Ig Nobel prize awarded for discovery that dung beetles navigate by the stars
The 2013 Ig Nobels also recognised work on opera-loving mice, walking on water, and predicting when cows will sit down
Ig Nobel winners 2013
Masateru Uchiyama, Xiangyuan Jin, Qi Zhang, Toshihito Hirai, Atsushi Amano, Hisashi Bashuda and Masanori Niimi, for assessing the effect of listening to opera, on heart transplant patients who are mice.
Auditory stimulation of opera music induced prolongation of murine cardiac allograft survival and maintained generation of regulatory CD4+CD25+ cells,” Masateru Uchiyama, et al (2012). Journal of Cardiothoracic Surgery, vol 7, no 26.
“”Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder”: People who think they are drunk also think they are attractive. Laurent Bègue, Brad J. Bushman, Oulmann Zerhouni, Baptiste Subra, Medhi Ourabah, British Journal of Psychology, epub 15 May 2012.
Joint prize in biology and astronomy
Marie Dacke, Emily Baird, Marcus Byrne, Clarke Scholtz, and Eric Warrant, for discovering that when dung beetles get lost, they can navigate their way home by looking at the Milky Way.
Safety engineering prize
The late Gustano Pizzo, for inventing an electromechanical system to trap airplane hijackers — the system drops a hijacker through trap doors, seals him into a package, then drops the encapsulated hijacker through the airplane’s specially-installed bomb bay doors, whence he parachutes to Earth, where police, having been alerted by radio, await his arrival.
US Patent #3811643, Gustano A. Pizzo, “anti hijacking system for aircraft”, 21 May 1972.
PHYSICS PRIZE Alberto Minetti, Yuri Ivanenko, Germana Cappellini, Nadia Dominici, and Francesco Lacquaniti, for discovering that some people would be physically capable of running across the surface of a pond — if those people and that pond were on the moon.
REFERENCE: “Humans Running in Place on Water at Simulated Reduced Gravity,” Alberto E. Minetti, Yuri P. Ivanenko, Germana Cappellini, Nadia Dominici, Francesco Lacquaniti, PLoS ONE, vol. 7, no. 7, 2012, e37300.
CHEMISTRY PRIZE Shinsuke Imai, Nobuaki Tsuge, Muneaki Tomotake, Yoshiaki Nagatome, Toshiyuki Nagata, and Hidehiko Kumgai, for discovering that the biochemical process by which onions make people cry is even more complicated than scientists previously realized.
REFEREENCE: “Plant Biochemistry: An Onion Enzyme that Makes the Eyes Water,” S. Imai, N. Tsuge, M. Tomotake, Y. Nagatome, H. Sawada, T. Nagata and H. Kumagai, Nature, vol. 419, no. 6908, October 2002, p. 685.
ARCHAEOLOGY PRIZE Brian Crandall and Peter Stahl, for parboiling a dead shrew, and then swallowing the shrew without chewing, and then carefully examining everything excreted during subsequent days — all so they could see which bones would dissolve inside the human digestive system, and which bones would not.
REFERENCE: “Human Digestive Effects on a Micromammalian Skeleton,” Peter W. Stahl and Brian D. Crandall, Journal of Archaeological Science, vol. 22, November 1995, pp. 789–97.
PEACE PRIZE Alexander Lukashenko, president of Belarus, for making it illegal to applaud in public, AND to the Belarus State Police, for arresting a one-armed man for applauding.
PROBABILITY PRIZE Bert Tolkamp, Marie Haskell, Fritha Langford, David Roberts, and Colin Morgan, for making two related discoveries: First, that the longer a cow has been lying down, the more likely that cow will soon stand up; and Second, that once a cow stands up, you cannot easily predict how soon that cow will lie down again.
REFERENCE: “Are Cows More Likely to Lie Down the Longer They Stand?” Bert J. Tolkamp, Marie J. Haskell, Fritha M. Langford, David J. Roberts, Colin A. Morgan, Applied Animal Behaviour Science, vol. 124, nos. 1-2, 2010, pp. 1–10.
PUBLIC HEALTH PRIZE Kasian Bhanganada, Tu Chayavatana, Chumporn Pongnumkul, Anunt Tonmukayakul, Piyasakol Sakolsatayadorn, Krit Komaratal, and Henry Wilde, for the medical techniques described in their report “Surgical Management of an Epidemic of Penile Amputations in Siam” — techniques which they recommend, except in cases where the amputated penis had been partially eaten by a duck.
REFERENCE: “Surgical Management of an Epidemic of Penile Amputations in Siam,” by Kasian Bhanganada, Tu Chayavatana, Chumporn Pongnumkul, Anunt Tonmukayakul, Piyasakol Sakolsatayadorn, Krit Komaratal, and Henry Wilde, American Journal of Surgery, 1983, no. 146, pp. 376-382.
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