Archive for 'Ig Nobel'

Two quick Belgian video compilations of Ig Nobel highlights

Friday, October 24th, 2014

Lieven Scheire and his colleagues at Nerdland, in Belgium, produced these brief videos — compressed visual highlights from the 2014 Ig Nobel Prize ceremony webcast, and from the 2013 Ig Nobel Prize ceremony webcast:

BONUS: Lieven Scheire’s video —taken at the 2014 Ig Nobel webcast-watching party in Ghent — of Belgian Ig Nobel enthusiasts doing their own paper airplane deluge in tandem with the one happening at the Ig Nobel ceremony:

He was honored first for swearing, now for smiling

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

RStephens200x200Richard Stephens, who was awarded an Ig Nobel Prize for his research about swearing and pain, has just won a writing competition for his work about smiling. The Wellcome Trust reports:

Wellcome Trust Science Writing Prize 2014: The winners are…
22 OCT, 2014

The winners of the fourth Wellcome Trust Science Writing Prize were announced this evening at a ceremony held at Wellcome Trust HQ in London. With over 600 entries to choose from, picking a single winner in each category was no simple task… Split into two categories – professional scientists (postgraduate and above) and non-professionals (including undergraduates)…

the judges picked Richard Stephens and Kate Széll as this year’s winners. Richard’s piece on smiling – ‘Don’t say cheese, say cheeks’ – earned him the crown (okay, trophy!) in the professional scientists category, while Kate’s article on facial blindness entitled ‘Prosopagnosia – a common problem, commonly overlooked’ was the winner of the non-professional and undergraduate category.

Richard Stephens and two of his students (all of them at Keele University) were awarded the 2010 Ig Nobel peace prize for confirming the widely held belief that swearing relieves pain. (REFERENCE: “Swearing as a Response to Pain,” Richard Stephens, John Atkins, and Andrew Kingston, Neuroreport, vol. 20 , no. 12, 2009, pp. 1056-60.)

An Ig Nobel quiz

Sunday, October 19th, 2014

A look back to Scossa L’Eredità (the Italian TV quiz program)’s question about the Ig Nobel Prizes:

Scossa L’Eredità 15 ottobre 2013 Laura: Premi Ignobel

BONUS: A look back at that, and several other Iggy TV quizzes

Fashionable photos of the Ig Nobel ceremony

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

Of the many press reports about this year’s Ig Nobel Prize ceremony, perhaps the nicest photo spread was done by the magazine Paris Match.

Ig Nobel winner triumphs: “Italy lifts out of recession thanks to hookers, drugs”

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

istatCongratulations to this year’s Ig Nobel economics prize winner — ISAT — both on its Ig Nobel Prize and on ISTAT’s influence on the Italian economy.

The AFP news agency reports, on October 15, 2014:

Italy lifts out of recession thanks to hookers, drugs

Italy learnt it was no longer in a recession on Wednesday thanks to a change in data calculations across the European Union which includes illegal economic activities such as prostitution and drugs in the GDP measure.

Adding illegal revenue from hookers, narcotics and black market cigarettes and alcohol to the eurozone’s third-biggest economy boosted gross domestic product figures.

GDP rose slightly from a 0.1 percent decline for the first quarter to a flat reading, the national institute of statistics said.

Although ISTAT confirmed a 0.2 percent decline for the second quarter, the revision of the first quarter data meant Italy had escaped its third recession in the last six years….

This comes just four weeks after this year’s Ig Nobel Prize winners were announced at the Ig Nobel Prize ceremony, at Harvard University. The 2014 Ig Nobel Prize for economics was awarded to ISTAT — the Italian government’s National Institute of Statistics, for proudly taking the lead in fulfilling the European Union mandate for each country to increase the official size of its national economy by including revenues from prostitution, illegal drug sales, smuggling, and all other unlawful financial transactions between willing participants.

The relevant documents, in the awarding of that prize, are “Cambia il Sistema europeo dei conti nazionali e regionali – Sec2010” (ISTAT, 2014) and “European System of National and Regional Accounts (ESA 2010)” (Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union, 2013).

BONUS: “Droghe e prostituzione nel Pil, all’Istat il premio IgNobel per l’Economia” [La Repubblica]