Friday, October 05, 2007

Ig Nobel prizes 2007

Glashow, Laughlin, Mello, and other Nobel prize winners have handed out the 2007 Ig Nobel prizes:
  • "Chemistry" - Mayu Yamamoto of the International Medical Centre of Japan, for developing a way to extract vanillin, or vanilla fragrance and flavouring, from cow dung.
    "She seems to claim if companies start using this method it might help with global warming because some of all the cow dung that causes problems in the atmosphere will start getting used," Abrahams said in an interview.
  • "Linguistics" - Juan Manuel Toro, Josep B. Trobalon and Nuria Sebastian-Galles, of Universitat de Barcelona - for a study showing rats sometimes fail to distinguish between a person speaking Japanese backwards and a person speaking Dutch backwards.
  • "Peace Prize" -- The Air Force Wright Laboratory, Dayton, Ohio for instigating research and development on a chemical weapon, the so-called "gay bomb", that "will make enemy soldiers become sexually irresistible to each other".
  • "Biology" - Dr Johanna EMH van Bronswijk of Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands, for their census of all the mites, insects, spiders, pseudoscorpions, crustaceans, bacteria, algae, ferns and fungi that share our beds at night.
  • "Economics" - Kuo Cheng Hsieh, of Taichung, Taiwan, for patenting a device in 2001 that catches bank robbers by dropping a net over them, known as the "net trapping system for capturing a robber immediately".
    The inventor, however, could not be found by Ig Nobel representatives in Taiwan "We had people in Taiwan looking for him. He's vanished. Somebody suggested to us the possibility that maybe the poor man was trapped inside his own machine," Abrahams said.

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