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

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 …

  1. jake Silver badge

    Cats are neither a solid nor a liquid.

    Cats are merely boneless. Everybody knows that.

    Gambling is for people who can't do math(s). Gators don't figure into it.

    One wonders if the inserted beat makes mommy-to-be ... uh .... er ... "smile", that's it ... and baby gets the endorphin rush.

    People who are disgusted by cheese were brought up by abusive parents.

    1. m0rt Silver badge

      Re: Cats are neither a solid nor a liquid.

      "Cats are merely boneless. Everybody knows that."

      Actually cats' insides don't inhabit the same dimension as the rest of them. This answers many things about cats. Why they turn up in odd places, etc. They are actually sentient alien drones, designed to examine every part of a world to decide if it is worth invading. It wasn't, apparently. But some of the drones decided that since they could train the top indiginous species easily, they wanted to bunk off and didn't go back. Being Von Neumann machines they replicated and, well, we have the current situation now.

      "Gambling is for people who can't do math(s). Gators don't figure into it."

      Personally, if you are anywhere near a Gator, there is an element of risk, one could say gambling.

      Can't argue with your last two observations. Cheese rules. After cats, that is.

      1. Tinslave_the_Barelegged

        Re: Cats are neither a solid nor a liquid.

        > if you are anywhere near a Gator, there is an element of risk,

        Years ago, I stupidly went to a zoo in Malawi. There was a sign - "Crocodiles" - pointing down a narrow fenced lane, the fencing just some chicken wire, not especially secure. This lane ended, and I looked across to a pool, wondering where the crocodile(s) were? I then glanced down to find the rather large croc at my feet*, with just some chicken wire between it an me.

        The science is that I discovered a Boolean variation of Schrödinger's cat - you can have clean undies or you can be standing next to a crocodile with nothing between you except chicken wire.

        -

        * It was probably old, toothless, used to visitors or couldn't be bothered. It wasn't dead, and neither am I, I think, so I'm guessing...

      2. Spudley

        Re: Cats are neither a solid nor a liquid.

        "Gambling is for people who can't do math(s). Gators don't figure into it."

        Indeed they don't. I think the article stated that it was crocodiles.

      3. h4rm0ny

        Re: Cats are neither a solid nor a liquid.

        >>Actually cats' insides don't inhabit the same dimension as the rest of them. This answers many things about cats. Why they turn up in odd places, etc. They are actually sentient alien drones, designed to examine every part of a world to decide if it is worth invading

        So basically they're just an intrusion into our universe of pan-dimensional hyper-intelligent beings?

        I think you'll find that's mice.

        1. Kane Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: Cats are neither a solid nor a liquid.

          "So basically they're just an intrusion into our universe of pan-dimensional hyper-intelligent beings?

          I think you'll find that's mice."

          That's the other dimension....just over there....

    2. hplasm Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Cats are neither a solid nor a liquid.

      "Gambling is for people who can't do math(s)."

      [caveat]: Winning at Gambling is for people who cando math(s) well.

      1. GlenP Silver badge

        Re: Cats are neither a solid nor a liquid.

        "Winning at Gambling is for people who can do math(s) well"

        In other words bookmakers! Casinos don't need to do maths, the odds are already in their favour.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Casinos do a lot of math

          Actually, they hire expensive math researches to ensure they can easily extract money from gullible people whenever they design a new game - sure, they need someone to win sometimes to ensure gullible people keep on playing...

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: casinos

          And if the odds go against them (as in card counters at blackjack) they employ large hard men to tell you to go elsewhere.

          1. jmch Silver badge

            Re: casinos

            Yep, that's the ultimate business model.

            Not only do they on average win mor ethan they lose because, probability, but they can also ban anyone for winning without any further reason given

          2. MonkeyCee Silver badge

            Re: casinos

            They don't even use big hard men, unless you're on the list.

            I've had the very polite representative of the house inform me that my bets will not be accepted at blackjack, but other games are available. Poker is popular as it's gamblers fleecing each other with a skim for the house.

            Most of the gaming houses around these parts only have house favoured games anyway. Slots, roulette and poker, no blackjack.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            "And if the odds go against them"

            That just happens for old games too popular to be removed - people who designed then in the past didn't perform a full mathematical analysis of the odds. There are a few for which a definitive answer is not known yet, though.

        3. jmch Silver badge

          Re: Cats are neither a solid nor a liquid.

          "Casinos don't need to do maths, the odds are already in their favour."

          Rather, I would say that Casinos and bookies have the odds in their favour BECAUSE they are very good at (some very specific) maths

          1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

            Re: Cats are neither a solid nor a liquid.

            'If cats looked like frogs we'd realize what nasty, cruel little bastards they are. Style. That's what people remember.' - Terry Pratchett

            Obligatory request for Pterry icon.

            1. Kane Silver badge
              Thumb Up

              Re: Cats are neither a solid nor a liquid. @Aladdin Sane

              "Cats will amusingly tolerate humans only until someone comes up with a tin opener that can be operated with a paw."

              ― Terry Pratchett, Men at Arms

              "Obligatory request for Pterry icon."

              Seconded, again.

              1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
                Alert

                Re: Cats are neither a solid nor a liquid. @Aladdin Sane

                "Obligatory request for Pterry icon."

                Seconded, again.

                Since you mention it, I think it is high time we started a campaign. Haven't had one in ages!

                Rather than overtaxing the El Reg staffers though, perhaps we could propose some kind of 'unsung genius' icon that could also apply to Douglas Adams?

                There are several icons that are hardly ever used - just re-purpose those - how hard can it be?

                1. m0rt Silver badge

                  Re: Cats are neither a solid nor a liquid. @Aladdin Sane

                  How about a 42 crossed with a scythe in the background?

                  1. Kane Silver badge
                    Boffin

                    Re: Cats are neither a solid nor a liquid.

                    "How about a 42 crossed with a scythe in the background?"

                    Whilst I applaud your creative thinking, the prevalence of quotes from both The Greatest Procrastinator That Ever Did Live (‘I love deadlines. I love the whooshing sound they make as they go by.’), and Sir Pterry surely call for their own unique icons?

                    I would recommend for Mr Adams, a cup of really hot tea? And for Sir Pterry, a black, wide brimmed Fedora?

                    1. h4rm0ny

                      Re: Cats are neither a solid nor a liquid.

                      Perhaps for Douglas Adams, we could have a little heart of gold. It would be kind of touching. A Black Fedora would be great for Sir Pterry, though.

                2. davemcwish

                  Re: Cats are neither a solid nor a liquid. @Aladdin Sane

                  Or we could get the soon-to-be-hired cheese tolerant intern to have a crack.

                3. Bernard M. Orwell
                  Pint

                  Re: Cats are neither a solid nor a liquid. @Aladdin Sane

                  "There are several icons that are hardly ever used - just re-purpose those - how hard can it be?"

                  Nearly sounding like an end-user there! Let's do this properly. Submit an RFC as a non-standard change for CAB consideration, raise SRs as required on the back of that. Wait for six weeks. Send an email wondering where the change went. Wait three more weeks. Give up.

                  Job well done.

                  1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

                    Re: Cats are neither a solid nor a liquid. @Aladdin Sane

                    Nearly sounding like an end-user there! Let's do this properly. Submit an RFC as a non-standard change for CAB consideration, raise SRs as required on the back of that. Wait for six weeks. Send an email wondering where the change went. Wait three more weeks. Give up

                    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAArrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh....thump.

                    You pretty much just described my day. I come to El Reg to take my mind *off* work you sod :P

                    1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

                      Re: Cats are neither a solid nor a liquid. @Aladdin Sane

                      I prefer to raise a JFDI request. Remarkably effective.

                4. David Nash Silver badge

                  Re: Cats are neither a solid nor a liquid. @Aladdin Sane

                  Re. Also Douglas Adams...

                  He would have loved Mobile Phones. I was thinking the other day what would he have made of the feature of modern life where everyone* getting in a lift is looking at their phone?

                  *Except me - I was holding my phone but looking at the other people looking at their phones

                  1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

                    Re: Mobile Phones

                    There's an XKCD for that.

                5. Kane Silver badge
                  Boffin

                  Re: Cats are neither a solid nor a liquid. @Sir Runcible Spoon

                  "Rather than overtaxing the El Reg staffers though..."

                  They are about to employ an intern, aren't they? Seems like the perfect first job to me...

                6. PNGuinn
                  IT Angle

                  NO

                  "There are several icons that are hardly ever used - just re-purpose those - how hard can it be?"

                  And I try to be a good commentard and use all of them. Admittedly, sometimes at random.

                  1. h4rm0ny
                    Paris Hilton

                    Re: NO

                    I use Paris Hilton sometimes as it's the only discernibly female icon.

                    Oh, what a representative for our gender! :/

                    1. Alistair Silver badge
                      Windows

                      Re: NO

                      I just think that the Regeditors need to add a match for my preferred icon, Cranky Old Codger, with a fem bent. Perhaps a headshot of Admiral Grace would be appropos?

                      And yes, the icon is mislabelled Windows User.

                    2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
                      Paris Hilton

                      Re: NO

                      @h4rm0ny

                      Oh, what a representative for our gender! :/

                      Paris Hilton for President!

        4. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

          Re: Casinos don't need to do maths

          It is possible to bankrupt a casino, but it takes the skill and determination of a president to do it four times.

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: Casinos don't need to do maths

            People, people, people ... You're missing something. Casinos and bookies aren't gambling, so my comment wasn't directed at them.

        5. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: Cats are neither a solid nor a liquid.

          Casinos don't need to do maths, the odds are already in their favour.

          And how do you suppose that happy circumstance was arrived at? By thoroughly understanding probability. How do they set up new games and expect to bring in the money? Same answer. Why do they prevent collusion between players? Now we're on to game theory. So yes, they do in fact need to understand maths or risk going out of business.

          Mine has a copy of Radner on Dice in the pocket.

        6. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: Cats are neither a solid nor a liquid.

          "Casinos don't need to do maths, the odds are already in their favour."

          With one exception: Blackjack. In that game the odds are about 50:50.

          You can win by counting cards (which will get you kicked out) or statistically by standing at 17+ every time.

    3. Captain DaFt

      Re: Cats are neither a solid nor a liquid.

      One wonders if the inserted beat makes mommy-to-be ... uh .... er ... "smile", that's it ... and baby gets the endorphin rush.

      On the other hand: The fetus spends most of its time sleeping.

      So is that "strong response" to music the same one I have when the neighbors start blasting their music at 3am?

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Cats are neither a solid nor a liquid.

      Can you drink a cat? No therefore it is solid.

      1. Ed_UK

        Re: Cats are neither a solid nor a liquid.

        "Can you drink a cat? No therefore it is solid."

        Easily fixed:

        Will It Blend? -cat? - YouTube

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHhm5veKnfk

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Cats are neither a solid nor a liquid.

          Actually they are both when you're not looking. They only settle on one state or the other when you watch them.

      2. Stuart Elliott

        Re: Cats are neither a solid nor a liquid.

        http://www.willitblend.com/

      3. Little Mouse

        Re: Cats are neither a solid nor a liquid.

        Can a cat be poured into two separate containers at the same time?

        1. Ben Bonsall

          Re: Cats are neither a solid nor a liquid.

          Can a cat be poured into two separate containers at the same time?

          Yes:

          https://arxiv.org/abs/1601.05505

          "Quantum superpositions of distinct coherent states in a single-mode harmonic oscillator, known as "cat states", have been an elegant demonstration of Schrodinger's famous cat paradox. Here, we realize a two-mode cat state of electromagnetic fields in two microwave cavities bridged by a superconducting artificial atom, which can also be viewed as an entangled pair of single-cavity cat states. We present full quantum state tomography of this complex cat state over a Hilbert space exceeding 100 dimensions via quantum non-demolition measurements of the joint photon number parity. The ability to manipulate such multi-cavity quantum states paves the way for logical operations between redundantly encoded qubits for fault-tolerant quantum computation and communication. "

      4. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

        Re: Cats are neither a solid nor a liquid.

        Can you drink a cat? No therefore it is solid.

        Only because they don't want to be drunk. Ever tried to introduce a cat to a toilet bowl? They magically turning into spinning clawed starfish!

        1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

          Re: Cats are neither a solid nor a liquid.

          @Sir Runcible

          Ever tried to introduce a cat to a toilet bowl?

          Why on earth would you want to do that in the first place? Major claw wounds seem very appropriate.

          1. Trumpet Winsock

            Re: Cats are neither a solid nor a liquid.

            https://litterkwitter.com/

            My daughter has trained her cat to use one of these. When I visit it is pretty surreal to be lying in bed and hearing the cat taking a piss in the toilet next door, especially as due to my advancing years the bastards flow rate is greater than mine.

            1. Alan Brown Silver badge

              Re: Cats are neither a solid nor a liquid.

              "My daughter has trained her cat to use one of these. "

              More prosaically, mine will happily use the first stage of that but draw a line in the sand (and the litter) when you get to the parts involving a hole in the middle.

          2. PNGuinn
            Thumb Up

            Ever tried to introduce a cat to a toilet bowl?

            "Why on earth would you want to do that in the first place? Major claw wounds seem very appropriate."

            1. Get the bugger lined up head first.

            2. Hold it down with the bog brush.

            3. Flush!

            4. Repeat 3 as required.

            5. Call plumber.

            6. Job done.

          3. WereWoof

            Re: Cats are neither a solid nor a liquid.

            Because this on how to wash a cat: http://www.corsinet.com/braincandy/hdogcat3.html

      5. This post has been deleted by its author

      6. Chozo
        Trollface

        Re: Can you drink a cat?

        Slurping pussy is the best way to get all your vitamins

        according to leading vagitarian Rev Obadiah Steppenwolfe III

        1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
          Paris Hilton

          Leave My Pussy Alone

          Says Mrs Slocombe.

          Paris: Miss Brahms

      7. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Cats are neither a solid nor a liquid.

        "Can you drink a cat? No therefore it is solid."

        You can with a liquidiser...

      8. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Cats are neither a solid nor a liquid.

        "Can you drink a cat? No therefore it is solid."

        That depends on the size of the gullet, and a reasonable flow of cats. Maybe the argument should be "SHOULD you drink a cat?" I imagine the answer would be the same as "Should I drink mercury?"

    5. caffeine addict Silver badge

      Re: Cats are neither a solid nor a liquid.

      "Gambling is for people who can't do math(s)."

      Yet every Maths graduate I know (I fell in with the wrong crowd at Uni) has a weird addiction to slot machines...

      1. Bernard M. Orwell

        Re: Cats are neither a solid nor a liquid.

        "weird addiction to slot machines..."

        Speaking as someone who once had the lovely job of writing code for such beasties, I can tell you they are the ultimate cheat machines. Anything labelled as a "skill feature" (You know, where you have to stop reels, nudge them, stop a lamp trail lighting at a given point to win a prize) have determined, before you push the button, whether you are going to "win" or not. This is why most of these machines are listed as Amusement With Prizes (AWPs) rather than slot machines, or automated gambling etc. The idea of automated gambling is strictly limited in the UK, though you'll note that the gloves come off the moment you step on a cruise or ferry.

        I love these people who write books on "systems" for beating bandits, AWPs etc. They are so full of crap. The only rule that's worth knowing is the UK law on AWP return rates. Many machines are listed as having "Play/Return" rates upwards of 60%; some as high as 80%. What that means is that, in a given period of play (a day or a week for example, depending on local settings) the machine is likely to pay out the return rate. If a machine takes £100 quid in, then it'll pay out between £60 and £80. but the Play/Win rate will be WAY less; perhaps as little as 2%. That's the chance of you winning more than has been put in in a given play period.

        Therefore, sometimes, you can watch a machine in a pub eat someones tenner and payout bugger all then you drop a quid in and win a fiver. All that's happened is that the machine has made a profit (£6 in this example) and you've won some of the last mugs money (£5).

        Anyone who tells you there is a way to beat these machines, other than by camping them for days and watching the ones that haven't paid out for a while, is talking cobblers.

      2. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Cats are neither a solid nor a liquid.

        "Yet every Maths graduate I know (I fell in with the wrong crowd at Uni) has a weird addiction to slot machines..."

        We used to tell our teachers we were practicing applied numerical probability theory when caught playing poker.

    6. Pompous Git Silver badge

      Re: Cats are neither a solid nor a liquid.

      "Gambling is for people who can't do math(s)."
      Try telling David Walsh that.

      "Walsh made his fortune by developing a gambling system used to bet on horse racing and other sports.

      ....

      In July 2012, Walsh was involved in a dispute with the Australian Tax Office, which demanded he pay $37 million from the profits of his gambling system. The dispute was "entirely resolved" in October 2012."

    7. J.G.Harston Silver badge

      Re: Cats are neither a solid nor a liquid.

      Oooo! Back in 'A' level physics we applied wave-particle duality equations to a moving cat to work out its wavelength.

    8. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Cats are neither a solid nor a liquid.

      "Cats are merely boneless. Everybody knows that."

      Having seen a video of one slipping under a 1-inch gap in a closed door: Yup.

  2. EddieD

    D'oh - it's obvious

    As Schrödinger pointed out, cat's occupy two states - solid and liquid - and just collapse into the required state when observed.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: D'oh - it's obvious

      The other theory is that cats mould themselves into any shape they want to then furtle with the space-time continuum so the surface was always that shape.

      That behaviour suits their personality. Difficult to prove, though.

    2. LesB

      Re: D'oh - it's obvious

      As Pterry pointed out, a cat in a box has a third state, BLOODY FURIOUS.....

      Yeah, let's have that icon

      1. h4rm0ny

        Re: D'oh - it's obvious

        There are so many possible icons for Sir Pterry, but I think ultimately it has to be a tiny little discworld. No?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    On a practical note. The illustrated "Babypod" speaker looks like it would be very difficult to keep reasonably clean with all those small holes in it. Sound conduction through a solid container would work just as well - or use a flexible material?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Coat

      "The illustrated "Babypod" speaker looks like it would be very difficult to keep reasonably clean ..."

      Not really, dependent on the music, it could get a very good wash during every use.

      It's a mac, not a coat, and mine is more than a little grubby.

    2. h4rm0ny
      Joke

      Whatever is fine. Just so long as they don't make a stereo model, please.

  4. Aaiieeee

    hmm

    Babypod page says "recommended by gynecologists".

    What does this mean?

    Do gynecologists know what is best for child development?

    Do gynecologists accept that having a vaginal speaker is a general good thing. Should all women have one?

    I suspect this really means "gynecologist couldn't find anything inherently wrong with it in there" which isn't exactly a recommendation.

    Recommending something and declaring something safe are quite different in my mind.

    Disclaimer: I am fully unqualified to talk authoritatively about the female reproductive system and am therefore ready and willing to be wrong on all counts.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Babypod

      Well I have heard of people speaking speaking out of their backside, but this could take things to a new level

      1. David Roberts
        Coat

        Re: Babypod

        Was coming here to post something similar.

        Except on the lines that a lot of things that will/are designed to fit in the vagina can also fit in the rectum (full term babies hopefully excluded).

        So finally we have a poli(tician)pod where people of a certain persuasion can demonstrably and consistently talk out of their arse.

        I do hope these things ate not wireless/IoT though.

        Who wants to wake up in the middle of the night to a little voice saying "Help! It's dark in here! Let me out!!"

        Then again if it can pair with your phone it might be suitable for unsolicited calls.

        What's that muffled noise? Oh, just some c*nt in my c*nt. Then again thst may not be the best education for your unborn child.

        1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

          Re: Babypod

          The first words your unborn child hears -

          "Did you know that you can claim back your PPI?"

        2. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
          Coffee/keyboard

          Re: Babypod

          What's that muffled noise? Oh, just some c*nt in my c*nt.

          <splutter> you owe me more than a keyboard mate, I've got a hernia now.

      2. fedoraman
        Coat

        Re: Babypod

        The Babypod is just a rebadged arse-speaker

      3. maffski

        Re: Babypod

        It's that whole 'separated by a common language thing' - they ordered 'speakers for a fanny pack'.

        1. The Jon

          Re: Babypod

          Perfect for listening to The Rolling Stones. You can't beat a bit of Mick 'n' Queef.

          1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
            Coat

            Re: Babypod

            "Cue: "What's that whistling?"

            Naked lady* skydiver?

            *or whatever the fuck women are called in this new trans-gender neutered sterile cess-pit we now live in.

    2. EddieD

      Re: hmm

      It just means that gynecologists like to have good sounds to listen to whilst they're working.

      Who doesn't?

    3. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

      Re: hmm

      Oh Lord, it'll be recommended by and for sale on Goop within a few days, probably with a built-in file of whale and dolphin noises.

      Cue: "What's that whistling?"

    4. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

      Re: hmm

      Babypod?

      WAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    5. katrinab Silver badge

      Re: hmm

      "Recommended by gynecologists" means that some marketing person, very likely a man, thinks that they will sell more of the product if they printed that on the box.

      The fact that you admit you aren't qualified to talk about the female reproductive system makes you more qualified than most of the people who do talk about it.

    6. Steve the Cynic

      Re: hmm

      "What does this mean?"

      It means they found two gynaecologists who said something positive about it. The other 98 thought it was the stupidest idea going.

  5. Dan McIntyre

    According to the Babypod website the product is currently priced at "0,00 GBP"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You didn't read that properly.

      It's 0 GBP if you take up the weekly subscription option, 3 times a week a 'volunteer' comes and inserts it for you (sometimes they have to creatively hammer it in).

  6. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Internal Loudspeakers

      Why do so many wear low cut tops that reveal their cleavage then? Can't have it both ways you know.

      Loads of women get really pissed off when my wife stares at their tits, apparently they only want the menfolk to look.

    2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Windows

      Re: Internal Loudspeakers

      Wrong. They are tired of men staring at OTHER WOMEN's wobbly bits in addition to not listening to them.

      You can't fight all those little state machines in the brain.

      1. Pompous Git Silver badge

        Re: Internal Loudspeakers

        "Wrong. They are tired of men staring at OTHER WOMEN's wobbly bits in addition to not listening to them."
        Don't be silly. Of course we listen to women's wobbly bits. It's just that we don't know what to say to them, so we stare instead.

  7. ukgnome

    Babypod?

    It has short term use, or is that mid-term use.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    While we can all chuckle at this 'research' we should also consider just how much money and effort was wasted - after all we are the ones paying for it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Miser

      It might be that taxpayer's money was partially used in some of this research, but really, on a scale of 1:10 in utility to mankind these don't even come close to a waste of money or effort. I for one would rather see a boffin spend time ruminating on cat liquidity than designing better ways of killing people. I doubt that the money 'wasted' would keep a government IT project in rich tea biscuits, and at least they actually produced their outputs, probably on time and in budget.

      1. stevel

        Re: Miser

        Yes. That.

        And besides, "science isn't about why? It's about why not!"

        ...and biscuits, of course.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Miser

          Flammable lemon-flavoured biscuits?

    2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Still better than reading Ta-Nehisi Coates latest production (which you actually have to pay for)

  9. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge
    Trollface

    My take?

    Blessed are the cheese makers, obviously.

    Is the speaker a woofer or a tweeter? Fnar, fnar.

  10. Colonel Mad

    Good Company

    Love the way amost of the related stories are about one Dyson J!

  11. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

    I love this observation...

    "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."

    1. DropBear Silver badge

      Re: I love this observation...

      Next up: "are small rodents permanently three-dimensional?", as they seem to be able to squeeze through slots even their skull alone seems to be larger than...

  12. imanidiot Silver badge

    Alternative explanation for the babypod thing

    Some "doctors" smelled a money making opertunity and did some "research" they could quote and use to get free advertising air-time on "news" shows and "talk" shows.

  13. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    Peace prize

    I notice from the full list that the Peace Prize went to "Didgeridoo Playing as Alternative Treatment for Obstructive Sleep Apnoea Syndrome: Randomised Controlled Trial,"

    I'd have thought that was pretty self-evident - no sleep, so no sleep apnoea for anyone within a hundred yards,

    1. Steve the Cynic

      Re: Peace prize

      "I'd have thought that was pretty self-evident - no sleep, so no sleep apnoea for anyone within a hundred yards,"

      You might think that, and there is some justice in the implied accusation, but...

      There's actually a practical aspect to it: there's some evidence that among the causes of sleep apnoea, you'll find poor muscle tone in various parts of the airway, and playing ... difficult wind instruments, especially e.g. harmonicas and didgeridoos, where a great deal of muscular control is required(1), helps develop better muscle tone in those areas, and may, therefore, act to mitigate the sleep apnoea.

      (1) The key is that for both these instruments the airway helps shape the sound of the instrument, so the musician must learn better control over his airway in order to get better control of the instrument. This is especially true of 10-hole diatonic harmonicas, where there are missing notes in the "nominal" range of the instrument, especially in the bottom octave, but these notes can be played by getting both reeds of the relevant hole to sound. *That* requires the musician to manipulate the shape of his mouth and throat, and *that* requires increased muscle control and tone.(2)

      (2) I actually damaged a reed in my harmonica when I was trying to learn how to do this.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Peace prize

        "I actually damaged a reed in my harmonica when I was trying to learn how to do this."

        From your description I'd have expected you'd damage more than a reed.

  14. M7S

    This does show that cat-related research is actually advancing

    As we have clearly moved on quite a bit from the much missed bonsaikitten.com project once mentioned on this august website and worthy of resurrection.

    All together now, 1, 2, 3 "Memories, not a sound in the moonlight......."

  15. Joe Werner Silver badge

    A bit disappointed...

    ... about the fluid dynamics. It is not particularly new, as in 2012 (or so) there was the "walking with coffee" article (which also won the IgNoble Prize). Pity. Also 2012(11?) was the year with the "Post mortem salmon" stats article that dealt with multiple testing.

    (Still, some interesting and cool stuff, as most of the time).

  16. Chris Jasper

    Vagina speaker?

    As if talking directly to a woman's breasts wasnt bad enough...........

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Never Assume

    From the BabyPod site: "babies are stimulated and respond by moving their mouths and tongues."

    And they assume that this is NOT the baby screaming in agony as its very immature central nervous system is assaulted by sound waves emanating from inside Mom's soft bits?

  18. earl grey Silver badge
    FAIL

    gamble in the presence of a live crocodile

    If you're near a croc you're gambling you can outrun it.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: gamble in the presence of a live crocodile

      Nope. I'm gambling I can outrun the other people there...

  19. Marcus Fil
    Coat

    Further Study Required

    If the 'BabyPod' is to be properly endorsed the effects playing of clearer sounds to the soon-to-be must be further investigated. I am therefore looking for a Research Council UK grant and some volunteer nubile, fertile, female twins.

    I propose that I get both women pregnant and then have one foetus subject to thrash metal, gangsta rap and the recorded rants of the current POTUS whilst the other is given a playlist of soft classics and the musings of Alan Bennett. The resultant off-spring are then to be subject to further, on-going study into their intelligence and social disposition until adulthood. In fact, given the need for statistical validity, and an unbiased control, best make that multiple nubile triplets.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Does that mean that some babies have already been born with a liking for the sound of clackers?***

    NSFW?

    ***Ben Wa

  21. ITS Retired
    Megaphone

    What is the frequency response of this Baby Pod?

    And how loud can you turn it up to? Does it come with Blue Tooth for the on the go women? That wire might lead to some embarrassing questions.

    Is it safe to use while driving? Do you have to be pregnant to use this thing? Is it a IoT device? So many unanswered questions.

  22. earl grey Silver badge
    Unhappy

    And in today's news

    Financial Times journalist is killed in crocodile attack on surfing vacation in Sri Lanka

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: And in today's news

      What was the croc doing on a surfing vacation?

  23. herman Silver badge

    Vibrators and pregnancy

    I have on occasion wondered what a baby makes of a vibrator used by its host. Maybe someone should do a study on the pregnant babes and babies on video cam sites. I cannot do such a study, since I know absolutely nothing about that topic and have no idea how to even find a video cam site...

  24. pleb

    Paws four thought

    Cats can be pawed, ergo liquid.

  25. StheD

    What I want to know is the playlist for the Babypod. Vagina Verdi? Poontang Puccini? Booty Beethoven?

    1. h4rm0ny

      Re: What I want to know...

      Depussy

      1. Pompous Git Silver badge

        Re: What I want to know...

        "Depussy"
        Presumably one of his piano pieces for four hands, the Gollywogs Cakewalk being racist filth these days.

  26. Brian Allan 1

    The Babypod speaker could add a whole new meaning to the sounds of orgasm!!

  27. 45RPM

    Haven't the Will It Blend people covered this already? Pretty sure that they can liquidise anything…

    You need a freezer to make it solid again.

    And a lot more research into how to make it cat again.

  28. pankajshiral

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