IJMC - The Fifth First Annual Ig Nobel Prize Winners
Sorry folks, no witty commentary tonigh,. I'm beat. -dave
For those of you following the real Nobel prizes last week, this is a
ceremony held yearly at Harvard, with awards given for actual
The 1995 Ig Nobel Prizewinners
The Fifth First Annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony was held at Harvard
University on the evening of Friday, Oct. 6, 1995. Ten prizes were awarded
to individuals whose achievements "cannot or should not be reproduced."
Two of the winners (nutrition and chemistry) were present, and received
their Prizes from (genuine) Nobel Laureates Sheldon Glashow (Physics '79),
Dudley Herschbach (Chemistry '86), William Lipscomb (Chemistry '76),
Joseph Murray (Physiology or Medicine '90) and Richard Roberts (Physiology
or Medicine '93). Three other winners (physics, literature and dentistry)
graciously sent taped acceptance speeches.
The Ceremony was mounted by The Annals of Improbable Research and
co-sponsored by the Harvard Computer Society and by Tangents (the
Harvard-Radcliffe mathematical bulletin).
Here is a complete list of the 1995 Ig Nobel Prizewinners.
NUTRITION John Martinez of J. Martinez & Company in Atlanta, for Luak
Coffee, the world's most expensive coffee, which is made from coffee beans
ingested and excreted by the luak (aka, the palm civet), a bobcat-like
animal native to Indonesia.
PHYSICS D.M.R. Georget, R. Parker, and A.C. Smith, of the Institute of
Food Research, Norwich, England, for their rigorous analysis of soggy
breakfast cereal, published in the report entitled 'A Study of the Effects
of Water Content on the Compaction Behaviour of Breakfast Cereal Flakes."
[Published in the research journal "Powder Technology," November, 1994,
vol. 81, no. 2, pp. 189-96.]
ECONOMICS Awarded jointly to Nick Leeson and his superiors at Barings
Bank and to Robert Citron of Orange County, California, for using the
calculus of derivatives to demonstrate that every financial institution has
MEDICINE Marcia E. Buebel, David S. Shannahoff-Khalsa, and Michael R.
Boyle, for their invigorating study entitled "The Effects of Unilateral
Forced Nostril Breathing on Cognition." [Published in "International
Journal of Neuroscience," vol. 57, 1991, pp. 239-249.]
LITERATURE David B. Busch and James R. Starling, of Madison Wisconsin,
for their deeply penetrating research report, "Rectal foreign bodies: Case
Reports and a Comprehensive Review of the World's Literature." The
citations include reports of, among other items: seven light bulbs; a
knife sharpener; two flashlights; a wire spring; a snuff box; an oil can
with potato stopper; eleven different forms of fruits, vegetables and
other foodstuffs; a jeweler's saw; a frozen pig's tail; a tin cup; a beer
glass; and one patient's remarkable ensemble collection consisting of
spectacles, a suitcase key, a tobacco pouch and a magazine. [Published in
the medical journal "Surgery," September 1986, pp. 512-519.]
PEACE The Taiwan National Parliament, for demonstrating that politicians
gain more by punching, kicking and gouging each other than by waging war
against other nations.
PSYCHOLOGY Shigeru Watanabe, Junko Sakamoto, and Masumi Wakita, of Keio
University, for their success in training pigeons to discriminate between
the paintings of Picasso and those of Monet. [Their report, entitled
"Pigeons' Discrimination of Paintings by Monet and Picasso," was published
in "Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior," vol. 63, 1995, pp.
PUBLIC HEALTH Martha Kold Bakkevig of Sintef Unimed in Trondheim, Norway,
and Ruth Nielson of the Technical University of Denmark, for their
exhaustive study, "Impact of Wet Underwear on Thermoregulatory Responses
and Thermal Comfort in the Cold." [Published in "Ergonomics," vol 37, no.
8, Aug. 1994 , pp. 1375- 89.]
DENTISTRY Robert H. Beaumont, of Shore View, Minnesota, for his
incisive study "Patient Preference for Waxed or Unwaxed Dental Floss."
[Published in the research journal "Journal of Periodontology," vol. 61,
no. 2, Feb. 1990, pp. 123-5.
CHEMISTRY Bijan Pakzad of Beverly Hills, for creating DNA Cologne and DNA
Perfume, neither of which contain deoxyribonucleic acid, and both of which
come in a triple helix bottle.