Boffin wins (Ig) Nobel prize asking if cats can be liquid

Why people hate cheese and speaker worn in the vagina also score 'make you laugh, then make you think' awards

The Babypod vaginal speaker
The BabyPod speaker

2017's Ig Nobel prizes have been awarded, again with the aim of shining a light on science that first makes you laugh and then makes you think.

Some of this year's most interesting awards are:

Physics – To Antoine Fardin, for using fluid dynamics to probe the question "Can a Cat Be Both a Solid and a Liquid?” in On the Rheology of Cats [PDF]. The author thought the topic worth exploring after noticing that cats seem to form the shape of whatever container in which they decide to sit.

Economics - Matthew Rockloff and Nancy Greer, for “Never Smile at a Crocodile: Betting on Electronic Gaming Machines is Intensified by Reptile-Induced Arousal”, a study of whether you are more or less inclined to gamble in the presence of a live crocodile

Obstetrics - Marisa López-Teijón, Álex García-Faura, Alberto Prats-Galino, and Luis Pallarés Aniorte for a pair of studies “showing that a developing human fetus responds more strongly to music that is played electromechanically inside the mother's vagina than to music that is played electromechanically on the mother's belly.” The authors even productised their work in the form of the Babypod, a speaker designed to be inserted in the vagina.

Medicine - Jean-Pierre Royet, David Meunier, Nicolas Torquet, Anne-Marie Mouly and Tao Jiang who in The Neural Bases of Disgust for Cheese: An fMRI Study used advanced brain-scanning technology to measure the extent to which some people are disgusted by cheese. Some people are just wired to find cheese repellent, the poor sods.

The full list of 2017 awards is here. ®


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