Monday, October 03, 2011

The 2011 Ig Nobel Prizes have been awarded.

My favorite is the Medicine prize for research showing that that people don't think as clearly when their bladders are full and they really need to take a leak:
[The cognitive impairment] associated with the extreme urge to void was equivalent to that observed after 24 hr of sustained wakefulness and 0.05% BAC [blood alcohol concentration]...

Driving with a %BAC of 0.05 or above is illegal in many jurisdictions and it is a common public policy approach to ensure that drivers and workers understand the deleterious effects of fatigue and alcohol consumption on performance and the associated risk of accident and injury. Although only a beginning, the current results suggest that in occupational settings where it is necessary to inhibit the urge to void, risk management approaches that consider the role of an extreme urge to void in preventing work-related accidents may be warranted.
The full list of winners is available here.