Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
It's funny.  Laugh. Idle Science

Ig Nobels Feature Exploding Colonoscopies, Left Leaning Views of Eiffel Tower 91

Posted by samzenpus
from the get-your-prize dept.
alphadogg writes "The Ig Nobel Prize ceremony has honored a wide array of strange research and advancement over the years, from exploding pants to woodpecker headaches to aggressive parking enforcement, and Thursday night's ceremony in Cambridge, Mass., was no exception. Particular highlights included a Russian company that turns ammunition into trace amounts of diamond, Japanese engineers who developed a speech jamming device, and research into such critical topics as why coffee is so hard to carry without slopping and what makes a ponytail move the way it does."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Ig Nobels Feature Exploding Colonoscopies, Left Leaning Views of Eiffel Tower

Comments Filter:
  • by BlkRb0t (1610449) on Friday September 21, 2012 @04:37AM (#41408831)
    Husbands, take notice.
    • by William Robinson (875390) on Friday September 21, 2012 @05:17AM (#41408945)

      Husbands, take notice.

      I would think about it later. Do they have anything on 'how to attract chicks'!!

    • Husbands and Slashdotters?.. You're funny
      • by epyT-R (613989) on Friday September 21, 2012 @06:03AM (#41409125)

        True.. compared with the average population, a greater percentage of slashdotters are used to social stigma which, ironically, made them resilient to peer pressure, including misandry-trained women and society. It makes sense that fewer of them would want to get married, even if they are relatively ungeeky and successful.

        • well, you for one are stigmatized for your own unique reason

      • by drkim (1559875)

        Husbands and Slashdotters?.. You're funny

        Those are two non-intersecting groups.

    • by epyT-R (613989)

      histrionic wives should too... Is it still funny now?

    • by Millennium (2451)

      There's a real Nobel Prize in the works for anyone who figures out how to use this thing over the Internet.

    • by Longjmp (632577)
      Husbands don't need such a device.

      They (we) seem to have a (genetically inherited?) ability to switch to bypass mode once the rant/chatter starts: In one ear, out by the other, without any significant effects.

      Some females however claim that's only possible because there's nothing between the ears.
      • Only a single male would say that. Just you forgot to switch the bypass mode off in the 10 seconds or so BEFORE your opinion is asked for. Your actual opinion of course won't matter, it never does, but you BETTER be reflect a complete and total comphression and capacity to recall in minute detail ALL information EVER given to you during your entire time AND any information she ever thought off which you should be able to get from her and everyone else she has known by mind reading IF you value your life.

        Or

        • by Longjmp (632577) on Friday September 21, 2012 @06:51AM (#41409323)
          Let me guess:
          You're married for less than three years ;-)
        • by Abreu (173023)

          Only a single male would say that. Just you forgot to switch the bypass mode off in the 10 seconds or so BEFORE your opinion is asked for. Your actual opinion of course won't matter, it never does, but you BETTER be reflect a complete and total comphression and capacity to recall in minute detail ALL information EVER given to you during your entire time AND any information she ever thought off which you should be able to get from her and everyone else she has known by mind reading IF you value your life.

          Don't worry, that's a skill that all husbands develop after five or so years of marriage.

        • Actually, it does feel very tempting but the best thing to do is to _engage_ in the conversation with the spouse. BUT THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK, and ABOVE ALL, BE KIND.

      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        Your comment reminded me of a joke the preacher told during his sermon last Sunday. A doctor, a lawyer, and a preacher are out deer hunting. A big nine point buck comes into view and all three fire, and the buck goes down.

        The lawyer says "But how can we tell whose shot hit the mark?" The doctor says, "well, let me examine the deer."

        The doctor looks the deer over and says "the preacher shot this buck." The lawyer replies "really? How can you tell?"

        The doator says "because the shot went in one ear and out the

  • Which way does the Pisa tower lean?

  • by Thammuz (970395) on Friday September 21, 2012 @05:01AM (#41408895)

    " LITERATURE PRIZE: The US Government General Accountability Office, for issuing a report about reports about reports that recommends the preparation of a report about the report about reports about reports.

    REFERENCE: "Actions Needed to Evaluate the Impact of Efforts to Estimate Costs of Reports and Studies," US Government General Accountability Office report GAO-12-480R, May 10, 2012. "

    Its a shame the guys who did this didn't get a mention: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-18247680 [bbc.co.uk]
    It had a been a subject of great debate a amongst my friends - other stouts not doing this was a point of confusion for a long time! (which of course lead to more testing....)

    • One starts to wonder if it is:
      Red tape, red tape, red tape;
      Red red red tape tape tape;
      Or finally Red red red tape.
      To speak in the words of Sir Bernard Woolley, MA (Oxon) GCB: What about a publicity campaign Minister, you know ADMINISTRATION SAVES THE NATION, RED TAPE IS FUN, full pages ads in ... in. Just an idea.
    • by MiniMike (234881)

      " LITERATURE PRIZE: The US Government General Accountability Office, for issuing a report about reports about reports that recommends the preparation of a report about the report about reports about reports.

      Thank you for reporting this.

    • Turtles all the way down.
    • by danhaas (891773)

      Recirculation patterns are pretty common when the fluid flows through an expansion, specially if it's a sharp cut.

      You can see it clearly in this case because of the gas bubbles, but this happens everywhere: next time you walk behind a building on the shore, watch the huge recirculation that the wind forms. This is usually how people with umbrellas end up wet "because of the crazy wind".

  • Yes, let's all mock basic scientific research.

    Sometimes "science" has to be done on basic, everyday things as a basis for future work.

    For example, someone studying fuel ullage might be able to use the "coffee slopping" paper as a starting point for their work in future.

    I suppose we could restrict scentists to only studying Serious Science, but then they'd have to do all this research as part of the Big Project anyway.

    • by ledow (319597) on Friday September 21, 2012 @05:52AM (#41409087) Homepage

      IgNobels are not really a disservice at all. They are a humorous recognition of the very thing you're talking about.

      Nobody's discrediting those IgNobels (and, in fact, previous winners with quite high standing in their fields have always taken it with good humour and their science validated).

      Bad science won't win an Ig Nobel. It's just unusual applications of good science that will.

    • by PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) on Friday September 21, 2012 @06:00AM (#41409113)

      From the Ig Nobel FAQ:

      Are you ridiculing science?

      No. We are honoring achievements that make people laugh, then think. Good achievements can also be odd, funny, and even absurd; So can bad achievements. A lot of good science gets attacked because of its absurdity. A lot of bad science gets revered despite its absurdity.

    • by Kidbro (80868) on Friday September 21, 2012 @06:07AM (#41409135)

      "The Ig Nobel Prizes honor achievements that first make people laugh, and then make them think. The prizes are intended to celebrate the unusual, honor the imaginative — and spur people's interest in science, medicine, and technology."

      I think you have misunderstood the Ig Nobel Prize. It's not intended to mock the recipients. It's intended, partly, to reward basic (and sometimes not so basic) research into areas you'd otherwise forget might benefit from research.

      "Are you ridiculing science?
      No. We are honoring achievements that make people laugh, then think. Good achievements can also be odd, funny, and even absurd; So can bad achievements. A lot of good science gets attacked because of its absurdity. A lot of bad science gets revered despite its absurdity."

      http://www.improbable.com/ig/ [improbable.com]

    • by jfengel (409917)

      Also take a look at just how many of them actually show up to receive their prizes. This isn't the Golden Raspberries, an award you hope to avoid. They really are laughing with them, rather than at them.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Does anyone else think that researching ways NOT to make someone explode when pumping gas in there during a colonoscopy might actually be a good thing? I don't really want to end up like one of Dig Dug's enemies, you know...

    • For what it is worth, not having a part of me explode during surgery sounds useful. The award of the report about the report about the report about the report does sound like a Monty Python joke though.

    • by Dogtanian (588974)

      Does anyone else think that researching ways NOT to make someone explode when pumping gas in there during a colonoscopy might actually be a good thing? I don't really want to end up like one of Dig Dug's enemies, you know...

      Eew... you mean Dig Dug was shoving his hose up the monsters' backsides? (*) No wonder I preferred Mr. Do...

      (*) Upon proofreading this, the unintentional innuendo makes it sound even worse :-O

    • by compro01 (777531)

      Yes. That's what the Ig Nobels are about. Research that on first glace seems ridiculous, but is actually very useful/important when you look closer.

  • I really need to see this research...
    • by chad_r (79875) on Friday September 21, 2012 @06:54AM (#41409337)
      Without reading the research, coffee is hard to carry while walking because the regular pace of your walking creates a resonant frequency that increases the sloshing until it spills over. If you take irregular steps or move your cup around in a random motion you can overcome this. However, you won't look cool doing either of these.
      • by Barryke (772876)

        I shall be moving my tea irregularly while walking. Also my investigation reveals gravity to be the root cause of all my problems. And for others. If we had no moon, woman wouldnt have such bad days each month.

      • I usually put a shot of whiskey in it to keep from spilling it...we from New Orleans do not waste alcohol...XD Also: Hail to Random Nature!
      • by Hillgiant (916436)

        If you take irregular steps or move your cup around in a random motion you can overcome this.

        If you walk without rhythm, you wont attract the worm. Who knew it was mostly interested in spilled coffee.

        Also, changing the amount of coffee in the container should change the mass of the arm/cup/coffee system and may move its natural frequency away from your natural stride. (but that is harder to fit into a sci-fi plot and/or techno beat)

      • Indeed. I discovered the keep-mug-moving trick while at work. It works! But people did think I was a bit odd[er].
      • If you move your cup up and down at the frequency of your pace, it will double the apparent frequency as seen by the mug. This is usually sufficient to prevent it from slopping.
  • I'm waiting for the day some wins an Ig Nobel and then goes on to win the Nobel prize as well. Such an accomplishment for humanity....

  • They do a trip to the UK and come by HP Labs in Bristol, conveniently where I work. It's worth attending for a good set of laughs and the award winners take it all in good humour.
  • by Phoenix (2762) on Friday September 21, 2012 @06:18AM (#41409189)

    Actually I'd love to read up on the speech jammer. I've often had my cell phone do the very thing. Repeat my words with a slight delay and it is nearly impossible to hold a conversation while listening to myself a half second later.

    • While playing in studio with stupid audio effects we once discovered that reversed delay* of ~1 second does jam speech quite well.

      * More like instant reverse playback of 1 second recording

    • Yeah, it's really interesting when you work with monitors and the like so that people can hear themselves. If it's near-instantaneous, they have no issue, but if you increase the delay just slightly, it can be extremely disorienting if you're unused to it. I sometimes record videos with live voiceover from myself and some folks on Skype (read: I make Let's Play [wikipedia.org] videos for YouTube), and because of how I have things set up, my own voice comes back through my headphones with a delay of about a second (it's due

  • by Anonymous Coward

    You know, exploding bladders during *cystoscopy* actually CAN happen... when you are using an electric HF sling to cut tissue in the bladder, you are also generating hydrogen and oxygen from electrolysis of the liquid that is used to distend the organ. The instruments produces an arc and can in unfortunate circumstances ignite the gas bubble that may form under the bladder's roof. Which can get nasty... *pop*

Power corrupts. And atomic power corrupts atomically.

Working...