Ig Nobel Award Winners

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.

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