Ig Nobel prize goes to research about pedestrian avoidance: left, right, or...?

Photo: Wim van Rossem / Anefo

The winners of the 31st edition of the Ig Nobel Prize have been announced. The satiric prize goes to research that first makes you laugh, then makes you think.

Alessandro Corbetta, from TU Eindhoven, is one of the winners. Alongside other colleagues from Italy, Taiwan and the United States, he studied data about millions of pedestrians dodging each other, in order to come up with a Physics model.

Okay, but why do some pedestrians bump into each other, then? Scientists from Japan, Switzerland and Italy got together to answer this opposite question. They, too received an Ig Nobel Prize. Not for Physics, but for Kinetics.

Skinny prime minister
Another winning study shows that politicians who are overweight tend to be more corrupt. Good that the Dutch prime minister, Mark Rutte, is skinny, then. That study received the Ig Nobel Prize in Economics.

Did you know that an orgasm can be just as effective as nose spray when you have a stuffy nose? And that we the smell of the people in a movie theater can indicate whether the movie they're watching depicts sex, violence and drug use? And that it's better to transport a black rhino upside down?

Cat lovers will love this one. A Swedish researcher won the prize for her phonetic study on meowing, purring, blowing, howling, hissing and other forms of communication between cats and humans.