There is the Nobel Prize, and then there’s the Ig Nobel Prize. The annual ceremony held last night at Harvard, is a parody of the former mentioned Nobel Prize, where ten real achievements in research are meant to “first make people laugh, and then make them think”.
Among several laureates who accepted these comical research findings was Dr. Elena Bodnar, a Ukraine native, who with the help of Dr. Raphael Lee and Sandra Marijan patented “an ordinary brassiere that can be transformed into a pair of gas masks.” By adding extra filters layers into each cup, the bra can then be fastened around the head and over the face.
Dr. Donald L. Unger, of Thousand Oaks, California received the Medical Prize for taking onto himself a lifelong research project cracking his knuckles:
He found “the possible cause of arthritis in the fingers, by diligently cracking the knuckles of his left hand — but never cracking the knuckles of his right hand — every day for more than 60 years.”
The Ig Nobel Peace Prize went to Researchers and Physicians of University of Bern, Switzerland:
“Dr. Stephan Bolliger Dr. Steffen Ross, Dr. Lars Oesterhelweg, Dr. Michael Thali, and Beat Kneubuehl for determining — by experiment — whether it is better to be smashed over the head with a full bottle of beer or with an empty bottle.”
The Ig Nobel Prize for Veterinary Medicine went to Dr. Catherine Douglas and Dr. Peter Rowlinson of Newcastle University, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, UK.
“for showing that cows who have names give more milk than cows that are nameless.” In spirit of things, Dr. Douglas dedicated the award to Purslane, Wendy and Tina – “the nicest cows I have ever known”.
Some of the other winners include a researcher who found that panda droppings break down garbage and a scientist who was able to mathematically calculate that pregnant women have the best sense of gravity and cannot fall over.