Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Ig Nobel Prizes: The Annals of Improbable Research by Marc Abrahams

Here is yet another book I started reading to my wife years ago and mysteriously stopped after 85 pages. Since she doesn't read my blog anyway, I will blame her because this is a funny, interesting book that I should have read all the way through. Heck, I even bought the sequel this year although I hadn't finished the first book yet.

Officially, the Ig Nobel Prizes are awarded for "achievements that cannot or should not be reproduced." In practice, most winners have written unusual science papers about topics like how Prozac affects the sex drive of clams, why toast tends to land butter side down, or how to use magnets to levitate a frog. Others win for pseudoscience such as Jasmuheen, who claims people can live on light in lieu of food, and Deepak Chopra, who offers "a unique interpretation of quantum physics" in books like Quantum Healing. This book should especially appeal to science geeks, but it is written for a general audience.


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