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פרסי האיג-נובל הוענקו אתמול בבוסטון, לצלילי האופרה ההומוריסטית "אופרה לבנק הגדול"

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פרסי האיג-נובל לשנת 2009, המוענקים בלעג מסוים למבצעי המחקרים
הבלתי-נחוצים של השנה, הוענקו אמש בקימברידג', מסצ'וסטס.

פרס האיג-נובל נוסד בשנת 1968 בידי הפרופ 'אלכסנדר כהן, והפרופ' צבי ליפקין, מייסדיו
ועורכיו הראשונים של כתב-העת JIR להומור ,סאטירה וביקורת עצמית
במדע. כהן וליפקין העניקו את הפרס הרחק מזרקורי התקשורת (לרווחתם היחסית
של הזוכים), אבל מארק אברהמס ,עורכו של כתב-העת הממשיך את דרכו של
JIR, ,הקרוי "רשומות המדע הבלתי נאות", או, בקיצור, AIR, החליט להוציא
את הגיחוך לאור ,למען יראו ,יראו ויצחקו .

בטפסים הרשמיים של ועדת האיג-נובל ,נאמר שהפרס קרוי על שמו של
המדען איגנציוס נובל ("קרוב-רחוק של אלפרד") הממציא המהולל של מי
הסודה ("מים קופצים"). במלים אחרות ,הוועדה מכחישה כל קשר בין הפרס
לבין העובדה ש"איגנובל" משמעותו "עלוב".
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הנה רשימת הזוכים בפרס לשנת 2009.
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VETERINARY MEDICINE PRIZE – Catherine Douglas and Peter Rowlinson of
Newcastle University, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, UK, for showing that cows
who have names give more milk than cows that are nameless.
REFERENCE: "Exploring Stock Managers' Perceptions of the Human-Animal
Relationship on Dairy Farms and an Association with Milk Production,"
Catherine Bertenshaw [Douglas] and Peter Rowlinson, Anthrozoos, vol.
22, no. 1, March 2009, pp. 59-69. DOI: 10.2752/175303708X390473.
WHO ATTENDED THE CEREMONY: Peter Rowlinson. Catherine Douglas was
unable to travel because she recently gave birth; she sent a photo of
herself, her new daughter dressed in a cow suit, and a cow.
CONTACT: Dr. Catherine Douglas (nee Bertenshaw), School of
Agriculture, Food and Rural Development. Newcastle University.
Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, UK. Mobile: 00 44
7715 103 650. Home: 00 44 191 281 0359.

CONTACT: Dr Peter Rowlinson, Senior Lecturer in Animal Production
Science, 3.12 KG, 3rd Floor King George VI Building, University of
Newcastle, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 7RU, UK. Office: +44 (0)191 222 6870.

PEACE PRIZE: Stephan Bolliger, Steffen Ross, Lars Oesterhelweg,
Michael Thali and Beat Kneubuehl of the University of Bern,
Switzerland, for determining — by experiment — whether it is better to
be smashed over the head with a full bottle of beer or with an empty
bottle.
REFERENCE: "Are Full or Empty Beer Bottles Sturdier and Does Their
Fracture-Threshold Suffice to Break the Human Skull?" Stephan A.
Bolliger, Steffen Ross, Lars Oesterhelweg, Michael J. Thali and Beat
P. Kneubuehl, Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, vol. 16, no. 3,
April 2009, pp. 138-42. DOI:10.1016/j.jflm.2008.07.013.
WHO ATTENDED THE CEREMONY: Stephan Bolliger
CONTACT: Stephan Bolliger, MD., Deputy head, Department Forensic
Medicine and Centre for Forensic Imaging and Virtopsy, University of
Bern, Medical Faculty, Institute of Forensic Medicine, Bühlstrasse 20,
CH-3012 Bern, Switzerland. Tel. +41 (0)31 631 84 11. Mobile: (+41) 79
502 51 18.

ECONOMICS PRIZE: The directors, executives, and auditors of four
Icelandic banks — Kaupthing Bank, Landsbanki, Glitnir Bank, and
Central Bank of Iceland — for demonstrating that tiny banks can be
rapidly transformed into huge banks, and vice versa — and for
demonstrating that similar things can be done to an entire national
economy.

CHEMISTRY PRIZE: Javier Morales, Miguel Apátiga, and Victor M. Castaño
of Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, for creating diamonds from
liquid — specifically from tequila.
REFERENCE: "Growth of Diamond Films from Tequila," Javier Morales,
Miguel Apatiga and Victor M. Castano, 2008, arXiv:0806.1485.
WHO ATTENDED THE CEREMONY: Javier Morales and Miguel Apátiga
CONTACT: Dr. Miguel Apátiga, Centro de Física Aplicada y Tecnología
Avanzada, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Boulevard
Juriquilla 3001, Santiago de Queretaro, Querétaro, México 76230. Tel.
442-2381159. Fax 238-1165.

CONTACT: Javier Morales, Facultad de Ciencias Físico Matemáticas,
Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, Av. Universidad S/N, San Nicolás,
Nuevo León, México 66450. Cell: 018114647076.
CONTACT: Victor M. Castaño, Centro de Física Aplicada y Tecnología
Avanzada, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Boulevard
Juriquilla 3001, Santiago de Queretaro, Querétaro, México 76230.

MEDICINE PRIZE: Donald L. Unger, of Thousand Oaks, California, USA,
for investigating a possible cause of arthritis of the fingers, by
diligently cracking the knuckles of his left hand — but never cracking
the knuckles of his right hand — every day for more than sixty (60)
years.
REFERENCE: "Does Knuckle Cracking Lead to Arthritis of the Fingers?",
Donald L. Unger, Arthritis and Rheumatism, vol. 41, no. 5, 1998, pp.
949-50.
WHO ATTENDED THE CEREMONY: Donald Unger
CONTACT: Donald L. Unger, MD, 1459 East Thousand Oaks Blvd, Thousand
Oaks, CA 91362, USA. Phone: (+1) 805-373-1985. Cell: (+1) 805 907
8357. Fax (+1) Fax: 805-373-0692.

PHYSICS PRIZE: Katherine K. Whitcome of the University of Cincinnati,
USA, Daniel E. Lieberman of Harvard University, USA, and Liza J.
Shapiro of the University of Texas, USA, for analytically determining
why pregnant women don't tip over.
REFERENCE: "Fetal Load and the Evolution of Lumbar Lordosis in Bipedal
Hominins," Katherine K. Whitcome, Liza J. Shapiro & Daniel E.
Lieberman, Nature, vol. 450, 1075-1078 (December 13, 2007). DOI:
10.1038/nature06342.
WHO ATTENDED THE CEREMONY: Katherine Whitcome and Daniel Lieberman
CONTACT: Katherine Whitcome. Department of Anthropology, PO Box
210380, 481 Braunstein Hall, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati,
Ohio, USA, 45221-0380. Office: (+1) 513-556-0369.
CONTACT: Daniel E. Lieberman, Professor of Biological Anthropology,
Harvard University, 11 Divinity Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA.
Tel: : (+1) 617-495-5479.

CONTACT: Liza J. Shapiro, Professor, Department of Anthropology,
University of Texas at Austin, 1 University Station C3200, Austin, TX
78712-0303, USA. Tel: (+1) 512-471-7533.

LITERATURE PRIZE: Ireland's police service (An Garda Siochana), for
writing and presenting more than fifty traffic tickets to the most
frequent driving offender in the country — Prawo Jazdy — whose name in
Polish means "Driving License".
WHO ATTENDED THE CEREMONY: [Karolina Lewestam, a Polish citizen and
holder of a Polish driver's license, speaking on behalf of all her
fellow Polish licensed drivers, expressed her good wishes to the Irish
police service.]

PUBLIC HEALTH PRIZE: Elena N. Bodnar, Raphael C. Lee, and Sandra
Marijan of Chicago, Illinois, USA, for inventing a brassiere that, in
an emergency, can be quickly converted into a pair of gas masks, one
for the brassiere wearer and one to be given to some needy bystander.
REFERENCE: U.S. patent # 7255627, granted August 14, 2007 for a
“Garment Device Convertible to One or More Facemasks.”
WHO ATTENDED THE CEREMONY: Elena Bodnar.
CONTACT: Elena N. Bodnar, MD, PhD, The University of Chicago,
Department of Surgery, 5841 S. Maryland Avenue, Chicago, Illinois
60637, USA. Tel: (+1) 773-834-2816. Mobile: (+1) 773 860 5640. FAX:
773-702-4457.

MATHEMATICS PRIZE: Gideon Gono, governor of Zimbabwe’s Reserve Bank,
for giving people a simple, everyday way to cope with a wide range of
numbers — from very small to very big — by having his bank print bank
notes with denominations ranging from one cent ($.01) to one hundred
trillion dollars ($100,000,000,000,000).
REFERENCE: Zimbabwe's Casino Economy — Extraordinary Measures for
Extraordinary Challenges, Gideon Gono, ZPH Publishers, Harare, 2008,
ISBN 978-079-743-679-4.

BIOLOGY PRIZE: Fumiaki Taguchi, Song Guofu, and Zhang Guanglei of
Kitasato University Graduate School of Medical Sciences in Sagamihara,
Japan, for demonstrating that kitchen refuse can be reduced more than
90% in mass by using bacteria extracted from the feces of giant pandas.
REFERENCE: "Microbial Treatment of Kitchen Refuse With Enzyme-
Producing Thermophilic Bacteria From Giant Panda Feces," Fumiaki
Taguchia, Song Guofua, and Zhang Guanglei, Seibutsu-kogaku Kaishi,
vol. 79, no 12, 2001, pp. 463-9. [and abstracted in Journal of
Bioscience and Bioengineering, vol. 92, no. 6, 2001, p. 602.]
REFERENCE: "Microbial Treatment of Food-Production Waste with
Thermopile Enzyme-Producing Bacterial Flora from a Giant Panda" [in
Japanese], Fumiaki Taguchi, Song Guofu, Yasunori Sugai, Hiroyasu Kudo
and Akira Koikeda, Journal of the Japan Society of Waste Management
Experts, vol. 14, no. 2, 2003, pp. , 76-82.
WHO ATTENDED THE CEREMONY: Fumiaki Taguchi
CONTACT: Fumiaki Taguchi, Professor Emeritus, Department of
Environment, Microbiology, Kitasato University Graduate School of
Medical Sciences, Sagamihara, Kanagawa 228-8555 Japan.
Residence: Yokodai 5-14-1, Sagamihara-city, Kanagawa-ken 229-0026,
Japan.
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The ceremony included the premiere of a new mini-opera called "The Big Bank Opera", in which stylish bankers in a swanky Wall Street bar explain the explosive rise and fall of big banking and big bankers. It starred singers Maria Ferrante and Ben Sears, with conductor David Stockton.

Several former winners were present, greeted with glee from the
audience. These included: Deborah Anderson (the doctor who
investigated whether Coca-Cola is an effective spermicide); Don
Featherstone (creator of the plastic pink flamingo); Rebecca Waber
(experimenter who showed that high-priced fake medicine is more
effective than low-priced fake medicine); Francis Fesmire (the first
doctor to cure intractable hiccups by applying digital rectal
massage); and Dan Meyer (co-author of a study about the medical
effects of sword-swallowing). During the ceremony, Mr. Meyer set a new world's record for how many Nobel laureates can simultaneously withdraw a sword from the throat of a sword-swallower.




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