Tuesday, October 26, 2010
And the winner is....
Posted by Rebecca Gillan
Hi and welcome to your Wednesday fix of Shapeshifter Seductions! Rebecca here with a nice mix of oddities to tickle your pre-Halloween fancy. We have the 2010 Ig Noble Awards and a hot Aussie in a kilt playing “99 Red Balloons“ with a set of flaming bagpipes!
There isn't much shapeshifter in this week's blog and I must apoligize for that. I had planned on attending the MileHiCon this past weekend and getting some really good stuff for your reading enjoyment from some of today's hottest urban fantasy and paranormal romance authors. Unfortunately, my 14-year-old decided to regress about ten years and needed to have a supervised grounding. As a last minute blog, this one isn't bad, though.
It’s that time of year where the scientific community pokes a little fun at itself. A little background on the Ig Nobel Awards: it is an actual- and usually coveted- award handed out to scientist for conducting silly experiments that have practical applications in the real world. The yearly awards are presented by actual Nobel winners. This is also a time for the scientific community to make fun of people who did not set out to prove or disprove anything (BP won for proving water and oil do mix in the right setting). The picture, by the way, was from the awards ceremony for a 2009 winner who designed a bra that could double as a pair of gas masks in an emergency. The gentlemen pictured are all Nobel Prize winners. So without further ado, I present a few of my very favorites from this year!
BIOLOGY PRIZE: Libiao Zhang, Min Tan, Guangjian Zhu, Jianping Ye, Tiyu Hong, Shanyi Zhou, and Shuyi Zhang of China, and Gareth Jones of the University of Bristol, UK, for scientifically documenting fellatio in fruit bats.
This year, one of my favorite winners was the discovery that fruit bat ladies who give oral sex to their mates during intercourse got longer and more frequent nookie. I don’t even want to know why they thought to study this. I would be willing to bet, though, there are men everywhere who wish human ladies were flexible enough to give this a try. Maybe there is an adventurous were-wolf couple out there who’d be willing to give this a try?
PEACE PRIZE: Richard Stephens, John Atkins, and Andrew Kingston of Keele University, UK, for confirming the widely held belief that swearing relieves pain.
Have you ever stubbed your toe and started swearing? If you are lucky enough to have toes and be mobile, you probably have. Apparently someone in the egg-head set decided to find out if swearing actually did make him feel better, probably after his wife cussed him out for cussing in front of the children. I’m guessing at the cause, but considering it won a peace prize, I think it’s a safe bet. The scary part is, it does. But only if you are not a habitual potty-mouth.
CHEMISTRY PRIZE: Eric Adams of MIT, Scott Socolofsky of Texas A&M University, Stephen Masutani of the University of Hawaii, and BP [British Petroleum], for disproving the old belief that oil and water don't mix.
And people say that scientists are geeks with no sense of humor! This experiment was actually conducted ten years ago. The project was aptly called “Deep Spill JIP.” I’m sure everyone on the Gulf Coast agrees that deep water spills are, in fact, a big jip. Since BP wasn’t part of the original investigation, I’m guessing they were included for this summer’s continuation on the research.
And last but not least, my all-time favorite award:
PHYSICS PRIZE: Lianne Parkin, Sheila Williams, and Patricia Priest of the University of Otago, New Zealand, for demonstrating that, on icy footpaths in wintertime, people slip and fall less often if they wear socks on the outside of their shoes.
All righty then. This is my all-time favorite because it never fails, the first snow of the season, I slip and fall on my ass. Last year, I managed to do it at a gas station and freaked out a Denver cop who thought I’d lost my mind when I started giggling. Thanks to this ground braking research, this year I can avoid tumbling into the snow and still make the cop think I’ve lost my mind.
The best part of this research, though, was the phraseology of it. They conducted the tests using “different colored socks on the outside of the footwear or unadulterated footwear.” Unadulterated? Really? Were they using stripper shoes? And the mental imagery of it. How exactly did they recruit test specimens for this? Or did they just wait at the bottom of a slippery hill and ambush people who fell? “Dude, you wouldn’t have slipped if you had been wearing your socks on the outside… Want to give it a go?”
In honor of that novel experiment from Down Under, I present another novelty from Down Under: a fourth generation Australian of Scots descent who got back at his Da for making him learn the bagpipes… buy making the ‘pipes into a punk phenom. The entire clip is hilarious, by the way. Well worth sitting through all of it.
That’s all for this week. Have a safe and fun Samain folks. I’m off to buy me a bright red gas mask bra. It costs about the same as any quality bra so why not?