Comparing Jump Performances of Fleas and other Odd Research

October 7, 2008 (PLANSPONSOR (b)lines) - Did you know Coca-cola is an effective spermicide and fleas that live on a dog can jump higher than fleas that live on a cat?
By PS

Ever heard about such research findings and thought: “People get PAID to do this?” Well, you surely will when you read the list of winners of the Ig Nobel Prize, the annual award given by the Annals of Improbable Research magazine for oddball but sometimes practical scientific achievements.

And the winners are…

  • Nutrition: Massimiliano Zampini and Charles Spence for demonstrating that food tastes better when it sounds better (report from The Guardian ).
  • Peace: The Swiss Federal Ethics Committee on Non-Human Biotechnology and the citizens of Switzerland for adopting the legal principle that plants have dignity .
  • Archaeology: Astolfo Gomes de Mello Araujo and Jose Carlos Marcelino for showing armadillos can scramble the contents of an archaeological dig (report from Natural History ).
  • Biology: Marie-Christine Cadiergues, Christel Joubert and Michel Franc for discovering that fleas that live on a dog can jump higher than fleas that live on a cat.
  • Medicine: Dan Ariely for demonstrating that expensive fake medicine is more effective than cheap fake medicine (report in Stanford GSB News ).
  • Cognitive science: Toshiyuki Nakagaki, Hiroyasu Yamada, Ryo Kobayashi, Atsushi Tero, Akio Ishiguro and Agota Toth for discovering that slime molds can solve puzzles (report in Math in the Media ).
  • Economics: Geoffrey Miller, Joshua Tyber and Brent Jordan for discovering that exotic dancers earn more when at peak fertility.
  • Physics: Dorian Raymer and Douglas Smith for proving that heaps of string or hair will inevitably tangle .
  • Chemistry: Sheree Umpierre, Joseph Hill and Deborah Anderson for discovering that Coca-Cola is an effective spermicide , and C.Y. Hong, C.C. Shieh, P. Wu and B.N. Chiang for proving it is not (report at Snopes.com ).
  • Literature: David Sims for his study ” You Bastard : A Narrative Exploration of the Experience of Indignation within Organizations” (report from The Boston Globe ).

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