September 18, 2023
And the winners are...
The 33rd First Annual Ig Nobel Prize ceremony honored 10 winners for conducting research into improbable ideas that make people laugh and, also, make them think. The awards “celebrate the unusual, honor the imaginative – and spur people’s interest in science, medicine, and technology.” The official mascot of the Ig Nobel Prize is “The Stinker,” a graphic of The Thinker toppled onto its back. This year, the winning research included:
Augmented Gustation Using Electricity won the Nutrition Prize. In a shocking bit of research, Professor Homei Miyashita and Associate Professor Hiromi Nakamura explored flavor and electrification. They explained, “Electric taste is the sensation elicited upon stimulating the tongue with electric current…Our method involves changing the taste of foods and drinks by using electric taste. First, we propose a system to drink beverages using straws that are connected to an electric circuit. Second, we propose a system to eat foods using a fork or chopsticks connected to an electric circuit.”
The The The The Induction Of Jamais Vu In The Laboratory: Word Alienation And Semantic Satiation received the Literature Prize. Fans of Ted Lasso are familiar with semantic sensation – when repetition causes a word to lose meaning. Chris Moulin, Nicole Bell, Merita Turunen, Arina Baharin, and Akira O’Connor, “…sought to document that the subjective experience of jamais vu can be produced in word alienation tasks, hypothesizing that déjà vu and jamais vu are similar experiential memory phenomena.” They had study participants write the same word over and over and over again, and documented the results.
Eating Fossils won the Chemistry and Geology Prize. In The Paleontology Association Newsletter No. 96, Professor Jan Zalasiewicz discussed why scientists lick rocks. “Wetting the surface allows fossil and mineral textures to stand out sharply, rather than being lost in the blur of intersecting micro-reflections and micro-refractions that come out of a dry surface…The taste, now, was likely merely registered as generically-slightly-dusty and then instantly forgotten; I had always thought it entirely superfluous to identification. But perhaps not so…”
The winners received Zimbabwean 10-trillion-dollar notes. (Relics from a period of hyperinflation in Zimbabwe.) Ig Nobel recipients’ 24/7 lectures, which include a complete technical description delivered in 24 seconds and a concise summary that anyone can understand in just seven words, are available on the Improbable Research website.
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https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2023-09-15/lehman-brothers-china-and-europe-feel-the-fallout-more-than-us (or go to https://resources.carsongroup.com/hubfs/WMC-Source/2023/09-18-23_Bloomberg_Happy%20Lehman%20Day%20to%20All%20Who%20Celebrate_2.pdf)
https://www.barrons.com/articles/uaw-strike-us-economy-recession-dfbe4e15?mod=hp_LEAD_1_B_2 (or go to https://resources.carsongroup.com/hubfs/WMC-Source/2023/09-18-23_Barrons_Actors%2c%20UPS%20and%20Now%20the%20UAW_5.pdf)