Archive for 'Arts and Science'

2019 Ig Nobel Prize ceremony spiffy POSTER (downloadable)

Tuesday, June 11th, 2019

Behold the OFFICIAL POSTER for the 29th First Annual Ig Nobel Prize ceremony, designed by Geri Sullivan. Click on the image to produce a downloadable, printable PDF version.

If you are in the Boston (Massachusetts) area, and can help post some paper posters in places your colleagues, neighbors, friends, and rivals will admire them, please get in touch with us.

The ceremony will happen on Thursday evening, September 12, at Sanders Theatre, Harvard University. Tickets will go on sale Wednesday, July 10, exclusively from the Harvard Box Office, online and in Harvard Square.

Rubbing Pubic Hair with Cocaine-Contaminated Hands [research study]

Tuesday, June 11th, 2019

This hands-on study (hands on pubic hair) suggests that the hunt for illicit drug use may be more interesting than is generally known:

Cocaine Contamination in Pubic Hair: Analysis of the Decontamination Method,” Guido Romano, Francesca Indorato, Giorgio Spadaro, Salvatore Barbera, and Nunziata Barbera, Egyptian Journal of Forensic Sciences, vol. 4, no. 4, 2014, pp. 129–136. The authors, at the University of Catania, Italy, report:

The aim of this study was to verify whether the external contamination of pubic hair with cocaine could influence the discrimination between active users and false positive subjects. The analysis was performed on in vivo and in vitro samples; the contamination was carried out by rubbing pubic hair with cocaine hydrochloride contaminated hands for three consecutive days….

Data from our studies show that all in vivo samples yielded false positives; the in vitro samples were negative only for 10 days and then yielded false positives.

A visit to the prize-winning doctor who examined his own intestines

Sunday, June 9th, 2019

Thai PBS sent a news crew to visit Akira Horiuchi, the Japanese doctor who pioneered self-colonoscopy. Thai PBS reports [in Thai, which we present here via machine translation into English text]:

IG NOBEL is an award given to scientific work. Or research that is unlikely to be possible The only selection criteria is Your research must make people laugh and think. And this Japanese doctor got this award Doctor invented a method for detecting colon cancer by himself. Research of doctors who use themselves to experiment And receiving the prize is a telescope with sitting position Self-taught lessons Which the doctor published in the medical magazine in 2006 and the committee saw the value of the research that proved by the body that if receiving a colonoscopy with a sitting position Will have less pain But from that day until today, 15 years ago, the doctor still thought And continue thinking not to stop Until the day that the colon examination was easy

Which your method is Special anesthetic examination The camera is shining and the patient just forgot about 10 minutes. Can recover and drive home This type of examination is priced at 7,000 yen or about 2,000 baht, but if the tumor is cut off too The price will be 20,000 yen or about 6,000 baht.

Follow up on the program to see when the doctor examines the intestines, IG NOBEL Awards, Sunday 9 June 2019, 17.30 – 18.00 hrs., In Thai PBS. Or watch via online TV via And follow the movement of the item at

Looking Back at that Ig Nobel Prize

The 2018 Ig Nobel Prize for medical education was awarded to Akira Horiuchi, for the medical report “Colonoscopy in the Sitting Position: Lessons Learned From Self-Colonoscopy.”

REFERENCE: “Colonoscopy in the Sitting Position: Lessons Learned From Self-Colonoscopy by Using a Small-Caliber, Variable-Stiffness Colonoscope,” Akira Horiuchi and Yoshiko Nakayama, Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, vol. 63, No. 1, 2006, pp. 119-20.

Here’s video of Dr. Horiuchi being awarded the prize, giving his acceptance speech, and demonstrating his work:


PhD. Thesis of the Week: Yoga and Saxophone Performance

Friday, June 7th, 2019

Yoga and Saxophone Performance: The Integration of Two Disciplines,” by
Allison Dromgold Adams.Arizona State University, Ph.D. thesis, 2012.

Special HABITS & TRICKS issue of Improbable Research

Thursday, June 6th, 2019

The special Habits & Tricks issue (volume 25, no. 2) of the Annals of Improbable Research is now available, in PDF form as usual. You can purchase a single issue, or subscribe to the magazine (six new issues every year), or if you like, read a few of the articles free online.

Here’s the Table of Contents:

The features marked with a star (*) are based entirely on material taken straight from standard research (and other Official and Therefore Always Correct) literature. Many of the other articles are genuine, too, but we don’t know which ones.

Special Section: Habits and Tricks

Research on Nosepicking*
Research on Fidgeting*
Habits Research: Dishwashing and Downloading*
Ig® and Beyond: Shopping and Retracted Habits*
Eating Habits*
Medical Patients’ Habits: Mouth Breathing, Cable Chewing, Sucking*
Medical Professionals’ Habits: Mask Wiggling, Role Modeling*
Medical Trick Question: No Bullet, But… Butt?*
Magic and Rodeo Tricks Research*
Forensic Research: Knot Habits*

Improbable Research Reviews*

Improbable Research: Bacteria and Birthday Cakes*
May We Recommend: Cactus Spine Puncture Performance*
Boys Will Be Boys: Flatulence, Exciting, Usage*
Icky Cutesy: Willingness Toupee, Russian Roulette*

News & Notes

AIR Vents (letters from our readers): More Musty and Wiener Sausage
Ig® Nobel Limericks: Hijacker Packaging, Report Reporting*
Editorial Board
Index of Special Issues
Teachers’ Guide
Unclassified Ads

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