This year’s winners of the coveted Ig Nobel awards have been announced, and of course the medical category has a deserving winner.
The prize in medicine was awarded to Brian Witcombe from the United Kingdom and Dan Meyer from the United States for their study on the “Side Effects of Sword Swallowing,” described by Witcombe as the meeting of a researcher on swallowing disorders and the world’s greatest sword swallower. Meyer gave a nerve-wracking live demonstration of his infamous sword-swallowing abilities following their acceptance speech.
The Wright Lab of the U.S. Air Force received the peace prize for their “make love not war” research and development of a “Gay bomb” designed to make enemy soldiers sexually irresistible to each other. Also with love on their minds, Patricia V. Agostino, Santiago A. Plano, and Diego A. Golombek from Argentina received the prize in aviation for their discovery that Viagra aids jet lag recovery in hamsters.
Johanna E.M.H. van Bronswijk succeeded in making various audience members squirm with her biology prize-winning census on mites, spiders, insects, psuedoscorpians, crustaceans, bacteria, algae, ferns, fungi, and other things with whom people share their bed at night. Van Bronswijk proceeded to explain in excruciating and uncomfortable detail the mites currently crawling in the seat cushions of the Sanders Theatre and left everyone with the reminder that “you never sleep alone.”