The Nobel Peace Prize
is one of the most respected honors in the world. The award is given out annually on December 10.Since
1991, a mock Nobel Prize named the lg Nobel Prize has been awarded.Each year 10 lg Nobel Prizes
are given out to researchers and inventors for achievements that "first make people laugh, and then make them think."The prizes are intended to discuss the unusual, honor the imaginative, and spur people's interest in
science, medicine and technology.This article will be documenting some of the most unusual winners
of the lg Nobel Prize.
10. Robert Klark
Robert Klark Graham
was born in Harbor Springs, Michigan.He was a successful businessman who made millions of dollars
by developing shatter- proof plastic eyeglass lenses.However, he received his lg Nobel Prize for founding the Repository for Germinal Choice, a sperm bank for geniuses. The sperm bank originally accepted donations
from only Nobel Prize winners and Olympians.The organization had many rules.The
sperm recipients were required to be married, and male donors had to have extremely high IQs.By
1983, Graham's sperm bank was reputed to have 19 repeat genius donors, including William Bradford Shockley and two
anonymous Nobel Prize winners in science.
sperm bank closed in 1999, two years after Graham’s death.In all, 218 children were born as
a result of the Repository for Germinal Choice. Graham's overriding goal was a form of "positive" eugenics,
meant to increase the number of designated "fit" individuals in a population through selective breeding.Eugenics has been highly disputed in modern times, particularly after the atrocities of Nazism.For
this reason, Graham's "genius sperm bank" was highly controversial.
9. Jim Knowlton
Jim Knowlton is a modern
Renaissance man.A Renaissance man is a person with superior intelligence, whose expertise spans a
significant number of different subject areas.In 1992 Knowlton was given a lg Nobel Prize for
his classic anatomy poster "Penises of the Animal Kingdom.”The U.S. National Endowment
for the Arts was honored with half of the award for encouraging Mr. Knowlton to extend his work in the form of a pop-up book.
Bowlingual is a computer-based
dog-to-human language translation device developed by Japanese toy company Takara and first sold in Japan in 2002.The device was honored by Time Magazine as a "Best Invention of 2002."It also
won the 2002 lg Nobel Prize for promoting peace and harmony between the species.The device is billed
as a "translator" but it might more precisely be called an emotion analyzer. It uses technology
to categorize dog barks into one of six standardized emotional categories. The device consists of a hand-held receiver, which also acts as the controller and contains an LCD information screen and a wireless microphone- transmitter which attaches to a dog's collar.
When a dog barks, the microphone records and transmits the sound to the hand-held unit for computer
analysis against a database of thousands of dog barks. The unit then categorizes the bark into one
of six distinct dog emotions (happy, sad, frustrated, on-guard, assertive, needy) and displays the corresponding emotion
on the screen.
7. Charl Fourie
and Michelle Wong (1999)
In 1998, South African
inventor Charl Fourie created a device called the Blaster.The Blaster was a flamethrower that was
installed on the door panels of cars to help prevent carjacking.During the late 1990s, crime rates were rising in South Africa and armed assault and carjacking was a serious public concern.The Blaster
was a liquefied petroleum gas flamethrower that was installed along the sides of the vehicle under the doors. Should
a carjacker approach, the driver could activate the weapon with a pedal or switch and violent flames would erupt
from underneath both front doors.
claimed that the weapon was unlikely to kill someone, but it would definitely blind and disfigure the assailant.In South Africa, it is legal to use lethal force in self-defense and ownership of a flamethrower is unrestricted.By 2001, only a few hundred Blasters had been sold, and the inventors decided to stop sales and market a pocket-sized
personal flamethrower.The Blaster received the 1999 lg Nobel Prize in the area of Peace.
6. John Edward
John Edward Mack,
M.D. was an American psychiatrist, writer, and professor at Harvard Medical School.He was a Pulitzer
Prize-winning biographer, and a leading authority on alleged alien abduction experiences. In the early 1990s, Mack
and a fellow colleague named David Michael Jacobs, who is a professor of history at Temple University, conducted a study of 200 men and women who reported recurrent alien encounter experiences.Alien encounters
have been reported since the 1950s, but the phenomenon has received little attention from the academic world.John Edward Mack was one of the first highly respected academics to research alien encounters.To this day he remains one of the most esteemed professionals to have studied the subject of aliens.
John Edward Mack is quoted as saying "I would never say, yes,
there are aliens taking people.I would say there is a compelling powerful phenomenon here
that I can't account for and that's mysterious.”In 1994, the Dean of Harvard
Medical School appointed a committee of peers to review Mack's clinical care and clinical investigation regarding
aliens.A BBC article is quoted as reporting "It was the first time in Harvard's history
that a tenured professor was subjected to such an investigation."
The Harvard committee did not like the attention that Mack was bringing and it didn’t help the situation
when he was awarded the lg Nobel Prize for Psychology in 1993.On Monday, September 27, 2004 while
in London to lecture at a T. E. Lawrence Society-sponsored conference, John Edward Mack was killed by a drunk driver
heading west on Totteridge Lane. He was walking home from a dinner with friends.
5. Edward Teller
Edward Teller was
a Hungarian-born American theoretical physicist.He was known as "the father of the hydrogen
bomb."Teller immigrated to the United States in the 1930s, and was an early member of the Manhattan Project charged with developing the first atomic bomb. During this time he also made a serious push
to create the first fusion-based weapons.Teller was a strong advocate for nuclear energy development,
a large nuclear arsenal, and vigorous nuclear testing programs.In his later years he became
known for his advocacy of controversial solutions to both military and civilian problems, including a plan to excavate
an artificial harbor in Alaska using thermonuclear explosives.
Edward Teller was a vigorous advocate of Ronald Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative, perhaps overselling
the feasibility of the program.Over the course of his life, Teller was known both for his scientific
ability and his difficult personality.He is considered one of the inspirations for the character
Dr. Strangelove in the 1964 movie.Edward Teller was given the 1991 lg Nobel Prize for his “lifelong
efforts to change the meaning of peace as we know it.”
4. The Pepsi-Cola
In 1993, the Pepsi-Cola
Company of the Philippians sponsored a contest where people could win a million pesos (about $40,000 U.S. dollars) tax free.The tagline for the contest was "Today, you could be a millionaire!"It was an extremely successful marketing campaign and millions of people in the Philippians tuned in for a nightly drawing
indicating what number was the winner.All Pepsi Cola bottles were sold with a number under the cap.On May 25, 1993, the nightly news in the Philippians announced that anyone holding a bottle cap marked 349
had won up to 1 million pesos.Hundreds of thousands of people in the Philippians instantly felt that
they were millionaires.
However, Pepsi had made a mistake and announced the wrong number. Instead of a single 1-million-peso winner, up to 800,000 bottle caps marked 349 had been printed. People began to demand their money and Pepsi would not pay.This caused some unrest and sparked the “Cola War.”In 1993, Pepsi records showed
that at least 32 delivery trucks have been stoned, torched or overturned. Armed men also used homemade bombs to attack
Pepsi plants and offices.In the worst incident, police say a fragmentation grenade tossed at a parked
Pepsi truck in a Manila suburb Feb. 13, 1993, bounced off and killed a schoolteacher and a 5-year-old girl and wounded
six other people.
got so many death threats that they used round-the-clock bodyguards and hired heavily armed police to ride with delivery
trucks. During the middle of the 1990s hundreds of street protests against Pepsi occurred in the Philippians.In 1993, more than 22,000 people filed 689 civil suits seeking damages from Pepsi, plus more than 5,200 criminal
complaints for fraud and deception.Needless to say, people were pissed. For the outbreak
of crime, Pepsi was given the 1993 lg Nobel Prize in the area of Peace.
Viliumas Malinauskas (2001)
In 2001, Viliumas
Malinauskas created the amusement park Grūtas Park or Stalin’s World.Grūtas Park
is a sculpture garden full of Soviet-era statues. It is an exposition of Soviet relics from the times of the Lithuanian
SSR. The park is located near Druskininkai, about 130 kilometers (81 mi) southwest of Vilnius, Lithuania.After Lithuania regained its independence in 1990, various Soviet statues were taken down and dumped in different places. Malinauskas asked the Lithuanian authorities if he could take possession of many Soviet
sculptures, so that he could build a privately- financed museum.This Soviet-theme park was created
in the wetlands of the Dzūkija National Park.Many of its features are re-creations of Soviet Gulag prison camps, including wooden paths, guard towers, and barbed-wire fences.
has faced some fierce opposition and the park’s existence is controversial. Some originally
ideas meant for the park were disallowed, including transporting visitors in a Gulag-style train.Grūtas
Park also contains playgrounds, a mini-zoo and cafes, all containing relics of the Soviet era.The
exposition consists of 86 statues by 46 different sculptors, and is organized into spheres. Each of
the statues features a Soviet or socialist activist, many of them ethnic Lithuanians. The Totalitarian
Sphere features sculptures of the main Communist leaders and thinkers, including Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin,
and Karl Marx.
It also has a sculpture of Felix
Dzerzhinsky, the organizer of the Red Terror. The Soviet Sphere includes sculptures of the four leaders of Lithuanian Communists, executed in the aftermath of the 1926 Lithuanian coup d'état, and activists of the Lithuanian–Soviet
War of 1918–1919.The park won the 2001 lg Nobel Prize in the category of Peace.
2. Troy Hurtubise
Troy Hurtubise is an inventor
and conservationist from North Bay, Ontario, Canada.He is famous for his bizarre creations.In the middle of the 1990s Hurtubise started Project Troy, which is an effort to develop a protective suit.He started by developing and testing the 145-pound (65 kg) Ursus Mark VI suit, which was made to withstand a live
bear attack.The suit underwent a live bear test in British Columbia, Canada.The
biggest safety concern with the Ursus Mark VI was that a bear was able to rip the helmet off of the suit.However, the testing was an international story and Hurtubise won the 1998 lg Nobel Prize in the area of Safety
Troy Hurtubise has developed many new
technologies since 1998.Most famously, he has created a device named the Angel Light.The Angel Light is a large device that Hurtubise claims will allow people to see through objects, detect
stealth aircraft, see into flesh, and disable electronic devices. Hurtubise says that the design for the Angel Light
came to him in a series of three dreams, and that he was able to build a working device from memory. According to
Hurtubise, the device makes walls, hands, stealth shielding, and other objects transparent. He also
claims that beams from the device have the side-effects of frying electronic devices and killing goldfish.
Trojan T Model
After testing the
Angel Light on his own hand, Hurtubise claims that he could see his own blood vessels and muscle tissue as clearly as
if the skin had been pulled back, but the beam caused numbness and he began to feel ill. Hurtubise also claims to
have tested the device covertly with the help of scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.After he discovered that the Angel Light had harmful effects, he dismantled it. However, Hurtubise said that the French government sent agents to North Bay to witness a demonstration of the Angel Light. He
claims the reps were so impressed with the device that they gave him $40,000 in cash to finish it.In early 2007, Hurtubise made public his new protective suit which is designed to be worn by soldiers.
Hurtubise describes the new suite as the "first ballistic, full exoskeleton
body suit of armor." Weighing in at 40 lbs, he claims that the suit can withstand bullets
from high powered weapons (including an elephant gun).The suit has many features including a solar
powered air system, recording device, compartments for emergency morphine and salt, and a knife and gun holster.He estimates that the cost of each suit to be roughly $2,000 if mass produced.Troy Hurtubise
is currently working on the Trojan S type armor. The new model is superior to the Trojan T model in many ways.
1. Cecil Jacobson
Would You Want This Guy to Father Your Child
Cecil Jacobson is
a former fertility doctor who used his own sperm to impregnate his patients without informing them.In
the 1980s, Jacobson operated a reproductive genetics center in Fairfax County, Virginia. He specialized
in treating women who had difficulty getting pregnant, or problems carrying a pregnancy. One of his
forms of treatment was to inject patients, before and after conception, with the hormone hCG (commonly used as a
fertility medication). Patients who had been unable to conceive reported success under Jacobson's
care, however the pregnancies were false positives as the bodily changes were a reaction to the drug.Invariably, around the third month, Jacobson would report that the fetus had died.
In 1989, suspicious former patients tipped off a local television station about the situation.The
news agency investigated and reported on the false pregnancies. Jacobson was sued by numerous patients.During the course of the investigation, another type of fraud was uncovered. For a variety
of reasons, some patients had arranged to be artificially inseminated with sperm provided by screened, anonymous
donors arranged by Jacobson. In order to preserve the identity of the donors, Jacobson recorded their
names using code numbers, and only he knew the donors true identities.
However, in reality the clinic had no donor program and Jacobson just used his own sperm.There are at least seven cases where Jacobson is the biological father of his patients' children, including
one patient who was supposed to have been inseminated with sperm provided by her husband. In 1992, Jacobson was
convicted of 52 counts of mail fraud, wire fraud and perjury. He was sentenced to five years in prison
and had his medical license revoked.He now lives in Provo, Utah, and is involved in agricultural research.Cecil Jacobson was awarded the Ig Nobel Prize in the area of biology.
Marazziti et al (2000)
In the May 1999 edition
of Psychological Medicine, Donatella Marazziti, Alessandra Rossi, and Giovanni B. Cassano of the University of Pisa,
Italy, published an article in regards to a biochemical experiment surrounding biological love.The
authors determined that biochemically, romantic love looks an awful lot like severe obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).In 2000, the authors won the lg Nobel Prize in the area of Chemistry for their work.
John Martinez &
The 1995 lg Nobel Prize
for Nutrition was given to John Martinez of J. Martinez & Company in Atlanta, for Luak Coffee.Kopi
luwak, or civet coffee, is made from the beans of coffee berries which have been eaten by the Asian Palm Civet and
other related civets.A civet is a cat sized mammal native to South-east Asia and southern China.The beans are passed through the animal’s digestive tract and then used to make coffee. After gathering
the coffee berries they are washed, sun dried, and light roasted.Brewing these beans yields an aromatic
coffee with much less bitterness.Kopi luwak is widely noted as the most expensive coffee in the world.In 1995, it was given the lg Nobel Prize because some people find it strange to drink coffee
that has been made with beans released as animal excrement.
Eclaireurs de France
The Cave of Mayrières
supérieure is a cave near Bruniquel, Tarn-et- Garonne, France, which contains two prehistoric cave paintings of
Bisons.In 1992, a French Scouting organization named Eclaireurs de France was given the job
of removing modern day graffiti from the cave.During the process of removing the graffiti they severely
damaged the prehistoric paintings of the two Bisons.For this act they received a lg Nobel Prize in the area of archeology.