World’s Strangest

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What Is It? Game 257

W00t! It’s time for another collaboration with the always-excellent What Is It? blog. Can you guess what this strange object is used for? Put your guess in the comment section below (click the +). One guess per comment, though you can enter as many guesses as you’d like. Please do [...]

Snoopy Christmas Cake

Snoopy is guaranteed to win first prize in the neighborhood Christmas decorating contest. Sweetmilk4you made this lovely cake covered with fondant. Snoopy himself is made of gumpaste. Link -via Between the Pages

Ig® Nobel Limericks: World’s End, Sheep-Dragging, Robber Trap

Ig Nobel Achievements distilled into limerick formby Martin Eiger, Improbable Research Limerick Laureate The Ig Nobel Prizes honor achievements that first make people laugh, then make them think. For details of all the Ig Nobel Prize–winning achievements, see each year’s special Ig Nobel issue of the magazine, and also see the website. 2011 Ig Nobel Mathematics Prize The [...]

Gamera, the Human-Powered Helicopter from Maryland

The Sikorsky Prize has been unclaimed since its establishment in 1980. The winner will take $250,000 for achieving a simple-sounding set of goals: make a human-powered helicopter that can fly for 60 seconds, reach an altitude of 3 meters, and remain within a 10-meter square area during that time. It turns out [...]

The Downside of a Nobel Prize

Scientists are mostly a humble bunch, as they spend a big part of their lives in search of knowledge or teaching it to others without much hoopla. And while incompetent people often don’t know they are incompetent, professional scientists are often smart enough to think they don’t quite measure up. And while winning a Nobel [...]

European Union Wins the Nobel Peace Prize

Congratulations to all Neatoramanauts from the European Union! You’ve all won the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize, which comes with $1.2 million in prize money: The European Union won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday, a choice that [...]

Understanding the 2012 Nobel Prize in Physics (With a Cat)

Serge Haroche and David Wineland were awarded the 2012 Nobel Prize in Physics on Tuesday. They share the prize for independently developing methods to study particles of light…without destroying that light, which is usually what happens when it is observed. (For the record, other particles are relevant as well, but let’s just keep [...]

Marie Curie’s Sex Scandal and the Duel It Inspired

Getty Images Marie Curie is well known as the first genius to have snagged two Nobel Prizes. The first came in 1903, when she and her husband, Pierre, were awarded a Nobel Prize in physics for their radiation research. Then, in 1911, she nabbed a Nobel in chemistry for her discovery of radium and polonium. But [...]

The Least Deserving Nobel Laureate

You can argue all night about who deserved and didn’t deserve the Nobel Peace Prize for just about any year. But if you restrict the debate to science prizes, you’ll find research that turned out to do more harm than good, experiments and conclusions that were just plain wrong, and scientists who turned out to [...]

The Stem-Cell Breakthroughs That Won the Nobel Prize

Two scientists who each made a major discovery — four decades apart — share the science world’s prestigious award. KYODO/Reuters/Landov On Monday, the Nobel Prize in Medicine was awarded to two biologists for their breakthroughs in the field of stem-cell research — two discoveries that happened 44 years apart. The honors go to Britain’s Sir John B. [...]