Friday, October 14, 2005

The Ig Noble awards

The 2005 Ig Noble awards were celebrated this month. Basically, it's an award for people who have published scientific research or invented a gadget that is odd/strange/funny. "Every Ig Nobel Prize winner has done something that first makes people LAUGH, then makes them THINK." Here are some of the past winners:
1994- ECONOMICS: 
Jan Pablo Davila of Chile, tireless trader of financial futures 
and former employee of the state-owned Codelco Company, for 
instructing his computer to "buy" when he meant "sell," and 
subsequently attempting to recoup his losses by making 
increasingly unprofitable trades that ultimately lost .5 percent 
of Chile's gross national product. Davila's relentless achievement 
inspired his countrymen to coin a new verb: " davilar," meaning, 
"to botch things up royally."

2003 - PHYSICS:
Jack Harvey, John Culvenor, Warren Payne, Steve Cowley, Michael Lawrance, David Stuart, and Robyn Williams of Australia, for their irresistible report "An Analysis of the Forces Required to Drag Sheep over Various Surfaces."

2004 - MEDICINE
Steven Stack of Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, USA and James Gundlach of Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama, USA, for their published report "The Effect of Country Music on Suicide."


My favorite award, however, is 2003's Economic Award to "Karl Schwärzler and the nation of Liechtenstein for making it possible to rent the entire country for corporate conventions, weddings, bar mitzvahs, and other gatherings." This article gives more info, as well as this piece of trivia: "56-year-old Prince HansAdam II... threatened to sell Liechtenstein to Bill Gates and rename it Microsoft if he wasn't granted more political power."

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