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Ig Nobel Prizes 2: Why Chickens Prefer Beautiful Humans: Why Chickens Prefer Beautiful Humans v. 2 Paperback – 1 Sep 2005

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Orion; New Ed edition (1 Sept. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752864610
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752864617
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 2.2 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 901,465 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Len Fisher, author or How To Dunk A Doughnut has agreed to do local radio interviews from Bristol as a recipient of an Ig in 1999.I also putting forward a London-based winner from this year's award or interviews, Chris McManus (author of Right Hand, Left Hand, W&N) MAGAZINESTIME MAGAZINE - reviewNEW SCIENTIST - reviewTHE TABLET - reviewFOCUS - review PRESSTHE EXPRESS - full page feature about the Ig Nobel AwardsTHE EXPRESS - Beachecomber piece on the bookTHE TIMES - piece about the Ig Nobel AwardsDAILY TELEGRAPH - piece about the awardsTHE OBSERVER - piece about the awardsTIMES HIGHER EDUCATION SUPPLEMENT - feature article on bookIRISH NEWS - reviewSOUTH WALES EVENING POST - reviewDAILY RECORD - article about the awardsWORCESTER EVENING NEWS - reviewSENTINEL SUNDAY - reviewNEWS & STAR (EAST CUMBRIA) - reviewSHIELDS GAZETTE - reviewEVENING EXPRESS (ABERDEEN) - reviewLIVERPOOL ECHO - reviewGLOUCESTER CITIZEN - reviewBLACKPOOL GAZETTE - reviewCAMBRIDGE EVENING NEWS - reviewPERTHSHIRE ADVERTISER - reviewSCARBOROUGH TRADER - review RADIOBBC RADIO 4 TODAY programme - interview with Marc AbrahamsITN NEWS - interview with Marc AbrahamsLBC RADIO - interview with Marc AbrahamsBBC RADIO SOUTHAMPTON - interview withMarc AbrahamsBBC RADIO JERSEY - interview with Marc and LenBBC RADIO KENT - interview with Len FisherBBC RADIO SHROPSHIRE - interview with Len FisherBBC RADIO LEEDS - interview with LenBBC RADIO WALES - reviewBBC RADIO WILTSHIRE SOUND - interview - article about the awards TOU --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

A hugely irreverent but affectionate look at the most bizarre and seemingly pointless scientific research carried out around the world.

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By yiwen hao on 9 Feb. 2004
Format: Paperback
It made me laugh. I have to say it is one of the very few Humour books that I lay my eyes on. A great read on one of those blue days.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a compilation of all the Ig Nobel prizes awarded to those inventors and scientists who are are the very fringes of research and experimentation and development.

The blurb says it will make you laugh; and then make you think. It didn't make me laugh very often, but it did make me smile a few times. There were a few favourites, for example I didn't know that there was a British Standard for tea (BS6008), and that learned men have developed equations for the correct length of time to dunk a biscuit. Other have used magnets to levitate frogs, and have perfected the technique for getting the barbecue lit. And too temperature. In three seconds.

There are some mad people out there and some of them are responsible for things and other people! This book celebrates their achievements...
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A brilliant look into some of the ideas that warranted the penultimate accolade of an IgNobel prize. Very funny stuff.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 8 reviews
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Science can be funny 26 Sept. 2003
By Paul Lappen - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This book brings together two areas of human endeavor that don't normally go together: science and humor. The Ig Nobel Awards (actually held every year at Harvard University) honor those achievements which "cannot or should not be reproduced."
Did you know that elevator music may help prevent the common cold? Companies like Enron, Global Crossing, Tyco, Waste Management and WorldCom shared an award for adapting the mathematical concept of imaginary numbers for use in the business world. A man from Lithuania created an amusement park called Stalin World. To save money, the British Royal Navy has barred trainees at its top gunnery school from firing live shells and ordered them to shout "bang." It has been determined that, biochemically, romantic love may be indistinguishable from severe obsessive-compulsive disorder. A college professor from Pennsylvania fed prozac to clams (at the cellular level, clams and humans show remarkable nervous system similarities), resulting in a whole lot of reproducing going on. A man from France is the only winner of two Ig Nobels, for demonstrating that water has a memory, and that the information can be transmitted over the phone and the Internet.
Then there are the "classics," like the scientific investigation of why toast often falls on the buttered side; an Australian man who patented the wheel, and the Australian Patent Office who granted it; a man from Arizona who invented software that detcts when a cat is walking across your keyboard; the Southern Baptist Church of Alabama for their county-by-county estimate of how many Alabama citizens will go to hell if they don't repent; the sociology of Canadian donut shops, and the optimal way to dunk a biscuit. Last but not least, a solution has been found to the age-old problem of how to quickly start a barbecue. It can be done in less than four seconds with charcoal - and liquid oxygen.
This book is hilarious. It's humor of a slightly more highbrow variety, designed to make people laugh, then think. It's highly recommended for everyone, even those who think that they hate science.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Silly Science (& Some Serious Stuff) 27 April 2005
By Kent Ponder - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Virtually all of the topics treated are a hoot to read, though this sometimes owes more to the comedic skill of the writers than the to the nature of each subject itself.

Case in point: Because of the tall coconut tree in our backyard in Kahuku, Hawaii, the first topic I read was the study of the physics of falling coconuts, finding it humorously presented while still of serious importance. Most people, not living near coconut trees, and even some natives in the tropics, seem not to take falling coconuts seriously, but one fell from our tree, rolled down one of the long leaves, carrying it far enough from the tree to leave an 8" diameter hole in the roof of a sturdy gazebo, which could just as easily have been our neighbor's shed (or head).

To me, one of the more interesting accounts was of Dr. Cecil Jacobsen, a noted fertility researcher with whom I attended church for years in northern Virginia, who had decided to use his own sperm to impregnate many dozens of women, while telling them the semen was from other anonymous donors. The IgNobel Prize given to Dr. Jacobsen may not have seemed humorous to Cecil or his unwitting sperm recipients.

You'll find a treasure trove of wacky and fascinating matters wittily presented in this collection, and you'll probably find yourself reading it aloud to your friends and watching them crack up (or maybe just watching their jaws drop). Some of the material is appropriate for all ages. (My 10-year-old grandson loved the study of Nosepicking Among Adolescents.)
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
A great idea, executed with mediocrity 9 Sept. 2007
By Mike Smith - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This book is full of really great, really funny (mostly) scientific studies--but not all the way through. At times, it's quirky and hilarious; at others, it's just kind of there.

Most of the stories are interesting, but the writing's not that great and gets in the way of it all sometimes. It's loaded with clumsy epimone, erratic spacing, and a rampant glazing over of facts.

Then there's the appendix that lists all of the winners of past Ig Nobel Prize ceremonies, most of which were funnier-sounding than many of the ones that the book explored more fully.

I'm glad I read this, but I don't think it's a five-star book--or even a four-star one.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
It would really be funny if it wasn't all so serious ,true and expensive. 19 July 2007
By J. Guild - Published on
Format: Hardcover
The worlds of Academia,Military ,Politics,Arts and Science provide much greatness for mankind and are often recognized with with Nobel prizes.These same worlds have often produced unimaginable blunders which can only be rewarded with disgust which is so well deserved. Then ,there are those accomplishments,which we can read about in this book,which deserve their own special kind of recognition;namely the Ig Nobel Prize.
The world of Academia seems to have a virtual stranglehold on this sort of thing and it is not surprising that it is people from that world who have come to recognize and reward it.
In most cases ,no harm is done to the public.The people who produce these accomplishments never become discouraged.Rather,they continue to search for and are encouraged to obtain grants in order to produce even more and greater things,unfortunately even more deservingly of Ig Nobel Prizes. Therefore; it would seem to be likely that AIR will never run short of material. There were a couple of awards that I particularly enjoyed.
Including Dan Quale under Education may be an anamoly;but what other category could include his likes.Whatever you call the pronouncements he makes;you've got to agree they are colossal and seem to be effortless on his part. Even Yogi Berra would have trouble competing with him.I'm sure he has uttered enough to fill a book.
How can you dispute a well conceived thought process that produces a statement that will survive the ages;

"If we do not succeed,we run the risk of failure."

Or ,if you still have doubts,how about this?

"I believe we are on an irreversible trend toward more freedom and
democracy,but that could change."

Then again,he must have done a lot of research to come up with this;

"A low voter turnout is an indication of fewer people going to the

Canadians often come up short in things like this and probably because they have the lack of vision coupled with the tendancy to turn to the government for creative thinking.However in this case AIM certainly went to the right place to find "The Sociology of Canadian Donut Shops".Where better than York University,that has been honored with this motto;"If you can use a fork,you can graduate York".
A great summertime read, unless you belong to Academia;then it is a source of profound inspiration.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Research that appears absurd, almost always is, but sometimes there is a potential gold nugget 22 Aug. 2006
By Charles Ashbacher - Published on
Format: Hardcover
While the criteria for receiving an Ig Nobel prize:

*) An achievements that cannot or should not be reproduced.

*) An achievement must first make you laugh and then make you think.

seems to render them fodder for the silly bin, there is a very serious side. Many of the major scientific achievements down through history could have been considered candidates for an Ig Nobel prize. Examples include:

*) The claim that stones fell from the sky, which was ridiculed by Thomas Jefferson.

*) The claim that the Earth revolved around the sun which was considered an unarguable fact for centuries.

*) The weighing of the air still considered a joke by many.

Most of the research described in this book is clearly absurd and will always remain that way. However, there are a few of the Ig Nobel prizes that may be the first step towards significant results. My favorite is the conclusion reached by Joel Slemrod of the University of Michigan Business School and Wojiech Kopczuk of the University of British Columbia. It is summed up in the simple statement:

There is abundant evidence that some people will themselves to survive in order to live through a momentous event. Evidence from estate tax returns suggests that some people will themselves to survive a bit longer if it will enrich their heirs."

The idea that you can will yourself to live longer is certainly significant in the study of life prolongation techniques.

I am in complete agreement with the awarding of the prizes, I found the research leading to the awards amusing. However, after I thought about it a bit, it was clear that it was not so easy to dismiss some of it as good for nothing more than a laugh.
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