Friday, October 12, 2007

The other award.

Details of the Ig Nobel awards - for achievements that first make people LAUGH then make them THINK- are as eagerly awaited every year as that of the Nobel prize winners. The prizes are intended to “celebrate the unusual, honour the imaginative -- and spur people's interest in science, medicine, and technology.”

This year’s awards were announced last month. Among the winners were:

Medicine : Brian Witcombe of Gloucester, UK, and Dan Meyer of Antioch, Tennessee, USA, for their penetrating medical report "Sword Swallowing and Its Side Effects;

Biology : Prof. Dr. Johanna E.M.H. van Bronswijk of Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands, for doing a census of all the mites, insects, spiders, pseudoscorpions, crustaceans, bacteria, algae, ferns and fungi with whom we share our beds each night.

Linguistics: Juan Manuel Toro, Josep B. Trobalon and Núria Sebastián-Gallés, of Universitat de Barcelona, for showing that rats sometimes cannot tell the difference between a person speaking Japanese backwards and a person speaking Dutch backwards;

Chemistry : Mayu Yamamoto of the International Medical Center of Japan, for developing a way to extract vanillin -- vanilla fragrance and flavoring -- from cow dung.

Physics: L. Mahadevan of Harvard University, USA, and Enrique Cerda Villablanca of Universidad de Santiago de Chile, for studying how sheets become wrinkled.

This year most of the awardees actually attended the ceremony, made acceptance speeches and took home a much-coveted trophy – a hand-made model of a chicken and egg.

I like the spirit behind the awards and the fact that the awardees took it all in good humour. I am also happy to note, with pride, that the name Lakshminarayan Mahadevan stands up there ( albeit with an Ig attached) and shares the glory along with Chandrasekar Venkata Raman and Subramanian Chandrasekar.

Ought we to institute such awards for movies as well, if they don’t exist already? The Un Oscar awards for the silliest, most banal film or story? It will also give Indian movies a sporting chance of bagging a prize, in all categories? Or maybe our own Film-Un Fare award every year in a ceremony attended by the glitterati and the illiterati? There will be an In-Jury to choose the winner from among the Ig-Nominees? Who will get the Lifetime Unachievement award” Duh! I mean, Shobha Duh.

As I am Ig Norant on these matters, can I Ig-nite the mind of some kindly blogger to take on this Ig Noble cause?


Bit Hawk said...

They do have similar awards for movies. There is an award called "Golden Raspberry" that is used to dishonor worst actor, actress and movie every year!

I dont think any such awards exist in Indian cinema. Its high time we start such awards as we have taken rapid strides in making junk movies.

Unknown said...

You mean the existing bollywood awards don't do that already?

Usha said...

"rats sometimes cannot tell the difference between a person speaking Japanese backwards and a person speaking Dutch backwards;"
Hm, I wouldn't have imagined that.What about Indian politicians talking forward and backward - can Indians tell the difference?
I am off vanilla essence forever.
Most of our awards are already quite unfair - so we don't need to institute any.
Shobha Duh indeed!!

Raj said...

bithawk, thanks for the info on "Golden raspberry' award. I will campaign for an Indian equivalent.

yhac, no they don't. They lionise the film stars and glorify them further. (hey, sorry for that humourless statement)

usha, just one more award, let it be there, no, please?

Diptakirti Chaudhuri said...

In imitation of the Raspberry Awards (affecttionately called the Razzies), there is a Ras-bhari Award in India - which is given by Cine Blitz (I think, or one of the magazines which doesn't have the normal awards night).

And the Khushbian Calendar is eagerly awaited.