Despite its drab appearance, despite ``blood and concrete'' as its official colors, M.I.T. is brimming with humor. Nothing could be funnier. Just think about the Bursar using Macs. Just think about the Registrar requiring everything in triplicate! Ponder the inane, from M.I.T. students stealing ``Byte'' from the library, to Economics being in the School of Humanities. The RS/6000s look like PCs running Windows on acid thanks to Information Systems, and Cable TV only beat the Internet to the dorms by six months.
Surviving Hell may well depend on your attitude.
Create comedy of your own. Make your friends laugh. Read Dave Barry. Retell jokes you hear. Watch David Letterman. Cite the Weekly World News in your term papers. Support our advertisers (and tell them!). Pick up a felt-tip and draw some cartoons. Sit down at Athena and bang out some prose.
VooDoo is YOUR humor resource. These ``Humor Resource'' pages include information about the Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony, the Improvisation Comedy Troupe Roadkill Buffet, and WMBR's ``Have You Heard The News Lately?'' If you are doing something funny, tell us about it. If your student group did something funny, pen a review and send it along. If you think of something funny, write it up. And, of course, ``Ask Phos'' is always here to answer your questions.
You don't have to be part of an ``official'' organization to make M.I.T. a funnier place. Just do it.
But if you do want to be part of an ``official'' event, this year marks a special occasion for us, our 75th anniversary. VooDoo started in March of 1919, and this Spring we intend to celebrate. We have plans both big and small, and need your help for all of them. And although our takeover of the Christian Science Media Empire was dealt a crushing blow by intellectual property litigation from Lotus and NBC, we still have high hopes of ending this school year with a well publicized bang.
The winners of the 1993 Ig Nobel Prizes were announced in a ceremony held at MIT in Cambridge, Mass on October 7, 1993. The Prizes honor individuals whose achievements cannot or should not be reproduced. The ceremony was produced, as always, by The Journal of Irreproducible Results and The MIT Museum.
Eleven Ig Nobel Prizes were given this year. The winners come from 16 different countries: Australia, Belgium, Canada, England, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the Philippines, Poland, Spain, Switzerland, and the United States.
A number of dignitaries shared the podium at the ceremony, including Nobel Laureates William Lipscomb (Chemistry, 1976), and Sheldon Glashow (Physics, 1979); Professor emeritus Russell Johnson of Gilligan's Island; and Root canal therapy expert Philip Molloy of Tufts University Dental School.
PSYCHOLOGY : John Mack of Harvard Medical School and David Jacobs of Temple University, mental visionaries, for their leaping conclusion that people who believe they were kidnapped by aliens from outer space probably were --- and especially for their conclusion that, in Professor Jacobs's words, ``the focus of the abduction is the production of children.''
CONSUMER ENGINEERING : Ron Popeil, of RonCo, incessant inventor and perpetual pitchman of late night television, for redefining the industrial revolution with such devices as the Veg-O-Matic, the Pocket Fisherman, the Cap Snaffler, Mr. Microphone, and the Inside-the-Shell Egg Scrambler.
BIOLOGY : Paul Williams, Jr. of the Oregon State Health Division and Kenneth W. Newell of the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, bold biological detectives, for their pioneering study, ``Salmonella Excretion in Joy-Riding Pigs.''
ECONOMICS : Ravi Batra of Southern Methodist University, shrewd economist and best-selling author of ``The Great Depression of 1990'' (\17.95) and ``Surviving the Great Depression of 1990'' (\18.95), for selling enough copies of his books to single-handedly prevent worldwide economic collapse.
PEACE : The Pepsi-Cola Company of the Phillipines, suppliers of sugary hopes and dreams, for sponsoring a contest to create a millionaire, and then announcing the wrong winning number, thereby inciting and uniting 800,000 riotously expectant winners, and bringing many warring factions together for the first time in their nation's history.
VISIONARY TECHNOLOGY : Presented jointly to Jay Schiffman of Farmington Hills, Michigan, crack inventor of AutoVision, an image projection device that makes it possible to drive a car and watch television at the same time, and to the Michigan state legislature, for making it legal to do so.
CHEMISTRY : James Campbell and Gaines Campbell of Lookout Mountain, Tennessee, dedicated deliverers of fragrance, for inventing scent strips, the odious method by which perfume is applied to magazine pages.
LITERATURE : Awarded jointly to E. Topol, R. Califf, F. Van de Werf, P. W. Armstrong, and their 972 co-authors, for publishing a medical research paper which has one hundred times as many authors as pages.
MATHEMATICS : Robert Faid of Greenville, South Carolina, farsighted and faithful seer of statistics, for calculating the exact odds (8,606,091,751,882:1) that Mikhail Gorbachev is the Antichrist.
PHYSICS : Louis Kervran of France, ardent admirer of alchemy, for his conclusion that the calcium in chickens' eggshells is created by a process of cold fusion.
MEDICINE : James F. Nolan, Thomas J. Stillwell, and John P. Sands, Jr., medical men of mercy, for their painstaking research report, ``Acute Management of the Zipper-Entrapped Penis.''
DATES TO MARK ON YOUR CALENDAR :
1. A recording of the 1993 ceremony is scheduled to be broadcast on National Public Radio's ``Talk of the Nation Science Friday'' on the day after Thanksgiving.
2. Next Year's Ig Nobel Prize ceremony will take place at MIT on Thursday, October 6, 1994.