1995 Ig Nobel awards
Date: Tue, 17 Oct 95 16:01:42 -0700
From: Peter Langston <psl>
Subject: 1995 Ig Nobel awards
Forwarded-by: firstname.lastname@example.org (Keith Bostic)
Forwarded-by: Steve Simmons <email@example.com>
Forwarded-by: David M Stein
1995-10-04 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 its limits.
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.
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. 165-174.]
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.
A very skimpy, yet somewhat coherent, description of the Ceremony
can be obtained by sending email to INFO@IMPROB.COM
A full account, with photographs, will appear n the Jan/Feb issue of AIR.
© 1995 Peter Langston