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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?