Charles Darwin
In this blogposting…
*The 2010 IgNobel Awards
*The Darwin Awards
Now - cry ‘Havoc!’ and let slip the dogs of war…

It has been drawn to my attention that I neglected to give details of last year’s IgNobel Award winners. I can’t think what came over me.

This blog, which gives a brief run-down of the prizes and winners, is by way of righting that wrong and giving the brave researchers involved their rightful truckshunter credit.

The 2010 IgNobel Awards - given to researchers whose work makes us think and smile - were given last September at the 20th First Annual IgNobel Prize Ceremony at Harvard University and were as follows...

The Engineering Prize went to Karina Acevedo-Whitehouse and Agnes Rocha-Gosselin of the Zoological Society of London and Diane Gendron of Instituto Politecnico Nacional, Baja California Sur, Mexico.
They were given the award for perfecting a method to collect whale snot, using a remote-control helicopter.

The Medicine Prize went to Simon Rietveld of the University of Amsterdam and Ilja van Beest of Tilburg University (also in the Netherlands).
They got the prize for discovering that symptoms of asthma can be treated with a roller-coaster ride.

The Transport Planning Award went to Toshiyuki Nakagaki, Atsushi Tero, Seiji Takagi, Tetsu Saigusa, Kentaro Ito, Kenji Yumikim and Ryo Kobayashi of Japan, and to Dan Bebber and Mark Fricker of the UK.
They discovered that slime mold can be used to determine the optimal routes for railway tracks.

The Physica Award was given to Lianne Parkin, Sheila Williams, and Patricia Priest of the University of Otago, New Zealand.
Their research showed clearly that, on icy footpaths in wintertime, people slip and fall less often if they wear socks on the outside of their shoes.

The Peace Prize went to Richard Stephens, John Atkins, and Andrew Kingston of Keele University.
They were given the award for confirming the widely held belief that swearing relieves pain.

The Prize For Public Health was given to Manuel Barbeito, Charles Mathews, and Larry Taylor of the Industrial Health and Safety Office, Fort Detrick, Maryland, USA.
They were able to determine, by experiment, that microbes cling to bearded scientists.

The Economics Prize was awarded to the executives and directors of Goldman Sachs, AIG, Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns, Merrill Lynch, Magnetar and many other financial institutions, for creating and promoting new ways to invest money — ways that maximize financial gain and minimize financial risk for the world economy, or for a portion thereof.

The Award for Chemistry was given to Eric Adams of MIT, Scott Socolofsky of Texas A&M University, Stephen Masutani of the University of Hawaii, and BP.
They disproved the old belief that oil and water don't mix.

The Management Prize was awarded to Alessandro Pluchino, Andrea Rapisarda, and Cesare Garofalo of the University of Catania, Italy.
Their research demonstrated quite clearly and mathematically that organizations would become more efficient if they promoted people entirely at random.

And finally, the Biology Prize was awarded to Libiao Zhang, Min Tan, Guangjian Zhu, Jianping Ye, Tiyu Hong, Shanyi Zhou, and Shuyi Zhang of China, and Gareth Jones of the University of Bristol.
Their research scientifically documented fellatio in fruit bats.

...will take place at 1100 on Wednesday 23 February at Oliver’s Cafe in Grainger Market, Newcastle.

A splendid time is guaranteed for all.

Thanks to two truckshunters for emailing me details of the 2011 Darwin Awards, given to people who improve the human gene pool by removing themselves from it in the most spectacularly foolhardy ways.

Unfortunately, the Darwin Awards website does not, as yet, include any awards for 2011 and I can find no trace of the stories my emailers mention. If anyone would care to carry out further research, I’d be very grateful.

Congratulations to Argentina, the first South American country to legalise same-sex marriage. It joins a small and weirdly disparate group of countries that have no official heterosexist discrimination of any kind (including the rights of marriage and adoption): Belgium, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, South Africa, Spain, Portugal and Canada.

Apparently, it’s all taken Argentina by storm. There have been gay street-parties and a whole new cottage industry (ahem) has sprung up.

Gay people all over the world will be happy at this great leap forward for gay rights in South America. But they will also remember that, in far too many countries of the world, life for gay people - especially gay men - is by no means so acceptable.

The penalty for homosexuality is severe whipping or life imprisonment or both in Tanzania, Barbados and Guyana.

And in the countries listed below, the penalty for being gay is death…

Iran, Pakistan, Mauretania, Burma, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen.

Post comments on this blog or email me: truckshunters@googlemail.com


Hildie said...

You know those 1001 buildings? Are any of them in Iran, Pakistan, Mauretania, Burma, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates or Yemen?
Well ... for heavens sake ...
get them crossed off your list.
I know you'll have started one!

You have, haven't you?!
You're itching to be off again, aren't you?!
Just give in to temptation ....
I'll look out for another notebook!

Hildie said...

To Kev,
have you changed your email address? I had a delivery failure notice after I sent you an email recently. I had sent it to the address I'd used previously.

Hildie said...

"The World's Worst Place to be Gay?" .... a television programme,
tonight at 9p.m. BBC THREE.

Sid said...

And the best place...

San Francisco.
The junction of Castro and 18th Street is known as "the gayest four corners of the world", but in fact the whole of this laid-back West-Coast city is a welcoming environment for gay men and women.

Sid said...

I just loved the award for the Management Prize.
I'm confident when I say we must have all worked for an organisation that had put it into practice many times over our varied careers.....but it was never better for it. Mainly because we all knew we could have done the job better.

Hildie said...

That seems a funny sort of auction they're having, in York, tonight. They are auctioning bits of stone that have fallen off York Minster.
Anyway, they're expecting to make up to £20,000, with the money going towards future restoration work on the minster. Wonder who thought of that, it's good, in'it?!
Sid , thanks for telling me my server was likely down, when I sent the email to Kev. I just sent it again, as you suggested, and away it went like magic! I heard back from Kev, thought you'd like to know .... he's still happily slaving away at the college!

Sid said...

Glad I could help Hildie.
Did you know that bits of the 'Get Carter' multi storey car park in Gateshead were also up for sale. The bit of stone comes in a tin, and has a certificate to prove it's genuine. I think they are £5-00 each.

Hildie said...

isn't that a good idea for Ian ...
to collect a bit of stone from each of those 1001 buildings?!!!!
Or should we just get him to take a photograph, do you think?
I read an article tonight about a man who spotted an extremely rare bird in his back garden in Oxfordshire .... a rare Oriental Turtle Dove. Word soon got round on the internet that it was there, and he ended up with a queue of 500 people outside his house. He decided to charge them £5 each and pledged the money to the R.S.P.B.
Groups of ten people were allowed in for 10 minutes to take photographs and have a look at the bird through binoculars. The R.S.P.B. sent out two volunteers to marshall the queue which was about a quarter of a mile long.
What I'm wondering is ... how do you think he knew that the bird wouldn't fly away?! Was he just on a wing and a prayer, do you think?
You see, if it had been me, I'd have rung the R.S.P.B. ..... and you can guarantee, by the time I'd put the phone down, it would have flitted off.

Sid said...

It has the makings of a Monty Python sketch don't you think.

Sid said...

Hildie pet, if His Nibs collects a bit of stone from all 1001 buildings, the aircraft might never get off the ground...