back to article Gas mask bra secures Ig Nobel prize

Luminaries from the world of improbable research last night gathered at Harvard's Sanders Theatre for the 19th Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony, which saw honours awarded to a gas mask bra, research proving cows with names give more milk, and similarly vital work showing that "kitchen refuse can be reduced more than 90 per cent in mass …


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  1. Daniel 1

    Does the bear shit in the kitchen waste?

    No, but if he's a giant panda, he might as well offset is nonexistent libido, imminent extinction, and the indifference of BBC wildlife presenters as to his fate... by being allowed to do so.

  2. Alistair Wall


    This, Chris Packham ( is why we need to save the giant panda.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    So if I fart in a lift with one of these bra wearers do you think she will share her masks with me?

    Worth a try I guess.

  4. Paul 25

    I love the Ignobles

    It's a shame that a lot of the press (excluding El Reg) miss the point of them. In their own words:

    "Improbable research is research that makes people laugh, and then think"

    It's not just sill science stories which the press then utterly misrepresent. A good example was the outrage that Defra spent money researching that ducks like showers. They were actually researching the best ways to improve hygiene on duck farms to reduce disease and improve animal welfare.

    Of course all the papers could do was shout "Tax money spent to prove ducks like water!". And they wonder why scientists don't like the media.

    While a lot of stuff in the ignobles seems weird or silly at first glance, when you actually look into it they are often quite interesting. And they often demonstrate the importance of researching things that are obscure, odd, or otherwise niche, and not just how to make the next shiny gadget.

  5. Anonymous Coward

    Gas! Gas! Gas!

    Click click click.

  6. Nigel Whitfield.

    Wilfred Owen

    "Gas! Gas! Quick, boys!-- An ecstasy of fumbling"

    Dulce, certainly; perhaps a little lacking in the decorum department.

  7. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart

    A storm in a c-cup

    Can I have the full-face Bulgarian mask please

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Gardai get prize for literature, no less

    I had the feeling that story would trundle on, but an ignoble? Sweet..

    (just a minor nit pick... Garda is the singular, Gardai is plural)

  9. Jess


    If you dropped one like a friend of mine dropped in Canterbury HMV during the January sales a few years ago, you'd be in with a chance.

    (It emptied two aisles in packed january sales)

  10. Martin 6 Silver badge

    Not useless

    I know somebody whose PhD was the rate of water absorption in different kinds of biscuits.

    It seemed a bit pointless - then you look at how much money is spend on food in the UK, it dwarfs IT.

  11. unitron
    IT Angle

    Are they also fireproof?

    If so, the Swedish military may be a good sales prospect!

    IT? icon 'cause we all know why you really posted this story. : - )

  12. Anonymous Coward


    I'm surprised the gas mask thing won...

    it lacked support.


  13. This post has been deleted by its author

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @AC 15:45

    "Garda is the singular, Gardai is plural"

    When I was last in Eire, several RTE radio news announces used the plural 'Guards', which seemed to be common parlance for the locals too; It is refreshing to see that Irish Gaelic is still a living, evolving language...

    ...even if it is borrowing heavily from it's world-dominating neighbour.

    I for one welcome our new English speaking overlords.

    Oh, wait.


  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ever smelt a bra?

    Okay don't answer that, but generally speaking, they get loaded with a lot of underarm sweat that wouldn't be too nice to have stuck to your face.

    The practicalities of stripping off just in time before the gas cloud reaches you also aren't good.

    Bras can be taken off without removing the garment on top of it but it takes some time if it's not a strappy one.

  16. Dr Patrick J R Harkin

    I like the beer bottle one.

    It does actually seem to have some real-world forensic relevance. Although an eveningin one or two pubs round here would probably give them enough data to last a lifetime of analysis.

  17. J 3


    "The practicalities of stripping off just in time before the gas cloud reaches you also aren't good."

    True, but those would be entertaining final moments at least.

  18. John 140

    Gas mask bra

    Looking at the photo in this link (taken from your article)...

    ...I find myself wondering if it only won so that those male "Nobel laureates" had a reasonable excuse to play with / sniff bras, am I the only one who thinks the guy on the right looks a little too excited by the whole thing?! Lol

  19. Anonymous Coward

    You all missed the Tequila?

    Moving the focus off of the bra's (only to grab a drink though)...

    Oh how I would like a funding grant to buy unlimited amounts of Tequila and try to make expensive rocks at the same time...

    Very surprised it got far at all.

    Now, I have drink, diamonds and that girl with the bra looks great (Guaranteed with tequila glasses ;-) can anyone think of the next step……

  20. Georgie
    Thumb Up


    Was it pure coincidence that I misread that the bra can be also be used by a seedy bystander?

  21. Jon 52

    gas bra

    Tokyo buisness men need them on the subway incase of sarin. Of course its just coincendental they were pre-worn by schoolgirls.

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