The 22nd Ig Nobel Awards, organized by the humor magazine Annals of Improbable Research and awarded on September 20 at Harvard University, are a good-humored spoof of the Nobel Prizes. The prizes are awarded for achievements that first make people laugh... and then make them think.

This year’s Ig Nobel Award in Chemistry went to Swede Johan Pettersson for solving the puzzle as to why, in certain houses in Anderslöv, people’s hair turned green. Says the winner himself: “My children say only their dad would get a prize like this. They probably think I’m a bit nerdy.” Pettersson discovered that it was copper in the hot water that gave the people in Anderslöv green hair some time ago. And what of the other prize winners? Well, one of them is a person who discovered that the Eiffel Tower in Paris looks smaller if you lean to the left, and another pair researched as to why it’s easy to spill when you walk around with a cup of coffee. The man behind the Ig Nobel Prize, Marc Abrahams, said that his personal favorite this year is a machine constructed by two Japanese. It’s an equipment that will quiet the most difficult of chatterboxes by spreading their chatter and then replay it with a delay that creates such confusion that they silence.
“Useful in many situations,” Abrahams said.

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