Here are some of my favorites from this year's award winners (here is the story)
- Brian Witcombe of Gloucester and Dan Meyer of Antioch, Tennessee, for their report in the British Medical Journal, Sword Swallowing and its Side-Effects
- Mayu Yamamoto of the International Medical Centre of Japan, for developing a way to extract vanilla essence from cow dung
- Juant Manuel Toro, Josep Trobalon and Núria Sebastián-Gallés, of Barcelona University, for showing that rats cannot tell the difference between a person speaking Japanese backwards and a person speaking Dutch backwards
- The Air Force Wright Laboratory, Dayton, Ohio, for instigating research on a chemical weapon to make enemy soldiers sexually irresistible to each other
To be fair, I think some of the research is useful - a previous awardee, for example, studied why woodpeckers don't get headaches. That could be a blockbuster drug of the future.