Archive for 'Ig Nobel'

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:


Wednesday is Dead Duck Day

Wednesday, June 5th, 2019

The 24th annual Dead Duck Day celebration happens on Wednesday, June 5, 2019. Dead Duck Day honors the mallard duck that became known to science as the first (documented) ‘victim’ of homosexual necrophilia in that species, and earned its discoverer, Kees Moeliker, the 2003 Ig Nobel Biology Prize.

Kees Moeliker, who is now director of the museum where the incident occurred, invites everyone to join in the celebration:

Dead Duck Day also commemorates the billions of other birds that die(d) from colliding with glass buildings, and challenges people to find solutions to this global problem.

Please join the free, short open-air ceremony next to the new wing of the Natural History Museum Rotterdam (the Netherlands), right below the new Dead Duck Memorial Plaque — the very spot where that duck (now museum specimen NMR 9989-00232) met his dramatic end….

After the ceremony, join us for the traditional six-course (dead) duck dinner at the famous Tai Wu Restaurant. This dinner, also, is open to the public (at your own expense). Reserve your seat by e-mailing to: info [at]

[Read full details on Kees’s blog.]

UPDATE: Here’s video from this year’s Dead Duck Day:

Here is the TED Talk Kees did about the duck:

Dead Duck Day has many admirers. Here is one of them:

The Ig Nobel Prizes are a category on Jeopardy, for the 8th time

Tuesday, May 28th, 2019

The television quiz show Jeopardy used the Ig Nobel Prizes as a category, in the program broadcast on May 23, 2019. This was the eighth time the Igs have been a Jeopardy category (previous appearances were in 2005200620082010, 2012, 2016, 2018). Here are the answers from the new session:

The contest was exciting, reports the Inquirer Journal:

Bolton native gives ‘Jeopardy!’ champ a scare

… For a thrilling half-hour Thursday night, Bolton native Nathan Scheffey kept “Jeopardy!” audiences across the country pinned to their television sets with a nearly neck-and-neck performance against game show phenomenon James Holzhauer, at one point not just leading but almost tripling the reigning champion’s score….

While tearing through subjects ranging from American history to musicals to the satirical Ig Nobel Prize, Scheffey racked up two daily doubles, and by the time contestants entered the Double Jeopardy! round, he was leading Holzhauer $19,400 to $6,600.
Even the usually unflappable Trebek took notice, musing to the studio audience that it was “hard to believe” Scheffey’s early dominance….

The Value of Spit, in the Art World

Saturday, May 25th, 2019

A proper appreciation of spit might have prevented an art tragedy. The tragedy is reported by VN Express International:

HCMC museum takes a national treasure to the cleaners

A precious lacquer painting suffered 30 percent damage during cleaning process due to cleaner’s lack of knowledge in art.
The painting, Vuon Xuan Trung Nam Bac (Spring Garden of Centre, South  and North), is a prominent artwork displayed in the Ho Chi Minh City Fine Arts Museum.

Last year, Luu Minh Phung was tasked by the museum to clean the painting and he took it to the cleaners, seriously damaging its surface by using dishwashing liquid, a polishing powder and sandpaper.

The intent and message of the artwork has been damaged by around 30 percent, said Vi Kien Thanh, head of the Fine Arts, Photography and Exhibition Department of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism….

Often, Spit is Better

The value of spit was celebrated with the 2018 Ig Nobel Prize for chemistry. The prize was awarded to Paula Romão, Adília Alarcão and the late César Viana, for measuring the degree to which human saliva is a good cleaning agent for dirty surfaces.

They describe their research, in the paper: “Human Saliva as a Cleaning Agent for Dirty Surfaces,” Paula M. S. Romão, Adília M. Alarcão and César A.N. Viana, Studies in Conservation, vol. 35, 1990, pp. 153-155.

“How Scientists Stumble on Their Adventures”

Saturday, May 18th, 2019

Hauwei Europe produced this three-minute animated introduction to some Ig Nobel Prize winners. (The animation includes small bits of fanciful over-explanation, which you might enjoy trying to tease out from the facts):


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