The British are giving out a special version of the Nobel prize, called the IgNobel, for silly scientific research. Among the recent IgNobel winners are a scientist who researched belly button lint. Another award was given to scientists who showed how to measure the surface area of an elephant. An IgNobel was also awarded to researchers who translated dog barks into Japanese.

IgNobel organizer Mark Abrahams says, “These are all research projects that raise eyebrows. Some raise your eyebrows so much you can damage your face.” The IgNobels are given out by the science humor magazine Annals of Improbable Research, recognizing projects that “cannot, or should not, be reproduced.”

Charles Paxton, from the University of St. Andrews in the U.K., won the IgNobel for biology by studying the courtship behavior of ostriches. He discovered they became excited when humans approached their pens. “The ostriches were more interested in humans than they were in each other,” Charles Paxton says. His team was happy to win an IgNobel. He says, “We are all very proud.”

Other IgNobel winners were:

The IgNobel for Interdisciplinary Research, which went to Karl Kruszelnicki, of the University of Sydney, for studying belly button lint. He researched who gets it, how much, and what color it is.

The Chemistry IgNobel was given to an Illinois researcher who built a four-legged table based on the theme of the periodic table of elements.

The IgNobel for Mathematics was given to two Indian scientists discovered a new method for estimating the surface area of elephants.

The Literature IgNobel was given to two U.S. researchers who wrote a report on ?The Effects Of Pre-Existing Inappropriate Highlighting On Reading Comprehension,? meaning you may have problems with a used textbook if someone else has already used a yellow highlighter on it.

The IgNobel Peace Prize was given to a Japanese team that invented the Bow-Lingual, a device that translates a dog’s barks into Japanese.

The IgNobel award for Hygiene was given to Eduardo Segura, of Spain, for inventing a washing machine for cats and dogs (many pet owners don?t think that?s so silly).

The IgNobel for Economics was shared by twenty-eight companies for “adapting the mathematical concept of imaginary numbers for use in the business world.?

The IgNobel for Medicine was given to Chris McManus, of University College in London, who showed that ancient sculptures, men have a larger left testicle (while in nature, the reverse is true).

The Physics IgNobel went to Arnd Leike, of the University of Munich, who proved that beer foam obeys the mathematical Law of Exponential Decay. Mark Abrahams says, “He and a Nobel Laureate went out for a beer in Harvard Square before the ceremony to try to replicate the results.”

Some ideas may seem silly?until you hear experts talk about them on Dreamland. After that, they make a lot of sense. One example of this is Jose Arguilles, author of ?Time & Technosphere,? who was on Dreamland September 21 talking about how we should all adopt the Mayan calendar, because it will change the future, click here.

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