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Colonic explosions, chimpanzees’ rear ends, and a source of green hair: this year’s Ig Nobels

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e6403 (Published 21 September 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e6403
  1. Elizabeth Loder
  1. 1BMJ

Staring at women on campus will never again be regarded as a pointless exercise, after a team of researchers from California picked up the physics prize at the annual Ig Nobel awards on 20 September for doing exactly that.

Accepting the prize on behalf of the group of investigators Joseph Keller confided that his interest in the “balance of forces that shape and move hair in a human ponytail” was sparked by close scrutiny of women on the Stanford University campus. Their ponytails swung from side to side even when their heads were moving up and down. The prizewinning result of his curiosity was the ponytail shape equation.

The sellout crowd at the 22nd awards ceremony in Boston roared with laughter as winners of the acoustics prize …

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