View Full Version : Bar brawls, bra/gas masks inspire 2009 Ig Nobels

10-01-2009, 09:56 PM
The 19th annual ig Awards with the theme "Risk," sponsored by the scientific humor magazine Annals of Improbable Research.
The Ig Nobel Prizes are a parody of the Nobel Prizes and are given each year in early October for ten achievements that "first make people laugh, and then make them think".
The name is a play on the word, ignoble as in IG_Nobel Prizes !

BOSTON — Can't get milk from a cow? Try calling her Bessie or Buttercup. A pair of British researchers who found that dairy cows with names yield more milk than unnamed cows are among this year's winners of the Ig Nobel awards, the annual tribute to scientific research that on the surface seems goofy but is often surprisingly practical.
Dr. Elena Bodnar won for her bra that converts into a pair of gas masks — one for the wearer, the other for a friend.

10-01-2009, 10:22 PM
It sounds silly, but Bodnar, a Ukraine native who now lives in Chicago, started her medical career studying the effects of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear plant disaster. If people had had cheap, readily available gas masks in the first hours after the disaster, she said, they may have avoided breathing in Iodine-131, which causes radiation sickness.

The bra-turned-gas masks could have also been useful during the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, and for women caught outside during the dust storms that recently enveloped Sydney, she said.

"You have to be prepared all the time, at any place, at any moment, and practically every woman wears a bra," she said, noting that a bra cup, no matter what size, is the perfect shape to fit over the human mouth and nose.

I'm having trouble understanding how this one would actually work. I think women would be better off stuffing a few potassium iodate pills in their bras.

10-01-2009, 11:17 PM
I'm having trouble understanding how this one would actually work. I think women would be better off stuffing a few potassium iodate pills in their bras.With a lung full of I-131 particles KIO3 isn't going to do you much good once the thyroid is saturated.

The annual dose of background radiation received by an average person in the United States comes from the following sources: radon gas, 55%; internal radiation, 11%; cosmic rays, 8%; terrestrial radiation, 8%; and man-made products, 18%. Less than 1% of the radiation from man-made products comes from nuclear power plant releases and fallout. Typically, little of this dose is from I-131 because of the short half-life of the element: it decays (loses its level of radioactivity) rapidly and rarely exists at any meaningful level in the environment.

Use As a rapid oxidizing agent used for
strengthening flour.

Iodine deficiency gives rise to goiter (so-called endemic goiter), as well as cretinism, which results in developmental delays and other health problems.

Thus iodine deficiency, as the single greatest preventable cause of mental retardation,

the addition of small amounts of iodine to table salt in form of sodium iodide, potassium iodide, and/or potassium iodate—this product is known as iodized salt.


Man. Iodized table salt at a level of 10 ppm has been used for
many years for prophylaxis against endemic goitre. No ill affects have
been reported. The intake of water with a high level of iodine (up to
50 µg/1) did not appear to have any significant deleterious effects on
general health, and provided some prophylaxis against thyroid
enlargement (Medical Research Council, 1948; WHO, 1958).


There is a paucity of information on the effect of iodates on the
nutritional value of flour and no long-term, studies appear to have
been carried out on iodate-treated flour or bread made from it.


Amounts of iodine of the order of a few micrograms per litre in
the drinking water have been shown to be prophylactic against thyroid
enlargement in children. Calculations show that the use of iodate as a
flour-maturing agent might well result in a daily intake of about 2000
µg, which exceeds considerably the normal daily requirement of iodine
(100-200 µg). It is undesirable for use as a food additive,
particularly in a staple food, since it has an important physiological