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The Ig Nobel Prizes 2: An All-New Collection of the World's Unlikeliest Research

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The hilarious second installment of the popular humor series honoring the world’s most improbable actual research The first volume of The Ig Nobel Prizes was celebrated as a “brainy bacchanalian” (USA Today) and “so funny you couldn’t make it up” (The Washington Post). Now, the “guru of scientific satire” (Publishers Weekly), Marc Abrahams, returns with The Ig Nobel Prize The hilarious second installment of the popular humor series honoring the world’s most improbable actual research The first volume of The Ig Nobel Prizes was celebrated as a “brainy bacchanalian” (USA Today) and “so funny you couldn’t make it up” (The Washington Post). Now, the “guru of scientific satire” (Publishers Weekly), Marc Abrahams, returns with The Ig Nobel Prizes 2, a fresh compendium of all- new unbelievable-but-true accomplishments in the sciences, arts, and humanities. Born from the annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony at Harvard University, The Ig Nobel Prizes 2 demonstrates the incredible lengths to which people will go in the pursuit of knowledge. Winners of this prestigious award include: -The scientists who discovered that chickens prefer beautiful humans -The Norwegian research team that documented the impact of wearing wet underwear in the cold -The entire nation of Liechtenstein, which rents itself out for weddings, bar mitzvahs, or other gatherings. Featuring anecdotes from the 2004 Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony and a zany collection of all new achievements, The Ig Nobel Prizes 2 is perfect for anyone who first wants to laugh and then wants to think. Praise for The Ig Nobel Prizes: “[The Ig Nobel Prizes] honor achievements that are truly extraordinary, whether they be awful, wonderful, or a hopeless mixture of both.... Where others might see evil, perversion, or stupidity, Abrahams finds only admirable persistence.” —The Boston Globe


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The hilarious second installment of the popular humor series honoring the world’s most improbable actual research The first volume of The Ig Nobel Prizes was celebrated as a “brainy bacchanalian” (USA Today) and “so funny you couldn’t make it up” (The Washington Post). Now, the “guru of scientific satire” (Publishers Weekly), Marc Abrahams, returns with The Ig Nobel Prize The hilarious second installment of the popular humor series honoring the world’s most improbable actual research The first volume of The Ig Nobel Prizes was celebrated as a “brainy bacchanalian” (USA Today) and “so funny you couldn’t make it up” (The Washington Post). Now, the “guru of scientific satire” (Publishers Weekly), Marc Abrahams, returns with The Ig Nobel Prizes 2, a fresh compendium of all- new unbelievable-but-true accomplishments in the sciences, arts, and humanities. Born from the annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony at Harvard University, The Ig Nobel Prizes 2 demonstrates the incredible lengths to which people will go in the pursuit of knowledge. Winners of this prestigious award include: -The scientists who discovered that chickens prefer beautiful humans -The Norwegian research team that documented the impact of wearing wet underwear in the cold -The entire nation of Liechtenstein, which rents itself out for weddings, bar mitzvahs, or other gatherings. Featuring anecdotes from the 2004 Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony and a zany collection of all new achievements, The Ig Nobel Prizes 2 is perfect for anyone who first wants to laugh and then wants to think. Praise for The Ig Nobel Prizes: “[The Ig Nobel Prizes] honor achievements that are truly extraordinary, whether they be awful, wonderful, or a hopeless mixture of both.... Where others might see evil, perversion, or stupidity, Abrahams finds only admirable persistence.” —The Boston Globe

30 review for The Ig Nobel Prizes 2: An All-New Collection of the World's Unlikeliest Research

  1. 5 out of 5

    W.B.

    I'm still reading this, but it's already assured a 5 star rating. The funniest sort of dry humor prevails in this second installment of the Ig Nobel Prizes series of books. No, this book has nothing whatsoever to do with immunoglobulin A, E or any other letter. It is not affiliated in any fashion with the real Nobel prizes. The name of the award is a homophonic play on "ignoble," and these are awards given for dubious achievements in various fields of endeavor. (Think of the "Razzies" adapted for I'm still reading this, but it's already assured a 5 star rating. The funniest sort of dry humor prevails in this second installment of the Ig Nobel Prizes series of books. No, this book has nothing whatsoever to do with immunoglobulin A, E or any other letter. It is not affiliated in any fashion with the real Nobel prizes. The name of the award is a homophonic play on "ignoble," and these are awards given for dubious achievements in various fields of endeavor. (Think of the "Razzies" adapted for the sciences.) For example, on page 70 one can read about the authors who received the "Ig Nobel Interdisciplinary Research Prize." This was awarded to Stefano Ghirlanda, Liselotte Jansson, and Magnus Enquist of Stockholm University, for their "inevitable" (sic) report "Chickens Prefer Beautiful Humans." Please do not think these are made up articles and invented people. (Oh come off it! You always knew scientists waste time, research funds and the gift of life itself with the best of them! Some of them might as well be playing Pogo as toying with stem cells!) The authors will give sources to verify studies such as the above-cited, focusing on poultry paragons of paltry pointlessness...or should that be paltry paragons of poultry pointlessness? To wit, this study was published in Human Nature, vol. 13, no. 3, 2002,pp. 383-9. Why was a study on chicken nature published in a journal dedicated to scientific studies of human nature, anyway? Did we want to see ourselves "through a glass, poultry?" (Soz, bardolaters!) The chickens tended to prefer attractive humans of the opposite sex. So I guess these were mostly straight chickens. If you are interested in knowing if bisexual or gay chickens are less superficial in their prima facie judgments of humans, you might want to apply for research funds yourself. If anything, this article makes me feel slightly less bad for not being a vegetarian or a vegan and consuming chicken on a regular basis--I mean, now that I realize it's scientifically documented how superficial and shallow they actually are. One has to admit there is a redemptive, practical side to some of these reports being singled out for Ig Nobels. For example, I salute James F. Nolan, Thomas J. Stillwell and John P. Sands, Jr. for their "painstaking research report" on "Acute Management of the Zipper-Entrapped Penis." This was published in the Journal of Emergency Medicine in 1990. Scoff if you must, Ig Nobel Committee, but I regard these men with veneration...certainly they are every bit as much The Liberator as Simon Bolivar. I suppose the first book was somewhat successful, if this is the second in a projected series. But I see only eight reviews on here, so the book doesn't seem to have made much of an impact or found a wide readership. The summations of the scholarly articles are rather in depth, witty and interesting. It's not Proust or Joyce. It's just entertaining non-fiction that gives you an insight into how those research dollars sometimes end up funding mindlessness. Apparently, even institutions like the NIH sometimes end up sending their scientific whiz kids to Camp Brain Dead for the summer. You'll see it's not fiction, although you'll probably wish it were.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Paul

    The Ig Nobel Prizes 2, Marc Abrahams, Dutton, 2004 This is another collection of what can only be described as very unique scientific research. The Ig Nobel Awards are handed out every October during an awards show at Harvard University. Presented by real Nobel Prize winners, they show just how far some people will go for knowledge. Here are some titles of winning papers, some of appeared in real scientific journals: "The Effect of Country Music on Suicide," "Compliance With the Item Limit of the The Ig Nobel Prizes 2, Marc Abrahams, Dutton, 2004 This is another collection of what can only be described as very unique scientific research. The Ig Nobel Awards are handed out every October during an awards show at Harvard University. Presented by real Nobel Prize winners, they show just how far some people will go for knowledge. Here are some titles of winning papers, some of appeared in real scientific journals: "The Effect of Country Music on Suicide," "Compliance With the Item Limit of the Food Supermarket Express Checkout Lane: An Informal Look," "Chickens Prefer Beautiful Humans," "Scrotal Asymmetry in Man and in Ancient Sculpture," "Patient Preference for Waxed or Unwaxed Dental Floss," and "Chicken Plucking as Measure of Tornado Wind Speed." Other winners include a man from Ontario who developed and personally tested a suit that is impervious to grizzly bears; the inventor of karaoke; the entire nation of Liechtenstein, which can be rented for conventions, weddings and other gatherings; a pair of Japanese researchers who invented a computer-based dog-to-human language translation device; the inventors of tamagotchi; a man who investigated why shower curtains billow inwards, and the inventors of Spam and Beano. The only "requirement" for anyone to win an Ig Nobel award is that the research makes a person laugh, then think. This hilarious book certainly accomplishes that. It can be picked up and read starting at any point, and read anywhere, and shows that science can be funny.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Micah

    a thoroughly enjoyable summary of some of the quirkiest science ever attempted.

  4. 4 out of 5

    William Beesley

    Falls into the enjoyable bathroom reader canon. The Ig Nobel "Ignoble" prizes are a parody of the Nobel prizes perpetuated by several Harvard associations. The Iggies are awarded to a variety of scientist and laypeople for goofball ideas, goofball studies, and other oddities here and there. A couple of past winners: Captain Edward A. Murphy Jr. for coining Murphy law, Daisuke Inoue for inventing Karaoke, (the Japanese are well represented winners of many Ig Nobel Prizes)and Steven Stack for his s Falls into the enjoyable bathroom reader canon. The Ig Nobel "Ignoble" prizes are a parody of the Nobel prizes perpetuated by several Harvard associations. The Iggies are awarded to a variety of scientist and laypeople for goofball ideas, goofball studies, and other oddities here and there. A couple of past winners: Captain Edward A. Murphy Jr. for coining Murphy law, Daisuke Inoue for inventing Karaoke, (the Japanese are well represented winners of many Ig Nobel Prizes)and Steven Stack for his study on the effect of country music on suicide. To me the funniest chapter was Collector's Choice. It documented the work of Dr. Arvid Vatle of Stord Norway for carefully collecting, classifying, and contemplating which kinds of containers his patients chose when submitting urine & stool samples. Patients would use their own receptacle and bring it in to the doctor rather than being put on the spot at the doctor's office. The examples are adventures in the crazy crap people use when they are in a pinch for a container. Matchboxes and peanut butter jars for the poop. Pickle jars, tomato puree cans, Coca Cola bottles, perfume bottles and strangest of all a stick of roll on deodorant with the little roller ball removed for the pee.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Brendan

    The ignobel prizes are a parody of the Nobel prizes, awarded to researchers whose work makes us laugh first, and perhaps ponder the world a little differently second. The book is a nice sampler, one we kept as a bathroom reader for a while, that mixes humor and interesting science facts. A few of the memorable awards: * One award went to a Scandanavian scientist who recorded the first documented case of male homosexual necrophiliac duck rape. Seriously. * They also awarded an ignobel to the inve The ignobel prizes are a parody of the Nobel prizes, awarded to researchers whose work makes us laugh first, and perhaps ponder the world a little differently second. The book is a nice sampler, one we kept as a bathroom reader for a while, that mixes humor and interesting science facts. A few of the memorable awards: * One award went to a Scandanavian scientist who recorded the first documented case of male homosexual necrophiliac duck rape. Seriously. * They also awarded an ignobel to the inventor of BEANO, a product that allows you to eat all the, ahem, flatulence-causing food you want without stinkin' up the joint. * A few of the ignobel awards go to people in a mocking way, such as scientists who propegate young Earth creationist ideas or other similar sillyness. Usually these people are unwilling to accept the ignobel awards. So much the sadder for us. It's a fine book, but probably not worth buying. Definitely worth a perusal if you find it somewhere, though.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    This is one of those "have sitting around books" that you can pop in and out of over a few weeks when you have the time. The research described is interesting, but I can't remember any of the scientific studies described at this point, save the duck romancing a dead duck. This is one of those "have sitting around books" that you can pop in and out of over a few weeks when you have the time. The research described is interesting, but I can't remember any of the scientific studies described at this point, save the duck romancing a dead duck.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Hamilton

    Really interesting and really funny.

  8. 4 out of 5

    G. Branden

    It's what you would expect; breezy and amusing. It's what you would expect; breezy and amusing.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kim

    funny bit still somehow boring.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Caroline

  11. 4 out of 5

    Rene

  12. 4 out of 5

    Mischa

  13. 5 out of 5

    Steven

  14. 5 out of 5

    Peter

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ana Valle

  16. 5 out of 5

    TheoVonG

  17. 4 out of 5

    Erika Shira

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sian Lane

  19. 4 out of 5

    Clinton Dean

  20. 5 out of 5

    Susan Lanier

  21. 4 out of 5

    Linda

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jamie Rosen

  23. 4 out of 5

    Lance

  24. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

  25. 4 out of 5

    Ryan

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sherri Stommel

  27. 5 out of 5

    Beth D. Morin

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Crowe

  29. 5 out of 5

    Tracey

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jeff

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