While the real Nobel prize awards are still a month away, the 28th First Annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony was held on Thursday 13 September at Harvard University. These awards give scientists the chance to air their strange science, which generally draws laughter and applause from the entertained audience.

Subjects of the awards included self-colonoscopies, roller coaster methods of passing kidney stones and the dubious benefits of a cannibalistic diet. They also covered the benefit of using Voodoo dolls against your boss.

Fun at the Ig Nobel awards for 10 winners

The Ig Nobel awards were set up to not only make people laugh but also to make them think, as some of the weirder sides of science were revealed. All prizes were awarded by real Nobel prize winners, to add to the effect. The award ceremony included throwing paper planes and simultaneous foreign language translations.

There were 10 award winners at the award ceremony on Thursday night, including James Cole, who runs researchers at the University of Brighton. Cole went on to prove that human flesh doesn’t have the same calories as animal meat, winning the nutrition award. He went on to disprove Hannibal Lecter’s claims as to the benefit of cannibalism, saying it wasn’t worth all the trouble, seeing as there are so many alternatives available.

Roller-coaster removal of kidney stones

David Wartinger and Marc Mitchell won the medicine Ig Nobel prize for proving that riding on a roller coaster can quicken the passage of kidney stones.

Meanwhile, Akira Horiuchi won the medical education Ig Nobel for his work relating to “self-colonoscopy” using a variable stiffness, small-calibre colonoscope.

The Ig Nobel prize for economics went to Canadian Lindie Liang, a business professor at Wilfrid Laurier University. She went on to prove the benefits of using voodoo dolls to take out workers’ aggression against their bosses.

She said they would feel better as their perceptions of injustice are deactivated.

The literature prize went to an Australian team of researchers proved the fact that most people using complicated products never read the user manual, including in the title of their paper were the words that “Life is Too Short to RTFM.” It’s pretty easy to figure out what “RTFM” stands for.

‘Spit and polish’ technique proven effective

Everyone has heard the term “spit and polish.” The chemistry Ig Nobel prize went to Paula Romão, a Portuguese researcher who, along with her colleagues, proved how effective human saliva was to clean up dirty surfaces.

In a video acceptance of the award, Paula said they didn’t recommend using this in the kitchen environment.

As reported by Gizmodo, other Ig Nobel awards covered research, including a paper which demonstrates that the real wine expects can detect, using their sense of smell, the fact that a single fruit fly handed landed in their glass. Another award was given for proving chimps can imitate us humans equally as well as humans can imitate chimps. Another researcher used postage stamps in order to monitor the erections of sleeping men.

A Spanish researcher proved just how frequently motorists curse and shout at each other in traffic. Living in Spain as I do, I can concur with the fact that more than 25 percent of humans do this at some point or another.

Of course, in Spain, the cursing is accompanied by loud blasts on the hooter, which the researcher didn't mention.

As noted by ITV News, a funny aspect of the ceremony was an eight-year-old girl, who kept award winners from giving lengthy speeches by saying the words “please stop, I’m bored” if the acceptance speech went over the 60-second mark.

Award winners got a piece of paper signed by the real Nobel winners, along with $10 trillion dollars – regrettably of Zimbabwean origin. Enjoy watching the very entertaining Ig Nobel awards ceremony in the video below.