ig opera

and Ig nobel prize, such a thing got me giggling reading today. i was first aware of it only after it’s published on the front page of the school newspaper. they hold this award ceremony every year at Harvard to celebrate unusual achievements in science. This year’s theme is “chemistry” and featured “Chemist in a Coffee Shop”, a 5-act mini-opera about chemical composition and the effects of coffee (with local soprano Maria Ferrante)

You can watch the entire ceremony here or watch the clip above from the beginning.

The winner of this year is a team of chemists from Japan who invented the “wasabi alarm” by determining that the most effective air-borned wasabi concentration between 5-50 part-per-million should be used for air spraying to awaken sleeping people in case of an emergency :-). Some other notable discoveries include: (quoting from school news paper)

Literature award: John R. Perry of Stanford for his “Theory of Structured Procrastination.” The theory states “to be a high achiever, always work on something important, using it as a way to avoid doing something that’s even more important.” An excerpt from his paper: “Doing these tasks becomes a way of not doing the things higher up on the list… the procrastinator becomes a useful citizen.”

Two teams from Europe and USA were awarded for new discoveries related to the need to urinate. The team from USA discovered that suppressing the intense need to urinate has the same negative effect on driving ability as a 24-hr sleep deprivation, while the team from Europe found out people who have strong urge to urinate can better suppress impulses including “increasing ability to resist more immediate temptations in monetary decision making.”

sounds like great fun. since it’s just down the street, you know i’ll be there next year to watch the ceremony :-).

Lastly, it seems they perform an opera every year. Here’s last year opera “The Big Bank”, Act 1


About thả diều
writing-challenged opera-addict

9 Responses to ig opera

  1. jcmwee says:

    Our own crazy-science-communicator-guy-in-the-media Dr Karl Kruszelnicki won a 2002 Ig Nobel for a survey of belly button lint. http://www.abc.net.au/science/k2/lint/

    And you have heard of the Dance Your PhD contest right? http://gonzolabs.org/dance/

  2. Eyesometric says:

    I think that PhD dance contest is right up your street Dr. T! ….. Research/Dancing and a choice of topics too … cute pools or Alcina – take your pick. 😉
    I really think you should go for this one, don’t you jcmwee?

    • jcmwee says:

      Absolutely! Must be something you can signal by dance about your polar research!

    • thả diều says:

      thanks jcmwee and Eyes for stopping by :-), haven’t had time to look at the dance yet… thanks to flip in schedule again! jcmwee: i think i’ve heard of that belly button lint thingy before 🙂

  3. thả diều says:

    making good use of “structured procrastination” theory, just done reviewing paper 🙂

    • Eyesometric says:

      Hence you have become a useful citizen. Congratulations!

      • thả diều says:

        sadly, i spoke too soon. right afterward, instead of making a copy of the file, i deleted it by mistake and just lost 4-hr of work :-(. now re-working based on memory…. perhaps that’s how one keeps oneself busy, make work, delete work, then make work again… it’s not the end of the world (i telling myself 😉 ), just more time wasting. now i just need to run some nice exercising videos in background to help me concentrate 😉

        Thanks for swinging by though. i first thought of swearing publicly in all internet forms, then i remaining calm and now re-starting typing…

        3 hrs later, done :-). good to keep going when memory is fresh…

        • Eyesometric says:

          Well done you!

          • thả diều says:

            thanks for comforting pat 😉 hope you saturday is going great!
            been neglecting blogosphere.. my pool is now crashing “backward in time” ;-), hence making more useful management of time by deleting and re-writing review. but it’s done, yay, am happy. once pool functions properly backward, i might type up a post discussing how cute it is…
            In other news, musical season started w/ that cute cherubino, coming up will be a nice mezzo (great news they didn’t bring in a CT for pergolesi stabat mater…) If i can only somehow focus on writing up about these performances 🙂

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