Monday, October 10, 2005


Is your dog too ashamed to walk around the neighbourhood due to his lack of, um, since you had him “fixed”? Now your dog can have a sturdy set of prosthetic balls of varying sizes and degrees of firmness. Not that there’s anything he can do with them but lick them. It’s all in the cause of canine aesthetics and the invention was one of the winners in this year’s Ig Nobel Awards, conferred each year by science humour magazine Annals of Improbable Research for the most pointless and laughable piece of scientific research. The awards come with “no cash but much cachet, and reward those research projects that first make people laugh, then make them think”.

Other winners include studies on whether humans swim faster through water or syrup, the effect of watching Star Wars clips on locusts’ brains and an alarm clock that runs away and hides as it goes off. Penguin faeces are the fascinating topic in the Fluid Dynamics winner’s research, which measured the pressure that builds up inside a penguin when it’s incubating an egg and can’t crap for months. Isn’t science thrilling?

There’s also the Literature section which was won by the inventive Nigerians of 419 fame, Mrs. Miriam Abacha will presumably not be collecting her prize in person.

No comments: