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World of the Bizarre

This year's Ig Nobel Prize winners announced

By T.K. Randall
September 22, 2014 · Comment icon 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 | Comments (5)

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by ZOD 9 years ago
This is brilliant
Comment icon #2 Posted by shrooma 9 years ago
This is brilliant . the Darwin Awards are funnier..... . http://www.darwinawards.com/ .
Comment icon #3 Posted by paperdyer 9 years ago
"BIOLOGY: Dogs can sense the Earth’s magnetic field, and they prove it by aligning their bodies along a north-south axis when they poop. At least, they do so when the magnetic field is stable (i.e., not disrupted by a solar storm), according to a group of researchers from Germany and the Czech Republic. Their report, published in Frontiers in Zoology, included data on 1,893 dumps taken by 70 dogs representing 37 breeds. (Members of this same research group previously demonstrated that cows can sense magnetic fields by studying images from Google Earth.)" I always wondered why my dog faced the ... [More]
Comment icon #4 Posted by Robert1 9 years ago
I think these researchers deserve all the scorn that they receive from the scientific community.
Comment icon #5 Posted by TonopahRick 9 years ago
I'm glad people don't align themselves on a north-south direction when doing their business. It would be a real pain to turn the toilet every time I went.

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