Each September since 1991, the scientific community have gathered to celebrate the obscure, strange and sometimes just the pure weird. Organised by the Annals of improbable research, the Ig Nobel awards recognizes that while some discoveries may at first appear trivial, you can never quite know where they might one day lead.
Dreaming is a kind of mental state or altered state of consciousness which occurs during sleep. Often, they involve fictitious events that are organized into a loose story. They show that our brains are capable of generating entire worlds that are disconnected, but often draw inspiration from our waking environment. They have fascinated mankind since time immemorial and much has been speculated about their origins and purpose. Early accounts account of dreams from as far as 5000 years in Mesopotamia, set in clay tablets. Like many other things, they also have been subject to the fundamental human need to find a meaning in things that they don’t understand by inventing one. As such many ancient civilisations treated them as a means by which the future and prophesies can be communicated.
Twins, good for minor characters in creepy horror films and known for the special bond that they’re supposed share. But what exactly is the difference between identical and non-identical twins I hear you say. Well, let’s get down to the science.
Your fingerprints are unique. They are yours, and yours alone. They can open doors, unlock your phone, let you into a country, or even just into a theme park. They are your personal identifier. Although there are many uses for fingerprints, perhaps the one which has most captured the public’s imagination is their use in forensic science. After all, how many criminals in stories wouldn’t have been caught without a careless fingerprint left at the scene. Because of this, it is quite fitting that this is also one of its first recorded uses.
If you can keep your hypothesis, when all about you
Are scrapping theirs and saying you should too,
If you can trust your calculations when all PIs doubt you,
But make allowance for poor maths skills too;
If you can incubate, and not be tired by waiting,
Or review papers, and see though bare faced lies,
Or do westerns, and don’t give way to hating,
And not be too upset about your cell cultures demise: