Wednesday, October 17, 2007

And those other awards...

And of course, they also announced this year's Ig nobel awards. I was most intrigued by the study cataloging the many critters that live in our beds, but have opted not to read it before bed in case of psychosomatic itching. The study into the adverse effects of sword swallowing is not bad either. Not quite as good as some of my past favorites: one study that shows our inability to notice a woman in a gorillas suit when we're focused on other things (2004 winner), and a cure for the hiccups that makes me grateful I have other tricks up my sleeve (2006 winner).
I also like the woodpecker study (2006 winner), though I learned of this first through Calla and didn't know it won an Ig nobel award. It turns out that woodpeckers have interesting muscular and skeletal adaptations that protect them from brain damage. AND, at least in the case of the pileated woodpecker, it turns out that they hammer their heads into trees, not to feed, but as a form of communication or territorial display. Calla's take on this was she no longer feels about telling it to shush when one wakes her up at 6:00 AM. And who says science isn't fun?

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