Monday, October 6, 2008

JJNN Monday: Science - 10

Welcome again to JJNN for Monday October 6th, 2008. Today we will be talking about an award that is even better than the Nobel prize.

Notice I didn't say in what way these awards were better. I am talking about the famous (infamous) ig noble awards. What? You have never heard of the Ig Noble Awards? Well, I guess they don't get as much press as their big brother (no actual relation) the Nobel Prize, but still an award is an award, right?

So, what are the Ig Nobel Awards for? Well they are awards are given to scientists that do research that is not quite... normal. They want to reward people that give their lives away to researching a topic that at first seems weird, but might lead to great results and be though provoking. A good example of this was a winner from Japan last year, Yamamoto Mayu. Ms. Yamamoto decided to study cows. Not, too weird yet, right? Well let's take it a step further. She decided to study cow dung. A little out there, but not that bad really. This is where it gets weird. She found out that you can actually distill vanilla essence out of cow dung. Weird! That is what constitutes an Ig Nobel Prize.

The contender from Japan for this year can be found here. It seems that 3 Japanese people have found out that amoeboids can solve mazes. Apparently these microscopic creatures can solve their equivalent of a hedge maze just like a human can. On the outside this sounds like a stupid experiment, but this is a sign of intelligence in a creature that everyone assumed was not intelligent.

If you want to see more about the Ig Nobel awards you can find their website here. You can see an example of these awards down below. The video is as random as the prizes can be themselves.

Any way, it is now time for the word of the day. Today's word is 迷路(めいろ). It is pronounced meiro and means maze. Every time I think about mazes I think about labyrinths. Every time I think about labyrinths I think about David Bowey.

That's it for today. See you next time at JJNN.

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