By Ali Khimji
The winners of the Ig Nobel Awards were announced last week, with Britain landing a national record of four wins at the ceremony.
The ‘Igs’ are awarded to scientists whose work makes people laugh first and think later. Winners included psychologists Simon Rietveld and Ilja van Beest at the University of Amsterdam, who discovered that breathing difficulties caused by asthma can be alleviated by repeated rollercoaster rides.
The Physics prize went to Lianne Parkin and her team at the University of Otago in New Zealand, who discovered that people are less likely to slip over on icy footpaths if they wear their socks outside their shoes instead of inside.
One research paper that you might want to show your boss is the winner of the Management Prize; Alessandro Pluchino at the University of Catania, who demonstrated that companies work more efficiently if people are promoted at random.
While they may appear to be as random as the above, people have sworn by home-made remedies throughout time; with the Ancient Greeks believing that a headache could be cured by a shock from an electric eel, and Koreans pricking their thumbs with a needle to relieve indigestion.
My mum will always make me eat onions soaked in honey to get rid of a cough, while my dad believes that a good cup of tea can solve any problem.
We want to know what your random remedies for ailments are? Or have you spotted any random connections that could make an (Ig) Nobel Prize winner?
For more natural remedies check out Issue 58 – July 2009 – Kitchen Cures