use of magnets to levitate frogs, and the effect of beer, garlic and soured cream on the appetite of leeches

From the AFP:

It is difficult to judge exactly where the scientific world would be without Professor Bernard Vonnegut’s seminal 1975 study on “Chicken Plucking as a Measure of Tornado Wind Speed.”

What is clear is that Vonnegut’s groundbreaking research may have languished in undeserved obscurity but for Marc Abrahams, founder of the annual Ig Nobel Prizes for scientific achievement that “cannot or should not be reproduced.”

A prestigious gathering of genuine Nobel laureates will help present the awards at the 15th Ig Nobel ceremony to be held Thursday amid pomp, mayhem and paper planes at Harvard University.

Along with Vonnegut, previous winners of the increasingly-prized Igs include authors of landmark reports on the impact of country music on suicide, the use of magnets to levitate frogs, and the effect of beer, garlic and soured cream on the appetite of leeches.

The keynote address on Thursday will be given by the 2003 Ig Nobel Biology laureate Kees Moeliker, who won for documenting the first — and so far only — recorded case of homosexual necrophilia in the mallard duck.

More here.

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