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Ig Nobel Prizes awarded for poop knives and helium gator.
September 19, 2020
Greetings fellow Bizarros:
The 2020 Ig Nobel Prizes announced in a virtual ceremony included awards for researchers who made knives out of frozen poop and a team of scientists who had an alligator shout after inhaling helium.
The Ig Nobel Prizes, given out each year by the satirical journal Annals of Improbable Research in a ceremony at Harvard University, were distributed in a virtual ceremony Thursday.
The Materials Science Prize was awarded to a Kent State University team who crafted knives from their own frozen feces as a means of investigating an ethnographic account of an Inuit man who claimed to have made a knife from his own frozen poop.
The Kent State team found the knives melted and deteriorated too quickly to be of much use.
A group of researchers from Austria and Japan received the Acoustics Prize for putting an alligator in a helium-filled box and having it vocalize. The scientists were aiming to determine whether the vocal communications of crocodilians relate to their body size.
The Ig Nobel Peace Prize went to the governments of India and Pakistan for "having their diplomats surreptitiously ring each other's doorbells in the middle of the night, and then run away before anyone had a chance to answer the door" in a reported 2018 incident.
The Ig Nobel Prizes, founded in 1991 to "honor achievements that make people laugh, then think," also included awards this year for researchers who suggested narcissists can be identified by their eyebrows, a scientist whose research suggests widespread fear of spiders among entomologists and a research team who vibrated earthworms at high frequencies to detect changes in their body shapes.
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Man boards bus wearing live snake as a mask
Transportation officials in a British city responded to viral photos from a municipal bus by reminding residents that snakeskin is not an acceptable material for face masks -- especially when it's still attached to a snake. The photos, snapped aboard a Manchester bus, show a man sitting aboard the vehicle with a live snake wrapped around his neck and mouth. A witness told local news the man initially appeared to be wearing "a really funky mask" until the snake started to move around. "It was definitely entertaining," she said. A Transport for Greater Manchester representative said passengers are required to wear face masks on city buses to protect from the COVID-19 pandemic. "This needn't be a surgical mask ... passengers can make their own or wear something suitable, such as a scarf or bandanna. While there is a small degree of interpretation that can be applied to this, we do not believe it extends to the use of snakeskin -- especially when still attached to the snake."
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T. rex expected to fetch $8M
One of the most complete Tyrannosaurus rex skeletons in the world is headed for the auction block in New York and is expected to sell for between $6 million and $8 million. Auction house Christies said the T. rex skeleton, dubbed "Stan" in honor of Stan Sacrison, the amateur paleontologist who found the bones in 1987, will be auctioned as part of the 20th Century Evening Sale. The assembled Stan measures 13 feet high, 40 feet long and is composed of 188 bones, making it one of the most complete skeletons of the species in the world. Researchers at the Black Hills Institute of Geological Research in South Dakota, where Stan was studied for two decades, said the bones reveal the dinosaur suffered a broken neck during its life, causing two vertebrae to fuse together. The T. rex also suffered puncture wounds to its skull and a rib from an apparent encounter with a rival T. rex. Stan is currently on display 24 hours a day in the windows at Christie's Rockefeller Center in New York.
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