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Here are the Ig Nobel prizes 2018: ‘Roller coaster rides get rid of kidney stones’ among winners



Here are the Ig Nobel prizes 2018: ‘Roller coaster rides get rid of kidney stones’ among winners

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Riding on some types of roller-coaster is an effective way of removing kidney stones. This research – “for using roller coaster rides to try to hasten the passage of kidney stones” by Marc Mitchell and David Wartinger – has won this year’s Ig Nobel Prize for Medicine.

The US researchers who carried out the work recommend that those afflicted with the condition should regularly go for roller coaster rides.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1537019764866{padding-top: 10px !important;padding-right: 10px !important;padding-bottom: 10px !important;padding-left: 10px !important;background-color: #a2b1bf !important;border-radius: 10px !important;}”]The Ig Nobel Prize is a parody of the Nobel Prize awarded every autumn to celebrate ten unusual or trivial achievements in scientific research. Since 1991, the Ig Nobel Prizes have been awarded to “honour achievements that first make people laugh, and then make them think.”

They are all genuine studies and nearly all have been published in peer-reviewed journals.

The name of the award, the Ig Nobel Prize is a pun on the word ‘ignoble’ – the opposite of ‘noble’ – meaning “characterized by baseness, lowness, or meanness”.

Organized by the scientific humour magazine, the Annals of Improbable Research (AIR), says Wikipedia, the Ig Nobel Prizes are presented by Nobel laureates in a ceremony at the Sanders Theater, Harvard University, and are followed by the winners’ public lectures at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]The inspiration behind the roller-coaster research began several years ago when one of Prof David Wartinger’s patients at Michigan State University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine returned from a holiday trip to Walt Disney World in Florida, said a BBC report.

The patient reported that one of his kidney stones became dislodged after a ride on the Big Thunder Mountain ride. Wondering whether it was caused by the ride or a coincidence, the patient went on the ride several more times and each time a stone popped out.

Intrigued by the story, Prof Wartinger built a silicone model of his patient’s renal system, including artificial kidney stones, and took it with him on numerous rides. He discovered that Big Thunder Mountain was indeed effective – more so than the scarier rides such as Space Mountain or Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster which involve prolonged drops.

Prof Wartinger concluded that this was because Big Thunder Mountain involves more up and down and side to side movements that “rattle” the rider.


The anthropology prize went to a team that found when chimps try to imitate humans, they do about as well as humans do when they’re imitating chimpanzees.


The discovery that some wine experts can detect the presence of a dead fly in a glass of wine won a European team the biology prize, while the chemistry award was given to a Portuguese team who tested how well saliva cleans dirty surfaces.

Medical Education

A Japanese doctor who devised a “revolutionary” new way to give yourself a colonoscopy took out the medical education prize.

“If people watch a video of my self-colonoscopy, they think colonoscopy is simple and easy,” said Akira Horiuchi.

Colonoscopies are never pleasant, but some people have more difficulty with them than others. There’s a long tradition of scientists using themselves as guinea pigs—in this case, to explore whether it might be better to conduct a colonoscopy while in a seated versus the usual supine position. That’s just what the recipient did, not just once, but four different times, with varying degrees of discomfort. So even single patients’ experiences can vary. He called for further study comparing seated and supine positions to determine whether the former might be better for problem patients.


The Literature prize went to an international team prize for finding out that “most people who use complicated products do not read the instruction manual”.

The Investigation was called, Life Is Too Short to RTFM: How Users Relate to Documentation and Excess Features. “RTFM” is an acronym for “read the field manual”, though, according to the researchers, it has gained a ‘new meaning’ by consumers who are often frustrated by the complexity of operation of their product.


University of Brighton lecturer James Cole’s calculations that proved human meat isn’t as good as animal meat won him the nutrition prize.

“We’re not super nutritious,” he said. Pound per pound, it is not worth eating human flesh compared with other types of meat. This was to analyse the eating practices of early humans, rather than to inform present-day dietary choices.


For economics, the winner was research investigating whether it is effective for employees to use voodoo dolls to retaliate against bullying bosses. This study showed that taking it out on dolls does alleviate negative feelings, but suggested in the long run that it was better to deal with the underlying issue.


The winner of the Ig Nobel Chemistry Prize went to research that settled the issue of whether human saliva is a good cleaning agent for dirty surfaces. It is – especially for fragile, painted areas on ceramics, and on gold leaf.


A Swedish team won the biology Ig Nobel for demonstrating that wine experts can reliably identify, by smell, the presence of a fly in a glass of wine – possibly sparking a new genre of jokes involving sommeliers.

Reproductive medicine

The reproductive medicine gong went to a team that used postage stamps to figure out if men’s sexual organs were working properly — as described in their study, “Nocturnal Penile Tumescence Monitoring with Stamps.”

Reporting on this, Ars Technica portal said: “Impotence is embarrassing, to be sure, but it can also be a symptom for more serious conditions (diabetes, lymphoma, or arteriosclerosis, for instance). One way to tell the difference between impotence that’s “psychogenic” and impotence that has an underlying physical cause is whether or not the patient gets erections while sleeping. Sure, you can hook your member up to a strain gauge recorder at night or ask your sexual partner to track your nighttime erections. But it’s so much easier to wrap the “stamp ring” (similar in size to Christmas seals) around it at night and just check to see if the stamp ring broke along the perforations overnight because of an erection.”


Last but not least, the Ig Nobel Peace Prize went to a Spanish group that aimed to find ways of reducing road rage, in a paper titled, Shouting and Cursing While Driving: Frequency, Reasons, Perceived Risk and Punishment. The team’s solution is to try to reduce stress on the road – a task as sizable as reducing conflict in the Middle East, noted BBC.

Ars Techinca report said: Most of us are inclined to mutter a bit of profanity when stuck in traffic, but roughly one-quarter of us are particularly aggressive when it comes to shouting and cursing at other drivers (especially, it seems, in Spain). The recipients studied the frequency of this behaviour and possible stress factors behind it, as well as the impact on traffic safety.

Most people view such behaviour as relatively harmless, when in fact, that level of aggression is associated with a higher rate of accidents (a major cause of death and injury worldwide).[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

India News

PM Modi inaugurates 3 major space infrastructure projects, announces names of astronauts for Gaganyaan mission

The four pilots have been training at the astronaut training facility in Bengaluru.



Prime Minister Narendra Modi today revealed the names of four pilots preparing for the country’s historic Gaganyaan human space travel program. Group Captain P Balakrishnan Nair, Group Captain Ajit Krishnan, Group Captain Angad Pratap, and Wing Commander S Shukla, are the four pilots who are selected for this mission.

The PM also bestowed astronaut wings to the four astronaut-designates.

PM Modi addressed the people there and said, he is happy that today he got the opportunity to meet these astronauts and present them in front of the country. He also congratulated the astronauts on behalf of the entire country. PM Modi also hailed the astronaut as the pride of the country.

Meanwhile, the PM inaugurated three major infrastructure projects of ISRO valued at 1800 crore during his visit to Vikram Sarabhai Space Center in Kerala on Tuesday. PM Narendra Modi is on a two-day visit to the southern states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu starting Tuesday, February 27.

The projects include the PSLV Integration Facility at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota, the new Semi-cryogenics Integrated Engine and stage Test facility at ISRO Propulsion Complex at Mahendragiri, and Trisonic Wind Tunnel at VSSC, Thiruvananthapuram.

Before the inauguration ceremonyISRO chairman S Somanath extended his respects to Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a felicitation ceremony held at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) in Thiruvananthapuram.

The ISRO chairman said, with the support of the honorable Prime Minister, the space sector is undergoing rapid transformation for expansion. He added that the long-term space vision for Amrit Kal had already been announced by the Prime minister. He further added that the vision had been created for Amrit Kal with the space sector as the torch bearer.

After the inauguration ceremony, the Prime Minister is scheduled to address public gatherings in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, and Tiruppur, Tamil Nadu. Additionally, he will participate in the program called Creating the Future – Digital Mobility for Automotive MSME Entrepreneurs in Madurai.

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Rahul Gandhi reacts to Hijab controversy, says what a person wears is their responsibility and nobody should decide what they wear

Rahul Gandhi said what a woman wears is her responsibility and it is her decision. He thought nobody should decide what they wear. His comments came after the Congress government in Karnataka allowed students to wear Hijab during competitive exams in October last year.



Congress Leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday said that women’s choice of clothing including a hijab should be respected and one should not dictate what a person has to wear. Rahul Gandhi was interacting with female students at the Aligarh Muslim University in Uttar Pradesh during his Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra.

During the interaction a girl mentioned the hijab controversy in Karnataka and asked the Congress leader about his views on the same. He said what a woman wears is her responsibility and it is her decision. He thought nobody should decide what they wear. His comments came after the Congress government in Karnataka allowed students to wear Hijab during competitive exams in October last year.

The issue erupted in Januray 2022 when Muslim students at a government pre-university college in Karnataka’s Udupi were denied entry for wearing hijabs, citing a violation of the college’s uniform policy. The incident has sparked widespread protests and counter-protests across the state.

The then BJP government issued an order that made mandatory for students to wear uniforms in educational institutes. The order banned the wearing of hijabs in these settings. This decision was challenged in court, and on March 15, 2022 the decision was upheld by the Haryana High Court.

The court said wearing a hiujab is not an essential religious practice in Islam and as result it does not fall under the protection of Article 25 of the Indian Constitution, which guarantees the fundamental right to freely practice one’s religion.

In October 2022, The Supreme Court pronounced a split verdict on the petitions challenging The Karnataka High Court order which refused to overturn a ban on hijabs in educational institutions in the state. The Top court’s split verdict means the issue will be revisited by a larger bench for final decision.In December last year, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah announced that his government will withdraw the order banning hijab in schools and colleges in the state .   

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Rajya Sabha election: Samajwadi Party leader Manoj Kumar Pandey steps down as Chief Whip, voting underway

Samajwadi Party MLA Manoj Kumar Pandey on Tuesday resigned from the post of party chief whip amid the voting for 10 Rajya Sabha seats.



In the midst of voting for the Rajya Sabha elections, Samajwadi Party leader and MLA Manoj Kumar Pandey resigned from his position as the party’s chief whip in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly on Tuesday.

His resignation from the position was announced barely one day after eight Samajwadi Party MLAs failed to show up for a meeting that the party Chief Akhilesh Yadav had called.

Eight BJP candidates and three Samajwadi Party candidates have applied for the 10 Rajya Sabha seats from Uttar Pradesh as the voting has begun.

The main opposition SP and the ruling BJP both have enough members to send seven and three members to the Rajya Sabha, respectively, without opposition. However, since the BJP is fielding an eighth candidate, a competitive race is expected in one of the seats.

The results will be announced by the end of the day.

The BJP has put up seven other candidates which includes, former Union minister RPN Singh, former MP Chaudhary Tejveer Singh, general secretary of the party’s Uttar Pradesh unit Amarpal Maurya, former state minister Sangeeta Balwant (Bind); former MLA Sadhna Singh, and former Agra mayor Naveen Jain.

Actor-turned-MP Jaya Bachchan, former IAS officer Alok Ranjan, and Dalit activist Ramji Lal Suman are the candidates officially nominated by the Samajwadi Party.

In Uttar Pradesh, a candidate needs around 37 first-preference votes to be elected to the Rajya Sabha.

Voting will end at 4 p.m., and counting will start at 5 p.m.

With 252 and 108 members, respectively, the BJP and the SP have the majority of seats in the 403-member state assembly. The SP’s alliance partner, the Congress, holds two seats.

Thirteen seats are held by the BJP ally Apna Dal (Sonelal), six by the NISHAD Party, nine by the RLD, six by the SBSP, two by Jansatta Dal Loktantrik, and one by the BSP. There are presently four open seats.

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