I went back 5 years and looked through the awards that had been presented, and here is just a sampling of some of the studies that I found. All of this information is directly quoted from the Ig Nobel website....
2005 Ig Nobel
-- PHYSICS: "...for patiently conducting an experiment that began in the year 1927 -- in which a glob of congealed black tar has been slowly, slowly dripping through a funnel, at a rate of approximately one drop every nine years." Why?
-- MEDICINE: "...for inventing Neuticles -- artificial replacement testicles for dogs, which are available in three sizes, and three degrees of firmness." Really? Is this something dogs are worried about?
-- PEACE: "...for electrically monitoring the activity of a brain cell in a locust while that locust was watching selected highlights from the movie 'Star Wars.'" Oh for Pete's sake!
-- ECONOMICS: "...for inventing an alarm clock that runs away and hides, repeatedly, thus ensuring that people DO get out of bed, and thus theoretically adding many productive hours to the workday." Yeah - by the time I caught the little bastard I would have to replace a window because I'm positive that I would turn it into a record breaking fast ball just before I curled back up under the covers.
-- CHEMISTRY: "...for conducting a careful experiment to settle the longstanding scientific question: can people swim faster in syrup or in water?" I am no chemist or physicist, but I am pretty sure they could have paid me the sum total of the cost of this study and I could have given them the answer they sought.
-- FLUID DYNAMICS: "...for using basic principles of physics to calculate the pressure that builds up inside a penguin..." Right....I'm sure that THIS is a huge concern to the penguins of the world.
2006 Ig Nobel
-- ORNITHOLOGY: "...for exploring and explaining why woodpeckers don't get headaches." Is this a normal complaint by woodpeckers?
-- NUTRITION: "...for showing that dung beetles are finicky eaters." Does anyone really care? I mean they eat shit...how finicky can they really be?
2007 Ig Nobel
-- MEDICINE: "...for their penetrating medical report 'Sword Swallowing and Its Side Effects.'" Unless you were raised by a parent who didn't tell you to not run with scissors, couldn't a general practitioner pretty easily explain the side effects?
-- PHYSICS: "...for studying how sheets become wrinkled." Ummm...because I sleep in them? That was easy, I'm still awaiting my check on this one.
-- LINGUISTICS: "...for showing that rats sometimes cannot tell the difference between a person speaking Japanese backwards and a person speaking Dutch backwards." I must be as brilliant as a rat (not to mention significantly better looking) because, though I've never been tested in this fashion, I'm pretty sure that I wouldn't be able to tell the difference either!
-- AVIATION: "...for their discovery that Viagra aids jetlag recoveryin hamsters." How many jet lagged hamsters are there in the world that would make this a significant breakthrough in the aviation industry? And, are the doctors travelling with them so that if their erections last longer than 4 hours they can get immediate medical attention?
2008 Ig Nobel
-- PEACE PRIZE. "...for adopting the legal principle that plants have dignity." Is there any surprise in the fact that this study was conducted by the lovely folks in Switzerland? Yeah, I didn't think so either.
-- BIOLOGY PRIZE. "...for discovering that the fleas that live on a dog can jump higher than the fleas that live on a cat." Unless they are going to assist their related countries in the Olympic long jump competitions, I don't get it. I mean do dogs or cats really care (or notice) how high their fleas are jumping?
-- ECONOMICS PRIZE. "...for discovering that professional lap dancers earn higher tips when they are ovulating." Yeah...it's called masochism...on a related note, being bitchy is as much a turn....trust me...I turn myself on on a daily basis! =)
-- PHYSICS PRIZE. "...for proving mathematically that heaps of string or hair or almost anything else will inevitably tangle themselves up in knots." Really? That explains a lot of what's going on with my hair....I really need to get about donating it!
2009 Ig Nobel
-- PEACE PRIZE: "...for determining — by experiment — whether it is better to be smashed over the head with a full bottle of beer or with an empty bottle." Now this is a study I could have gotten behind...I'd love to be ringside in the bar where they conducted this study......Me thinks this was put together by a bunch of bored frat boys! =)
-- PHYSICS PRIZE: "...for analytically determining why pregnant women don't tip over." Well, I can safely say that whatever that reason, I'm glad mom stayed upright...who knows the kind of bullshit y'all would be subjected to had she tipped over during the course of her pregnancy with me. =) Muwahahaha
2010 Ig Nobel
-- TRANSPORTATION PLANNING PRIZE: "...for using slime mold to determine the optimal routes for railroad tracks." Oh *gag*....hopefully this study would have been conducted while I was watching a bunch of idiots beat each other over the head with beer bottles in 2009! Oblivion suits me perfectly sometimes! =)
-- PHYSICS PRIZE: "...for demonstrating that, on icy footpaths in wintertime, people slip and fall less often if they wear socks on the outside of their shoes." No shit?!!?
-- PEACE PRIZE: "...for confirming the widely held belief that swearing relieves pain." Well that explains a lot! =) Since I am pretty sure I could swear a sailor under the table on a good day, when I am in pain I could bury him! =)
-- BIOLOGY PRIZE: "...for scientifically documenting fellatio in fruit bats." My word! The new thing coming to an internet near you....Fruit Bat Porn!
Have a studious day my friends!
Jewell =) xo