Friday, September 30, 2011

truth stranger than fiction

Writing is hard. One of the tricky things about fiction is to write things that seem true but aren't. So, when truth seems fictional then we're really in trouble! This brings me to Improbable Research; they collect (and sometimes conduct) improbable research. Last night they announced the winners of their 2011 Ig Nobel Prize. Here are some of the real (!) topics that won:

  • an airborn wasabi alarm (to awaken sleeping people in case of an emergency)
  • how a strong urge to urinate affects decision making
  • the Theory of Structured Procrastination: To be a high achiever, always work on something important, using it as a way to avoid doing something that's even more important.
  • the discovery that a certain kind of beetle mates with a certain kind of Australian beer bottle
  • predictions of the end of the world teach us to be careful when making mathematical assumptions and calculations
  • the problem of illegally parked luxury cars can be solved by running them over with an armored tank

So, writers, beware: don't write about any of this stuff. :)
No one would think they seem true!

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