The real alternative Nobel prizes
There are things between heaven and earth, which are so useful, that one can hardly believe it. For example, the PawSense software, which costs just under 20 dollars, but can do amazing things. Provided you are the owner of a cat, which also has a tendency to climb over the keyboard of your home PC, leaving its traces on the monitor when the box is turned on. This is where PawSense comes in, a program that immediately detects when a cat touches the keyboard. After that the PC is blocked by cats and additionally a noise is produced, which the four-legged creatures simply don’t like. In short a brilliant idea…
But between heaven and earth there are also things that are hard to believe. Although they too are somehow ingenious. Thus, according to English newspaper reports, the British navy organizes thrusting operations in which the gunners, instead of firing ammunition, are short and violent "Bang! Bang! Bang!" scream. Exactly this saves 642 English pounds each time, which means a saving of about one million per year.
Nevertheless, there are people, even among the soldiers, who find this preferable idea laughable. But they will now, I hope, keep an embarrassed silence. Because the British navy, just like the inventor of the cat-protection software, last week received one of the ten annual awards for its innovative brainwave since 1991 "Ig Nobel Prizes". However for performances, "that cannot or should not be repeated".
It seems that behind the short "Ig" the little word "ignoble", so "unworthy" – and the award ceremony at Harvard University is in fact a whimsical affair attended by real Nobel Prize winners. Pictures can be found on the site of the Ig-Committee, and there you can also find the other award winners, who are responsible for such crazy-significant things, like for example an investigation, why three Glasgow toilets collapsed under their visitors. Or how to make not only a frog but also a sumo wrestler float with a giant magnet.
But the most prestigious award of all is the annual Peace Prize, which this year was awarded to the British Navy for its "Bang! Bang! Bang!" and which went to Sud Africa in 1999, for the development of an anti-car theft system, which works dead sure, because it catches the Bosewicht with flamethrower in the act without further ado.