Jan Philipp Röer has joined the The Luxuriant Flowing Hair Club for Scientists™ (LFHCfS). He says: Hair plays a very important role in my research, specifically the hair cells of the inner ear. I’m interested in what makes a sound attract our attention and the mechanisms we have in place to prevent irrelevant sound from […]
The special Ig Nobel issue of the magazine (volume 29, number 6) has just gone out to subscribers. It’s got copious details about the 2023 prize winners and the ceremony. And more. Lotsa stuff that makes people LAUGH, then THINK. The magazine is in PDF format. You can buy a copy, or buy a subscription.
The awarding of the 2023 Ig Nobel Medicine prize for research on nostril hairs revives happy memories of a publicity campaign mounted a decade earlier by the organization Clean Air Asia. That campaign introduced itself by saying: The campaign seeks to highlight, humorously, that urban populations should not adapt to worsening air quality but actually […]
Slightly-intriguing study title of the month: “Damage to Seeds by Screw Working Bodies,” Mayya Sukhanova, Eduard Khasanov, Alexander Butenko, Shamil Fayzrakhmanov, and Rinat Fayzullin, Heliyon, 2023, article e18973. The authors explain: “The occurrence of mechanical damage to seeds caused by the operative components of agricultural machinery…” The image you see above is from the study.
This week’s Feedback column (that I write) in New Scientist magazine has four segments. Here are bits of each of them: Southern hair whorls — Three northern hemisphere scientists – Marjolaine Willems, Quentin Hennocq and Roman Hossein Khonsari in Paris, France – teamed up with a southern hemisphere scientist – Juan José Cortés Santander in Santiago, Chile – for […]
Historians are coming to further appreciate the life-and-death influence of former UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson — influence that earned Johnson a share of the 2020 Ig Nobel Medical Education Prize. BBC News reports (on October 31, 2023) some new, pertinent information: Boris Johnson agreed with some Tory MPs who thought Covid was “nature’s way […]
Happy Halloween. We suggest you recite this paper to any guests who may come seeking thrills: “The Predatory Behavior of the Ogre-Faced Spider Dinopis longipes F. Cambridge (Araneae: Dinopidae),” Michael H. Robinson and Barbara Robinson, American Midland Naturalist, 1971, pp. 85-96.
Some things that are labeled as being facts are not facts. A good example appears on the web site called Facts.net, which says (as you can see in the screen grab displayed here): Momofuku Ando was awarded the Ig Nobel Peace Prize in 2002. In recognition of his contributions to world peace through his invention […]
Electrified chopsticks, soup bowls, and other eating implements can make bland food taste much saltier — much tastier. The technology was honored with the 2023 Ig Nobel Nutrition Prize. The prize, awarded to Homei Miyashita and Hiromi Nakamura, for their experiments to determine how electrified chopsticks and drinking straws can change the taste of food. […]
Dr. Seung-min Park was awarded the 2023 Ig Nobel Public Health Prize for inventing the Stanford Toilet, a device that uses a variety of technologies — including a urinalysis dipstick test strip, a computer vision system for defecation analysis, an anal-print sensor paired with an identification camera, and a telecommunications link — to monitor and […]