And though there's no category for research that could be greeted with a resounding "duh," the winners of this year's Ig Nobel Psychology Prize were a group of international scientists who confirmed that people who think they are drunk also think they are attractive. Their gobsmacking research was published in the prestigious British Journal of Psychology.
Among the highlights of this year's ceremony was the premiere of an original opera in four acts, "The Blonsky Device," which celebrates the work of George and Charlotte Blonsky. The couple was granted a U.S. patent in 1965 for a machine that would facilitate the birth of a child by centrifugal force. (The theme of this year's award ceremony was Force.)
The Blonskys' innovation featured a large circular table onto which a pregnant woman was strapped. Like a giant record player, the table — and its passengers — rotated at high speeds. For their invention (which was apparently never built, let alone used), the Blonskys were awarded an Ig Nobel in 1999.
The Ig Nobel award ceremony is, according to the playbill, "reluctantly inflicted upon you by the international science humor magazine Annals of Improbable Research (AIR)."
In fact, past awards have been just as off-the-wall as this year's, with a 2011 Ig Nobel Prize going to a duo of biologists who found that male beetles of a particular species tended to try to have sex with bottles of a particular brand of beer. That year, the Mathematics Prize went to several people who, oops, made doomsday predictions that failed to come true. And in 2010, a prize honored the discovery that fruit bats enjoy fellatio. Neuroscientists snagged an award in 2012 for finding brain activity in a dead salmon.
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