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Hang loose



The Nobel Prize has a satirical spin-off called Ig Nobel Prize held every year after the US Thanksgiving holiday. Organized by the scientific humor magazine Annals of Improbable Research since 1991, the parody honors funny and trivial scientific researches with an awarding ceremony hosted by Harvard University and graced by Nobel Prize winners.

The 2021 Ig Nobel Prize winners were already announced last 9 September via webcast due to the pandemic. Among the winners was a team of international scientists led by Robin Radcliffe, a senior lecturer in wildlife and conservation medicine at Cornell University, New York.

The Ig Nobel Prize categories vary depending on the winning research. Radcliffe and company won the Transportation Prize for studying the health aspect of rhinoceros airlifts done by conservationists to disperse the endangered species in the African savannah.

There are two different positions for the rhino when it is carried by a helicopter. One is lying on its side on a stretcher tethered to the aircraft. The other is being suspended upside down with its feet tied to a cable attached to the chopper. Which of the two methods is healthier for the animal was not known until the researchers found out in 2015.

According to Radcliffe, they presumed that hanging on its feet upside down is bad for the rhino. However, after measuring the level of blood oxygen of the animal in that position, it was higher than when it is airlifted lying on its side. Their finding which was published only in January in the Journal of Wildlife Diseases merited the 2021 Ig Nobel Prize for Transportation for being helpful to rhino conservation.

However, hanging upside down was bad for a guy in Barangay Poblacion South, Oton, Iloilo.

The man, a former house caretaker, was recently heard crying for help in the dead of night after his leg was impaled on the fence of the house of his former employer in the village.

A nephew of the homeowner was roused from his sleep by noises and the cry for help so he alerted barangay officers. When a tanod went to the house to find the person in distress, he saw the impaled man hanging topsy-turvy from the gate.

Rescuers were called in and cut the metal grill piercing the man’s calf and brought him to the hospital.

Worse than the injury the guy suffered was the consequence of his botched burglary as the owner of the house he broke into plans to file charges against him.