World Sword Swallower’s Day, created by an Ig Nobel Prize winner

Today, February 22, is International Sword Swallowers Day, created by sword swallower — and Ig Nobel Prize winner — Dan Meyer, who also created the organization Sword Swallowers Association International, of which he serves as president. Dan, an American, together with Dr. Brian Witcombe, a Briton, shared the 2007 Ig Nobel Prize for medicine, for their penetrating medical report “Sword Swallowing and Its Side Effects” [published in the British Medical Journal, December 23, 2006, vol. 333, pp. 1285-7]. This video documents the acceptance speech the pair delivered at the Ig Nobel Prize ceremony at Harvard in 2007:

Huffington Post reports about Dan and the day:

For instance, in 1868, a sword swallower assisted Dr. Adolf Kussmaul in Freiburg, Germany, in developing the first rigid endoscopy. Another sword swallower underwent the first esophageal electrocardiogram in Wales in 1906.

In both cases, the researchers got the credit, but the sword swallowers’ names disappeared down the esophagus of time, and Meyer just doesn’t think that’s right.”Sword swallowers go unrecognized, but their physical and mental abilities to shut off bodily reflexes is very helpful to scientists studying the inner workings of the body,” he told HuffPost in 2012.

To emphasize that point, Meyer scheduled World Sword Swallowers Day in February, which is also National Swallowing Disorders Month.

(Thanks to investigator Neil Judell for bringing this to our attention.)

One Response to “World Sword Swallower’s Day, created by an Ig Nobel Prize winner”

  1. 關於你不知道的吞劍【前篇】 – 每日一冷 – 你的冷知識入口 Says:

    […] 話說吞劍者協會主席 Dan Meyer(以下簡稱為阿丹)在 2006 年與英國的影像科醫師(就是專門判讀 X 光電腦斷層和核磁共振影像,獲得臨床診斷的醫師)合作,完成了第一篇討論「吞劍常見的後遺症」的醫學論文,收集了該協會遍布世界十六國、一百多位職業吞劍者的訪談而成。這篇論文馬上一鳴驚人的贏得第二年的諾……呃,2007 搞笑諾貝爾醫學獎 :D。 […]

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