This is pretty awesome. Andre Geim won the Nobel Prize in physics this year, for his work with graphene. Ten years ago, Geim won an IgNobel for using magnets to levitate a frog.
The point: A friendly reminder that the IgNobel awards are not here to point fingers at the useless and foolish in science, but, rather, to draw attention to studies that sound funny, but often have some serious thought going on behind the guffaws. Geim's IgNobel, for instance, was earned in honor of research that involved using a popular magnet toy to make a frog float. But, that research is centered around serious ideas about magnetic levitation, a phenomenon best known for its application in Maglev trains.
One note: Technically, Geim is only the first person to win both awards as an individual.
Bart Knols, who (together with Ruurd de Jong) was awarded the 2006 Ig Nobel Prize in Entomology (for showing that the female malaria mosquito Anopheles gambiae is attracted equally to the smell of limberger cheese and to the smell of human feet) was also one of the hundreds of employees of the International Atomic Energy Agency who together were awarded a Nobel Prize in peace in 2005.
Read the full IgNobel Awards announcement
Scientists discovered this new species of “glass frog” in Ecuador’s Amazon lowlands. Hyalinobatrachium yaku’s belly is so transparent that you can clearly see its kidneys, bladder, and beating heart. From Science News: Yaku means “water” in Kichwa, a language spoken in Ecuador and parts of Peru where H. yaku may also live. Glass frogs, like […]
Jennifer Raff — a bioanthropologist and geneticist who researches and teaches at U Kansas and U Texas — provides some excellent advice and context on how to read a scientific paper, from figuring out which papers and journals are worthy of your attention to understanding the paper in its wider context in the relevant field.
Apple released this lovely new commercial featuring Carl Sagan reading from his magnificent 1994 book Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space, now available as an audiobook. This surprising partnership spurred Adweek to interview my friend Ann Druyan, Sagan’s wife, collaborator, and creative director of the Voyager Golden Record, about being […]
Learning a new language will give your resume an upgrade, sure, but it will also provide a huge cognitive boost for mental tasks outside of translation and conversation. Bilingual brains have been shown to be better at handling multiple concurrent tasks, and gaining fluency in a new tongue is an amazing way to improve memory, […]
If you struggle to get a good night’s rest, consider replacing your pillows before dropping hundreds on a new mattress. You can give your tired neck a break with a 2-pack of memory foam pillows, available now in the Boing Boing Store.Each of these pillows is stuffed with cooling polyurethane foam that molds to your […]
Although flagship smartphones are unlikely to adopt heavy-duty outer casing anytime soon, you can always prepare your device for the outdoors with a beefy case and and an external battery like this Nomad Tile Trackable PowerPack, available in the Boing Boing Store for $119.95.The Nomad Tile can fully recharge an iPhone 7 over three times […]