The IgNobel Prizes


Last week, the IgNobel prizes were awarded. In case you’ve missed the Clue Train to Geektown for the last umpteen years, the IgNobels are given out each year by the bimonthly scientific humor magazine Improbable Research to “ten achievements that make people laugh, then think.” What this means in a language other than Poignant Catchphrase is that the IgNobel awards go to scientific research that seems, on the face of it, bizarre or amusing.

This year the IgNobel team’s guffaws and deep thoughts concerned inventing a new way to collect whale snot, using slime mold to find the optimal configuration for railroad networks, wearing socks on the outside of one’s shoes, and research suggesting that bearded scientists are dangerous to themselves and their families, and much more.

For more brain-based belly-laughs of your own, view the complete list of this year’s winners at If you just can’t get enough nerdy coolness, you can even go to YouTube view the winners’ September 30 Walk of Shame at the Imperial College, London in the box at the top of this post. And if, while watching it, you need a program aka Road Map of Squaresville, has one here.

Yes! That’s right. There’s a scientific award given out for creating that special look of LOLWHUT on the faces of scientists! Confused scientists = Cash, fun and prizes! Or, at least, prizes, plus publication in that esteemed peer-reviewed scientific journal, YouTube.



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