Ig Nobel 2007: Cow dung ice cream, anyone?

At the end of last week, I missed the announcement about the 2007 Ig Nobel prizes. Particular favorites for me include the Ig Nobel Prize for Literature, awarded to Glenda Browne for her study “The Definite Article: Acknowledging ‘The’ in Index Entries”; the Linguistics prize for a study showing that rats sometimes cannot tell the difference between Japanese spoken backwards and Dutch spoken backwards; and the Chemistry prize, which went to Mayu Yamamoto of the International Medical Center of Japan for pioneering work on the extraction of vanillin (vanilla flavoring) from cow dung.

As Dave Barry used to say, I am not making this up.

Best part: a special public tasting of a new Toscanini’s ice cream flavor, “Yum-a-moto Vanilla Twist.” Asking what the twist is is probably like asking what the “surprise” is in Whizzo’s Spring Surprise.