World of the Bizarre
This year's Ig Nobel Prize winners announced
By T.K. Randall
September 22, 2014 · 5 comments
Is your cat making you less intelligent ? Image Credit: sxc.hu
Every year some of the most weird and trivial research projects are recognized with a special prize.
A counterpart to the traditional Nobel Prize, the Ig Nobel Prize is given out at an annual ceremony at Harvard University to scientists and researchers who have otherwise gone unrecognized due to the unusual or trivial nature of their research.
This year's physics prize was awarded to medical researchers from Kitasato University in Japan who studied in great detail the important topic of whether or not a banana peel is slippery.
Their research revealed that when a banana peel is stepped on it releases a type of gel that increases its slipperiness. The team concluded that stepping on a banana peel is a similar experience to attempting to walk on snow while wearing skiis.
Elsewhere a group of researchers investigating the effects of a parasite believed to be contained within the droppings of domestic cats was the recipient of the public health award. The team discovered that women affected by the parasite were less likely to feel guilt while men who had it suffered from a lower IQ and were less likely to engage in novelty-seeking behavior.
Other projects awarded a prize included a study in to whether admission to art museums should be covered by health insurance and an investigation in to the fact that a dog will appear to align itself on a north-south axis along the Earth's magnetic field while it is doing its business.
Source: LA Times
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