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posted by martyb on Friday September 10, @01:17PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the something-that-makes-people-LAUGH,-then-THINK dept.

The 2021 Ig Nobel Prize Winners:

(Heavily elided — see source for journal references, authors, ceremony participants, and more.--Ed.)

BIOLOGY PRIZE - variations in purring, chirping, chattering, trilling, tweedling, murmuring, meowing, moaning, squeaking, hissing, yowling, howling, growling, and other modes of cat–human communication.

ECOLOGY PRIZE - genetic analysis to identify the different species of bacteria that reside in wads of discarded chewing gum stuck on pavements in various countries.

CHEMISTRY PRIZE - chemically analysing the air inside movie theatres, to test whether the odours produced by an audience reliably indicate the levels of violence, sex, antisocial behaviour, drug use, and bad language in the movie the audience is watching.

ECONOMICS PRIZE - the obesity of a country's politicians may be a good indicator of that country's corruption.

MEDICINE PRIZE - sexual orgasms can be as effective as decongestant medicines at improving nasal breathing.

PEACE PRIZE - humans evolved beards to protect themselves from punches to the face.

PHYSICS PRIZE - why pedestrians do not constantly collide with other pedestrians.

KINETICS PRIZE - why pedestrians do sometimes collide with other pedestrians.

ENTOMOLOGY PRIZE - A New Method of Cockroach Control on Submarines.

TRANSPORTATION PRIZE - for determining by experiment whether it is safer to transport an airborne rhinoceros upside-down.

The entire 1h30m presentation is available on YouTube.


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  • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Friday September 10, @02:06PM

    This year's looks like a classic list, on the face of it from the summary one of the funniest I remember. Alas I have duties now, so will watch the vid later and comment further after that. Thanks, submitter!

    Although I was hoping that geckos landing on trees face first would win...
    Paper: https://www.nature.com/articles/s42003-021-02378-6
    Lengthy punditry: https://scitechdaily.com/these-incredible-geckos-crash-land-on-rainforest-trees-but-dont-fall-thanks-to-their-tails/
    --
    I know I'm God, because every time I pray to him, I find I'm talking to myself.
  • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Friday September 10, @02:20PM (8 children)

    by Freeman (732) on Friday September 10, @02:20PM (#1176620) Journal

    I wonder what the thought process was behind the decision to try the upside-down rhinoceros transportation.

    TRANSPORTATION PRIZE - for determining by experiment whether it is safer to transport an airborne rhinoceros upside-down.

    --
    Forced Microsoft Account for Windows Login → Switch to Linux.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 10, @03:14PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 10, @03:14PM (#1176646)

      I can envision a few concerns. If the rhino is incapacitated, then trying to get it erect in slings or similar might be difficult, and put stress on its torso, while suspending it by its feet/legs may actually be a less damaging approach, conceivably.

      But this is without having read the paper, so it's just off the cuff.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 11, @07:48PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 11, @07:48PM (#1177069)

        Some large animals have trouble breathing when carried in a sling, which can be dangerous if they are sedated. This one and the cockroach control both look like useful and thus worthwhile contributions.

    • (Score: 4, Funny) by rufty on Friday September 10, @03:30PM (1 child)

      by rufty (381) on Friday September 10, @03:30PM (#1176651)

      I wonder what the thought process was behind the decision to try the upside-down rhinoceros transportation.

      Tequila!

      • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Friday September 10, @04:32PM

        by Freeman (732) on Friday September 10, @04:32PM (#1176682) Journal

        Sad thing is, I wouldn't be surprised.

        --
        Forced Microsoft Account for Windows Login → Switch to Linux.
    • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 10, @04:29PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 10, @04:29PM (#1176678)

      Aerial translocation of captured black rhinoceroses (Diceros bicornis) has been accomplished by suspending them by their feet. We expected this posture would compromise respiratory gas exchange more than would lateral recumbency. Because white rhinoceroses (Ceratotherium simum) immobilized with etorphine alone are hypermetabolic, with a high rate of carbon dioxide production (VCO2), we expected immobilized black rhinoceroses would also have a high VCO2. Twelve (nine male, three female; median age 8 yr old [range: 4–25]; median weight 1,137 kg [range: 804–1,234] body weight) wild black rhinoceroses were immobilized by aerial darting with etorphine and azaperone. The animals were in lateral recumbency or suspended by their feet from a crane for approximately 10 min before data were collected. Each rhinoceros received both treatments sequentially, in random order. Six were in lateral recumbency first and six were suspended first. All animals were substantially hypoxemic and hypercapnic in both postures. When suspended by the feet, mean arterial oxygen pressure (PaO2) was 42 mm Hg, 4 mm Hg greater than in lateral recumbency (P=0.030), and arterial carbon dioxide pressure (PaCO2) was 52 mm Hg, 3 mm Hg less than in lateral recumbency (P=0.016). Tidal volume and minute ventilation were similar between postures. The mean VCO2 was 2 mL/kg/min in both postures and was similar to, or marginally greater than, VCO2 predicted allometrically. Suspension by the feet for 10 min did not impair pulmonary function more than did lateral recumbency and apparently augmented gas exchange to a small degree relative to lateral recumbency. The biological importance in these animals of numerically small increments in PaO2 and decrements in PaCO2 with suspension by the feet is unknown. Black rhinoceroses immobilized with etorphine and azaperone were not as hypermetabolic as were white rhinoceroses immobilized with etorphine.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 10, @05:01PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 10, @05:01PM (#1176708)

      Actually this one may be the most scientific paper of all those, rhinos are heavy and when transported by helis, the net pressures too much the thoracic case and rhinos have difficulty to breath and if long travels, they can even die... so this was a test to see if transporting them upside down would release the thorax and let then breath better. Notice that they are sleeping in both cases

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 10, @07:40PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 10, @07:40PM (#1176768)
      If I had a lot of money and needed to transport an injured rhino I might consider partially suspending it in a thermoregulated special liquid solution for buoyancy and other qualities (e.g. disinfection etc).

      I'd use a harness too of course to stop it from moving too much or drowning.
    • (Score: 3, Informative) by Magic Oddball on Friday September 10, @09:18PM

      by Magic Oddball (3847) on Friday September 10, @09:18PM (#1176798) Journal

      There's an interesting BBC article [bbc.com] explaining that it's because caretakers in Africa periodically have to relocate endangered rhinos for breeding purposes, and they wished to know which method was the best for the rhino's health. Upside-down by the ankles turned out to be the best option, because the rhino's weight made it harder for the animal to breathe if lying down or suspended by its chest.

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by looorg on Friday September 10, @03:07PM (1 child)

    by looorg (578) on Friday September 10, @03:07PM (#1176641)

    The sad, or funny, part is that a lot of these IG papers are better or more interesting then a lot of normal or "serious" papers.

    • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Friday September 10, @04:45PM

      by DeathMonkey (1380) on Friday September 10, @04:45PM (#1176691) Journal

      Zoos and conservation orgs that need to transport Rhinos exist. Knowing the best way to move them around without killing them does not seem ignoble to me in the first place....

  • (Score: 2) by hubie on Friday September 10, @04:37PM

    by hubie (1068) on Friday September 10, @04:37PM (#1176688) Journal

    The paper [oup.com] is open access. Unfortunately, the experiments turned out to be whacking bone surrogates covered and uncovered by sheep wool for their experiment. I somehow was picturing something a bit more colorful, perhaps set in an Irish pub or something.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Corelli's A on Friday September 10, @05:05PM

    by Corelli's A (1772) on Friday September 10, @05:05PM (#1176715)

    I sometimes gripe about sloppy summaries, so I'd like to balance that a bit by saying "Thank you!" for this concise summary. No fluff, no sic-disease, all meat.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by ilsa on Friday September 10, @05:08PM

    by ilsa (6082) Subscriber Badge on Friday September 10, @05:08PM (#1176716)

    I have to say, as silly as some of them sound, if you think about it they could prove to be extremely valuable!

  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 10, @06:41PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 10, @06:41PM (#1176748)

    For the ig noblest experiment in self governance we've got a close race between Oklahoma and Texas!

    https://apnews.com/article/oklahoma-oklahoma-city-medicaid-71b615efeb283e12c0cdd79a230b7df5 [apnews.com]

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 10, @07:43PM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 10, @07:43PM (#1176769)
    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by tangomargarine on Friday September 10, @11:12PM (1 child)

      by tangomargarine (667) on Friday September 10, @11:12PM (#1176824)

      Subject: orgasm

      https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10955182/ [nih.gov] [nih.gov]

      Gee, can you be a bit more vague?

      Case report: sexual intercourse as potential treatment for intractable hiccups

      --
      "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
      • (Score: 2) by stretch611 on Saturday September 11, @02:16AM

        by stretch611 (6199) Subscriber Badge on Saturday September 11, @02:16AM (#1176862)

        Well, if they are seeking people for trial tests, I would be willing to sign up.

        --
        I think; therefore, I am vaccinated.
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