By Frank James
A bra that can be turned into two gas masks. Research into whether it's better to be hit over the head by an empty or full beer bottle.
This is the stuff of the Ig Nobel Prizes which were awarded Thursday night.
They are not to be confused with the Nobel Prizes, the world's most prestigious awards for intellectual achievement, which will be awarded next week in Stockholm.
As the name implies, the Ig Nobel prizes are dubious achievement awards and a spoof of the more famous prizes. They were handed out at Harvard University and actual Nobel laureates, like economist Paul Krugman, were on hand to take part in the now annual send-up sponsored by the Annals of Improbable Research, a science humor magazine. (No, that's not an oxymoron.)
Elena Bodnar, Raphael Lee and Sandra Marijan won in the public health category for "inventing a brassiere than can be converted into a pair of gas
Here are the rest of the winners, as provided by the Associated Press:
VETERINARY MEDICINE: Catherine Douglas and Peter Rowlinson for showing that cows with names give more milk than unnamed cows.
PEACE: Stephan Bolliger, Steffen Ross, Lars Oesterhelweg, Michael Thali and Beat Kneubuehl for investigating whether it is better to be struck over the head with a full beer bottle or with an empty beer bottle.
ECONOMICS: Executives of four Icelandic banks for showing how tiny banks can become huge banks, and then become tiny banks again.
CHEMISTRY: Javier Morales, Miguel Apatiga and Victor Castano for creating diamonds out of tequila.
MEDICINE: Donald Unger for cracking just the knuckles on his left hand for 60 years to see if knuckle cracking contributes to arthritis.
PHYSICS: Katherine Whitcome, Liza Shapiro and Daniel Lieberman for figuring out why pregnant women don't tip over.
LITERATURE: The Irish national police for issuing 50 tickets to one Prawo Jazdy, which in Polish means "driver's license."
MATHEMATICS: Gideon Gono and the Zimbabwean Reserve Bank for printing bank notes in denominations from 1 cent, to $100 trillion.BIOLOGY: Fumiaki Taguchi, Song Guofu and Zhang Guanglei for demonstrating that bacteria in panda poop can help reduce kitchen waste by 90 percent.
Winners are scheduled to present talks on their research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on Saturday.