Ig Noble

Good afternoon fellow toastmasters and guests. A grand welcome to Annual Nobel Prize ceremony 2014. Without wasting much of your time I would like to take you straight to the prize distribution ceremony.

This year’s Nobel for…

PHYSICS PRIZE [JAPAN]: Kiyoshi Mabuchi, Kensei Tanaka, Daichi Uchijima and Rina Sakai, for measuring the amount of friction between a shoe and a banana skin, and between a banana skin and the floor, when a person steps on a banana skin that’s on the floor.

NEUROSCIENCE PRIZE [CHINA, CANADA]: Jiangang Liu, Jun Li, Lu Feng, Ling Li, Jie Tian, and Kang Lee, for trying to understand what happens in the brains of people who see the face of Jesus in a piece of toast.

PUBLIC HEALTH PRIZE [CZECH REPUBLIC, JAPAN, USA, INDIA]: Jaroslav Flegr, Jan Havlíček and Jitka Hanušova-Lindova, and to David Hanauer, Naren Ramakrishnan, Lisa Seyfried, for investigating whether it is mentally hazardous for a human being to own a cat.

MEDICINE PRIZE [USA, INDIA]: Ian Humphreys, Sonal Saraiya, Walter Belenky and James Dworkin, for treating “uncontrollable” nosebleeds, using the method of nasal-packing-with-strips-of-cured-pork.

ARCTIC SCIENCE PRIZE [NORWAY, GERMANY, USA, CANADA]: Eigil Reimers and Sindre Eftestøl, for testing how reindeer react to seeing humans who are disguised as polar bears.
Ahhh why do you all look so perplexed? Ohhh wait did I say Nobel Prize before no, no, I meant Ig Nobel Prize 2014.

Since 1991 the magazine “Annals of Improbable Research” have been organizing the Ig Nobel Awards. The ceremony is co sponsored by Harvard Radcliffe Society for Physic Students and the Harvard Radcliffe Science Fiction Association. Each year in September a gall is organized in Harvard Sanders Hall where ten prizes are given to research work from around the world. Research work which would make you Smile, then think. The Ig Nobel is intended to celebrate the unusual, honor the imaginative, to spur people’s interest in science, medicine, and technology. The awardees are presented with an Ig Nobel Trophy by Nobel laureates, a piece of paper signed by Nobel laureates accrediting the research and 5 trillion dollars in cash. Well that’s 5 trillion Zimbabwe dollars. Zimbabwe has so much inflation that their central bank actually prints 5, 10, 50 trillion dollars bank notes. Also keeping with the spirits of quirk each year the Ig Nobel trophy designed base on that years theme for the awards. This year the theme was food and so the trophy was designed as a bottle of ketchup on a dish fixed to a black pantry tray with fork and knife. They are always imaginative with the trophies one year they just handed out a big piece of rock to the awardees. After the award distribution each awardee is asked to explain his research in one minute. In case they go longer a sweet little girl comes up to the stage and starts shouting “Please Stop I am Bored” till they actually stop their presentation. Similarly after the Ig Noble awardees are done the Noble laureates are asked to give full technical description of their work in 24 seconds and summarize it in 7 words.
On a serious note, do you think the research work mentioned before was just silly. Well if you look beyond the quirky exterior, the core of is extremely important for mankind. Take this years award for the arctic sciences which goes to the study of reaction of reindeers to men dressed are polar bears. With human so closely co habituating with wildlife wouldn’t it be of any relevance to us to study the effects of human habitation on wildlife.

Ig Nobel brings a ray of hope for me, for once I can actually hope to achieve something nearly Nobel in life. My friends and my parents especially say that I am very lazy. I am actually collecting evidence and doing statistical analysis of the patience and perseverance it takes for me to do nothing at all. I hope once I am done with this research you would definitely nominate me for the Ig Nobles.

There is so much more that is worth mentioning about Ig Noble but time is a big constraint today. Google Ig Nobel and you can enjoy the full video of this event or past events on their official website and also on YouTube. I can guarantee you some laughs, if not enlightenment to you.

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