It has been a hideously difficult week, complete with too many time-consuming tasks and technological glitches. Couple that with sleepless nights and a bad case of diaper rash, and, well, actually we’re not talking about me anymore.
But enough about not me. What about whale snot?
Two Canadian scientists, including one who helped discover that some beetles try to mate with Australian beer bottles, received Ig Nobel Prizes Thursday night, joining a list of previous winners that includes those who studied whale snot and fish that fart to communicate.
University of Toronto professor Daryll Gwynne and his Australian colleague David Rentz were awarded the spoof prize for their 1983 paper Beetles on the Bottle: Male Buprestids Mistake Stubbies for Females.
The awards are described as honouring achievements that “first make people laugh and then make them think” in order to celebrate unusual and imaginative research that heightens interest in science, medicine and technology.
Other winners included a team of Japanese scientists who invented a fire alarm that smells like wasabi; a European mayor who solved his city’s parking problems with a piece of heavy military equipment; a Norwegian researcher who explored the science behind sighing; and American researchers who studied the effects of holding urine — CBC News
Foster’s. Australian for ….. booty?
Perhaps the strangest award was the one “to a Dutch researcher who documented and published the first known case of homosexual necrophilia among ducks.” Hell, that would be strange even in Michael Jackson’s house.
I’m all for investigating the strange, the off-beat, and the downright stupid — did I just describe the Republican triumvirate of Cain, Ryan, and Bachmann? — although it’s a frightening at times to see that in some circles, staples of scientific inquiry such as evolution are considered far-out, if not downright blasphemous. On the other hand, it’s probably pretty easy to prove the existence of whale snot and fish farts.
Besides, guys, let’s be candid — who hasn’t tried to have sex with a beer bottle? I mean, isn’t that what Mickey’s Big Mouths were designed for? (Note to Florida college students: Empty the bottle first.)
These are heavy thoughts for a Friday, especially for those of us still giddy over the astonishing final 24 hours of baseball’s regular season. It’s not every year that one’s two least-favorite teams simultaneously choke for an entire month and flame out on the last game of the year, but that’s what happened to the Braves and the RedSox, and this native of the City of Bodily Harm, whose team finished with the best record, lowest ERA, and highest fielding percentage in MLB, eagerly anticipates Saturday’s first post-season contests. I’ll bring the beer. Somebody else can harvest the whale snot.