2009 Ig Nobel Prizes

Geek Culture

Image: Improbable.com

The “19th First Annual” Ig Nobel prize ceremony was held on October 1st at Harvard University. If you have never heard of the Ig Nobels, the purpose of the prize is to honor achievements that “irst make people laugh, and then make them think“. It is organized by a group called Improbable Research. At the ceremony, the awards are handed out by actual Nobel Laureates in the midst of paper airplanes, musical theater and other silliness. Some of my favorites from this year:

CHEMISTRY PRIZE: Javier Morales, Miguel Apátiga, and Victor M. Castaño of Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, for creating diamonds from liquid — specifically from tequila.

MEDICINE PRIZE: Donald L. Unger, of Thousand Oaks, California, USA, for investigating a possible cause of arthritis of the fingers, by diligently cracking the knuckles of his left hand — but never cracking the knuckles of his right hand — every day for more than sixty (60) years.

LITERATURE PRIZE: Ireland’s police service (An Garda Siochana), for writing and presenting more than fifty traffic tickets to the most frequent driving offender in the country — Prawo Jazdy — whose name in Polish means “Driving License”.

Here is the complete list of winners.

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