The 2010 Ig Nobel Prizes were announced yesterday. The prizes are for achievements that make people laugh, and then make them think, which this year included research into whale snot, bat sex, and swearing.
They’re the ones who awarded the prize to the Emergency Bra we posted about just the other day.
Here are a few of this year’s winners.:
- PHYSICS PRIZE
Lianne Parkin, Sheila Williams, and Patricia Priest of the University of Otago, New Zealand, for demonstrating that, on icy footpaths in wintertime, people slip and fall less often if they wear socks on the outside of their shoes.
- PEACE PRIZE
Richard Stephens, John Atkins, and Andrew Kingston of Keele University, UK, for confirming the widely held belief that swearing relieves pain.
- CHEMISTRY PRIZE
Eric Adams of MIT, Scott Socolofsky of Texas A&M University, Stephen Masutani of the University of Hawaii, and BP [British Petroleum], for disproving the old belief that oil and water don’t mix.
- BIOLOGY PRIZE
Libiao Zhang, Min Tan, Guangjian Zhu, Jianping Ye, Tiyu Hong, Shanyi Zhou, and Shuyi Zhang of China, and Gareth Jones of the University of Bristol, UK, for scientifically documenting fellatio in fruit bats.
The 10-month-old porker is known by villagers as “Zhu Jianqiang” (Strong-willed Pig) after it was born with only two front legs and learned to balance on them well enough to walk.
According to its owner, Wang Xihai, it was one of nine piglets born in a litter this January.
He said: “My wife asked me to dump it but I refused as it’s a life. I thought I should give it a chance to survive and unexpectedly it survived healthy.”
Several days after its birth Wang decided to train the two-legged piglet to walk by lifting it up by its tail.
He said: “I trained her for a while each day. After 30 days she can now walk upside down quite well.”
Wang said since the birth of the pig, which currently weighs 50kg (110lbs), his home has been besieged by visitors.
A circus even offered to buy for the pig for a large sum but Wang refused to sell.
He said “She proved to us that no matter what form life is it should continue to live on. I won’t sell it no matter how much the offer is.”
If the villagers get hungry he might have to learn to walk on one leg.
Film maker, storm chaser, and volcano hunter Geoff Mackley and his team rapelled 500 vertical meters (1,640 feet) into the Marum Volcano on Ambrym Island in Vanuatu to the very edge of a huge lake of violently boiling lava.
A Swiss van driver and his vehicle had to be rescued by helicopter after his GPS sent him up a remote mountain footpath.
Driver Robert Ziegler, 37, found himself stranded near the peak at Bergun, Switzerland, unable to go forward or turn around to go back the way he came.
Rescue workers scrambled a heavy lifting helicopter to carry the van and its driver to safety after he dialed for help on his mobile phone.
“I was lost and I kept hoping that each little turn would get me back to the main road. In the end it told me to turn around but of course I couldn’t by then,” the driver told police.
A fire brigade spokesman explained: “He claims he didn’t see any footpath signs but he must have been a pretty fair driver to get that far up a glorified goat track.”
[Ctrl] +  to  – jump to tab numbers 1 to 8 or last tab (9)
Rather than scrolling through all your open tabs, you can quickly navigate to a specific tab if you know its position. For example, clicking [Ctrl] +  will open to tab number 4 (from the left). With [Ctrl] +  you will jump to the very last tab, no matter how many you have open.
[Ctrl] + mouse wheel – change font size
With the new generation high resolution screens we often find that text on websites is way too small to read properly. Here is a little trick that can quickly increase the font size for better reading.
While you hold down the control key, move your mousewheel to increase or decrease the font size in Firefox. This will also work in other programs, for example Word.
This is also very useful for making a website fit your window size, rather than to adapt the browser window.
[F11] – toggle full screen
Quickly change into full screen mode.
[SHIFT] + [Del] – bypass Recycle Bin
Selecting a file and pressing the combination above will invoke a delete confirmation dialog. Clicking ‘Yes’ will delete the file without sending it to the Recycle Bin.
[Windows] + [D] – show desktop or restore open windows
This is the keyboard shortcut to the respective quick launch taskbar icon.
Here’s Thursday’s caption contest. We’ll award the prize of a full copy of Notifier2 to the person who has the best caption. Note: Be sure you have your correct email address on your comment data. If it’s not correct we can’t notify you if you win.
Notifier2 allows you to check multiple email accounts (google, yahoo, hotmail) and affiliate (adsense, admob, cafepress, sitemeter….) accounts in one nifty little program on Windows. More info.
Thursday’s winner was CLH. Thursday’s contest
Walking into glass doors
There I was is sitting at the bar staring at my drink when a large, trouble-making biker steps up next to me, grabs my drink and gulps it down in one swig.
“Well, whatcha gonna do about it?” he says, menacingly, as I burst into tears.
“Come on, man,” the biker says, “I didn’t think you’d CRY. I can’t stand to see a man crying. “
“This is the worst day of my life,” I say. “I’m a complete failure. I was late to a meeting and my boss fired me. When I went to the parking lot, I found my car had been stolen and I don’t have any insurance. I left my wallet in the cab I took home. I found my old lady in bed with the gardener and then my dog bit me.”
“So I came to this bar to work up the courage to put an end to it all, I buy a drink, I drop a capsule in and sit here watching the poison dissolve; then you, you jack-ass, show up and drink the whole thing!
But enough about me, how’s your day going?”