The pleasure of Ig reading

An unanticipated pleasure at yesterday’s public readings from studies (and patents) that have won Ig Nobel Prizes: The quiet glee of each of the 25 (or so) people who did the readings, as they invented new ways (body language, pauses, emphases, etc.) to bring the material to life as they read it. And the resulting glee (not always so quiet) of people in the audience, and of the ever-inventive Miss Sweetie Poo, who clearly wanted to hear more even as she was instructing people to “Please stop. I’m bored. Please stop. I’m bored. Please stop…..” Below: two photos.

2008 Ig Nobel Medicine Prize winner Rebecca Waber first read from her own study (demonstrating that expensive fake medicine is more effective than cheap fake medicine), and then (see the photo) demonstrated a different Ig-winning study. Waber, who is due to give birth any day now, illustrated the 2009 Ig Nobel Physics Prize-winning article that explains why pregnant women don’t tip over.

Miss Sweetie Poo listens intently as Rebecca Waber reads from the pregnant women not-tipping-over study.

Many thanks to the Cambridge Public Library and to the Cambridge Science Festival for letting us try this experiment. We now will plan to do many more such events, in many places.