Ig® Nobel Limericks: Farting, Dead Fish, and Confounding Talk

The following is an article from The Annals of Improbable Research, now in all-pdf form. Get a subscription now for only $25 a year!

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 Ig Nobel website.

1998 Ig Nobel Literature Prize
The prize was awarded to Dr. Mara Sidoli of Washington, DC, for her illuminating report, “Farting as a Defence Against Unspeakable Dread.”

She speaks of unspeakable dread.
And what of said dread has she said?
Is there hope? Can you cope?
Should you mope? She says nope.
She’s imparting, try farting instead.

2012 Ig Nobel Acoustics Prize
The prize was awarded to Kazutaka Kurihara and Koji Tsukada for creating the SpeechJammer — a machine that disrupts a person’s speech, by making them hear their own spoken words at a very slight delay.

It repeats every word that you say,
But after a tiny delay.
A more irksome machine
Has never been seen.
It’s called SpeechJammer. Buy one today!

2012 Ig Nobel Neuroscience Prize
The prize was awarded to Craig Bennett, Abigail Baird, Michael Miller, and George Wolford, for demonstrating that brain researchers, by using complicated instruments and simple statistics, can see meaningful brain activity anywhere — even in a dead salmon.

In the paper that I have just read,
They examine, in salmon, the head.
From this, they explain
What goes on in the brain
Of the fish even after it’s dead.


This article is republished with permission from the January-February 2016 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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