september 18

Story Sunday: Ig Nobel Prize Goes For Alligator On Helium

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Esquire Magazine Alligator Image
Image Credit: Esquire Magazine

“Alligator sucking on helium wins parody Ig Nobel Prize”

Scientists are answering a question no one is asking. What would it sound like if an alligator sucked up helium? When a team of international researchers wanted to find out whether a gator’s vocalizations relate to its body size, they devised an experiment that would earn them the 2020 Ig Nobel (a wordplay on “Nobel” and “ignoble”) Prize for acoustics. Researchers captured footage of the snorting alligator in a helium-filled tank. In perhaps one of the biggest letdowns in the history of scientific study, it sounded nothing like a cartoon chipmunk. Now in its 30th year, the annual Ig Nobel Prize awards ceremony, usually presented at Harvard University’s Sanders Theatre, was conducted remotely due to pandemic restrictions.

Among this year’s other elite competitors, a study which demonstrated that meticulously groomed eyebrows are a reliable indicator of grandiose narcissism took home the prize in psychology. The prize in economics went to an international team of creeps (presumably) who wanted to know whether the rate of French kissing correlated with national income inequality. Based on data from 13 countries across six continents, they found that where kissing was more frequent, income inequality was also more likely to occur. Go figure. American Richard Vetter took home the prize in entomology for his brave study on spiders (which aren’t technically insects) that revealed most of his peers are, allegedly, arachnophobic. And, the award for materials science went deservedly (because it’s gross) to a collaboration between the US and the UK to study whether frozen human feces could be made into usable knives. Spoiler alert: It certainly cannot.

But, who could forget the most Ig Nobel moment in recent history? The medical education prize went to a roundup of sometimes ill-advised world leaders for showing that “politicians can have a more immediate effect on life and death than scientists and doctors can” during the global coronavirus pandemic.

Hannah Sparks
New York Post
September 18, 2020

Additional:
Researcher Receives Ig Nobel Prize (Lund University/Stephan Reber)

POTD: Tandy 5000

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This is clearly a newspaper clipping from back in the day. I can’t for the life of me remember where I picked this up but, I have had it for years. My, we have come a long way. ~Vic

Tandy 5000 Image
Image dated: 09-18-2001

Picture of the Day

Foto Friday: Sunsets Local

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All photos, below, are my personal collection. ~Vic


Sunset Image One
Food Lion parking lot as storm clouds rolled through.
07-12-2016


Sunset Image Two
My neighborhood.
12-12-2016


Sunset Image Three
Evening walk.
11-05-2017


Sunset Image Four
Up the street.
11-11-2017


Sunset Image Five
Late Spring walk.
06-02-2018


Sunset Image Six
Phoenix in the sky.
08-06-2018


Sunset Image Seven
Cotton on fire.
09-18-2018


Sunset Image Eight
Riverwalk
01-06-2019


Sunset Image Nine
Sunset blur thru the window.
01-29-2019


Sunset Image Ten
Pink glow this past Sunday.
02-03-2019

Tune Tuesday: Whatever You Like 2008

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Whatever You Like Image
Photo Credit: hollywoodreporter.com

It’s Tune Tuesday! Ten years ago, today, the #1 Billboard Hot 100 song was Whatever You Like. I hadn’t heard this song until five minutes ago. By the time 2008 rolled around, I wasn’t listening to Top 40 stations, anymore. I was listening to BobFM or SimonFM or what everyone today refers to as ‘variety hits’. Yes, I am showing my age. ~Vic