For those of you who didn’t stay up late last night to watch the ceremony (what else you could have been doing that was of greater importance defies imagination), here are some of the winners of the 2012 Ig Nobels, the awards dedicated to scientists and inventors too stupid to realize how dopey their achievements are, yet too intelligent to get a real job and experience the life essence draining from your every pore day after day after day…
Psychology: Anita Eerland, Rolf Zwaan, and Tulio Guadalupe for their study “Leaning to the Left Makes the Eiffel Tower Seem Smaller.” Which is just what the Left wants you to think.
Acoustics: Kazutaka Kurihara and Koji Tsukada for the SpeechJammer, which disrupts a person’s speech by making them hear their own words spoken back at them on a slight delay. Just in time for the presidential debates!
Literature: The US Government General Accountability Office, for its “report about reports about reports that recommends the preparation of a report about the report about reports about reports.” How this differs from anything else the government does is beyond me.
Physics: Joseph Keller, Raymond Goldstein, Patrick Warren, and Robin Ball for “calculating the balance of forces that shape and move the hair in a human ponytail.” The Germans were working on something like this during the war, but thank goodness they failed to make sufficient progress.
Medicine: Emmanuel Ben-Soussan and Michel Antonietti “for advising doctors who perform colonoscopies how to minimize the chance that their patients will explode.” Which I hate, and please stop spreading the rumor that I don’t.
I should say that my entry, a 27th letter of the alphabet that can be used like the Joker in poker to prevent typos, failed to merit an award. But I’m not bitter.