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Archive for 'Ig Nobel'

Alligators Bellowing in Heliox [Ig Informal Lecture]

Friday, January 8th, 2021

Here is the Ig Informal Lecture by the winners of the 2020 Ig Nobel Acoustics Prize.

The Ig Nobel Prizes honor achievements that make people LAUGH, then THINK. In the Ig Informal Lectures, some days after the ceremony, the new Ig Nobel Prize winners attempt to explain what they did, and why they did it. [In non-pandemic years, the lectures happen at MIT, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, two days after the Ig Nobel Prize ceremony. But in the pandemic year 2020, it’s all happening online.]

The 2020 Ig Nobel Prize for Acoustics was awarded to Stephan Reber, Takeshi Nishimura, Judith Janisch, Mark Robertson, and Tecumseh Fitch, for inducing a female Chinese alligator to bellow in an airtight chamber filled with helium-enriched air. They documented that research, in this study:

Schedule

We are releasing The Ig Informal Lectures, one at a time, here on www.improbable.com, and on YouTube. Here are the release dates:

  • November 26th, 2020: Economics
  • December 3rd, 2020: Psychology
  • December 17th, 2020: Medicine
  • December 24th, 2020: Physics
  • December 31st, 2020: Entomology
  • January 7th, 2021: Acoustics
  • February 4, 2021: Materials Science

The Enduring Appeal of Crunchiness

Friday, January 1st, 2021

“Outside the academy, the paper [“The Role of Auditory Cues in Modulating the Perceived Crispness and Staleness of Potato Chips“] failed to generate any interest until 2008, when its authors were awarded the Ig Nobel Prize for Nutrition. The Ig Nobels are intended to “honor achievements that make people laugh, and then think,” but media coverage of Spence’s win focussed mostly on the former, with headlines that ranged from “boffin gives eaters sound advice” to “why research that?!” At first glance, the “sonic chip” experiment, as Spence fondly refers to it, does seem trivial. In reality, it was an elegant psychological trick, offering insight into the way the brain combines two separate sensory inputs—the crunching sound and the tactile oral sensation of a potato chip—into one multisensory perception. Spence lists the honor at the top of his curriculum vitae.”

—from the report “Accounting for Taste,” by Nicola Twilley, in The New Yorker magazine,  October 26, 2015

Here is some detail from the study:

Entomologists Who Are Scared of Spiders [Ig Informal Lecture]

Thursday, December 31st, 2020

Here is the Ig Informal Lecture by the winner of the 2020 Ig Nobel Entomology Prize.

The Ig Nobel Prizes honor achievements that make people LAUGH, then THINK. In the Ig Informal Lectures, some days after the ceremony, the new Ig Nobel Prize winners attempt to explain what they did, and why they did it. [In non-pandemic years, the lectures happen at MIT, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, two days after the Ig Nobel Prize ceremony. But in the pandemic year 2020, it’s all happening online.]

The 2020 Ig Nobel Prize for Entomology was awarded to Richard Vetter, for collecting evidence that many entomologists (scientists who study insects) are afraid of spiders, which are not insects.

He documented that research, in this study:

Schedule

We are releasing The Ig Informal Lectures, one at a time, here on www.improbable.com, and on YouTube. Here are the release dates:

  • November 26th, 2020: Economics
  • December 3rd, 2020: Psychology
  • December 17th, 2020: Medicine
  • December 24th, 2020: Physics
  • December 31st, 2020: Entomology
  • January 7th, 2021: Acoustics
  • January 14th, 2021: Materials Science

Misery at Hearing Other People Chew [Ig Informal Lecture]

Friday, December 18th, 2020

Here is the Ig Informal Lecture by the winners of the 2020 Ig Nobel Medicine Prize.

The Ig Nobel Prizes honor achievements that make people LAUGH, then THINK. In the Ig Informal Lectures, some days after the ceremony, the new Ig Nobel Prize winners attempt to explain what they did, and why they did it. [In non-pandemic years, the lectures happen at MIT, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, two days after the Ig Nobel Prize ceremony. But in the pandemic year 2020, it’s all happening online.]

The 2020 Ig Nobel Prize for Medicine was awarded to Nienke Vulink, Damiaan Denys, and Arnoud van Loon, for diagnosing a long-unrecognized medical condition: Misophonia, the distress at hearing other people make chewing sounds.

They documented their research, in these studies:

Schedule

We will release The Ig Informal Lectures, one at a time, here on www.improbable.com, and on YouTube. Here are the release dates:

  • November 26th, 2020: Economics
  • December 3rd, 2020: Psychology
  • December 17th, 2020: Medicine
  • December 24th, 2020: Physics
  • December 31st, 2020: Entomology
  • January 7th, 2021: Acoustics
  • January 14th, 2021: Materials Science

Anna Ikarashi’s new book about the Ig Nobel Prizes

Wednesday, December 16th, 2020

Congratulations to Anna Ikarashi and to Sogo Horei Publishing, for their new book Strange Science—40 Ig Nobel Prize Researches!

The country of Japan, in addition to being one of the most prolific, efficient, and gleeful producers of Ig Nobel Prize winners, is also one of the most prolific, efficient, and gleeful producers of books, mangas, and other literature, TV programs, and exhibitions about Ig Nobel Prize winners.http://www.horei.com/book_978-4-86280-779-3.html

 

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