Reader's Digest



The Ig Nobel Prize is a tongue-in-cheek award given each year to actual research projects that seem—well, silly. The winners are published in a humorous periodical, Annals of Improbable Research.

economics Researcher­s in Canada and the United States, for investigat­ing whether it is effective for employees to use voodoo dolls to retaliate against abusive bosses. (Their finding: It is!)

biology Researcher­s in Sweden, Colombia, and Germany, for demonstrat­ing that wine experts can reliably identify, by smell, the presence of a single fly in a glass of wine.

chemistry Three Portuguese researcher­s, for measuring the degree to which human saliva is a good cleaning agent for dirty surfaces.

peace Researcher­s in Spain, for measuring the frequency, motivation, and effects of shouting and cursing while driving an automobile.

nutrition A lecturer at England’s University of Brighton, for calculatin­g that the caloric intake from a human-cannibalis­m diet is significan­tly lower than the caloric intake from most other traditiona­l meat diets.

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