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Researches On Voodoo Dolls And Roller Coaster For Kidney Stones Among Winners Of 2018 Ig Nobel Prize

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Marc Mitchell and David Wartinger won the Ig Nobel Prize for Medicine this year. In his acceptance speech, Wartinger described how their research was inspired by a patient who was so convinced that he passed kidney stones after riding a roller coaster.  ( Paul Brennan | Pixabay )

The winners of the 2018 Ig Nobel Prize have been awarded at the 28th First Annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony. The researches ranged from the mildly amusing to genuinely bewildering.

‘Laugh Then Think’

What makes scientific curiosity great? A researcher may focus on the cosmos or on Earth and the environment, but one may also look at the impact of using voodoo dolls on abusive bosses or have a close look at the caloric value of human cannibalism.

Since 1991, the gag journal The Annals of Improbable Research has been honoring the researches that make people “laugh then think,” and this year’s winners were honored at a ceremony held at Harvard’s Sanders Theater last Sept. 13.

2018 Ig Nobel Prize Winners

For the Medicine Prize, the research on riding roller coasters to help the passage of kidney stones took the prize, while the Anthropology category winner provided evidence on how chimpanzees imitate humans just as often as humans imitate them. For Biology, the winning research demonstrated how wine experts can detect a single fly in a glass of wine using merely the sense of smell, while the research on the effectiveness of using human saliva for cleaning won the Chemistry category.

Meanwhile, the Medical Education prize winners had a closer look on self-colonoscopy methods while the Reproductive Medicine winners used postage stamps to detect erections. The Literature, Nutrition, and Peace prizes respectively focused on people who use complicated products without reading the manual, the lower caloric value of human cannibalism compared to traditional meat diets, and road rage patterns.

Last but certainly not the least, the Economics Prize winners investigated employees’ use of voodoo dolls in order to retaliate against abusive bosses.

Winners in previous years included researches on whether cats can be both solid and liquid, the effects of having contact with a crocodile on a person’s willingness to gamble, and on what would happen if a person walks backwards while carrying a cup of coffee.

Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony

This year’s winners of the Nobel Prize parody came from all around the world, from the United States to Colombia, Egypt, Australia, the UK, France, and Japan. Some of the winners sent recordings of their acceptance speeches while others personally accepted the prize from “genuinely bemused” Nobel Laureates.

The event also included a pre-ceremony concert, lectures, the premiere of mini opera “The Broken Heart Opera,” and two paper airplane deluge periods.

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