A brief sidestep here from politics, world aggressions and crises – Much along the lines of the mocking that the Gormogons can appreciate, the 2008 Ig Nobel Awards were released.
- Peace: plants are people too. The peace award goes to none other than the Swiss. The Swiss Federal Ethics Committee on Non-Human Biotechnology, along with the citizens of that great nation, took the prize for passing a law that recognizes that plants have dignity too.
- Biology: dog-borne fleas are better jumpers than cat-borne fleas. Turns out athletic ability, in fleas at least, depends on where you live. Researchers found that fleas that live on dogs are better high jumpers when compared to fleas that live on cats.
- Literature: “You Bastard!” The literature prize goes to David Sims for his study on organizational indignation: “You Bastard: A Narrative Exploration of the Experience of Indignation Within Organizations.”
- Nutrition: it tastes better if it sounds better. This award goes to a pair of British researchers who confirmed the simple idea that food tastes better if it sounds better. For those who question the practicality of this research, it has already been put to use in the Fat Duck Restaurant, where seafood diners are given iPods loaded with ocean sounds to listen to while they dine.
- Medicine: placebos that cost more said to work better. While the true effect of placebos continues to be studied, Dan Ariely has demonstrated that expensive fake medicine works better than the cheap crap you get on the corner. (I predict a future Ig Nobel in economics for the exploiter of this one.)
- Economics: strippers earn more when they are at peak fertility. Ever sign up for psychology experiments while in college? I bet you didn’t get picked for this one: a trio of psychology researchers from the University of New Mexico found that exotic dancers make up to 60 percent more when they are at peak fertility.
- Archeology: armadillos can wreak havoc on digs. It turns out that while armadillos are cool-looking, they can be very problematic at archaeological dig sites. A Brazilian duo observed that armadillos are capable of moving artifacts at dig sites up to several meters from their original “final” resting place.
- Chemistry: Coca-Cola is an effective spermicide. A 23-year-old study that appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine finally got the recognition it deserves. An Ob/Gyn team from BU’s School of Medicine found that Coca-Cola was indeed a spermicide and, oddly enough, that Diet Coke worked best of the then-available variants. The award is shared with a team of Taiwanese researchers who found that Coke and related sodas were not good contraceptives…
List text courtesy of ArsTechnica
GorT is an eight-foot-tall robot from the 51ˢᵗ Century who routinely time-travels to steal expensive technology from the future and return it to the past for retroinvention. The profits from this pay all the Gormogons’ bills, including subsidizing this website. Some of the products he has introduced from the future include oven mitts, the Guinness widget, Oxy-Clean, and Dr. Pepper. Due to his immense cybernetic brain, GorT is able to produce a post in 0.023 seconds and research it in even less time. Only ’Puter spends less time on research. GorT speaks entirely in zeros and ones, but occasionally throws in a ڭ to annoy the Volgi. He is a massive proponent of science, technology, and energy development, and enjoys nothing more than taking the Czar’s more interesting scientific theories, going into the past, publishing them as his own, and then returning to take credit for them. He is the only Gormogon who is capable of doing math. Possessed of incredible strength, he understands the awesome responsibility that follows and only uses it to hurt people.