Ig Nobel Prizes awarded to scientists studying oral sex in animals, curse words

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Curse words

The other day, I posted a story about the bra that can be used as a gas mask, which had just won an Ig Nobel Prize. I might have held off on telling you about that if I had seen the full list of this year's honorees, which all won the "joke" version of the world's highest honor (with the exception of a knighthood*) for "achievements that first make people laugh, and then make them think."

You will laugh — but probably not think too hard — about some of this year's champions. Among them are science-y types who

-discovered that asthma symptoms abate with a roller-coaster ride

-showed mathematically that organizations would become more efficient if they promoted people at random

-confirmed that swearing relieves pain

-demonstrated that microbes cling to beards

-scientifically documented oral sex between fruit bats [proving that humans aren't the only ones who do it] [via Mother Nature Network]

Best of all, perhaps, was an award to BP (yes, that BP) for "for disproving the old belief that oil and water don't mix." Zing.

*Even knighthoods are getting to be a joke these days. Sir Tom Jones? Who's next, Sir Boy George?