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Thomas Thwaites, left, prepares to speak after receiving the Ig Nobel prize in biology from Nobel laureate Eric Maskin (economics, 2007) during ceremonies at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass., Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016. Thwaites, of the United Kingdom, won for creating prosthetic extensions of his limbs that allowed him to move like and to roam in the company of goats. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer). VOA

September 23, 2016: Not to be confused with the august Nobel Prize, Thursday night saw the awarding of this year’s Ig Nobel Awards, which are given to scientific studies that “make people laugh, and then think.”

While the studies are certainly offbeat, the science is real, but the awards are intended to “celebrate the unusual, honour the imaginative — and spur people’s interest in science, medicine, and technology.”


Here are the 2016 winners, awarded Thursday at Harvard University’s Sanders Theater:

The Reproduction Prize went to the late Ahmed Shafik of Egypt, for studying the effects of wearing polyester, cotton, or wool trousers on the sex life of rats, and for conducting similar tests with human males.

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His 1993 paper documented that rats who wore polyester or polyester-cotton blend pants were less sexually active than those who wore cotton or wool pants or conformed to rat norms and wore no garments of any kind. The paper suggested that “electrostatic fields” created by polyester pants could play a role in impotence.


Ig Nobel Award. Youtube

The Economics Prize went to the British and New Zealand team of Mark Avis, Sarah Forbes, and Shelagh Ferguson, for assessing the perceived personalities of rocks, from a sales and marketing perspective.

The Physics Prize went to an international team (Gábor Horváth, Miklós Blahó, György Kriska, Ramón Hegedüs, Balázs Gerics, Róbert Farkas, Susanne Åkesson, Péter Malik, and Hansruedi Wildermuth), for discovering why white-haired horses are the most horsefly-proof horses, and for discovering why dragonflies are fatally attracted to black tombstones.

German company Volkswagen took the Chemistry Prize for solving the problem of excessive automobile pollution emissions by automatically, electromechanically producing fewer emissions… whenever the cars are being tested.

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The Medicine Prize went to Germany’s Christoph Helmchen, Carina Palzer, Thomas Münte, Silke Anders, and Andreas Sprenger, for discovering that if you have an itch on the left side of your body, you can relieve it by looking into a mirror and scratching the right side of your body (and vice versa).

https://twitter.com/ajs/status/779329987753172994

The international team of Evelyne Debey, Maarten De Schryver, Gordon Logan, Kristina Suchotzki, and Bruno Verschuere won the Psychology Prize for asking a thousand liars how often they lie, and for deciding whether to believe those answers.

The American-Canadian team of Gordon Pennycook, James Allan Cheyne, Nathaniel Barr, Derek Koehler, and Jonathan Fugelsang took the Peace Prize for their scholarly study called “On the Reception and Detection of Pseudo-Profound Bulls–t”.

Two Brits shared the Biology Prize. Charles Foster was honored for living in the wild as, at different times, a badger, an otter, a deer, a fox, and a bird; and Thomas Thwaites, for creating prosthetic extensions of his limbs that allowed him to move in the manner of goats, and spend three days roaming hills in the company of a herd.

Sweden’s Fredrik Sjöberg took the Literature Prize for his three-volume autobiographical work about the pleasures of collecting flies that are dead, and flies that are not yet dead.

Japan’s Atsuki Higashiyama and Kohei Adachi won the Perception Prize for investigating whether things look different when you bend over and view them between your legs.

The Ig Nobel prizes were first awarded in 1991 to highlight bad science, but evolved into their current form over time.

Winners reportedly win $10 trillion in cash, paid out in a Zimbabwean currency that was abandoned in 2009.


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Tokyo Olympics 2020 Indian wrestler Ravi Kumar enter semi finals.

Indian wrestler Ravi Kumar (57kg) and Deepak Punia (86kg) enjoyed fruitful outings at the Tokyo Olympic Games as they secured semifinal berths in their respective weight categories at the Makuhari Messe on Wednesday.

On the opening day of the wrestling competition, Ravi Kumar defeated Bulgaria's Georgi Vangelov 14-4 on technical superiority to reach the last-four in the men's 57kg category, while compatriot Deepak Punia overcame China's Zushen Lin 6-3 on points to advance to the semifinals.

Ravi Kumar will take on Nurislam Sanayev of Kazakhstan in the last-four, while Punia will be up against David Morris Taylor of the USA.

Earlier, Ravi Kumar had won his opening-round bout by technical superiority against Colombia's Oscar Tigreros to secure a quarterfinal spot. Competing in the Round-of-16 bout against the Colombian wrestler, the 23-year-old Ravi Kumar, who is making his Olympic debut, showed no nerves as he dominated the bout to win by technical superiority (13-2).

Ravi Kumar landed attack after attack and went 13-2 up, winning the bout by technical superiority with minutes to spare. In wrestling, building up a 10-point lead over the opponent results in a victory by technical superiority.

India's 86kg freestyle wrestler Deepak Punia showed no signs of the niggle that had forced him to pull out of the Poland Open Ranking Series in Warsaw in June, as he defeated Nigeria's Ekerekeme Agiomor on technical superiority to secure a quarterfinal berth.

He got his Olympic campaign to a fine start as he was in control from the start of the bout and hardly ever allowed his Nigerian opponent any room to maneuver his moves, finally winning with a 12-1 on technical superiority.

Punia, who had also suffered an elbow injury just before the Games, was slow at the start but came into his own as the bout progressed, inflicting takedowns at regular intervals to earn points.

The Indian wrestler eased into a 4-1 lead at the break and extended his lead comfortably in the second period.

Punia, the silver medallist from the 2019 world wrestling championships, then set up a clash with China's Lin Zushen in the quarterfinals and defeated him 6-3.

Photo by Rob Pumphrey on Unsplash

Basil Leaves

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In the long history of Ayurveda, basil seeds were also called tukmaria seeds. These seeds may support one's gut health, may complete one's fiber quota, reduce blood sugar, help in weight loss, and also reduce cholesterol.

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