The Nobel Prize recognizes the world’s most talented and innovative minds. Unfortunately, not all of the hopeful thinkers and academics around the globe can become Nobel laureates, but some are lucky enough to win the Ig Nobel Prize instead.
Drawn from the world’s wackiest actual research, The Ig Nobel Prizes demonstrates the extreme measures that people will take in the quest for knowledge, and pays tribute to those individuals whose achievements cannot—or should not—be reproduced. Recent Ig Nobel honorees include:
· The professor who proved that toast falls buttered side down more often than not
· The Southern Baptist Church of Alabama which devised a formula to determine how many Alabamans will go to hell
· The founder of the amusement park known as "Stalin World"
Featuring these endeavors and many more, The Ig Nobel Prizes is an entertaining exhibition of brains and determination.
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Marc Abrahams is the editor and cofounder of the science humor magazine Annals of Improbable Research (AIR), its online counterpart, Improbable.com, and the monthly e-newsletter mini-AIR. The founding father and master of ceremonies of the annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony at Harvard University, Abrahams has a degree in applied mathematics from Harvard. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.From Publishers Weekly:
Each year, the science humor magazine Annals of Improbable Research awards 10 Ig Nobel prizes to assorted scientists, professors and ordinary folk for their projects and accomplishments, some of which are "commendable-if perhaps goofy," and others simply baffling. Written by AIR editor Abrahams, this book entertainingly immortalizes dubious, but real, endeavors, such as the study of electric shock treatment's effects on rattlesnake bites; the proposition (from a Maharishi Univeristy faculty member) that meditation would reduce violent crime in Washington, DC; and the British Royal Navy's budget-driven directive to have its sailors shout "Bang!" instead of using live cannon shells. A list of past winners reveals that in 1991, Dan Quayle was honored with an Education Ig Nobel "for demonstrating, better than anyone else, the need for science education," and that in 1992, former L.A. police chief Daryl Gates (who was forced to resign in the wake of the Rodney King beating) was awarded a Peace Ig Nobel "for his uniquely compelling methods of bringing people together." Abrahams also describes the annual ceremony to honor these awardees-where Nobel Laureates are invited to bestow the prizes, paper airplanes are tossed from audience to stage and back, and 30-second limits on lectures are enforced by baseball umps ("Anyone who exceeded the time limit was thrown off the stage. This proved popular with the audience")-which has become a surprise hit. This is a delightfully weird little volume for those with an irreverent attitude toward accomplishment.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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