Aren’t these awards great! They’ve been going for a few years now and are truly deserving awards for researchers and others who dedicate their lives to the pursuit of ‘reduction ad absurdum’. From the sublime to the ridiculous, these awards reflect the excellence of human endeavour and make you think what we’re all about. Why are we here? What IS the answer to life, the universe and everything?
Ig Nobel Awards
Prizes for research so absurdly abstruse,
you just have to wonder “what is it’s use?”
Prizes for research so crazily daft,
you think “are they having a laugh?”
The Psychology Prize:
The more you drink,
the more you get bolder,
the more you think
without a doubt
you’re out-and-out attractive;
for beauty’s in the eye of the beer holder.
The Peace Prize:
To Lukashenko, the president,
and the state police of Belarus.
Public applause is evidently
now an abuse of the law.
It’s illegal it’s attested
and there’s absolutely no defence –
a one-armed man’s been arrested
for this public applauding offence.
The Probability Prize:
The longer a cow’s been lying down
the more likely it is to get up;
but once it’s up
you can’t predict
how soon it will be
before you will see
the cow once again lying down.
The Safety Engineering Prize:
I couldn’t believe my eyes
but someone’s devised
a mechanical trap
to capture airline hijackers.
for you’ll be ensnared
and then, what is more,
you’ll drop through a trap-door
where you’ll be ensealed
and carefully wheeled
along to the loading bay.
You’ll parachute down,
land hard on the ground
where police will surround you
and cart you away
The Public Health Prize:
(Or may be that should be pubic health)
In Thailand, apparently, jealous wives
get back at their partners’ philandering lives
by amputating their penis.
It’s seen as a suitable form of revenge.
So the Public Health Prize
goes to the Thais
for perfecting techniques,
completely reattaching the appendage.
The man breathes a sigh,
he thinks he’s in luck
but then lets out a cry.
Do you want to know why?
Well his dismembered member’s
been partly consumed
by the family’s friendly pet duck.
13th September 2013 – headline from the BBC
Notes: “Beer goggle study wins Ig Nobel award.” Ig Nobel awards are a humorous spoof-like version of their more sober cousins, the Nobel prizes. Winners have 60 seconds to make a speech to avoid being booed off stage by an eight-year-old girl. Titled “Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder”, the team were awarded one of the 10 awards at a packed gala ceremony at Harvard University. Other winners included a patent for trapping and ejecting airplane hijackers and a UK team scooped an Ig for observing that a cow is more likely to stand up the longer it has been lying down.
- Lukashenko Awarded Ig Nobel Prize in Peace Nomination (themoscowtimes.com)
- Ig Nobel Prizes: A Duck-Gnawed Penis & Dung Beetles Steal the Show (livescience.com)