Scientist Swallows Sword In The Name Of Ig Nobels

I missed this year's Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony. I began to panic when I realized my mistake in planning for the event. I even instinctively went to my DVR menu to see if I remembered to record it. Silly me -- the Ig Nobels weren't on cable! But much to my satisfaction and relief, the entire ceremony is available for viewing on YouTube. 

With a riveting opening (this year's theme is chemistry), I watched as Dan Meyer – 2007 winner of the Ig Nobel in medicine -- demonstrated his skills at sword swallowing. Really, he swallowed a sword. Why? Well, he and Brian Witcombe submitted the medical report “Sword Swallowing and Its Side Effects,” which appeared in British Medical Journal, vol. 333, December 23, 2006, pp. 1285–7.

The entire broadcast is nearly 2 hours long. But when it's peppered with Tom Lehrer's "The Elements", the best song ever written about chemistry, sung as a duet by a Nobel laureate and a medical professor and important research on whether or not having to go tinkle makes you less likely to make sound decisions, it's must-see video.

So clear your calendar for a few hours, pop some popcorn and have your favorite beverage on hand. . . it's time for the 21st annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony.


Traci Purdum
Senior Digital Editor