Named after Alfred Nobel's distant cousin lgnatius, the lg Nobel Prize is co-sponsored by the MIT Museum and an irreverent scientific journal, the Annals of Improbable Research
The lg Nobel committee bestows prizes...across the full spectrum of scientific endeavor. The physics prize [in 1993] went to a Frenchman who, after painstaking research, concluded that the buildup of calcium in chickens' eggshells could only be the product of--voila--cold fusion. A retired engineer in South Carolina copped a mathematics prize for his calculation of the odds that Mikhail Gorbachev is really the Antichrist as 8,606,091,751,882 to 1.
Jay Schiffman, a Michigan electrical engineer, is one lg Nobel winner who didn't feel the honor was worth a trip to Cambridge. Schiffman is the inventor of AutoVision, a hookup that lets people drive a car and watch TV at the same time. The committee deemed this worthy of a special award for visionary technology. Schiffman responded: "Those MIT kids are still wet behind the ears. This isn't like cold fusion--I can demonstrate it. Even with a pornographic videotape, you can drive in traffic, no problem."
Others can't wait to come to Cambridge to deliver acceptance speeches. Among them, three urologists responsible for a detailed research report, "Acute Management of Zipper-Entrapped Penis," that appeared in the Journal of Emergency Medicine.