Archive for 'Ig Nobel'

A very Ig Nobel start with your magazines…

Wednesday, December 21st, 2016

Your Annals of Improbable Research subscription will start with the special Ig Nobel issue — if you subscribe now.

The magazine brings you research that makes people LAUGH, then THINK.

Real research, about anything and everything, from everywhere —research that’s maybe good or bad, important or trivial, valuable or worthless. Compiled for you, by the producers of the Ig Nobel Prize ceremony. Six (6) new Improbable issues every year!

A Chinese appreciation of Professor Trinkaus’s password-guessing research

Sunday, December 11th, 2016

John Trinkaus, who was awarded the 2003 Ig Nobel Literature Prize for publishing more than 80 detailed academic reports about things that annoyed him, got some recent attention for his how-well-do-people-guess-at-passwords research. The Chinese Apple site produced this video about that:


Here’s a machine translation into English of part of what it says:

John Trinkaus, a professor at the City University of New York, found that 75 percent of respondents bought their suitcases and the passwords would remain intact. There are many reasons, but the main are lazy, that one thousand to remember, and some also said that when the customs clearance to facilitate easy to open inspection and so on. Therefore, the human head is not difficult to guess, may not be able to get out of Holmes can get. In addition, Professor Trinkaus had an experiment years ago, with hundreds of students between 50 to 100 to pick a double number. If it is you, you will guess which they pick the original most people will eventually choose 68.”

The report cites two of Professor Trinkaus’s studies:

The report combines Trinkaus’s insights with those of Richard Feynman, who as a young physicist working on a top secret project discovered the secret of opening safes in top secret places. Here’s a video about the Feynman story:

Ig Nobel at the planetarium in Milan, on December 15

Sunday, December 11th, 2016

Planetario di Milano is doing a special public program about the Ig Nobel Prizes, on Thursday, December 15:

Giovedì 15 dicembre, alle ore 21, presentazione di ricerche che prima fanno ridere e poi fanno riflettere con Luca Perri e Aaron Gaio in “Ignobel – Scienziati squilibrati“.


Some video reports about the 2016 Ig Nobel Prize winners

Friday, December 9th, 2016

Here’s a smattering of TV news reports about the 2016 Ig Nobel Prize winners and the ceremony. If you look down your nose at television, perhaps begin by reading some wire service reports: Associated Press, Reuters (and a trove of Reuters photos), AFP. LiveScience took many photos.

NHK [Japan]:


CTV Winnipeg [Canada]:

CIS [Russia]:

Magellan SuperTV2 [Hungary]:

Teleitalia [Italy]:

News TV:

CCTV America [China]:

CCTV News [China]:

Otago Daily Times [New Zealand]:

Chuyển Động | Đề Cử Giải Ig Nobel Tại Việt Nam | Tin Hot:

CNN News:

World News Russia Ukraine:

For additional reports, see the Improbable Research press clips page.

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Chimps Recognize Butts That Are Upside-Down, Too

Friday, December 2nd, 2016

A new study builds on prize-winning do-chimps-recognize-buttocks research, adding an upside-down appraisal:

Getting to the Bottom of Face Processing. Species-Specific Inversion Effects for Faces and Behinds in Humans and Chimpanzees (Pan Troglodytes),” Mariska E. Kret and Masaki Tomonaga, PLOS ONE, November 30, 2016. The authors, at Leiden University, the Netherlands, and Kyoto University, Japan, build on work, by other researchers, that won an Ig Nobel Anatomy Prize:


“In four different delayed matching-to-sample tasks with upright and inverted body parts, we show that humans demonstrate a face, but not a behind inversion effect and that chimpanzees show a behind, but no clear face inversion effect. The findings suggest an evolutionary shift in socio-sexual signalling function from behinds to faces, two hairless, symmetrical and attractive body parts.”


Leiden University issued a press release that gives further colorful details.

The 2012 Ig Nobel Prize for anatomy was awarded to Frans de Waal and Jennifer Pokorny, for discovering that chimpanzees can identify other chimpanzees individually from seeing photographs of their rear ends. They describe that research, in the study “Faces and Behinds: Chimpanzee Sex Perception“, Frans B.M. de Waal and Jennifer J. Pokorny, Advanced Science Letters, vol. 1, 2008, pp. 99–103.

Frans de Waal was pleased to see his Ig Nobel-winning research confirmed by this new study, he told the Dutch newspaper de Volkskrant: ‘Ik ben blij dat deze nieuwe studie dat bevestigt‘.

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