first_imgThe Ig Nobel Prizes are awarded each year in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to research that “makes people laugh, then think.” Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Tonight, as has become a yearly tradition, a historic theater at Harvard University was packed to the rafters with Nobel laureates and a rapt audience. They weren’t there to witness a sacrosanct scientific ceremony, but rather the 28th annual Ig Nobel Prizes, an honor bestowed on studies treasured as much for their hilarity as their scientific value. Although the theme of this year’s event, put on by the science humor magazine Annals of Improbable Research, was “the heart,” much of the winning research focused on decidedly less glamorous parts of the human anatomy.Take this year’s prize in medicine, which went to a pair of doctors who investigated whether riding a rollercoaster can help pass a kidney stone. The duo took 3D-printed kidney models for 20 rides on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Sitting in the back sections of the car yielded a 64% success rate for passing a stone, compared with 17% when seated at the front, the researchers reported in 2016 in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association.A trio of urologists took home the prize in reproductive medicine for their now 4-decade-old technique for measuring nighttime erections. They instructed several male volunteers to wrap a ring of postage stamps snugly around their penis at bedtime and check in the morning for tears in the perforation. The method, they reported in 1980 in The Journal of Urology, was nearly 100% accurate. The researchers clarified that they manufactured their own stamps for the experiment, as using official U.S. postage “required permission from the Secret Service.” By Frankie SchembriSep. 13, 2018 , 7:00 PM Improbable Research center_img Ig Nobel prizes honor do-it-yourself colonoscopies, a curious use for postage stamps, and other peculiar research Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Email Japanese gastroenterologist Akira Horiuchi won the medical education prize for an experiment in which he reviewed the comfort and efficiency of self-colonoscopy in the sitting position by performing a colonoscopy on himself while seated. He reported only “mild discomfort.”Other winners included a team that demonstrated that most people who use complicated products do not read the instruction manual (Literature Prize); researchers who surveyed Spanish drivers to determine the frequency, motivation, and effects of shouting and cursing while in a car (Peace Prize); a group that investigated whether using Voodoo dolls to retaliate against abusive bosses makes employees feel better (Economics Prize); and a team that tested the effectiveness of a “spit shine” by cleaning 18th century sculptures with saliva and several alcohol-based cleaners (Chemistry Prize). Spit won.Past Nobel Prize winners handed out the awards, including Eric Maskin (Economics, 2007), Wolfgang Ketterle (Physics, 2001), Oliver Hart (Economics, 2016), and Michael Rosbash (Medicine, 2017). As has been tradition, each award was accompanied by a cash prize in the form of a $10 trillion bill from Zimbabwe, worth only a few U.S. cents. The organizers capped acceptance speeches at exactly 60 seconds, with winners cut short by an 8-year-old girl repeating: “Please stop. I’m bored.”The ceremony also included the world premiere of The Broken Heart Opera, a musical that featured a gaggle of children attempting to build a mechanical heart, then breaking it, and—as the Bee Gees’s 1971 song “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart” played—eventually repairing it. The audience was also encouraged to participate in the ceremony by folding pages from the program into paper airplanes and launching them at the stage.last_img