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The 2004 Ig Nobel Prize Winners

MEDICINE
Steven Stack of Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, USA and James Gundlach of Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama, USA, for their published report "The Effect of Country Music on Suicide."
PUBLISHED IN: Social Forces, vol. 71, no. 1, September 1992, pp. 211-8.

PHYSICS
Ramesh Balasubramaniam of the University of Ottawa, and Michael Turvey of the University of Connecticut and Haskins Laboratory, for exploring and explaining the dynamics of hula-hooping.
REFERENCE: "Coordination Modes in the Multisegmental Dynamics of Hula Hooping," Ramesh Balasubramaniam and Michael T. Turvey,

PUBLIC HEALTH
Jillian Clarke of the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences, and then Howard University, for investigating the scientific validity of the Five-Second Rule about whether it's safe to eat food that's been dropped on the floor.

CHEMISTRY
The Coca-Cola Company of Great Britain, for using advanced technology to convert liquid from the River Thames into Dasani, a transparent form of water, which for precautionary reasons has been made unavailable to consumers.

ENGINEERING
Donald J. Smith and his father, the late Frank J. Smith, of Orlando Florida, USA, for patenting the combover (U.S. Patent #4,022,227).

LITERATURE
The American Nudist Research Library of Kissimmee, Florida, USA, for preserving nudist history so that everyone can see it.

PSYCHOLOGY
Daniel Simons of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Christopher Chabris of Harvard University, for demonstrating that when people pay close attention to something, it's all too easy to overlook anything else -- even a woman in a gorilla suit.
REFERENCE: "Gorillas in Our Midst," Daniel J. Simons and Christopher F. Chabris, vol. 28, Perception, 1999, pages 1059-74.

ECONOMICS
The Vatican, for outsourcing prayers to India.

PEACE
Daisuke Inoue of Hyogo, Japan, for inventing karaoke, thereby providing an entirely new way for people to learn to tolerate each other.

BIOLOGY
Ben Wilson of the University of British Columbia, Lawrence Dill of Simon Fraser University [Canada], Robert Batty of the Scottish Association for Marine Science, Magnus Whalberg of the University of Aarhus [Denmark], and Hakan Westerberg of Sweden's National Board of Fisheries, for showing that herrings apparently communicate by farting.
REFERENCE: "Sounds Produced by Herring (Clupea harengus) Bubble Release," Magnus Wahlberg and Håkan Westerberg, Aquatic Living Resources, vol. 16, 2003, pp. 271-5.
REFERENCE: "Pacific and Atlantic Herring Produce Burst Pulse Sounds," Ben Wilson, Robert S. Batty and Lawrence M. Dill, Biology Letters, vol. 271, 2003, pp. S95-S97.

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