And now for a bright spot in our chaotic world….
The 30th First Annual (not a typo!) Ig Nobel Prize ceremony was held virtually last month. Not to be confused with the Nobel Prizes being announced this week in Stockholm, Sweden, the Ig Nobel Prizes are intended to “honor achievements that first make people laugh and then make them think.”
This year’s Ig Nobel Prize award winners include:
- For physics, a team of researchers from Australia, Ukraine, France, Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom and South Africa for determining experimentally what happens to the shape of a living earthworm when the earthworm is vibrated at a high frequency;
- For acoustics, researchers from Austria, Sweden, Japan, Switzerland and the U.S. for inducing a Chinese alligator to bellow in an airtight chamber filled with helium-enriched air;
- For economics, researchers from the United Kingdom, Poland, France, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, Australia, Italy and Norway for their efforts to quantify the relationship between different countries’ national income inequality and their average amount of mouth-to-mouth kissing;
- For psychology, Canadian and U.S. researchers for devising a method to identify narcissists by examining their eyebrows
- And finally, for peace, researchers from India and Pakistan for having their diplomats surreptitiously ring each other’s doorbells in the middle of the night, and then run away before anyone had a chance to answer the door.
A recording of this year’s virtual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony as well as additional details of this year’s winners are available at the website of Improbable Research (the humorous folks behind the Ig Nobel Prizes).