The 2007 Ig Nobel Prizes have been awarded.
Here's a few of the winners (?)MEDICINE
Brian Witcombe of Gloucester, UK, and Dan Meyer
of Antioch, Tennessee, USA, for their penetrating medical report "Sword Swallowing and Its Side Effects
."REFERENCE: "Sword Swallowing and Its Side Effects," Brian Witcombe and Dan Meyer, British Medical Journal, December 23, 2006, vol. 333, pp. 1285-7.
:Juan Manuel Toro
, Josep B. Trobalon and Núria Sebastián-Gallés
, of Universitat de Barcelona, for showing that rats sometimes cannot tell the difference between a person speaking Japanese backwards and a person speaking Dutch backwards.REFERENCE: "Effects of Backward Speech and Speaker Variability in Language Discrimination by Rats," Juan M. Toro, Josep B. Trobalon and Núria Sebastián-Gallés, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes, vol. 31, no. 1, January 2005, pp 95-100.
The Air Force Wright Laboratory, Dayton, Ohio, USA, for instigating research & development on a chemical weapon -- the so-called "gay bomb" -- that will make enemy soldiers become sexually irresistible to each other.REFERENCE: "Harassing, Annoying, and 'Bad Guy' Identifying Chemicals," Wright Laboratory, WL/FIVR, Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, June 1, 1994.complete list of Ig Noble winners and their research (dating back to 1992):http://www.improbable.com/ig/ig-pastwinners.html#ig2007 There are some real gems in there, like the CHEMISTRY award for George Goble of Purdue University, for his blistering world record time for igniting a barbeque grill in three seconds, using charcoal and liquid oxygen.