Sunday, October 5, 2008

Ig Nobel Prizes 2008

The 2008 Ig Nobel Prizes (by Improbable Reserch Magazine) were awarded on Oct 2 at Harvard University's Sanders Theatre. Here is a list of the winners:
Massimiliano Zampini of University of Trento, Italy and Charles Spence of Oxford University, UK
For electronically modifying the sound of a potato chip to make the person chewing the chip believe it to be crisper and fresher than it really is.
The Swiss Federal Ethics Committee on Non-Human Biotechnology (ECNH) and the citizens of Switzerland
For adopting the legal principle that plants have dignity. 
Astolfo G. Mello Araujo and José Carlos Marcelino of Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil
For measuring how the course of history, or at least the contents of an archaeological dig site, can be scrambled by the actions of a live armadillo.
Marie-Christine Cadiergues, Christel Joubert, and  Michel Franc of Ecole Nationale Veterinaire de Toulouse, France
For discovering that the fleas that live on a dog can jump higher than the fleas that live on a cat.
Dan Ariely of Duke University, USA
For demonstrating that high-priced fake medicine is more effective than low-priced fake medicine.
Toshiyuki Nakagaki of Hokkaido University, Japan, Hiroyasu Yamada of Nagoya, Japan, Ryo Kobayashi of Hiroshima University, Atsushi Tero of Presto JST, Akio Ishiguro of Tohoku University, and Ágotá Tóth of the University of Szeged, Hungary
For discovering that slime molds can solve puzzles.
Geoffrey Miller, Joshua Tybur and Brent Jordan of the University of New Mexico, USA
For discovering that a professional lap dancer's ovulatory cycle affects her tip earnings.
Dorian Raymer of the Ocean Observatories Initiative at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, USA, and Douglas Smith of the University of California, San Diego, USA
For proving mathematically that heaps of string or hair or almost anything else will inevitably tangle themselves up in knots.
Sharee A. Umpierre of the University of Puerto Rico, Joseph A. Hill of The Fertility Centers of New England, USA, Deborah J. Anderson of Boston University School of Medicine and Harvard Medical School, USA
For discovering that Coca-Cola is an effective spermicide
And, Chuang-Ye Hong of Taipei Medical University, Taiwan, C.C. Shieh, P. Wu, and B.N. Chiang (all of Taiwan)
For discovering that it is not.
David Sims of Cass Business School. London, UK
For the lovingly written study "You Bastard: A Narrative Exploration of the Experience of Indignation within Organizations."

Nobel Laureate William Lipscomb (left) and Benoit Mandelbrot, the inventor of the mathematical concept of fractals, drink Coke to toast the winners of the Ig Nobel Chemistry Prize.

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