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Ig Nobel Awards Given For Rat Pants, Fly Catchers And Rocks With Personalities

Thomas Thwaites, in his goat suit, prepares to pronounce after receiving a Ig Nobel esteem in biology from Nobel laureate Eric Maskin (economics, 2007) during ceremonies during Harvard University on Thursday.

Michael Dwyer/AP


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Michael Dwyer/AP

Thomas Thwaites, in his goat suit, prepares to pronounce after receiving a Ig Nobel esteem in biology from Nobel laureate Eric Maskin (economics, 2007) during ceremonies during Harvard University on Thursday.

Michael Dwyer/AP

Congratulations are in order, kind of, for a few model researchers and one large multinational corporation.

This year’s Ig Nobel awards — a rather-less-noble-than-the-Nobel awards for “improbable” investigate and accomplishments — were announced Thursday night.

When Being Human Got His Goat, This Designer Became One

The honorees enclosed a male who lived as a goat, a male who lived as a badger, a male who put little pants on rats and tracked their sex lives, a group who investigated a personalities of rocks, and Volkswagen.

The prizes are given for “achievements that make people LAUGH, and afterwards THINK,” as a Annals of Improbable Research, the scholarship amusement repository that doles out a awards, puts it.

Most of a awards were grin-inducing. There was a Perception Prize, for Japanese researchers who investigated “whether things demeanour conflicting when we hook over and perspective them between your legs.”

“From Junior to Senior Pinocchio” won a Psychology Prize. The investigate explores how liars distortion over lifetimes — formed on a liars’ descriptions of their possess distortion frequency.

The Physics Prize was common between scientists who detected “why white-haired horses are a many horsefly-proof horses,” and those who unclosed “why dragonflies are fatally captivated to black tombstones.”

And a stone personas? That was a Economics Prize, given to selling theorists who explored how people perceive rocks, we know, personality-wise.

Many of a studies are tangible peer-reviewed investigate projects that are some-more poignant or engaging than they competence seem during initial glance. At slightest one had apparent utility: a investigate that won a Medicine Prize by demonstrating that an eagerness can be scratched though touching it, if we trick your mind with mirrors.

But one of a Ig Nobels was utterly ignoble: a Chemistry Prize, awarded to Volkswagen “for elucidate a problem of extreme vehicle wickedness emissions,” a award-givers remarkable sarcastically. (VW, of course, cheated on emissions tests to costume a fact that presumably low-emission cars were utterly a opposite.)

No one from a association attended a awards ceremony, according to AIR‘s program.

Several of a recipients competence be informed to NPR fans. We’ve profiled them before — that competence attest possibly to a good ambience of a Ig Nobel cabinet or a controversial visualisation of this network.

You competence remember a “goat man,” Thomas Thwaites, who built a special fit that done him … goat-y. He common a Biology Prize with a male who lived “in a furious as, during conflicting times, a badger, an otter, a deer, a fox, and a bird.”

“Human life can only be so difficult,” Thwaites told NPR a few months ago. “And we demeanour during a goat and it’s just, we know, it’s free. It doesn’t have any concerns.”

And he told a Goats and Soda blog that goats aren’t good conversationalists. “They’re most some-more about smell and physique posture,” he said.

The Uppermost Aristocracy of a Hoverfly Society

In a area of literature, Fredrik Sjöberg was respected “for his three-volume autobiographical work about a pleasures of collecting flies that are dead, and flies that are not nonetheless dead.”

The initial book in that array was recommended by NPR Books editor Petra Mayer as a tip collect for a summer. “It’s a discourse by a Swedish entomologist who lives on a little island — though it arrange of defies summary, since we review it and he’s so humorous and he’s so mindful and his wit is so dry, we wish to go sport flies with him.”

And a author spoke with NPR about his work and his book. “It’s some-more or reduction formidable to make an sense on people with flies, though there are a few people around a universe that unequivocally got impressed,” he said.

What Makes People Susceptible To Pseudo-Profound 'Baloney'?

The Peace Prize went to scientists who explored how good — or bad — people are during identifying “pseudo-profound bullshit,” a plan that desirous Tania Lombrozo to muse on NPR’s 13.7 blog about a “special imagination and some confidence” compulsory to tell a surpassing from a preposterous.

And then, of course, there are a rodent pants.

NPR didn’t pronounce to a now-deceased Dr. Ahmed Shafik about his plan — that warranted him a post-mortem Reproduction Prize — though his work came adult in review with author Mary Roach.

Here’s a applicable mention from Roach’s book:

“Dr. Ahmed Shafik wears three-piece suits with bullion watch fobs and a solid hang pin in a lapel. His eyeglasses are a thick, black rectilinear character of a Nasser era. He owns a Cairo sanatorium and lives in a palace with marble walls. He was nominated for a Nobel Prize. we don’t caring about any of this. Shafik won my heart by edition a paper in European Urology in that he investigated a effects of polyester on passionate activity. Ahmed Shafik dressed lab rats in polyester pants.

“There were seventy-five rats. They wore their pants for one year. Shafik found that over time a ones dressed in polyester or poly-cotton mix had sex significantly reduction mostly than a rats whose slacks were string or wool. (Shafik thinks a reason is that polyester sets adult heavy electrostatic fields in and around a genitals. Having seen an painting of a rodent wearing a pants, we would contend there’s an equal probability that it’s simply harder to get a date when we dress funny.)”

If we have someone in mind for subsequent year’s Ig Nobel awards, we can nominate anyone by email or snail mail. The satirical repository says a endowment is “quite possibly” an honor.

The prizes are handed out by “genuine, honestly faraway Nobel Laureates,” AIR says.

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