Neil deGrasse Tyson and co-host Leighann Lord dive into the strange world of the Ig® Nobel Prize for research that first makes you laugh, and then makes you think.Read more and listen to the full episode at http://www.startalkradio.net/show/the-ig-nobel-prize
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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Skip the commercials support star talk on patriarch to listen to every episode, Commercial free. The universe is filled with secrets in industries, leaving us with many questions to be answered. We find ourselves searching for those answers as the very fabric of space science and society are converging here for the first time. What what when he gently the tv domain, the brakes, Daddy Glinda did you grandma nasty Brenda get lab, like the plight of applying pressure
What about like this is start talk, I'm near the grass twice and Ivan astrophysicist and Director of New York Cities, Hayden Planetarium right here in the big apple. What else would nor should we be Liane? The medium sized swept depending on attrition of the population, are currently Lord across for me, as my co host thanks Leon for permanent further. Thank you for the invitation. Excellent, we'll get enough for you here. No, no, you don't actually work. More, do you know who invited a studio today you see him, but have you wanna? We isn't now. I doubt his name is Mark Abrams. We D, like that's good, that's good! That's gotta, you're good! At a cocktail party
you're, the one you're, the one. I always thought I am actually fabulous: a cocktail parties from a card he's co, founder of the science humor magazine. You ever thought you see those three words together in the same brave actually after meeting you, yes, what I do for you is a magazine. I've known, like my whole professional life, annals of improbable research, annals of improbable research. You have to pronounce very carrying the equally and he's founder of the Nobel Prize and ceremony will know we already have one of those. Yes, he had to find a different name slightly. The egg Nobel Prize,
That's actually a word acted. Like look that went up again if you're ignoble wait, we like you, had to look something like it. Just like I did about my head to look it up just to confirm. Ok, if you're ignoble, it's like be way what anybody should be emulating have a lot of that amendment. So he's got an ignoble ceremony Waken Cambridge every year, this guy's out of control and its it's private. What he does he combs that all the research than that's done? I think occasionally, someone might contribute something directly to it. But beyond that you look around and see what kind of science has been done. That's a little quirky any say why did and then you find a that's kind of interesting worry your weird or they should be institutionalized, some reaction to the people who conduct the research, even those things that I see you think out. Somebody got a client for like that kind of exactly this guy is like knows
there are those are done in whose done it and whether or not they should be granted an award. So let me bring him into the conversation. Mark Mor Gabriel, welcome to start on radio. Thank you. Thank you. It's a great honour to be here. I will thank you go with both of you and so your based up in Boston. I am ok loyalty. There guilty men of New York, Cambridge, even yes, and that the the otter came to our Cambridge. Yes in and no yeah I get depending on who you choose liberated, argue this America Jack. When I see now, ok, but you're everywhere, rattle your man of the people so tell me can you just submit a paper directly to the annals of improbable research? Would you really work, or is it entirely just what so? What what's the constructive? This here's fears when it?
its said, it took about seven years of trying to describe this to with a phrase that people seem to understand its all about things that make people laugh and then think not laughing, cry you can do you like. It was our best kind, actual people cry when they let those are the two four four drama in over the island and crime. Often they go together, Yankees its things that when you first hear about him or he foreseen their funny, but there the kind of funny that a week eight or the thing is still rattling around in your head and you really want to go, find your best friends and tell him about it and argue about so. You want to create its own becomes almost a meme, but a little brain virus that you can't get rid of way, yeah. It's things that,
You wonder tat phrase, of course, can be many things I like it sneaky science yeah. So give me: what's it what's the? What's the best example, you would give right after telling someone that's the kind of research or look for there's a paper that was published in biology journal in Europe? Its Sosa Wagner urinal. Yet it's over. Small ones read by only a few scientists who are specialists in that field, garbage weren't any surely special, yet jerk, that's true for even big ones, even nature and science, which are filled with reports that sometimes can make a person's career because they gotta pee. Were published in nature or in science, but
truth of the matter. Is that not very many people read those papers? Those papers are so very specialised, even the words in them that not you doesn't maybe a hundred people outward even out, and there are those in the the absolute top journalists who now get down to the really specialised ones. Not many people see these anyway. Somebody saw one article, it was This particular journal. They sent us a copy and that articles, I feel better now realising that you are not the one now known show me, every single freaking journal in the world and my friends and colleagues are always looking at things. But every day we get a flood of things. Thank you. The internet made life much better than the flood. Just is increasing all the time, so there's a lot of stuff coming in from people who notice things this particular one that came to mind when you ask it. This report is the first scientifically document
case of homosexual necrophilia in the Mallard Duck K Mart ledges raincoat than anybody else because nobody's king happy to give you more. Do you know how much more details as one need and then homosexual necrophilia in the Mallard duck it settled title has all the detail. You need kneeled, seldom a question of need It's it's! It's a matter of desire. Yes, yes, now it's a car accident! I now I gotta stop and why we are all very interesting- and here I was Rubberneck hearing on the. What's going on on the site, I'm in
algae in my natural human instinct same not rising above them. At this moment, I need to know about the dock. O k o K. What what motivated this research will. First of all, I get to know that even first of all, I should not exactly correct but channel what Liane just said. You need to know about the doc. You said there were two ducks involved in this year for the dead one in the wide. When I presume yes, would you like to hear the story? Ok, I have to go now. I have. The paper was written by a man named case Moloch her his Dutch he is the curator of a museum in the city of Rotterdam, snatch history museum in Rotterdam referring ICE Museum a few years ago. They put up a new wing with all last walls and from the very beginning birds,
every slam into that thing. They don't see at certain times a day depending on the light and the people work there got used to the they pay very little attention, but one day case liquor, I wanted way sort of sound birds snapping their neck flying into a window. They see they dont Anthony and ass. The natural din of sounds hindered ass. If this happened several hundred times a day where you work, you would get used to a very quick. No, I would end up from her pain and suffering. You wouldn't just you wouldn't beings do all you would want to see if you could find a way to stop it, but as it happens this or has has taken many twists and turns, and I'm become very friendly with the scientists who wrote this and as a result of that, one of the things I ve learned is that
there is something in the very rough neighbourhood of about a billion birds. They die of year in the U S from colliding with buildings, but it happens a lot a billion, that's about the usual estimate from the people who have spent a lot of time, trying to figure out how often this happens and that's just in this country and yet another study. There are many of them back to the case. One day. He was sitting there case. Moniker, wasn't you heard an especially loud and he was curious, so he went He looked out the window and saw that there was a mallard duck on the ground that pay
clearly had just slammed into the building at very high speed, broken its neck and was dead while he was watching a second mallard duck flew in landed next to the dead one and began engaging in activity with the dead one case: freshly dead, yes, freshly debt. If you want to think tat wrecking case studies, birds and he realized quite quickly it. He had never heard of anything. Like this happening, so he decided to and he did get his his notebook and his camera and he moved a little closer to that spot. He sat there taking notes, while this was happening, if any good scientist with a yes or these many and he continue taking notes as this unfolded over the next seventy five minutes so clearly
he's weren't resuscitation effort with fair malware, oddly not enough to make, or how do you know he's not a but of a bird pervert. I mean. What do you mean bird? None of the guy taking the notes like the internet was down they need to know how you must know this was in Rotterdam, their internet never over there, because what it s like going, it's going on a real. I realize I suspect there is the Netherlands. I suspect there, people who hearing about an astronomer in New York City, who has been very interested in a little planet or not. We had a similar question that astronomer they'd never met, but that's just a guess what you know planets mounting other planets to make baby This is a dick. That's the difference between not handled other theory is. How do you make more funding for
Well, it is mandatory, landed in her daddy play. What did not abandon this? So you got a big planet and a little planet. That's much denser slams into it, and its puts the big one in two to happen now you just made some baby planet you how I just method you described all one watching it would serve that the cosmic objects were making love, that's all they might now adopt generally has taught us that China should not judge other peoples, but exactly these do not judge other people's love of astronomy. So seventy five minutes of data and he wanted yeah. It was only seventy five minutes long, the way because it was at the end of the work day and he was getting hungry, wanted to go home to dinner, so he went out side any broke it up and he collected the dead specimen for the museum he later didn autopsy that's how he knows that the victim was mail as well as the other bird, and he wrote this up and got published and we gave it an ignoble prize.
You have write a tremendous amount of fame to him, her half in the world and offers to write books and on tv and radio and he's got a whole side career going because of this, but it also brought that study and this scientists to the attention of other people. Who study birds and who study animals its reach. The point now who was about ten years ago that we gave him that prize its reach. The point now, whereas, as case likes to If there's an animal anywhere in the world, misbehaving case will hear about it in a week or so ago. That's value, judging that having sex with a dead bird by another bird, it was all a sexual, is misbehaving then raised puddings women values you just you just value judge that is making a generous just nature being nature. I I have to ask: was his first book called Doc love I have not noticed. Pherson was called the duck guy. His second book was was about a document estate folks here about the visitor, rejecting it
Please have only been published in Dutch, his second book about a different topic which he learned about because somebody brought it to his attention. Knowing that this is the guy who collects unusual things. His second book has the title: the but crack of the tick this outbreak sexually. First, Radio listeners cannot see the look only known as related yeah, I'm stunned the plot crack of the Tec. Yes, tricks to have big, but though, when you look at his door but think about things a little front part with have legs, then why do you know this cause? I've seen tick but but
some members here, but crowd, tell us more Neil. You are really getting your great on your genome research paper out of this. If we can perhaps an ignoble pat money doing that so probably are things that live in their bacteria alone. I can't even go right. I would spend more time on a second segment on disabilities winners of your ignore prize, but I wanna first understand the journal of improbable research. What kind of things land there? Oh birds and also things the annals pleas of improbable research, the heart of the magazine MAX incomes at six times a year and the heart of it is little pieces, little quotations from scientific studies that are published and there are lots of studies published the last time. Anybody did account just have journals. This science journals being published, and this is about fifteen years ago there were about twenty five thousand scientific journals published, and that's that
if you ignore the little tiny ones that are just within somebody's department, someone so there's so much stuff that nobody ever sees us who is at the heart of the magazine is little citations. Little little quotes from some of these things that all if we ve done a good job, have that quality that funny, and you also want to go and tell somebody about that, but they were not intended to be funny now you're funny sorted out of context, since some of them are funny in country. There are some things that just how are funny example well will get back to the duck again. You know. There's nobody took up an ignoble price, real, ok, Botswana, just something that is random. That would you choose to link the two? Ok, here's here's! What this this one also got a prize, but the people did it.
Not think there is anything funny about it when they did, it was done by seven australian scientists published in a journal of ergonomics witches in studying. How will you build and make things that are comfortable to use versus uncomfortable, to use dangerous verses and dangerous? To use? I heard that only arose as a thing when baby boomers started getting off right us interact and they said we got invent things that serve. Our hand did not want to go quietly in there that good night, because I loved tonight, that's true. We I like correlates whether or not to call effect is another thing ox so came out. You know it's what just when I needed ox. Oh it's there with all of the kitchen you'd implements the rank. You baby boomers circle
but I interrupted this study that these australian scientists published, who was called an analysis of the forces required to drag sheep across various surfaces. Of these I mean, but sheep have legs, she do. Headlongs zone is sometimes part of the problem. We gave these guys an ignoble prize and it was only on the phone, call when I was offering them the prize that, the guy in the other and realise that what they ve done is funny the reason they did it. They live in a part of Australia where sheep are the major industry. And people in that industry had a problem. They called some scientists in asking them. Can you please make things better can probably why she preferred. My problem is that there is a there's, there's a large building and thousands of
are brought in. At the same time, to be shared, to have their will cut off. To be an end, the the cutting is done with big electric clippers, which are very dangerous there, a lot of injuries every year to the sheep and the people using it and things go much smoother if the sheep will move ere. You want them to move when you want them to, but sheep, don't always do what you want them to do like people, yet so the science Where asked can you is there anything? We can do make the building a different shape or any thing to make this stuff go. Unless dangerously that's what the the reports about one of their conclusions, one of the things that these scientists I did after working on this, for yourself was very simple and it boils down to its easier to drag a sheep die
hill than in any other direction. Yes, in some of these buildings, they were trying to drag sheep up hill and the sheep were not court because of asking a stronger, You know, we know all about gravity. Unions is high and I look forward to your Historic and on X, paper about sheep dearest to hunt. Ok, when, when start all comes back, we have marked Abrams as our special guest. I learn constellations that involves sheep bubbles, the ram those areas the ramp. You said she business when the boy ran a boy sheep whose report for its views and rams. So we got it, we have sheep in the sky. We got it
So when we come back more with Mark Abrams and the ignoble prize classes have got no secret, we're. I'm gonna, consider singing all of the ads on this shell there's just one and where to get out of hearing there go to patriarch arms last star, talk and support. Where does at the five dollar level or higher to listen the star talk ad free? you can download all current episodes into your favorite podcast player and never we're here, another commercial on star talk ever again. You will definitely not have to hear me saying if you support us at Patria, dark coms. Last our talk, radio, I mean I'm just thinking I mean just saying
This is a start we're back start on Radio Neely Grass patiently and Lord. Why co host we ve got as a guest mark Abrams down from Cambridge Massachusetts where he runs, at some fuel to this fire that companies british. These are british. Business is holding two important since they had so next time. Look at the wall of kitchen opponents, makes you lab and then things I could make. I won't let me then cry but regret ITALY and you had a question left over from segment one. Where was, I did you guys used to turn
bandit back and forth, and I feel I generationally missed it. What's accel oxide with Madame, I pronouncing it right. I think I don't want to tire brand of kitchen implements we're when you touch your hand to the handles. Is I hate I like this. In my hand, I don't even want to let go of it I'll see you cooking with fancy stuff, no Islam every Wall mood. Our common values morbid us. Yet I see a couple hours more envy. The upping of the of the tone of your voice tells me everything I need lies in the tone of voice you went on the knocked out. I can add some fuel to this fire that companies british- these are british wishes IMS holding two important. So next time look at the wall of kitchen opponents and there's a whole section. I don't think they have that, while my chest aldermen your hand, hold them in your hand, and you see they feel more comfortable zella by better kitchen implements and no food and people have to make
It should make us I'm haggling for raise here on start up. That's so you're ignoble prizes. You I'm totally of ten years that right now a ten year every year since nineteen ninety? Why and each isn't a category? That's right and I was reading over some categories, their hilarious, so the pin, but was in two thousand and ten when in the public health prize for wagons, read this because I would not be won't believe it. You think I'd scientists from the Czech Republic, Japan, India and the United States investigated whether it is mentally hazardous for a human being. On a cat. They got an ignoble award. Oh yes, that was this year, two thousand fourteen and the prize was split between two different teams, one of them based in Europe, one of them based here and India. The Europe team is really headed by colorful guy. You should look this guy up on the internet is the most into
sting looking person you have ever seen. His name is Yarrow Slav, flag or f l e g he's from czechoslovak name like that, you gotta be interesting and he for twenty or thirty years has been looking at a particular parasite called toxic plasma that pretty com delay lives in cats, natural parasite, yeah yeah as easily transmitted from cats to people who hang around the cats and what just as of adjusting the other? If a cat has this parasite, the cat is not sick right it just normal for a healthy cat right. Ok, right, Gottschalk go well some cases, and nobody understands why. Sometimes it goes one way, sometimes the other that sometimes the cat since behave just like a normal cat, but sometimes because it has this parasite. The cat will start behaving in ways that are very destructive to itself.
Talks or plasma yourself like psychotic. So me most is the disease, and sometimes apparently that happens to humans, and These people are now wondering we'll have been for a while and other people that you ve heard the phrase cat lady We have of somebody who owns hundreds of cats and behaves in a very, very eccentric way that may be. Lot of those people are infected with this Paris as part of a just part of the manifestation of infection. Make you want to acquire more cat you because the old cat would you never has just one cat? That's all! That's! That's the thinking this is this not a wife and was a parasite to reproduce itself by getting you to want more cats. The contain them I'll go with it, that's a merely a parasite. All this time. I thought it was the cap now ensure is all about, and there are other parasites that be
in similar ways in other animals, like what are some of the disorder mean when I think of a cat lady, a little odd, but not of odd older people side. I never uniquely implicated the fact that as a cat lady so is not always a cat. Lady is not always a lady right, but there had been crazy captain there, their whole range and earlier have yet wherewith pot. How many crazy Canthus Nina and updating the lots of crazy and innocent and use find yourself, especially attracted to no, not about regular ass. I was I was gonna, ask what happens is they hide the cat and then I find out there's a cat,
Now, because you don't necessarily the first, eight isn't necessarily at their partners. One hide a cat was never experience. Not if you don't lead with the cash. You doesn't go home with the first day right. Every night- and it may not it's not something like they might not leave like high many with someone, so I've a cat in of that would be a little off. But if you ve had so many bad experiences, I would expect that by now you lead with the question of the high. I find it very attractive. Do you have a cat? Not even do you have a job and your mom crazy? Do you have a cap, but I'm looking at these symptoms? You ve got obsessive compulsive disorder and gives a frontier, and that leads me to wonder whether these legends of cap people- these are people with multiple personality disorders. Catwoman, you what's and didn't Atocha Kinsky film cap people. Why? I think, from more than one version- and I thought I heard what she's innocent when I remember these, are people wonder why people who the cat manifestation interferes?
their psychological state. I heard what you think this might go way back. I heard you laugh when you first brought up this topic, and now I hear you asking very good questions. Thinking about it, that's what am I right? That's why we gave up a crying soon when it's? Why would we realized we? We gave the other we shared hurry. Were we gave this press two groups? The other group recently looked at lot of medical records. I mean a lot many many thousands and they looked at the records of people who had been treated for having because our bitten by cat- and they found that some large fraction of those people who had been treated medically for having been bitten by cat also had been treated at some point for depression. No, this is as near as you were saying. This is this is a correlation is not necessarily the case that one of these causes the other but its mighty, interesting that these things do seem to go,
That is why wait so just try to understand what it is that correlating with what is it that owning a cat could lead to depression, then or is whatever he's that anyone who are depressed him more likely to own cats coming off the cap by those are the but that were study. I have that hype fraction of the care by it was just an excuse to get too now do the task was there in the hospital, and we left the hospital well anyway, why Britain wouldn't go to the hospital yeah. So this there are all kinds of questions that come from this, but the that so that the simple fact that they found was that in the hospital records people who have been bitten by a cat and enough that it-
I was up on a hospital medical record somewhere. Many of those people also have, on their same record that they had been treated for depression. What are we trying to correlate here that depressed people by cats that only a cat makes you depressed that depressed people are more likely to be bitten by tat? What what? What are we looking for? An answer to your question is not as good, yes is Yes, these are good questions and that's as far as again raise makes you very interesting. At a cocktail party no is that a country like bringing us up at my answers and insight here. Let me with twenty questions during the winter front of my pay, you, a scientist, use post of questions. Do not react when you may not know no cause use me, I'm having a mile see how impatient he gets when he has. A good question is the answer. This is no rising
we're not to hold us. Is science inaction. Allow me to clarify. Oh dear, I love me and unanswered questions, but not at all. Not after you ve already done the frickin research. Don't do research to say here for questions. We don't have the time to go back and due to them to experiment and I'll be applying for my grants. That's it! That's! Ok! Next question next week, so we have this schizophrenia and compulsive disorder related to care ownership. Is that how about it? But you think it's isn't that parasite or something else about the care. I don't know. I don't know we just give these prizes. You know we don't anima, we stir up trouble.
We do that, are so others. What my favorite category have a safety engineering that just the idea that that would be a category I think I know which, which particular achievement you're gonna grows more genuine, which try her to be said that the name which, what's which of the prize yes, yes, you need that in all twenty four years we in doing this. There is one that still stands out, in my mind, is having been the most difficult one to figure out a category that describes it. It's it's that one we finally came up with
invented the category safety engineering. The prize went to a man named Troy, heard Obese loose in Canada and the city of North Bay, Canada, which are things about six or seven hour, drive north of Toronto. Troy wanted a Nobel Prize because he had spent seven years trying to develop and personally test a suit of armor that he hoped would protect him against. Grizzly bears. There are films of his tests, who can see Troy in his suit, which is made from scrounge materials. He had no money, so it get stuff from the Davos was an early iron man effort here. Yes, oh yeah, it's safe to assume that try doesn't happen. Netflix is that when I look back with what he may not as part of the inspiration for this, he said to things drove him to start doing.
One was he had some kind of encounter with a grizzly bear out of the woods in the Rockies in Canada and the other was around the same time. He had watched the movie Robocop Healing Blent. Yes, Hudson good Summary: he blended these two. He went and got some old hockey equipment. And like there's little formulation, every duct tape and he began building, suits and and testing them by having first people do things like throw rocks at him. I can tell you that if he d take it if his suit is held together, duct tape, it will not stop a grizzly bear. My wife was from Alaska and before I visited Alaska on a bring my swiss army knife, so I can defend against the she said no dismissed. I got the whole you don't you not working as agreed. Shaka. That's works against a grizzly bear out of the thirty six networks, better g pending in the other direction. Exactly but Troy their films.
You can go online. There was a documentary called project grisly, you can see Troy and these suits, which got very elaborate, the later one's head, sheets of tiny em and all sorts of things inside them, you can seem being pushed off the side of a cliff you can. Then there is one piece of film to excessive to test how that, from a simple did, I say, would work. Because he wasn't gonna start by testing with a grizzly. Bear you start with small things and work up new, bigger and bigger forces. You can see him stand. There in his suit, which is so bulky, can just barely move. If he tries take a step, he falls over in Cancun, it seems like an old. Are, I think, the old armor of knights yeah? It's it was not you not. Tiptoeing would assume that they must have gone through the same process more or less without Grizzly bears, because they are too far south you seem standing in the suit the middle of an empty field, and then you see a jeep coming in from the side of the film frame at, and I think it was twenty. A forty forty kilometres an hour and slam into him and in this document,
You hear a radio interview with the toy saying. Yes, we did that seventeen times, while national health insurance has also been imaginative and what is the code? precious thing about Troy, though you might look on somebody who would choose to do this as being crazy angle of Christian was singularly Craig. You might look on that person. Being that way, but at the same time, it's pretty impressive that he's done all these things.
And a lot more and he still alive he's very careful, but has it considered that if you're in the woods were you might be attacked by the greasy barrier in the woods to enjoy the woods not to stand there so that you're not eaten by quicker grizzly bear your speaking for yourselves gasping offer Troy Troy after his one encounter with a grizzly bear decided it was important for him to go back and spend time with a grizzly bear, preferably that one, but another would do you know. I part of me once didn't The bears point of view like is the bare just sit and going to try it can't we just get along. This is unnecessary man. Some misunderstanding heart Franklin, a job, a joke about Grizzly bears, and he said I wonder, Grizzly bears before the issue. I wonder if there were concerned, if you were freeway,
where there was a guy humans before you get world? There was another guy who went out and wanted to spend time with Grizzly bears and was insisting that he he should not have any protection because he and the Grizzly Bear would communed countless. There was a documentary made about him was caught grisly man and it's it's very, very stirring to watch those two documentaries take. I do admire, though you he was eaten by the wind solar cell. Mortal framework origin was really horrible Abed. I almost indeed I do it mire when he said that the stick to it of news in it to put a very simplistically of of what Troy has methodically Donna mean that patients that dedication logic to a toothless yes relate
you don't see that a lot of people some now summer bag, leisure, wordly, I'm aware summer CAT Ladys, your word making you always were people who have one. These prices are extraordinary people very dedicated, and you had another safety engineering prizes reading about where it had captured first, what was that we had a minute, less Emmi that went into it in the minutes. As a man who lived in New York City and in the early nineties seventies, he got a patent for an improved method for capturing airplane hijackers. This method back this before hijackers, would crush the point they really just one of the land.
And we're out, I'm old enough to remember that. Usually, Havana, Cuba, that we act as we had no plain service to Cuba. So how? If we place our secure, but they probably would not have been hijacked, they would just bought a ticket. But since we have no access to Cuba from the United States planes from here to Cuba, where hijacked could go yet, this method would be to install trap doors in the plane right outside the the cabin so that the captain could press a button which would open the trap doors. The hijacker would fall into the trap doors. There were some machinery which would automatic the package the hijacker up, at which point the bomb Bay doors which were installed in the bottom of the airplane, with open up and the encapsulated hijacker would fall through their a parachute would open
Police who had been notified by radio would be waiting on the ground to capture the parachuting encapsulated hijacker when he reached the James Bond faring. When we come back start talk, radio contain with Mark Abrams. Marking the secrets of your world and everything orbiting around it, this you drink shallow basis that sea start or radio we're back.
We and that with you, I don't know, that's like the stars. Sexy start after dawn, dark voices in your little boy. Did you practice strained kindergarten start after hours? That's a different tradition! Rabbit reverent, perfect you that when you can imagine traffic, stopping That's why the fan base is so high, so mark you award than big Nobel Prize and a big ceremony in Cambridge each year and three people and you get like Noble as winners to award it yeah, we ve done- is from the beginning. We always have a bunch of Nobel Prize winners, appending Cambridge you're, never that far away from some Nobel prizes with harvard- and am I dead right- you go into the matter dear standing. Next to you don't know who that is
go into the measures you go in the women's Romeo still standing next year and over it's a different set of, but that would be the ok. I don't know what with why that the bathroom or need to be specified for when you're standing next to someone who could be important does any important people are the only ones who p knowest too. I think it's just that you could an important people anywhere, even the Middle EAST likely even in the bath below we all go to the bathroom has, but not necessarily with you see the younger on her eggs. So I love these categories of safety, engineering, Peace Prize chemistry, Prize Physics Prize, and one of these was the category. I read something about someone who testing the effect of Coca COLA as a sperm aside, what then, maybe a chemistry prize, yet there they tested whether Coca COLA kills sperm. How did why why come up with that? These are so my doctor. Finally, I like I'd like
there's no one of out of here, but this just sitting there. You know at the sort of there's a coke whose what state of mind and circumstance leads to this thought: that's Where's the story on this one and all I need is a story here too. Some happen in a lab at Harvard Medical School. Deborah Anderson the scientists stories are bringing the ran. This happened at all, they were, doing research on and try to come up with new methods of contraception, rang it around This is a gradual, Deborah hands Randal Lapse, regular crews and she had a young. Very doctor a woman who had grown up in port Eureka, who is working and in the lab, and the young woman, told her that in the high school that this young woman had gone to importers
oh she said all the girls areas, Coca COLA as Contraceptive and Deborah Anderson laughed and thought. This was the since composer joke and the young woman explained I'm not joking this. This was who d brandishing checked into discovered that around the world. A lot of people then and now use Coca COLA because they believe it's an effective contraceptive. They use it as a douche. That's what led Deborah Anderson to decide? Well, let's test, whether if the stuff does have any effect in killing sperm or not so they got some sperm and They got four different kinds of Coca COLA. That point was Classic Coke New Coke Diet, Coke, and I forget what the other Jericho may have been cherry realise what I think I know that was there
I am pleased that the first are, if you like I'll, introduce you to Deborah Initial showed with Russia that she came back to the ignoble ceremony took about This year, by the waves very good about that anyway, in the movie it in this on Lola Ella, low of different levels of k, C, o, ok, so in the written version of its on it mentions cherry color, but in the spanish sovereign is Coca COLA, but that the public's version it says, cherry color, so that that its goes back there in depth in lower, was, I guess, a transvestite in that and not just to shoulder. I don't think so different sound. Yet yet Lollo, that's hits
always had just hanging out of the bar, so I'll get so everything is walks. Like women talk not only senses. My little created, I'm sorry, I I mean Coca COLA. What am I need? What not to hear the rest sheets? Goodness, ok go yeah, so they tested it and they discovered that in test tube, it can kill sperm, but in in nature it's not an effective way of preventing contraception, test tube and imagine a wall. That's what you're telling me here end and all these surroundings yeah surroundings, neutralised. Ok, so that it now and lots of things can go wrong and there are behind this. They publish something in a medical journal and something it did not work saying that, yes, it does kill sperm.
Not in the way that you would want to trust it to be at all effective affected for septic some doctors in Taiwan. At this report in a medical journal and they decided to run their own test. They tested the same question using Coca COLA and Pepsi. I was wondering when it was gonna. However, have she gonna you can so you can go if you want to and easily their report, and you can see the relative effectiveness of Coke and Pepsi both groups, though pretty strident. In saying that, if you want to prevent the child being conceived, You really should not depend on either Coca COLA Hepsey and an end to war,
I'm saying nothing against the Coca COLA Cup they or their Pepsi company, because it is usually a roman coke that might lead to panic and in the first place, how you got there so that in the end, isn't it was cheaper account a coke or work on them. I mean, maybe that's what it came down to Coquetry deeper than count for some people, apparently that this is exactly what we do about it. What the volcanic coke and clock and their brother and a half thousand what use is what I was one thousand and do it was this one about black holes? That's breastwork! That's why you know oh yeah, you give it awards, would tell me about that one Yet the ignoble word. What for physics I asked you may know a fella named Walter, Leeuwen Yeah Waterloo, incur and accepted the prize on behalf of the winners, because the winners were indecisive about whether to show up at the ceremony. The winners were Doktor Jack.
Gauvain empty and his wife Rex Zella than empty. They have a television Graham, you may have seen called Jack of an empty presents. They are televangelist. The programme is in the form of a news report with all the trappings of a news report. They are fascinated by science, although not in the way. Most people are fascinate, my science. They pluck little pieces of science reports out of the news and they'll start talking about them, but you know that if you just let them talk long enough, they will eventually relate that piece of science to something in the Bible cited as evidence to check cherry picking
science. I wonder cherries, yes, yes, it's so we're! That's I don't know I haven't. That is the first time I've heard of any day one night announced, and they gave some detail that they had discovered that black holes fulfil all of the technical requirements to be the location of hell. And so we gave them the ignoble prize- and we call them up as we do in almost all cases and quietly offered it to them- gave him the chance to decline. They did not decline, but they they wave about whether they were going to come to the ceremony and fine. Not too long for the ceremony. Doktor Jack man in Peace Secretary called up and said: oh sorry, doktor an MP cannot come because he has a previously scheduled fund razor, so we called Walter Leeuwen,
Who is Astro physicist at MIT, which is right down the street. You very kindly came and accepted. Custody of the prize need talked about how grateful the astrophysics community is for this knowledge that no one had suspected until this work was done, that black holes fulfil all the technical requirements. On the flip side of that, I remember an ignoble paper from decades ago that, where there was a calculation demonstrating that Heaven was hotter than hell yeah, that was we. We didn't give a prize to that, but here in the journal, yeah yeah yeah. That was where If you can measure the entropy generated by souls who were well behaved and who believe in a haven't cause, we will be having an hour ago haven't right. So it's not everybody, just those who believe that and then so their souls go to Heaven and they brings a certain level of sort of entropy and and and so then you can add all that up and when you at all that up that each each each soul contributes a certain sort of fractional.
A bit of energy to the to the Heaven and then there it is hotter than hotter than hell, and after that article came out. There were almost an endless series of letters from other scientists. Picking at little bits of you, you made, an error really should be lying. So what I'd attic, approximations organ valid, dress, wooden, Heaven be air conditioned mean seriously guys who hears here's another one there there is theirs. Always one more scientists waiting to wait into this. They call me a final and about that. What's with dice walked dogs ass, I bought my first telescope. I walked the I was in the glory days of dog walking before you have to clean up after them, so I could walk Ford or the poop everywhere. We just
he walked and he wanted to know who examined the inner world have been bought by first soldiers and middle school back then we call the junior high school. So what did you find out about dogs pooping, impeding? I read oh yeah yeah that that prize this year there have been several prices over the use related to dogs. The prize this year went to a team from Czechoslovakia Germany, they gather did data over a long period of time and they say that their data shows that dogs, tat to align their bodies. That's the line of head to detail to tell potential line that, with the GEO magnetic lines of force around the earth when they pooper pay, when they pooper p. Say. The data shows that that alignment happen only on the days when the magnetic field was relatively strong days,
and there were things interfering in and feel lines were not so strongly, not because most city grids our line somehow North south and if you walk in a dog. If these were all out in fields where most of her- and there are lots of COD genes that it raises many which I'm sure you're, ok, so still not sure, gets it forget the gps. It one of the North South just make your dog bootless, and I also believe my dad was a genius they haven't up to that. Anybody can download for freed their popping that lots more people gather data on their dogs and send it in through this or shrapnel out of the dark poop that approved at what one more here before you Johnny get up in the seconds we have remaining. What's with the five second rule, somebody researcher devils, Sacred one hundred. I was a high school student, a girl in Chicago who did that one summer she had a job in a laboratory and she tested the five seconds
five sexual being the idea that if you drop food on the floor, if you pick it up within five seconds it safe to eat what she does, But you know what she discovered was. The answer is well sort of. If the food is not sticky and the floor is clean, it's probably fine. Otherwise it's probably not make sense of it or I don't think anyone who s sticky food lansdown on a dirty floor would be invoking the five second. I also think it depends on hungry. You are they measures they? They measured bacteria. She measured bacteria. After how many got onto the food yachting the floor and not if he kissed it and held out to God or anything like that. That would be a separate and that's a separate f. So you have a book out what was an amiable myself, the ignoble cookbook yeah, I'm looking at it right now. Let's just now He asks a bunch of ignoble prize winners to send us recipes to cook things related to what they done. The scientist who discovered homosexual
a failure in the Mallard duck he's risotto. He sent us his favorite recipe for preparing duck sobbed what goes on homosexual doc structures. That's gonna believe our greatest change, the flavor. It's only in a metaphorical sense, and so that's that's one way or the other is called. This is improbable too, which is a it stems from a collection of my newspaper. Columns in the guardian in London is right for the Brits other out. I'm ready, call me for about ten years. They hardly ever take writers from America is just not on thrown out of american people. There were, cannot have literate of the first order. So congratulations. I got you there such a collection of those of those rights, a collection of all sorts of things from science studies that most people have never run across that make people laugh and then think. So you just beauty at an even more as you do that yeah thanks for being a guess. Our talk, radios, artists, whose greatly, and as always thinking my most charming Koko's
However, the other grass Thyssen starts Laredo spots in part by grants from the Alfred Peaceful Foundation. As always, I bid you to keep looking up science like Galileo job? The orange wish? You could listen the star talk, commercial, free, joint start; our compatriots for as little as five dollars per month and the ads will disappear, learn more at patriarch dot com, slash star talk, radio
Transcript generated on 2020-01-25.