The Ig Nobel Prize is here again
Alcohol enemas can also make people intoxicated, why the contract is written in a roundabout way without speaking human words, how gossip is spread… Yes, it’s still a familiar smell—the 32nd “First Ig Nobel Prize” again It’s out!
In 2022, the performance of the Chinese team is very impressive. A team composed of Jiangsu University of Science and Technology and Strathclyde University won the Physics Prize for their research on “the benefits of ducklings rowing in line”. The research that won the Peace Prize – How gossip spreads, the corresponding author is from the Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences. In other respects, it is still the same old rules. It is still held online, paper airplanes are flown online, and the winners are still allowed to print PDFs to make trophies. The bonus is still a Zimbabwean currency (approximately RMB 1143.2) with a face value of 10 trillion yuan, which must be printed by the winners themselves. But this year is more casual. The organizer said that when you participate in the online awards, you can play with your mobile phone or eat. Let’s take a look at this year’s winning research!
Art Award: Alcohol enemas are also intoxicating
The research that won the Art Award this year has some taste but not all. Researchers have spotted various enema scenes consistently appearing on ancient Mayan pots, and they think it must represent some kind of ritual. Because some of the characters in the images were also found to have vomiting movements, combined with some anecdotal legends, the researchers believed that they were drinking through enemas. Anyway, the final state of drunkenness is the same… Research shows that they There may be some hallucinogenic substances in it. And I heard that one of the authors, Peter, even experienced an alcohol enema himself. Practice has proved that this method can indeed make people drunk.
Medicine Award: Eating ice cream is good for chemotherapy
This year’s medicine award went to a hot field – cancer treatment, but the method was to eat ice cream. The study focused on a common cancer treatment called hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. This method requires patients to receive ultra-high-dose radiotherapy or chemotherapy, sometimes in combination with other immunosuppressive drugs, to remove tumor cells and abnormal clone cells in the body, and then reinfuse hematopoietic stem cells collected from themselves or others to rebuild normal hematopoietic and Immune Function. It often leads to oral mucositis in patients. This study proved that low temperature can effectively prevent oral mucositis. Because hypothermia can reduce oral temperature, constrict blood vessels, and reduce the dose of drugs in contact with mucosal tissues. Scholars also wrote in the paper that we use ice cream for prevention, which is simple, easy to implement, cost-effective, and less burdensome to patients. Moreover, this finding is consistent with the conclusion that freezing prevents rhinitis.
Biology Award: Scorpions become constipated after docking their tails
This year’s Biology Awards paid attention to scorpions that dock their tails to survive. Unlike geckos, once a scorpion’s tail is cut off, it cannot regenerate. The broken part reaches 25% of the body weight, including the very important anal part. This causes some scorpions who eat too much to suffer from constipation problems. The researchers studied this situation in scorpions to find out whether tail docking affects their locomotor performance and other aspects.
The results showed that tail-docked male scorpions suffered from impaired top running speed, reduced motor performance, and even problems finding a mate. The female scorpion will not be affected too much. However, the researchers said the docked scorpion could die within a few months due to constipation. Studying the phenomenon that occurs in scorpions may help to understand the evolution of tail-interrupting survival patterns in nature.
Physics Award: There is a scientific basis for ducks paddling in line
This year’s Physics Prize was awarded to both teams. The first team is composed of scholars from Jiangsu University of Science and Technology and Strathclyde University, all of whom are from the School of Shipbuilding.
During the National Day last year, they published a paper called “Ducklings line up to ride the wind and waves”. The study developed a mathematical model to calculate the drag encountered by a flock of ducks paddling in formation. It was found that if the ducklings ride on the waves created by the mother’s paddling, drag is greatly reduced. And in the formation of a group of ducks, this situation of reducing resistance by riding waves will also be passed backwards. When the whole flock reaches an energy balance, no matter how big the flock is, the overall total resistance remains constant. The study believes that this may be the reason why ducks form a special formation to paddle, and it can provide a reference for cargo ship transportation, which may be a good way to save fuel.
Another winning group was the Symposium on Dynamics and Physiology of Animal Swimming. In 1994, they published a book called “Motion and Physiology of Animal Swimming” through Cambridge University Press. The award-winning research is the content of this book.
Peace Prize: True and False in Gossip
The Peace Prize went to research titled “Honesty and Lies in Gossip Strategies: A Fitness-Dependent Analysis.” The corresponding author is Wu Junhui, an assistant researcher at the Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences. His main research fields are: the psychological mechanism of trust and cooperation, social judgment and decision-making, and evolutionary social psychology. This study mainly talks about when people tell the truth and when they tell lies when spreading gossip. To this end, scholars have established an analytical model to calculate the fitness dependence among the gossipers, the gossipers, and the gossipers. It mainly depends on whether the gossip teller is telling the truth or not.
The results show that his honesty is related to the marginal benefit of spreading gossip. Simply understood, it is related to personal interests.
Literary Award: Real Hammer Legal Text Doesn’t Speak Human Words
Do you have a headache when you see the long speeches in the legal contract? Don’t beat yourself up, it’s not because you lack legal knowledge, it’s because it’s not human. The Ig Nobel Prize-winning team provides quantitative evidence for this. They analyzed a database of legal contracts and court documents from 2018 to 2020 and compared these legal documents with magazines and novels. They found that the biggest hindrance to comprehension in legal texts was not technical concepts, but poorly long sentences and the way they were written. These clauses always insert long clauses in the middle of the sentence, which will cause the key information of the main clause to be too far apart from each other, making the sentence difficult to understand and remember. Another reason is that legal contracts often use a lot of jargon that is not used at all in daily life. “Words in legal documents are more than twice as obscure as words in WSJ articles and 25 percent more obscure than words in academic journal articles,” the research team said.
Economics Prize: Success often belongs to the lucky
Success depends on luck! No kidding, the winning team has mathematically explained why success often comes not to the most talented, but to the luckiest. In their paper, they pointed out that the qualities that are generally believed to lead to great success, such as IQ, working hours, effort, etc., follow a normal distribution. However, the distribution of wealth follows a power law, that is, there are many poor people and very few super rich people. Through model analysis (but this model analysis is very simplified), it shows that the mysterious factor at work behind the scenes is just random luck. It’s not that nothing else matters, it’s just that talent and hard work are not enough if you don’t meet the right “luck” at the right time.
Engineering Award: How many fingers it takes to turn a knob
How many fingers do you use to spin the button? The engineering award-winning team from Japan produced 45 wooden test knobs ranging in size from 7mm to 130mm. A total of 32 students aged 19 to 20 participated in the test. What they had to do was to rotate each button clockwise with their right hands. They found that when the diameter of the rotary knob was 10mm-11mm, the number of fingers used by the subjects to turn the knob changed from 2 to 3; when the diameter was 23mm-26mm, the number of fingers used changed to 4; Up to 5 fingers to turn the knob. This observation is mainly for reference in industrial design, and the research team emphasizes the importance of good design for the rotary knob, especially when it needs to be used to control the instrument. For example, elderly people with disabilities can operate rotary knobs and faucet handles more easily than lever switches.
Applied Cardiology Award: Synchronization of Heartbeats During Heartbeats
At the moment of ambiguous heartbeat, the heartbeat between the two will also tend to be synchronized. 142 single men and women who have never met before, 2 people in pairs, entered the cabin to start a 4-minute dating first attempt. Everyone wears glasses that track gaze, detect heart rate and sweaty palms. After the event, 34% of women and 53% of men wanted to have a second date, but only 17% of the paired subjects had a two-way attraction, and they were willing to continue to develop and see each other. The test results showed that within 4 minutes, two physiological indicators of these sparked people also became synchronized: their heartbeats accelerated or slowed down at the same time, and the rise and fall of the skin conduction response also synchronized with the rise and fall of attractiveness. All of this happens quietly and uncontrollably. In contrast, overt behaviors such as smiling, gazing, or imitating gestures had little to do with whether or not attraction occurred.
Safety Engineering Award: Moose Model for Crash Testing
Moose-car accidents are common in Scandinavia. In Sweden alone, there are about 13 collisions between cars and moose every day, according to the Safety Engineering Award winner. Most of the car accidents were young calves. They were relatively light (1322 pounds, about 600 kilograms), and they had no mother moose to take care of them. Once a car crashes, it may kill them. To imitate the dummy test, the winners created a moose model for crash tests built with 116 rubber plates. Although it has no head, its density and quality imitate the state of a real moose. Then, having an old Volvo and a modern Saab, going at 72km/h and going at 92km/h, does a pretty good job of recreating a real moose crash.