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The World's Most Pointless Scientific Discoveries

The World's Most Pointless Scientific Discoveries Each year, an lg Nobel Prize is awarded to the people behind the most 'improbable research'. Improbable research is research that makes people laugh and then think. So have a chuckle and then ponder - Are there any stupid questions? UP IN FLAMES 1996 1996 was a world record breaker. The Ig Nobel prizes cooked up a scorcher, awarding George Goble for his use of chemistry in igniting a barbeque. With a time of just three seconds, charcoal and liquid oxygen were the reaction on everyone's lips. THE 1999 S-CHECK How far would you go to check your partner's fidelity? Consider the S-Check, an at-home forensics kit, allowing you to check your partner's underwear for undesirable substances. Who said romance was PERIODIC TABLE.TABLE 2002 dead? One of the most iconic data visualisations had a THE SPEED 2006 OF CHEESE dramatic make-over in 2002. It was re-built as a table. Yes an actual table. Laugh you may, but this wooden masterpiece has played host to the eminent Oliver Sacks amongst others. Have you ever wondered what the ultrasonic velocity in cheddar cheese was? Neither have we. Well a research team at the Polytechnic University of Valencia discovered that it is affected by temperature. UNSAVOURY VANILLA 2007 What does this mean for us? Not much. SUPER 2008 COCA-COLA Yummy vanilla flavouring, but before you bite into that cream cake, consider its provenance. 2007 was the year that Mayu Yamamoto devised a nifty way to extract that taste we know and love from cow dung. Not quite so appetising now. 2008 was double trouble for the chemistry world with not one, but two prizes awarded. The first went to Umpierre, Hill, and Anderson for declaring they could prove Coca-Cola was an effective spermicide; the second to a research group in Taiwan for accidentally proving it's not. THE WASABI ALARM 2011 NO MORE 2013 TEARS Wasabi, the spicy side you dip your sushi in, was given a bit of a makeover in 2011. Intrepid chemists from Japan teamed up to determine the ideal density of airborne wasabi to awaken people from their sleep. Enter the wasabi alarm clock. Have you ever wondered why your eyes water when you're cutting onions? Well the 2013 winners set their minds to exploring the biochemistry behind this phenomena. What they found out? That the process is even more complicated than we thought. Mind blown. "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka! but, 'That's funny.." –Isaac Asimov Oradleys References http://www.improbable.com/ http://theodoregray.com/periodictable/ http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2621.1999.tb12277.x/abstract innovations for chemistry

The World's Most Pointless Scientific Discoveries

shared by CarlaMai on Sep 10
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Go back a hundred years or so and there were a plethora of untapped opportunities for scientific research. Now the periodic table is bulging with guests, and new discoveries are harder to find. As w...

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