Friday, October 13, 2006

2006 Ig Nobel Prize Winners


"The Ig Nobel Prizes honor achievements that first make people laugh,
 and then make them think. The prizes are intended to celebrate the
 unusual, honor the imaginative -- and spur people's interest in
 science, medicine, and technology."

A selection of this year's winners:
Howard Stapleton of Merthyr Tydfil, Wales, for inventing an electro-
mechanical teenager repellant -- a device that makes annoying noise
designed to be audible to teenagers but not to adults; and for later
using that same technology to make telephone ringtones that are audible
to teenagers but not to their teachers.
D. Lynn Halpern, Randolph Blake and James Hillenbrand for conducting
experiments to learn why people dislike the sound of fingernails
scraping on a blackboard.
Nic Svenson and Piers Barnes of CSIRO, for calculating the number of
photographs you must take to (almost) ensure that nobody in a group
photo will have their eyes closed.
Daniel Oppenheimer for his report "Consequences of Erudite Vernacular
Utilized Irrespective of Necessity: Problems with Using Long Words
Ivan R. Schwab and the late Philip R.A. May, for exploring and
explaining why woodpeckers don't get headaches.