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2009 Ig Nobels Awarded, For Gas-Mask Bras and More

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the classical-gas dept.

It's funny.  Laugh. 123

alphadogg notes that the 2009 Ig Nobel Prizes were awarded yesterday evening in Cambridge, MA. (You may find that site has been pre-Slashdotted; and improbable.com's video feeds of the ceremony don't work at the moment either.) News.com.au has coverage of the bra that converts quickly to two gas masks, a study of why pregnant women don't tip over, the award for literature, and other gems. "Ireland's police won the literature prize from writing more than 50 traffic tickets to a frequent visitor and speeder named Prawo Jazdy. In Polish, this means 'driver's license.' Pathologist Stephan Bolliger and colleagues at the University of Bern in Switzerland won for a study they did to determine whether an empty beer bottle does more or less damage to the human skull than a full one in a bar fight."

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bra that converts gas masks could be useful (5, Funny)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 4 years ago | (#29616009)

"I'm sorry miss, I thought the phone was an alarm warning of a gas attack. Let me help you get back in again". .....

Re:bra that converts gas masks could be useful (4, Insightful)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 4 years ago | (#29616155)

This may sound a bit funny invention, but in some places like Seoul where a gas attack can be feared at any moment (they have racks of gas mask for emergency use in every subway station for instance) it could be very useful for a part of the population to constantly carry a pair. We would consider more gently if it was a convertible scarf or gloves, or hat. The fact that it covers a boob is a funny fact that everyone will forget once the gas bomb explodes.

Re:bra that converts gas masks could be useful (5, Funny)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#29616187)

in some places like Seoul where a gas attack can be feared at any moment (they have racks of gas mask for emergency use in every subway station for instance)

Why don't they just stop making kimchee?

kekekekeke

Re:bra that converts gas masks could be useful (5, Funny)

fhuglegads (1334505) | more than 4 years ago | (#29616523)

in some places like Seoul where a gas attack can be feared at any moment (they have racks of gas mask for emergency use in every subway station for instance)

This is just another way of keeping the gas masks on the rack

Call it by its proper name (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29617979)

FTS:

You may find that site has been pre-Slashdotted

I think the editors meant to say the site was Digged, since Slashdot isn't as popular a site as everyone here like to pretend.

Unfortunately this is actually an extremely insightful comment that will wind up being modded as a troll.

Meh, who cares? That's why I post AC.

Re:Call it by its proper name (1)

Razalhague (1497249) | more than 4 years ago | (#29619453)

Meh, who cares? That's why I post AC.

You, obviously, because you complain about it.

Re:bra that converts gas masks could be useful (1)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 4 years ago | (#29616199)

Anyway, at least it's not a cup...

I mean one that's placed lower.

I think I'd rather suffer the gas.

Re:bra that converts gas masks could be useful (1, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#29616243)

Bras don't have the greatest odor either. All day's worth of sweat - ick.

Re:bra that converts gas masks could be useful (4, Insightful)

Fallus Shempus (793462) | more than 4 years ago | (#29616497)

Yeah, but it's booby sweat!

Re:bra that converts gas masks could be useful (1)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#29616599)

How is that different from mooby sweat?

Re:bra that converts gas masks could be useful (2, Funny)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#29616721)

Yeah, but it's booby sweat!

How is that different from mooby sweat?

Either is better than crotchy sweat.

"What to talk socks?" - Garibaldi.
"We're not having this discussion." - Sinclair

Re:bra that converts gas masks could be useful (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29616819)

"Bras don't have the greatest odor either. All day's worth of sweat - ick."
    Score:1, Flamebait

"Yeah, but it's booby sweat!"
    Score:3, Insightful

Only on Slashdot...

Re:bra that converts gas masks could be useful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29616665)

Modded flamebait, because girls don't sweat... it's a lie I tell you.

Re:bra that converts gas masks could be useful (1)

mrrudge (1120279) | more than 4 years ago | (#29617325)

Horses sweat. Men perspire and women gently glow.

At least according to my grandma.

Re:bra that converts gas masks could be useful (1)

Jason Levine (196982) | more than 4 years ago | (#29618387)

If it came down smelling a day's worth of someone's sweat or poisonous gas, I would hope most people would choose the sweat smell. It might be unpleasant, but it won't kill you.

Re:bra that converts gas masks could be useful (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#29616671)

>>>at least it's not a cup...

(looks left and sees a woman with D-sized chest) (looks right and sees a woman with B-sized chest) (turn back to the left) - Pardon madam, may I borrow one of your cups as a mask. Thank you. Cup size matters.

Re:bra that converts gas masks could be useful (2, Funny)

manifoldronin (827401) | more than 4 years ago | (#29619295)

(looks left and sees a woman with D-sized chest) (looks right and sees a woman with B-sized chest) (turn back to the left) - Pardon madam, may I borrow one of your cups as a mask. Thank you. Cup size matters.

(On the other hand...) yeah, sorry madam, I appreciate you trying to help, but I've got a C-cup face.

Re:bra that converts gas masks could be useful (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#29619409)

Unless they peed themselves first. In WW1 on the western front chemical weapons were used against us and all we had to cover our faces were cloth. Someone thought of the great idea of pissing on said cloth. The chemicals in the pee provided much greater protection than the cloth by itself and was used until true gas masks came along.

I don't know about you but if the option is death or looking stupid sniffing pee I'd chose the latter. It also tells an amazing tale of how harsh and rugged trench warfare was and possibly how retarded or brilliant the soldiers were.

Re:bra that converts gas masks could be useful (3, Funny)

Rakshasa Taisab (244699) | more than 4 years ago | (#29616363)

Or, you know... If you happen to sleep with a guy that has a problem with flatulence.

Re:bra that converts gas masks could be useful (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 4 years ago | (#29617157)

"...a problem with flatulence."

It's not a problem, it's a feature. -- Some Guy

Re:bra that converts gas masks could be useful (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#29619109)

Steve Jobs come clean, we know thats you.

Re:bra that converts gas masks could be useful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29616829)

Absolutely, and the fire extinguishers right next to those gas mask racks are because people are afraid of spontaneous combustion.

It could happen to you, you know.

Re:bra that converts gas masks could be useful (4, Funny)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 4 years ago | (#29617975)

The best part about the gas mask bra is, after the masks are dawned, you now have access to two thermometers, allowing you to know if its cold or not.

Re:bra that converts gas masks could be useful (1, Funny)

bonch (38532) | more than 4 years ago | (#29618663)

I laughed.

Re:bra that converts gas masks could be useful (1)

severoon (536737) | more than 4 years ago | (#29618221)

...racks of gas masks, you say? Was that intentional?

Re:bra that converts gas masks could be useful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29618813)

However in case of a real gas attack on a subway in Seoul you better be within 10 feet of the masks or theres no damn way you'll be getting one.

I think my brother said there was 50 or so per emergency station and several thousand people could be on the platform at any given time in major stations, specially at the mall.

Re:bra that converts gas masks could be useful (3, Informative)

bmgoau (801508) | more than 4 years ago | (#29616245)

Actually BBC News has the most in depth coverage: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8285380.stm [bbc.co.uk]

The mathematics prize was interesting:
Mathematics: Gideon Gono, governor of Zimbabwe's Reserve Bank, for giving people a simple, everyday way to cope with a wide range of numbers by having his bank print notes with denominations ranging from one cent to one hundred trillion dollars.

Re:bra that converts gas masks could be useful (1)

squizzar (1031726) | more than 4 years ago | (#29616393)

Why interesting? It's (very) funny. Which has been modded informative. I'm so confused...

Re:bra that converts gas masks could be useful (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#29616801)

Actually I think it's kinda sad, because my country is heading directly towards a Zimbabwe paradox. "I have a million dollars; I'm rich!" "You mean you *were* rich. Today a million dollars only buys a small car." "Oh."

Re:bra that converts gas masks could be useful (4, Funny)

nomadic (141991) | more than 4 years ago | (#29616887)

Actually I think it's kinda sad, because my country is heading directly towards a Zimbabwe paradox. "I have a million dollars; I'm rich!" "You mean you *were* rich. Today a million dollars only buys a small car." "Oh."

Doesn't sound too bad to me. No matter what the inflation rate is, my school loan debt stays the same...

Re:bra that converts gas masks could be useful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29618005)

Some of us don't have any debts, you insensitive clod!

(Actually, I might have to take that back. There's the outstanding $11,000 in hospital bills... but I have that covered, even in the case that I can't lawyer my insurance company into paying more than 1/3 of the original billed amount.)

Re:bra that converts gas masks could be useful (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#29618697)

Yeah but the interest on that debt exceeds the devaluation rate of the dollar, so the overall wealth you owe to somebody else is still climbing higher-and-higher.

Re:bra that converts gas masks could be useful (1)

Abreu (173023) | more than 4 years ago | (#29618199)

Chemistry: Javier Morales, Miguel Apatiga and Victor M Castano of Universidad Nacional Autonoma in Mexico, for creating diamonds from tequila.

I don't know if I should feel proud or ashamed about my alma mater...

Re:bra that converts gas masks could be useful (1)

ChocoBean (890202) | more than 4 years ago | (#29619865)

proud, of course! now your wife will be thrilled when you tell her you need to go get some tequila!

Re:bra that converts gas masks could be useful (2, Funny)

syousef (465911) | more than 4 years ago | (#29616453)

"I'm sorry miss, I thought the phone was an alarm warning of a gas attack. Let me help you get back in again".

Quick! Take off your bra! Our lives could depend on it!

I hope the bra catches on! (3, Funny)

Dare nMc (468959) | more than 4 years ago | (#29617219)

imagine the hero status of the guy who throws a smoke bomb into the Hooters restaurant.
rip, rip, rip, ahhhhhh!!!!!!!!!

Re:bra that converts gas masks could be useful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29617583)

Pics or it didn't happen.

Ouch (1)

headhot (137860) | more than 4 years ago | (#29616013)

I would have to think through my minimal physics training that a full beer bottle would be more effective in a bar fight then an empty one. Assuming there is a cap on the bottle. If the cap is off, all bets are off.

Re:Ouch (5, Interesting)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#29616075)

A full beer bottle is prone to break at the neck due to the air bubble retracting into the cap area during swinging (assuming you are holding it by the neck, which you should if you have any sense at all). If it breaks at the neck when you hit, you end up with shards of glass on yourself rather than on your opponent.

I'm interested in why pregnant women don't tip over. I'm trying hard to avoid bringing bovines into the comparison.

Re:Ouch (2, Funny)

InsertWittyNameHere (1438813) | more than 4 years ago | (#29616283)

I know everytime I get into a bar fight I make sure to finish drinking the beer first.

Come to think of it, I've usually finished a few bottles by that time.

Re:Ouch (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#29616611)

Bottles are useless in a fight.

In the immortal words of Bas Rutten, BANG BANG BANG!

Uhhh, I mean... "Create distance, and grab a chair!" [youtube.com]

Re:Ouch (1)

tibman (623933) | more than 4 years ago | (#29620013)

Thanks for that video :)

Re:Ouch (5, Funny)

dals_rule (1076803) | more than 4 years ago | (#29616319)

Hark! Do I smell an episode of 'Myth Busters'????

Re:Ouch (2, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#29616597)

For the same reason why my 8th grade social studies teacher didn't tip-over, even though he had a beer belly the size of a Michelin Radial X.

Re:Ouch (2, Informative)

beerbear (1289124) | more than 4 years ago | (#29616643)

According to Bas Rutten [wikipedia.org] , who was a bouncer before he got into MMA, the same thing happens to an empty bottle.

Re:Ouch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29617501)

I'd imagine there's a factor of how hard the swing is, and where the impact point on the bottle is.

Re:Ouch (5, Funny)

bitt3n (941736) | more than 4 years ago | (#29618537)

A full beer bottle is prone to break at the neck due to the air bubble retracting into the cap area during swinging (assuming you are holding it by the neck, which you should if you have any sense at all). If it breaks at the neck when you hit, you end up with shards of glass on yourself rather than on your opponent.

I'm interested in why pregnant women don't tip over. I'm trying hard to avoid bringing bovines into the comparison.

I'd be interested in seeing the combined study, determining whether it is easier to knock over a pregnant woman with an empty or full beer bottle. (This may depend on whether it is the pregnant woman who did the emptying.)

Re:Ouch (2, Insightful)

SleazyRidr (1563649) | more than 4 years ago | (#29617713)

This shows one of the very good reasons why the IgNobels are a valuable thing. I would have thought the same as you; more mass->more inertia->more hurt. Then these guys come along and show us that the world isn't quite as intuitive as all that. On the surface it looks useless, but there may just be some application for this in structural engineering that will make bridges cheaper to build in the future. All science leads us forward, even if we have to take very small steps.

Re:Ouch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29618987)

The article mentions that the pressure inside the bottle increases the likelihood of the bottle exploding. Though it was mentioned that both are solid enough to break the human skull.

LOLZERS! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29616021)

ladies, get your pussies ready!

An ignobel first. (1)

dov_0 (1438253) | more than 4 years ago | (#29616053)

I hope never to win one of these awards, but we could be surprised one day. Some of this research may end up useful in a way we never foresaw.

Re:An ignobel first. (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 4 years ago | (#29616971)

The biology prize, as funny as it sounds, seems extremely useful and perfectly legitimate research.

Re:An ignobel first. (1)

realisticradical (969181) | more than 4 years ago | (#29617193)

Are you kidding? I'd love to win one of these awards.

Some of the research is actually pretty solid scientific stuff. It's also highly applicable to my every-day life.

My personal favorite winners:

Physics - Presented to David Schmidt of the University of Massachusetts, for his partial explanation of the shower-curtain effect: a shower curtain tends to billow inwards while a shower is being taken.

Public Health - Presented to Jillian Clarke of the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences, and then Howard University, for investigating the scientific validity of the five-second rule about whether it's safe to eat food that's been dropped on the floor.

Re:An ignobel first. (1)

WeblionX (675030) | more than 4 years ago | (#29617347)

Physics - Presented to David Schmidt of the University of Massachusetts, for his partial explanation of the shower-curtain effect: a shower curtain tends to billow inwards while a shower is being taken.

Oh, now I have to read the article to see if there's a way to counter act this!

Re:An ignobel first. (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#29618121)

Physics - Presented to David Schmidt of the University of Massachusetts, for his partial explanation of the shower-curtain effect: a shower curtain tends to billow inwards while a shower is being taken.

Sounds like the Bernoulli effect [wikipedia.org] to me.

Hey, not fair! (2, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#29616065)

The lowly beer bottle has had a much greater impact on the world's institutions of higher learning than all other academic topics combined.

Re:Hey, not fair! (2, Interesting)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#29616655)

>>>The lowly beer bottle [or wine bottle] has had a much greater impact on the world's institutions [...]

Fixed. In college alcohol helps people meet one another, which leads to procreation and children, who then grow-up to drink more alcohol. The great classics of literature were written while copious amounts of alcohol were consumed, and in ancient history society revolved around the great central beer halls. Even the gears of government are greased by alcohol as politicians discuss nuclear arms bans, free trade agreements, or health reform over dinner and alcohol.

Re:Hey, not fair! (4, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#29616873)

To alcohol! The cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems.

Re:Hey, not fair! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29618461)

You ripped that from Homer Simpson. Give credit where credit is due. Other than that, it was spot on.

Re:Hey, not fair! (2, Funny)

Arthur Grumbine (1086397) | more than 4 years ago | (#29617625)

The lowly beer bottle has had a much greater impact on the world's institutions of higher learning than all other academic topics combined.

That's only because you can't hurl "academic topics" through the Dean's office window...

Re:Hey, not fair! (1)

Abreu (173023) | more than 4 years ago | (#29618323)

Except the diamonds were made out of tequila, not beer

Re:Hey, not fair! (1)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 4 years ago | (#29618897)

True. Not to mention the unlearning of all the silly theories you proposed when trying to chat up that bird from the geology department: As Darwin said, "To kill an error is as good a service as, and sometimes even better than, the establishing of a new truth or fact"; and nothing kills an error as brutally and swiftly as thinking back to what you said when drunk last night.

That bra has got nothing on my boxer briefs (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29616131)

Which converts quickly to two gas chambers. Dutch style.

Re:That bra has got nothing on my boxer briefs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29616799)

You might want to learn the difference between dutch and deutsch.

breathing (3, Funny)

kiehlster (844523) | more than 4 years ago | (#29616159)

One might have to wonder if heavy breathing might change the effectiveness of such a gas mask.

Prize for Medicine (4, Informative)

Alicat1194 (970019) | more than 4 years ago | (#29616191)

MEDICINE PRIZE: Donald L. Unger, of Thousand Oaks, California, USA, for investigating a possible cause of arthritis of the fingers, by diligently cracking the knuckles of his left hand -- but never cracking the knuckles of his right hand -- every day for more than sixty (60) years.

Apart from *ouch*, this actually sets a great example - a simple yet elegant experiment that anyone (who happened to have a spare 60 years) could do, yet it still contributes something to science.

Re:Prize for Medicine (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29616377)

Yes, I have to say that this is a great experiment; not "ig" at all.

(Might have been better if he'd done the control knuckle-cracking by finger, and not by hand.)

Re:Prize for Medicine (1)

feldhaus (813019) | more than 4 years ago | (#29616439)

A great example? With a sample size of one?
There are surely very many factors which could influence the development of arthritis.

Re:Prize for Medicine (3, Funny)

GargamelSpaceman (992546) | more than 4 years ago | (#29616535)

Yes, because more people can copy him and up the sample size. If enough people do this ( also switching hands, say cracking their right hand and not their left, and also noting left or right handedness ) then you know the results are valid barring any association between liklihood of doing this and assymetric arthritis. Possibly there is a gene that causes both OCD and arthritis.

Re:Prize for Medicine (4, Funny)

yamfry (1533879) | more than 4 years ago | (#29616759)

It's true. I have one potential cause of unilateral arthritis open in the next tab.

Re:Prize for Medicine (4, Funny)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 4 years ago | (#29616771)

Hey, I've been repeating an action with my right hand and not my left for years, where is my prize?

This could help ward off the deadly ... (1)

Hohlraum (135212) | more than 4 years ago | (#29616223)

dutch oven.

To me it's clear (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29616333)

I am more dangerous drunk with empty beer bottles than sober with full ones.

Re:To me it's clear (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 4 years ago | (#29616883)

I am more dangerous drunk with empty beer bottles than sober with full ones.

Fortunately, there is an easy way to transform from the later state to the former.

Bras? (1)

Cougar333 (1422389) | more than 4 years ago | (#29616351)

Create panties that turn into gas masks and I'm in.

I was there (4, Informative)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 4 years ago | (#29616359)

bra that converts quickly to two gas masks,

They neglected to mention the more impressive part: they did a live demonstration for six people, all using bras she was wearing, and she removed them without taking off any other clothing.

She was also decently endowed, and I'm not referring to the size of her...grants.

Re:I was there (1)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 4 years ago | (#29616481)

With 3 bras on, all with significant amounts of gas-blocking filter material? I'd look "endowed" too.

But did anyone else watching the sword swallower shout out to their computer display "Don't hiccup!"?

no, that would have been redundant (1)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 4 years ago | (#29617243)

But did anyone else watching the sword swallower shout out to their computer display "Don't hiccup!"?

No, because someone in the audience did before he started...

obligatory (2, Funny)

Anonymusing (1450747) | more than 4 years ago | (#29616595)

"She's beautiful, she's rich, she's got huge... tracts of land."

Re:I was there (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 4 years ago | (#29617981)

They neglected to mention the more impressive part: they did a live demonstration for six people, all using bras she was wearing, and she removed them without taking off any other clothing.

Impressive? I call that a damn shame. Someone get the designers on the line, I need to give them a piece of my mind!

Allo Allo (5, Funny)

Lord Lode (1290856) | more than 4 years ago | (#29616529)

The bra that quickly converts into two gas masks would really fit in the comical series "Allo Allo", if you know it.

Mathematics Prize for Gideon Gono (2, Interesting)

KnownIssues (1612961) | more than 4 years ago | (#29616541)

I had not heard about the Zimbabwean Dollar before. The Wikipedia article [wikipedia.org] has a great picture of the $100 billion note and the three eggs it bought when it was released. Their financial software can't even handle the $trillion numbers involved in people's bank accounts. The countries money supply was 900 quadrillion dollars in 2008! Words can't even express how insane this is.

Re:Mathematics Prize for Gideon Gono (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29616951)

Try these - The US Deficit.

Re:Mathematics Prize for Gideon Gono (2, Interesting)

Kuroji (990107) | more than 4 years ago | (#29617155)

Pales utterly in comparison to the hyperinflation that was caused by Mugabe's policies. If they hadn't redenominated the Zimbabwean dollar, the last printing of money would have had twenty-five more zeroes on it.

Then again confiscating personal property and businesses for redistribution by the state is almost NEVER a good idea.

Re:Mathematics Prize for Gideon Gono (1)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 4 years ago | (#29619375)

An interesting fact. In 2008, the Zimbabwean stock market performed better than any other stock market in the world even measured in hard currency terms. It was the only country in the world where you would have had more US$ at the end of the year than the beginning if you had invested in their market.

Re:Mathematics Prize for Gideon Gono (2, Interesting)

jijitus (1478465) | more than 4 years ago | (#29617105)

Haha, in Argentina we have knocked on average two digits every decade until the nineties, when we had one last 4-digit drop to force our currency to equal the US dollar. Of course it didn't last, now it's valued USD 0.26 But the Zimbabwean dollar wins all records. I had never seen exponential notation and the percentage sign together before.

Public Service Announcment (3, Informative)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#29616845)

TFA has no pictures. You can all go home now.

Gas masks? (3, Funny)

snspdaarf (1314399) | more than 4 years ago | (#29616967)

I always heard bras converted to yarmulkes with chin straps....

I waved to you! (1, Troll)

paiute (550198) | more than 4 years ago | (#29617041)

It was a hoot as usual.

The past couple of years I have had to get orchestra seats, down on the floor in front of the stage. These used to be the least desirable seats, as occupants had no cover from the constant barrage of paper airplanes. Now they try to limit the planes to two designated times, but there is a lot of random traffic anyway.

When the very MILFy Russian blonde doc pulled not one but two emergency bras from under her tight black velvet dress and put them on the faces of four actual Nobel laureates, the crowd went wild. Good times.

NB: In case you want to read a screenplay in which the Ig Nobel ceremony is a pivotal plot point:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/13651346/The-EightFoot-Bride-an-original-screenplay [scribd.com]

Krugman's 24/7 lecture at the Ig Nobels (1)

jchandra (15040) | more than 4 years ago | (#29617075)

I thought that was very good. From his blog [nytimes.com]

24:

Given decentralized constrained optimization by maximizing agents with well-defined convex objective functions and/or convex production functions, engaging in exchange and production with free disposal, leads, in the absence of externalities, market power, and other distortions, there exists an equilibrium characterized by Pareto optimality.

7:

Greedy people, competing, make the world go round.

PICS (1)

j00r0m4nc3r (959816) | more than 4 years ago | (#29617169)

or GTFO

And Then Came The Day ... (2, Funny)

BigBlueOx (1201587) | more than 4 years ago | (#29617473)

...when I had the opportunity to travel back in time. I gleefully grabbed the once in a lifetime chance and travelled back to 1970. Once in 1970 I participated in a question and answer session with the great minds of the time.

"Have you abolished war?", "Have you cured cancer?", "Do you have flying cars?", I was asked.

"No, no and no.", I replied, "but we have pigs that glow under UV light, remote-control cyborg African beetles, bras that double as gas masks and iPhones. Oh, and we know why pregnant women don't fall over!"

I thought they took the news rather well. Considering.

Found something too funny! (4, Funny)

jhfry (829244) | more than 4 years ago | (#29618567)

From the actual issue of Arthritis and Ruhmitism where Ig Nobel Prise winner Dr. Donald L. Unger, published the results of his investigation into a possible cause of arthritis of the fingers. - http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/fulltext/86510619/PDFSTART [wiley.com]

Read the reply... I love it when serious people let loose!

Does knuckle cracking lead to arthritis of the fingers?

To the Editor:
During the author's childhood, various renowned authorities (his mother, several aunts, and, later, his mother-in law [personal communication]) informed him that cracking his knuckles would lead to arthritis of the fingers. To test the accuracy of this hypothesis, the following study was undertaken. For 50 years, the author cracked the knuckles of his left hand at least twice a day, leaving those on the right as a control. Thus, the knuckles on the left were cracked at least 36,500 times, while those on the right cracked rarely and spontaneously. At the end of the 50 years, the hands were compared for the presence of arthritis. There was no arthritis in either hand, and no apparent differences between the two hands. Knuckle cracking did not lead to arthritis after a 50-year controlled study by the one participant. While a larger group would be necessary to confirm this result, this preliminary investigation suggests a lack of correlation between knuckle cracking and the development of arthritis of the fingers. A search of the literature revealed only one previous paper on this subject, and the authors came to the same conclusion (Swezey RL. Swezey SE. The consequences of habitual knuckle cracking. West J Med 1973;122:377-9.).

This result calls into question whether other parental beliefs, e.g., the importance of eating spinach, are also flawed. Further investigation is likely warranted. In conclusion, there is no apparent relationship between knuckle cracking and the subsequent development of arthritis of the fingers. This study was done entirely at the author's expense, with no grants from any governmental or pharmaceutical source.

Donald L. Unger, MD
Thousand Oaks, CA

Reply

To the Editor:

I appreciate the opportunity to review Dr. Unger's report. His "self-controlled" study adds considerable credence
to our 1973 study findings. Dr. Unger exercised amazing self control by performing 50 years of knuckle cracking (KC) on his left hand at least twice daily, "while those on the right cracked only rarely and spontaneously.'' No evidence of arthritis in either hand was found at the end of 50 years. I have taken the liberty of consulting Dr. John Adams, PhD, at the Rand Corporation. who has generously provided me with the following statistical analysis.

The basic study designed by Dr. Unger is a two-arm trial without randomization. Although it is not clear, it appears
that the study was not blinded. Blinding would only be possible if the investigator didn't know left from right. This is not likely since studies indicate that only 31% of primary care physicians don't know left from right. (The figure is reportedly somcwhat higher for most specialists.) The lack of randomization suggests the need for a multivariate analysis to reduce bias. Controlling for knuckle-to-knuckle variation in race, sex, socioeconomic status, initial severity, comorbidities, and Ecuadorian
barometric pressure at the time of measurement would be advisable. The sample size appears too small to support accurate inference. Typically, sample sizes of roughly twice the available research budget are required for valid inference. Restrictive
eligibility criteria and convenience sampling limit generalization of the results to knuckle-cracking physicians
with a lot of time on their hands.

I should note that SES, the co-author of our 1973 investigation, was 12 years old at the time of the study and that
the study was stimulated because of his grandmother's concern about the arthritic consequences of his KC. It is now 22 years later and he continues to enjoy frequent KC without manifestations or evidence of arthritis. Closer scrutiny of the data in both studies raises the question of a possible osteoarthritis preventative therapeutic benefit from the exercise effect on joint lubrication resulting from habitual KC. Clearly, further study should be undertaken, with the caveats as given by Dr. Adams. The possible utilization of KC by managed care providers an an economic, noninvasive, home preventative treatment for arthritis of thc hands should be given further consideration. A clear distinction between hand wringing related to managed care procedures and therapeutic KC will have to be made.

Robert L. Swezey, MD
Santa Monica, CA

Re:Found something too funny! (3, Funny)

jhfry (829244) | more than 4 years ago | (#29618635)

Best lines:

Blinding would only be possible if the investigator didn't know left from right. This is not likely since studies indicate that only 31% of primary care physicians don't know left from right. (The figure is reportedly somewhat higher for most specialists.)

Typically, sample sizes of roughly twice the available research budget are required for valid inference.

Restrictive eligibility criteria and convenience sampling limit generalization of the results to knuckle-cracking physicians with a lot of time on their hands.

A clear distinction between hand wringing related to managed care procedures and therapeutic Knuckle Cracking will have to be made.

Nobel Ignoble (3, Funny)

T.E.D. (34228) | more than 4 years ago | (#29620031)

Pathologist Stephan Bolliger and colleagues at the University of Bern in Switzerland won for a study they did to determine whether an empty beer bottle does more or less damage to the human skull than a full one in a bar fight

Hey now, this one is actually useful information! You now know which bottle to pick, based on how much (or little) damage you actually want to do.

Admittedly, I don't think I'd willingly go out drinking with Dr. Bolliger...

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