Swiss researcher can blow his own didgeridoo thanks to Ig Nobel Prize

James Marshall
September 15, 2017

They found that people asked to hold a 1-meter (3.3-foot) saltwater crocodile just before they placed their bets were more likely to lose more money than those who passed on a reptilian cuddle.

The paper, called "On the Rheology of Cats" argues that household pets should be seen as both of liquid and solid due to their special skill.

Their winning of the Ig Nobel Prize marked the 11th straight year of Japanese receiving the spoof version of the Nobel Prize. Abrahams was joined on stage by a dozen of awardees, who each received each a cash prize of $10 trillion-in the form of a Zimbabwean bill whose value is just a few USA cents. That sum was worth about US$8 (€6) when the bank note was issued in 2009.

"We hope that this will get people back into the habits they probably had when they were kids of paying attention to odd things and. deciding whether they are good or bad only after they have a chance to think", AIR editor Marc Abrahams told the news service.

The Ig Nobel for physics went to French researcher Marc-Antoine Fardin for a science paper questioning: "Can a Cat Be Both a Solid and a Liquid?"

An academic paper which argued that cats can be regard as liquid and solid because of their ability to adopt the shape of their container has won a major prize.

"When I was asked if I was willing to accept the prize, the answer was easy", he added.

The Ig Nobel peace prize was awarded to a team of Swiss scientists who discovered that playing the didgeridoo can help people stop snoring. "It might be cool to refuse a Nobel Prize, but it's certainly uncool to refuse an Ig Nobel".

The Ig Nobel Prize for Economics this year, for example, was awarded to a pair of Australians for their work assessing how holding a live crocodile impacts your gambling success.

The prize for research into fluid dynamics, according to an Ig Nobel press statement, went to a project observing "the dynamics of liquid-sloshing" when a person walks backwards while carrying a cup of coffee.

Other winners included psychologists who showed that identical twins are no better than outsiders at recognizing photos of each other's faces, especially when they see them for a fraction of a second (Cognition Prize), a team of researchers that used brain scanning to understand why some people hate cheese (Medicine Prize), zoologists that found human blood in the diet of the hairy-legged vampire bat (Nutrition Prize), and a medical doctor who reported that older men tend to have bigger ears (Anatomy Prize).

The awards are not an attempt at ridiculing science, the Ig Nobel website states.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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