The Ig Nobel awards for 2008 have been announced. These awards are given by an organisation called Improbable Research and are designed to “make people laugh, and then make them think“. They do it in the real Nobel style, with the ceremonies and lectures.
From the website, some of the winners for 2008:
NUTRITION PRIZE: Massimiliano Zampini of the University of Trento, Italy and Charles Spence of Oxford University, UK, for electronically modifying the sound of a potato chip to make the person chewing the chip believe it to be crisper and fresher than it really is.
BIOLOGY PRIZE: Marie-Christine Cadiergues, Christel Joubert, and Michel Franc of Ecole Nationale Veterinaire de Toulouse, France for discovering that the fleas that live on a dog can jump higher than the fleas that live on a cat.
MEDICINE PRIZE: Dan Ariely of Duke University (USA), Rebecca L. Waber of MIT (USA), Baba Shiv of Stanford University (USA), and Ziv Carmon of INSEAD (Singapore) for demonstrating that high-priced fake medicine is more effective than low-priced fake medicine.