A bra that can be turned into a gas mask for two people, research into the effects of an empty beer bottle versus a full beer bottle on the human head, and proof that cows with names give more milk than their nameless counterparts were just a few of the winners of this year's 19th annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony on October 1.
Handed out in the weeks before the Nobel Prizes, the ten Ig Nobel Prizes are named for the year's most unusual inventions, at a ceremony "intended to celebrate the unusual, honor the imaginative -- and spur people's interest in science, medicine, and technology," according to the website.
This year's winners included:
The Public Health Prize to Americans Elena N. Bodnar, Raphael C. Lee, and Sandra Marijan for inventing a bra that can be converted into a pair of gas masks in case of emergency.
The Peace Prize to Swiss scientists Stephan Bolliger, Steffen Ross, Lars Oesterhelweg, Michael Thali and Beat Kneubuehl for "determining whether it is better to be smashed over the head with a full bottle of beer or with an empty bottle" in a study entitled "Are Full or Empty Beer Bottles Sturdier and Does Their Fracture-Threshold Suffice to Break the Human Skull?"
The Veterinary Medicine Prize to Catherine Douglas and Peter Rowlinson of Newcastle University, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, UK, for proving that cows who have names give more milk than nameless cows.
The Literature prize to the Irish Police for writing 50 speeding tickets to one Mr. Prawo Jazdy, the Polish word for "Driving License" on the Polish Passport.
The Medicine prize to American Donald Unger who led research into the origins of arthritis by cracking the knuckles of his left hand for 60 years but leaving the knuckles on his right hand uncracked.
The awards, handed out at Harvard's Sanders Theatre, have been given since 1991 by the satirical US-based science magazine Annals of Improbable Research.Reuse content