAbigail BairdMichael Miller, andGeorge Wolford, 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 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, forissuing a report about reports about reports that recommends the preparation of a report about the report about reports about reports.

Physics prize:Joseph KellerRaymond GoldsteinPatrick Warren andRobin Ball, for calculating the balance of forces that shape and move the hair in a human ponytail.

Fluid dynamics prize:Rouslan Krechetnikov and Hans Mayer, 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 and Jennifer Pokorny, for discovering that chimpanzees can identify specific other chimpanzees from seeing photographs of their rear ends.

Medicine prize: Emmanuel Ben-Soussan, for advising doctors who perform colonoscopies how to minimise the chance of their patients exploding.

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