The Ig Nobel Prizes were awarded last night! It’s that fun time of year when we get to enjoy scientists’ geektastic senses of humour.
The awards are held annually at Harvard University in the US. A highlight this year was the Peace Prize, which went to the mayor of Vilnius, Lithuania, for demonstrating that best way to deal with illegally-parked luxury cars is by crushing them with a giant tank. YES.
The chemistry prize for the wasabi alarm went to Mizoguchi and Junichi Murakami. They determined the ideal density of airborne wasabi to detect a fire or other emergency and wake up sleeping people by emitting a pungent horseradish smell. They filed a patent application for the wasabi alarm in 2009. Makes a beeping alarm seem like a downright snooze fest.
I was also thrilled to see that Stanford professor John Perry’s “Structured Procrastination“, which I had already printed out and tacked to my wall, won the Ig Nobel for literature. “To be a high achiever, always work on something important, using it as a way to avoid doing something that’s even more important.” Words to live by, friends.
Check out the official Ig Nobel awards recap for the rest of the winners, including the beetle that mates with a beer bottle, lack of contagious yawning in the red turtle, the science of sighs, and a study of human behaviour when we urgently have to pee.
Watch the awards ceremony, complete with demonstrations and performances, here! Also watch this to find out what happens to scientists whose thank you speeches drone on for too long – we really need a Miss Sweetie Poo for the Oscars.