The Journal of Improbable Research handed out Ig Nobel prizes yesterday to the gallant researchers who proved that wearing socks on the outside of your shoes can prevent you from slipping on ice. Other intrepid researchers took home the honor for studying bats having oral sex, using a remote-controlled helicopter to collect whale snot, and showing that swearing really does ease the pain of stubbing your toe.
The prizes, which are supposed to be both funny and promote scientific research, are awarded annually as a quirky counterpart to the Nobel Prizes, which begin next week. "There are four winners from Britain this year," says Marc Abrahams, architect of the prizes. "The British Empire had a rough 20th century. Maybe this is the best sign that the empire is surging back to prominence." Read up on the other winners at AOL News. (Read more Ig Nobel Prizes stories.)