More Thanh Words

"My name is Thanh and I'm a Blogger". Now that I have admitted to that, I can say that I'm a stereotypical "geeky" Engineer who enjoys sci-fi books and movies and into all things technological. I also love music and have a passion for FOOD. I'm a social person and like to talk to people. I hate people who are fake or overly aggressive. If you're also into some serious discussion, with a pinch of sarcasm and a dash of real emotion, then please read on.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Ig Nobel Award

Here's some light funny reading for a Saturday. I was reading the online newspaper when I came across this article about the Ig Nobel Award. This award was started in 1991 to honour obscure adn humourous scientific achievements.

The awards winners have definitely come up with some pretty useless devices or information. Why the scientists wanted to research these things would be very interesting to know. I guess they just took their curiosity a step further. I've often wondered, "Why does this thing do this...." and have gone onto Google to look for an answer and satisfy my curiosity, but they obviously couldn't find an answer to their question so took it upon themselves to find the answers.

Here is the list of winners for the 2006 Ig Nobel winners, awarded by Annals of Improbable Research magazine, Harvard University:

  • ORNITHOLOGY The late Philip May and Ivan Schwab for exploring and explaining why woodpeckers do not get headaches.

  • NUTRITION Wasmia al-Houty and Faten al-Mussalam, for showing that dung beetles are finicky about the dung.

  • PEACE Howard Stapleton, for inventing a teenager repellent, an electronic device that makes annoying noise designed to be audible to teenagers but not adults. The same technology is used to make ringtones audible to teens, but not teachers.

  • ACOUSTICS Lynn Halpern, Randolph Blake and James Hillenbrand for experiments to learn why people dislike the sound of fingernails on a chalkboard.

  • MATHEMATICS Nic Svenson and Piers Barnes, for calculating the number of photographs you must take to ensure that nobody in a group photo will have their eyes closed.

  • LITERATURE Daniel Oppenheimer, for his report "Consequences of Erudite Vernacular Utilised Irrespective of Necessity: Problems with Using Long Words Needlessly".

  • MEDICINE Joint winners: Francis Fesmire, for his medical case report, "Termination of Intractable Hiccups with Digital Rectal Massage"; and Majed Odeh, Harry Bassan, and Arie Oliven for their subsequent medical case report.

  • PHYSICS Basile Audoly and Sebastien Neukirch, for their insights into why dry spaghetti often breaks into more than two pieces when bent.

  • CHEMISTRY Antonio Mulet, Jose Javier Benedito, Jose Bon and Carmen Rossello, for their study "Ultrasonic Velocity in Cheddar Cheese as Affected by Temperature".

  • BIOLOGY Bart Knols and Ruurd de Jong, for showing that female malaria mosquitoes are attracted equally to the smell of Limburger cheese and to the smell of human feet.

There are very funny awards here. Sticking your finger up someone's butt to stop hiccups seems a bit extreme to me, but I guess now that you know this fact, it may come in useful if someone is suffering extreme hiccups hahaha. And I think we all must have wondered why woodpeckers can peck so hard and not get a total headache. Finally, my favourite is that dung ain't dung. Even dung beetles have standard and won't touch some types of dung. So next time you can tell someone that you hate that "even dung beetles wouldn't touch your dung, that's how crap you are" *tah tah* get the pun, crap, dung hahaha. Ah it's great to have a good laugh on Saturday morning, makes a nice start to the day.


Blogger The Oriental Express said...

A good article, Thanh! Makes my day! Ha! Ha!

Perhaps I may like to add on to the list by my "chance discovery"! Ahem! Howard Stapleton would probably like to know that for "peace" in the classroom, I used my little bottle of tiger balm to knock on my desk when I wanted my students to quieten down "peacefully". I realised I did not want to cause my throat to be sore from trying to be louder than the noise the students were creating. The knocking of the tiger balm bottle did not hurt my ears because I only had artificial ear drums in both ears, but it would cause the boys to quickly put their hands on their ears and some would say, "Madam, we have eardrums!" Quiet would immediately ensue after that!

10/07/2006 11:49 AM  
Blogger thanh7580 said...

Haha thats a good story Choo. You didn't even need that high frequency device, you already invented your own. That device does work though. I played a high frequency noise at work and the older people couldn't hear it, while the younger people could.

10/08/2006 9:23 AM  

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