Ig® Nobel Limericks: Execution, Hang Length, and Beakers

Ig Nobel Achievements distilled into limerick form
by Martin Eiger, Improbable Research Limerick Laureate

The Ig Nobel Prizes honor achievements that first make people laugh, then make them think. For details of all the Ig Nobel Prize–winning achievements, see each year’s special Ig Nobel issue of the magazine, and also see the website.

1998 Ig Nobel Statistics Prize

(Image credit: Flickr user Hairy Razor)

The prize was awarded to Jerald Bain of Mt. Sinai Hospital in Toronto and Kerry Siminoski of the University of Alberta for their carefully measured report, “The Relationship Among Height, Penile Length, and Foot Size.” [Published in Annals of Sex Research, vol. 6, no. 3, 1993, pp. 231-5.]

They looked at Moes, Curlys, and Larrys.
They studied some Toms, Dicks, and Harrys.
They measured the size
Of parts of these guys.
Two stay fixed over time, while one varies.

1994 Ig Nobel Chemistry Prize


tt(Image credit: Flickr user zhouxuan12345678)

The prize was awarded to Texas State Senator Bob Glasgow, wise writer of logical legislation, for sponsoring the 1989 drug control law which makes it illegal to purchase beakers, flasks, test tubes, or other laboratory glassware without a permit.

In Texas, the threat, Mr. Speaker,
We’re dealing with couldn’t be bleaker.
We ought to compel
A license to sell
A test tube, a flask, or a beaker.






1997 Ig Nobel Peace Prize





(Image credit: Lee Honeycutt)


Harold Hillman of the University of Surrey, England for his lovingly rendered and ultimately peaceful report “The Possible Pain Experienced During Execution by Different Methods.” [Published in Perception 1993, vol 22, pp. 745- 53.]

If you’re hanged, if you’re pumped full of lead,
If you’re speared, if they chop off your head,
If you’re poisoned or gassed,
If high voltage is passed,
Does it hurt right before you are dead?

coverThis article is republished with permission from the March-April 2012 issue of the Annals of Improbable Research. You can download or purchase back issues of the magazine, or subscribe to receive future issues. Or get a subscription for someone as a gift!

Visit their website for more research that makes people LAUGH and then THINK.


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