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Ig Nobel Awards 2012: Weird science celebrated at Harvard University

Laur's Bizarre Corner

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Default Ig Nobel Awards 2012: Weird science celebrated at Harvard University

The weirdest and craziest scientific achievements of the year have been celebrated at the Ig Nobel Awards, including the discovery chimpanzees can identify each other from seeing photographs of their bottoms.

The annual event at Harvard University celebrates research which makes you laugh and then think, this year this included a Japanese team who created a machine that disrupts a person's speech, by making them hear their own spoken words at a very slight delay.

Also picking up gongs were boffins who studied the balance of forces that shape and move the hair in a human ponytail and those who looked at the liquid dynamics of walking with a cup of coffee.

Medical experts who advise doctors who perform colonoscopies how to minimize the chance that their patients will explode also took home a prize.

But our personal favourites were the team who showed that brain researchers, by using complicated instruments and simple statistics, can see meaningful brain activity anywhere — even in a dead salmon.
Ig Nobels 2012

ACOUSTICS PRIZE: Kazutaka Kurihara and Koji Tsukada [JAPAN] for creating the SpeechJammer — a machine that disrupts a person's speech, by making them hear their own spoken words at a very slight delay.

NEUROSCIENCE PRIZE: Craig Bennett, Abigail Baird, Michael Miller, and George Wolford [USA], for demonstrating that brain researchers, by using complicated instruments and simple statistics, can see meaningful brain activity anywhere — even in a dead salmon.

CHEMISTRY PRIZE: Johan Pettersson [SWEDEN and RWANDA]. for solving the puzzle of why, in certain houses in the town of Anderslöv, Sweden, people's hair turned green.
ATTENDING THE THE CEREMONY: Johan Pettersson

LITERATURE PRIZE: The US Government General Accountability Office, for issuing a report about reports about reports that recommends the preparation of a report about the report about reports about reports.

PHYSICS PRIZE: Joseph Keller [USA], and Raymond Goldstein [USA and UK], Patrick Warren, and Robin Ball [UK], for calculating the balance of forces that shape and move the hair in a human ponytail.

FLUID DYNAMICS PRIZE: Rouslan Krechetnikov [USA, RUSSIA, CANADA] and Hans Mayer [USA] for studying the dynamics of liquid-sloshing, to learn what happens when a person walks while carrying a cup of coffee.

ANATOMY PRIZE: Frans de Waal [The Netherlands and USA] and Jennifer Pokorny [USA] for discovering that chimpanzees can identify other chimpanzees individually from seeing photographs of their rear ends.

MEDICINE PRIZE: Emmanuel Ben-Soussan and Michel Antonietti [FRANCE] for advising doctors who perform colonoscopies how to minimize the chance that their patients will explode.
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