The winners of the IgNobel prizes were announced this week during a ceremony at Harvard University. This marked the 22nd year that the world’s most improbable research was celebrated in hilarious prize form. They are even presented by actual Nobel Prize winners!
Here are some of this year’s highlights:
- Psychology: “Leaning to the left makes the Eiffel Tower seem smaller”
- Peace Prize: Conversion of old Russian ammunition into diamonds
- Neuroscience: Demonstrations of the limitations of fMRI analysis, AKA “Brainwaves in a Dead Salmon”
- Literature: The U.S. Government General Accountability Office for producing their report calling for reports on the cost of reports.
- Fluid Dynamics: For study of the unique spilly-sloshing that occurs when a cup of coffee is carried while walking.
By now you’re probably wondering what this is all about, whyFBI agents pulled you out of your barista job, threw you on a helicopter, and brought you to NASA headquarters. There’s no time, so I’ll shoot it to you straight. You’ve seen the news reports. What hit New York wasn’t some debris from an old satellite. There’s an asteroid the size of Montana heading toward Earth and if it hits us, the planet is over. But we’ve got one last-ditch plan. We need a team to land on the surface of the asteroid, drill a nuclear warhead one mile into its core, and get out before it explodes. And you’re just the liberal arts major we need to lead that team.
I. Am. Dying. You simply must read the rest.
Light travels faster than sound—isn’t that why some people appear bright until you hear them speak?
some male fireflies donate a “nuptial gift” to females during mating. This gift contains sperm wrapped up in a nutritious high-protein package
(I would like to introduce all of my Tumblr friends to outofcontextscience, where real science is taken out of context, leaving you with the sometimes strange and sometimes wacky. Worth a follow! -J)