254In this blogposting…
*The 2010 IgNobel Awards
*The Darwin Awards
Now - cry ‘Havoc!’ and let slip the dogs of war…
THE 2010 IG-NOBEL AWARDS
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.
THE DARWIN AWARDS
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.
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