Ig Nobel Prize winners announced
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The 2011 Ig Nobel prize winners were awarded last week for ten achievements that “first make people laugh, and then make them think.” Each year, within a few weeks of the announcement of the genuine Nobel Prize winners, the winners of the Ig Nobel Prizes are also announced. “The prizes are intended to celebrate the unusual, honour the imaginative – and spur people’s interest in science, medicine, and technology,” says the Ig Nobel website. A list of this year’s winner included: Slow Yawn Physiology Prize: Anna Wilkinson, Natalie Sebanz, Isabella Mandl, and Ludwig Huber for their study “No Evidence of Contagious Yawning in the Red-Footed Tortoise.” Rude Awakening Chemistry Prize: Makoto Imai, Naoki Urushihata, Hideki Tanemura, Yukinobu Tajima, Hideaki Goto, Koichiro Mizoguchi, and Junichi Murakami of Japan, for determining the ideal density of airborne wasabi (pungent horseradish) to awaken sleeping people in case of a fire or other emergency, and for applying this knowledge to invent the wasabi alarm. Yellow Belly Medicine Prize: Mirjam Tuk, Debra Trampe, and Luk Warlop; and jointly to Matthew Lewis, Peter Snyder, and Robert Feldman, and Robert Pietrzak, David Darby, and Paul Maruff for demonstrating that people make better decisions about some kinds of things – but worse decisions about other kinds of things, when they have a strong urge to urinate Sigh-ence Psychology Prize: Karl Halvor Teigen for trying to understand why in everyday life, people sigh. Do it tomorrow Literature Prize: John Perry for his Theory of Structured Procrastination, which says: “to be a high achiever, always work on something important, using it as a way to avoid doing something that’s even more important.”
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