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Ig Nobel Prize Winners: Unboiling An Egg, Sting Pain Index, Allergy Patients Kissing, Mammal Pee And Huh?

22 September 2015, 5:44 am EDT By Quinten Plummer Tech Times
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The scientific community's oddball awards were presented last Sept. 17. This year's Ig Noble Prize Awards honor another batch of science who investigate things that might draw chuckles, which might harm science and research's reputation of being dull and dry.  ( YouTube | Improbable Research )

Attaching a stick to a chicken's backside forces it to walk like a dinosaur probably. Researches who did such and more won the Ig Nobel Prize awards on Sept. 17.

A lighthearted take on the Nobel Prize awards, the Ig Nobel Prize ceremony marked its 25th year last week. That "Ig" before Noble Prize may be an entertaining play on words and the winning research may seem bizarre on the surface, but there's nothing ignoble about the implications of their findings.

The 25th Annual Ig Nobel Prize Awards was hosted by its original ringmaster Marc Abrahams, and two and a half decades later, he hasn't lost his passion for odd and off-path science.

"I have always been interested in things that are funny in a way that makes you pay attention to them and keep paying attention," Abrahams said. "Take the study of the homosexual necrophiliac duck for example. It is so far outside anyone's experience that it's funny. The only healthy reaction is to laugh at it, and in the moment of paying attention you might get interested."

Here are the 2015 Ig Nobel Prize winners: 

Chemistry Award - the partially unboiled egg led by Callum Ormonde, Colin Raston, Tom Yuan, Stephan Kudlacek, Sameeran Kunche, Joshua N. Smith, William A. Brown, Kaitlin Pugliese, Tivoli Olsen, Mariam Iftikhar, Gregory Weiss.

Physics Award - tested principle that says most mammals clear their bladder in roughly 21 seconds: Patricia Yang, David Hu, Jonathan Pham and Jerome Choo.

Literature Award - concluded that "huh" and words of similar use appear in just about all human languages: Mark Dingemanse, Francisco Torreira, and Nick J. Enfield.

Management Award - found that many business leaders experienced natural disasters, without trauma, in their childhoods: Gennaro Bernile, Vineet Bhagwat and P. Raghavendra Rau.

Economics Award - Bangkok's Metropolitan Police Force offered cash incentives to officers to deter them from accepting bribes. 

Medical Award - studied consequences of "intense kissing." Awarded jointly to two groups: Hajime Kimata, Jaroslava Durdiaková, Peter Celec, Natália Kamodyová, Tatiana Sedláčková, Gabriela Repiská, Barbara Sviežená and Gabriel Minárik.

Math Award - used math to determine how Sharifian Emperor of Morocco, Moulay Ismael the Bloodthirsty, fathered 888 offspring: Elisabeth Oberzaucher and Karl Grammer.

Biology Award - created the theory that chickens probably walk like dinosaurs when the fowls have sticks attached to their bums: Bruno Grossi, Omar Larach, Mauricio Canals, Rodrigo A. Vásquez and José Iriarte-Díaz.

Diagnostic Medicine Award - found that the severity of appendicitis can be gauged by observing the degree of pain a patient experiences when traveling over speed bumps: Diallah Karim, Anthony Harnden, Nigel D'Souza, Andrew Huang, Abdel Kader Allouni, Helen Ashdown, Richard J. Stevens and Simon Kreckler.

Entomology and Physiology Award - created the Schmidt Sting Pain Index, a scale of pain to describe insect stings: Justin Schmidt and to Michael L. Smith.

For that last one, the pair found that the least painful areas to receive stings are the upper arm, the tip of the middle toe and the skull. The most painful are the shaft of a man's genital area, the upper lip and the nostril. 

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