Ig Nobel Awards

GNC

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#61
Sounds like the peace prize and psychology prize could also be given for services to the internet. I'd like to know more about the perception prize, does getting dizzy enter into the equation?
 

David Plankton

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#62
Physics Prize - Gabor Horvath and colleagues, for discovering why white-haired horses are the most horsefly-proof horses, and for discovering why dragonflies are fatally attracted to black tombstones.
Anyone know the answer or where to find it? I've never heard of this happening.
 

Tribble

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#63
Anyone know the answer or where to find it? I've never heard of this happening.

REFERENCE: "Ecological Traps for Dragonflies in a Cemetery: The Attraction of Sympetrum species (Odonata: Libellulidae) by Horizontally Polarizing Black Grave-Stones," Gábor Horváth, Péter Malik, György Kriska, Hansruedi Wildermuth, Freshwater Biology, vol. 52, vol. 9, September 2007, pp. 1700–9.

You can view the paper (PDF) here.

TL;DR - Dragonflies think the reflected/polarised light is water. Females lay eggs on gravestone, thinking it's water.
 

David Plankton

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#64
TL;DR - Dragonflies think the reflected/polarised light is water. Females lay eggs on gravestone, thinking it's water.
Ah, thanks. I thought they must be flying headlong into them like birds into windows. Female Southern Hawker dragonflies will attempt to lay eggs on suede shoes (if you're standing near a pond) in the mistaken belief that your feet are mossy rocks.
 

JamesWhitehead

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#65
The 2017 list has just been unveiled!

Cats viewed as fluids!

Inspired by online pictures of cats in various containers, a scientist has worked out

"how to calculate a cat’s “Deborah number”, a special term used to describe fluidity, and speculated on how cats might behave if subjected to the “tilted jar experiment”.

“If you take a timelapse of a glacier on several years you will unmistakably see it flow down the mountain,” he said. “For cats, the same principle holds. If you are observing a cat on a time larger than its relaxation time, it will be soft and adapt to its container, like a liquid would.” :cat:
 

GNC

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#66
Playing the didgeridoo stops snoring - I'll bet that was a relief to Rolf's cellmate.
 

EnolaGaia

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#71
Swifty needs to take notice ... This year's Ig Nobel Prize in Medicine is awarded to a researcher who determined that certain roller coaster rides help people pass kidney stones ...

Ig Nobel win for kidney stone removing roller-coaster
Riding on some types of roller-coaster is an effective way of removing kidney stones.

This is the conclusion of research that has won this year's Ig Nobel Prize for Medicine.

The US researchers who carried out the work recommend that those afflicted with the condition should regularly use the theme park attractions. ...

The inspiration behind the roller-coaster research began several years ago when one of Prof David Wartinger's patients at Michigan State University's College of Osteopathic Medicine returned from a holiday trip to Walt Disney World in Florida.

The patient reported that one of his kidney stones became dislodged after a ride on the Big Thunder Mountain ride. ...

Wondering whether it was caused by the ride or a coincidence, the patient went on the ride several more times and each time a stone popped out.

Intrigued by the story, Prof Wartinger built a silicone model of his patient's renal system, including artificial kidney stones, and took it with him on numerous rides.

He discovered that Big Thunder Mountain was indeed effective - more so than the scarier rides such as Space Mountain or Rock and Rollercoaster which involve prolonged drops.

Prof Wartinger concluded that this was because Big Thunder Mountain involves more up and down and side to side movements that "rattle" the rider. ...
FULL STORY: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-45513012
 

EnolaGaia

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#72
Here's a summary of the other 2018 Ig Nobel awards ...

Medical Education: Scientists are sometimes rudely described as being "up their own backsides" if they are thought to be too obsessed with their research.

However, this is literally the case with a Japanese researcher, Dr Akira Horiuchi, who won the Medical Education Prize for devising a self "self-colonoscopy" technique using a small endoscope.

"Fortunately, I have found neither polyps nor cancer," he told BBC News.

"This trial may be funny, but I inserted an endoscope into my colon for a serious purpose.

"People, especially in Japan, are afraid of colonoscopy and they do not want to undergo colonoscopy. So the number of people who die from colorectal cancer is increasing. I do this research to make colonoscopy easier and more comfortable, so fewer people will die".

Literature: This year's Literature Prize was for an investigation into instruction manuals that come with consumer products. The Investigation was called, Life Is Too Short to RTFM: How Users Relate to Documentation and Excess Features.

"RTFM" is an acronym for "read the field manual", though, according to the researchers, it has gained a new meaning by consumers who are often frustrated by the complexity of operation of their product.

Nutrition: A British researcher won the Nutrition Prize for calculating that pound per pound, it is not worth eating human flesh compared with other types of meat. This was to analyse the eating practices of early humans, rather than to inform present-day dietary choices.

Economics: For economics, the winner was research investigating whether it is effective for employees to use voodoo dolls to retaliate against bullying bosses. This study showed that taking it out on dolls does alleviate negative feelings, but suggested in the long run that it was better to deal with the underlying issue.

Chemistry: The winner of the Ig Nobel Chemistry Prize went to research that settled the issue of whether human saliva is a good cleaning agent for dirty surfaces. It is - especially for fragile, painted areas on ceramics, and on gold leaf.

Biology: A Swedish team won the biology Ig Nobel for demonstrating that wine experts can reliably identify, by smell, the presence of a fly in a glass of wine - possibly sparking a new genre of jokes involving sommeliers.

Peace: Last but not least, the Ig Nobel Peace Prize went to a Spanish group that aimed to find ways of reducing road rage, in a paper titled, Shouting and Cursing While Driving: Frequency, Reasons, Perceived Risk and Punishment. The team's solution is to reduce stress and increase road-safety campaigns - a task as sizable as reducing conflict in the Middle East.
SOURCE: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-45513012
 

cycleboy2

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#74
The professor responsible was on Radio 4's today around 8am and is worth a listen - and his ideas seemed pretty sound, with real experiments to test a hypothesis. Even to the extent that bouncier, rocking rollercoasters are more effective than purely fast one. It did seem to me that, if true and repeatable on a larger scale, this really could have some genuine positive effects for non-surgical treatment of kidney stones – you just shake them out!
 

GNC

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#75
I suppose you could also pick someone up and swing them around by their ankles?
 

escargot

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#76
The professor responsible was on Radio 4's today around 8am and is worth a listen - and his ideas seemed pretty sound, with real experiments to test a hypothesis. Even to the extent that bouncier, rocking rollercoasters are more effective than purely fast one. It did seem to me that, if true and repeatable on a larger scale, this really could have some genuine positive effects for non-surgical treatment of kidney stones – you just shake them out!
I heard that too. Sadly his research has reached a dead end as there's no way to test the method on live patients.

His team did a computer simulation of the effect after a patient reported passing all his stones individually, each straight after a rollercoaster ride.

I'd try that if I had kidney stones.
 

Swifty

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#78

escargot

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#80
When Techy had something wrong with his ear he read about an exercise you can do that cures it. You bend your neck different ways or summat and the bubble or whatever's causing the trouble pops back into place

He tried it and it worked. Soon afterwards I saw a GP do it on TV. The patient was amazed when it was effective right away. Looked dangerous to me! but hey, if it cures the problem!

So maybe the kidney stones thing is like that.
 

kamalktk

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#83
When Techy had something wrong with his ear he read about an exercise you can do that cures it. You bend your neck different ways or summat and the bubble or whatever's causing the trouble pops back into place

He tried it and it worked. Soon afterwards I saw a GP do it on TV. The patient was amazed when it was effective right away. Looked dangerous to me! but hey, if it cures the problem!
Sounds like the Epley Maneuver for positional vertigo.
 
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