SOMEDAY SCIENCE WILL SAVE THE WORLD ... BUT NOT YET
It's time once again for the winners of the Ig Nobel Awards, the illustrious prize honoring some of the strangest scientific research of the year. The Ig Nobel Prize was created by the editors of the Annals of Improbable Research in order to recognize "achievements" in science that would otherwise go unnoticed because they are so stupid. This year's big winner was the U.S. Air Force's Wright Laboratory for their pioneering research into a "gay bomb" —a non-lethal weapon that would make enemy troops sexually irresistible to each other in order to disrupt their ability to do battle (no really, there are copies online of the research paper titled "Harassing, Annoying and 'Bad Guy' Identifying Chemicals"). Other winners include the Ig Noble prize for medicine, which was given to the authors of a report titled "Sword Swallowing and Its Side Effects;" the prize for linguistics went to research that found rats are unable to tell the difference between a person speaking Japanese backwards and somebody speaking Dutch backwards; and the prize for aviation went to Argentinian scientists who discovered that impotency drugs can help hamsters recover from jet lag. The complete list of winners is at Improbable.com, where they claim that the awards were created to "celebrate the unusual, honor the imaginative —and spur people's interest in science, medicine and technology." Don't forget creating fodder for this column ... thanks guys!
WE'RE JUST FOLLOWING ORDERS
Alien abductee researcher Preston Dennet has compiled a list of things that aliens sometimes say to their abductees. Dennett admits that face-to-face encounters with aliens are by far the rarest type of UFO experience, and extraterrestrials are very reluctant to talk to their abductees. However, in 20 years of research, he has found a handful of cases in which aliens have actually spoken. Generally, he says, aliens don't speak, and when they do speak, they often repeat themselves, saying the same few phrases to all of their abductees. Here then, are some of the top alien phrases: "Do not be afraid, we won't hurt you;" "you won't remember this;" "we need babies;" "our emotions are different than yours;" "we are from a place you don't know about yet;" "we've been here a long, long time;" and "it is very important we do this." (Llewellyn Journal)
IT'S "HARD AS A ROCK"
COMING UP THE REAR
Slate.com has a great article titled "That's Horseshit," all about an organization called the Jockey Club, which is supposed to make sure that racehorses aren't given obscene names. But that hasn't stopped dozens of lewd names from slipping through the cracks. Here, then, are the names of thoroughbreds throughout the years that seem to have been named after porno flicks: Blow Me, Spank It, Jail Bait, Barely Legal, Golden Shower, Cherry Pop, Cum Rocket, Menage A Trois, Tit'n Your Girdle, Kinky Lingerie, Hard Like a Rock, and X Rated Fantasy. And perhaps the best play-on-words racehorse name? Cunning Stunt.
TRUST ME, I'M NOT A DOCTOR
Here's a word to add to your vocabulary: iatrogenic:—illness or death caused by or aggravated by medical treatment. Experts now estimate that doctors are the third-leading cause of death in the U.S., with about 225,000 deaths per year from iatrogenic causes. This number includes 12,000 deaths per year from unnecessary surgery, 7,000 deaths from medication errors in hospitals, 20,000 deaths from other errors in hospitals, 80,000 deaths from infections in hospitals and 106,000 deaths from adverse effects of medications. (Iatrogenic.org)
STUPID TOURIST GO HOME
There's a funny sign posted in a clothing shop in Beijing's Silk Street Market, which lists words and phrases salespeople may and may not say to customers. Among the allowed phrases are simple niceties such as "It is my pleasure to help you." On the other hand, salespeople are not allowed to use these phrases: "Are You Crazy?;" "No Money No Talk;" "Just Take It and Leave Me Alone;" and "Shit." Check out the photo at CuriousTimes.com
I-READ-IT-ON-THE-INTERNET-SO-IT-MUST-BE-TRUE FACT OF THE WEEK
A blue whale's tongue weighs more than an elephant.
Get way more bizarro news at CuriousTimes.com.