2009 Ig Nobel Prizes Awarded To 10 Distinguished Researchers And Innovators
The 19th first annual Ig® Nobel Prizes were awarded on October 1, 2009 at Harvard University's Sanders Room in front of a standing room only audience! Check out these awards. You will learn about things you've always wondered like why don't pregnant women tip over, how can your girlfriend help you during a chemical war, and whether beer bottles make better candle holders than head busters. Ten awards you'll want to vie for next year: Ig Nobel Prizes in Peace, Literature, Physics, Medicine, Economics...
And the winners are...
1. The 2009 Ig Nobel Peace Prize
went to Stephan Bolliger, Steffen Ross, Lars Oesterhelweg, Michael Thali and Beat Kneubuehl of the University of Bern, Switzerland, for determining — by experiment — whether it is better to be smashed over the head with a full bottle of beer or with an empty bottle. "Are Full or Empty Beer Bottles Sturdier and Does Their Fracture-Threshold Suffice to Break the Human Skull?" (Answers: Yes and Yes) Now that's peaceful, isn't it?
2. The 2009 Ig Nobel Prize In Medicine
went to Donald L. Unger, of Thousand Oaks, California, USA, for investigating a possible cause of arthritis of the fingers, by diligently cracking the knuckles of his left hand — but never cracking the knuckles of his right hand — every day for more than 50 years.
Though I could not find the study in print, I did find some letters to the editor of the journal, including one from Dr. Unger, that indicated he found no relationship between knuckle cracking and arthritis, at least in his own left hand. He was trying to de-bunk a myth that mothers tell children about why they shouldn't crack their knuckles. "This result calls into question whether other parental beliefs, e.g., the importance of eating spinach, are also flawed," Dr. Unger wrote.
3. The 2009 Ig Nobel Prize In Literature
went to Ireland's police service (An Garda Siochana), for writing and presenting more than fifty traffic tickets to the most frequent driving offender in the country — PrawoJazdy — whose name in Polish means "Driving License."