Now that the Nobel Prize news has exhausted itself, it’s time for the Ig Nobel Awards, given annually for research that makes you laugh, and then think. Hmmm . . .
Among this year’s awardees in health-related research:
MEDICINE PRIZE: Donald L. Unger, of Thousand Oaks, California, USA, for investigating a possible cause of arthritis of the fingers, by diligently cracking the knuckles of his left hand — but never cracking the knuckles of his right hand — every day for more than sixty (60) years. REFERENCE: “Does Knuckle Cracking Lead to Arthritis of the Fingers?”, Donald L. Unger, Arthritis and Rheumatism, vol. 41, no. 5, 1998, pp. 949-50.
PUBLIC HEALTH PRIZE: Elena N. Bodnar, Raphael C. Lee, and Sandra Marijan of Chicago, Illinois, USA, for inventing a brassiere that, in an emergency, can be quickly converted into a pair of protective face masks, one for the brassiere wearer and one to be given to some needy bystander. REFERENCE: U.S. patent # 7255627, granted August 14, 2007 for a “Garment Device Convertible to One or More Facemasks.”
As flight attendants might remind us, Please don your brassiere mask first before assisting others with theirs.