back to article Ig Nobels 2012: Physics of ponytails, chimp arse-cognition and more

The butt-loving tendencies of chimpanzees have won this year's Anatomical Ig Nobel for researchers who found that monkeys can recognise each other from pictures of each other's arses. Frans de Waal of The Netherlands and US boffin Jennifer Pokorny came along to the ceremony to lift their prize for their paper on chimps' sex …

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Pint

Proud!!

I am proud the Dutch managed to get another two IgNobels!

Here's to research that makes you think and laugh (I am not picky about the order)

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Re: Proud!!

Isn't science fantastic?

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Re: Proud!!

As a proud owner of a ponytail, I'm happy to hear that it's finally getting the attention and recognition it deserves among the science community.

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Re: Proud!!

"Ah jeez you cut the pony-tail. Sell out"

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Boffin

I like these!

I like that fact that they have perfectly pitched the "yes researchers, it's real science but, hey, even you have to admit, it's pretty odd/funny/weird" attitude. And I think that comes across (mostly) to the general public - who might laugh but then think "hmm, actually, that is a kind of useful thing to know" - and also to the researchers who (mostly) turn up and accept the awards with good humour.

It is part of the true spirit of boffinry!

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Happy

Re: "...actually, that is a kind of useful thing to know" I am absolutely certain that monkeys.....

..........consider that this:

"....can recognise each other from pictures of each other's arses."

.......is of the first importance. Maybe there should be an app for that instead of face recognition!

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MrT
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Soon to be added to...

... Google Goggles, linking arse to contacts, locations, hobbies etc. If no match is possible, Goggles will show images of similar arses as an alternative. Must remember to not mix up Nicki Minaj with Kenny Everett's Rod Stewart sketch...

Later to be followed by a feature to recognize the back of someone's head; "GoogleBoH: because Google never forgets the back of someone's head"...

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Re: "...actually, that is a kind of useful thing to know" I am absolutely certain that monkeys.....

Before or after an uninstructed colonoscopist has exploded it?

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Happy

Please Mr T, enough already!

:)

AF

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Joke

"Maybe there should be an app for that instead of face recognition!"

The iOS version only works with the forward facing camera?

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Facepalm

Re: Please Mr T, enough already!

AF: So, I like Boffins! Sue Me! We don't have enough of them or the things they do so I take every opportunity ...

Ah, wait, I'm doing it again aren't I ? :-)

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Anonymous Coward

One of these was already invented

"Acoustics Prize: Kazutaka Kurihara and Koji Tsukada [JAPAN] for creating the SpeechJammer — a machine that disrupts a person's speech, by making them hear their own spoken words at a very slight delay."

My cell provider has one of these that they, apparently, turn on randomly during my calls. Our conference line provider has one too...

/sarc

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Re: One of these was already invented

To be honest I'm a bit surprised about the Fluid Dynamics one too. I'd have thought research on sloshing in fuel tanks etc. would have covered that sort of thing?

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Re: One of these was already invented

We used to use this as a demonstration of psychoacoustics on our open days - ours needed headphones though, so I suppose there's something new here...possibly

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delayed_auditory_feedback

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Re: One of these was already invented

First time I came across this it was a demonstration of the problem of echo on transatlantic phone lines. That must have been about 40 years ago.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: One of these was already invented

I experienced it in about 1972. A friend from the BBC had a very smart portable tape machine that incorporated variable delayed monitoring.

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Stop

Re: One of these was already invented

I encountered a machine to do this in an interactive science museum in the Netherlands about 45 years ago. At that stage I already knew about the effect as I had seen it on Tomorrow's World some years previously.

Do you get extra Ig-ness for plagarism?

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Boffin

Re: One of these was already invented

There is a mention (p. 48) in Peter Wright's book 'Spycatcher' about use of a tape recorder with two heads to give listeners a slight delay in one ear for the purpose of *improving* voice intelligibility when transcribing tapes.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: One of these was already invented

Good point JL115. The more common uses for DAF are for beneficial purposes - like helping people who have problems with stuttering.

The wrong (or right depending on your intent) delay inducing stress on the speaker is also a well established observation.

I guess, the more I think about it, the more I'm surprised it has taken this long to be weaponized for malicious use. Makes me wonder what other types of "glitches" could be misused like this...

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FAIL

Re: One of these was already invented

an interactive science museum in the Netherlands

The Evoluon, which has been transformed into a fucking conference center.

Science isn't attractive anymore.

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Unhappy

Re: One of these was already invented

That's a shame, I remember the BBC trade test film about Evoluon. It's still on YouTube somewhere, I think.

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Re: One of these was already invented

True. It's a recurring theme of both launch vehicle tanks and propellant tanks in spinning satellites.

*However* this is usually a concern when the tank is emptying, say 25% full and below, and the tanks have a top on.

Beverage cup sloshing is more likely to be a problem with a nearly full tank (cup) which can have a wide range of depth to diameter ratios, possibly bringing in effects of the shape of the base of the inside of the cup.

Yes I probably need to get out more. ....

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Re: One of these was already invented

> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delayed_auditory_feedback

QI demonstrated this recently, which was particularly good viewing.

Stephen Fry was busy explaining the principle while they primed Alan Davies with a challenge to read something out ... only he wasn't fazed at all. Different panellists were affected by varying degrees.

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Anonymous Coward

acoustics prize

This is one I could really use sometimes

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Anonymous Coward

Re: acoustics prize

Having had this happen many times on various calls by some weird fluke of connection, I can assure you it makes it damn near impossible to get out more than a few words at a time. It's extremely frustrating.

The more I think about it... there could be an App for that. It could have a little STFU button that you could turn on to do a delayed playback onto whatever call you're on whenever your "victim" is talking. Oh wow... that's BOFH territory.

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Boffin

Re: acoustics prize

Back when I were but a wee lad working in BBC News as a technical assistant, we used to audition newsreaders from time to time, and one of the tests was to see how long they lasted before tripping up over their own tongue when we replayed the output of just recorded tape (the difference between the record and replay head was perhaps half an inch - a fifteenth of a second at 7.5ips).

As I recall, only the likes of Richard Baker and Kenneth Kendall could survive this assault on the senses...

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Re: acoustics prize

That's actually a brilliant idea. Much better than call screening. Just turn the echo on whenever you receive an unwanted call, and see how long they last.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: acoustics prize

Oh yes! An app called cold caller?

I'd love to hear them stuttering to a halt over that hugely insincere opening, "Am I speaking to Mr G? Hello Thad, how are you today?"

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Re: acoustics prize

As a Telefonica customer, I have to say that eventually you can train yourself to talk over echoes.

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Re: acoustics prize

"The more I think about it... there could be an App for that."

Turn up the volume of the speaker on your handset. If it's loud enough the microphone should pick it up and the latency of the telephone network will introduce a delay.

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Re: acoustics prize

Apparently, Alan Davis is pretty good at it too. (See QI).

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Coffee/keyboard

Medicine Prize

I wouldn't have thought that the chances of patients exploding were that high during colonoscopies.

Now a colonic irrigation, I can see that having explosive consequences.

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Mushroom

Re: Medicine Prize

Sometimes they use CO2 to help inflate the bowel so they can peer into all the nooks and crannies.

It's as uncomfortable as it sounds...

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Re: Medicine Prize

Not sure this deserves an Ignoble...were I a colonoscopy patient, I would look at not exploding very favourably.

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Re: Medicine Prize

'Ooooh, Mrs Niggerbaiter's exploded!'

'Good thing too.'

'Aww, she was my best friend!'

'Oh, Mother, don't be so sentimental. Things explode every day.'

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Mushroom

Re: Medicine Prize

You bastard! I am going in for a Gastroscopy/Colonoscopy next week. I had managed to put it to the back of my mind... until now.

Mind you, I am going to insist that they run the probe under the tap before they shove it down my throat.

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Anonymous Coward

The salmon's not dead

he's resting

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Re: The salmon's not dead

I actually think this one's fairly useful. Shows up the problem of false positives

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Re: The salmon's not dead

Yes, like brain activity in some politicians...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Yes, like brain activity in some politicians...

Doesn't that presuppose a brain?

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Holmes

Re: Yes, like brain activity in some politicians...

Politicians? They're very skilled in faking and pretending. If necessary, they'll pretend they have a brain.

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Joke

Re: Yes, like brain activity in some politicians...

Neuroscience Prize: Craig Bennett, Abigail Baird, Michael Miller, and George Wolford [USA], for demonstrating that brain researchers, by using complicated instruments and simple statistics, can see meaningful brain activity anywhere — even in a dead salmon.

I'm Pretty sure Scientologists discovered an instrument for doing this years ago.

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Anonymous Coward

Literature Prize...

Literature Prize: The US Government General Accountability Office, for issuing a report about reports about reports that recommends the preparation of a report about the report about reports about reports.

I dont get it. With my usual govt. clients, it's everyday work for many departments. Maybe I should send their candidature for next year.

(got to love Kanuckistan)

Anon, of course... still need work...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Literature Prize...

Kanuckistan?

...and all the years I thought your country was named Canadia.

: /

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Anonymous Coward

Sir ChimpsALot

Quoth the chimps:

I like big butts and I cannot lie!

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Anonymous Coward

Used to work with a 'speech jammer'

While on a placement for the MoD my line manager was a lady who obviously had some sort of (I'm struggling for terminology here) thing whereby when you spoke to her, she voiced back to you every single word of what you said in a kind of mumble about half a second after you started speaking. She was quite intelligent (IT bod) but it made reporting anything to her almost impossible because when she started mumbling you thought she was interrupting you and so you stopped to listen. Then she stopped. So you started again, and then she started again. etc You just had to sort of grit your. teeth and keep going until you had finished. Essentially you had to break a normal social etiquette of allowing somebody else to speak on a continual basis. Quite wearing.

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Pint

No Beer

Why did none of this years IgNobles include beer??

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Coat

Re: No Beer

You're mixing them up with the Darwin Awards ;)

Although the fluid dynamics one would have potential there.

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Holmes

Had to know about the green hair

Apparently the hot water stripped copper from the pipes in new houses:

http://www.thelocal.se/37994/20111217/

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