Ig Nobel honors 'combover' engineers - Mercedes-Benz Forum

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 10-01-2004, 09:11 PM Thread Starter
Administratoris Emeritus
GeeS's Avatar
Date registered: Aug 2002
Vehicle: 2021 SL770
Location: Fountain Hills, AZ
Posts: 44,831
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Quoted: 544 Post(s)
(Thread Starter)
Ig Nobel honors 'combover' engineers

BOSTON, Massachusetts (AP) -- The "combover" has long been a source of bafflement, even as it has provided bald men such as former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani with valuable head coverage.

But though reactions to it vary, the combover's importance in hair history is undeniable. For their contribution, the father and son who patented this baldness-beater 26 years ago were awarded an Ig Nobel prize in engineering this week.

An illustration shows the proper -- and patented -- combover methodology.

The 14th annual Ig Nobel awards, handed out by Nobel Prize winners, recognize scientific research that "makes you laugh, then makes you think," said Marc Abrahams, editor of the Annals of Improbable Research, which gives out the award.

The prizes were awarded in a rowdy ceremony Thursday night at Harvard University. Among the other recipients: the inventor of karaoke and a girl who investigated the validity of the "five-second rule" -- commonly applied to dropped food.

The combover patent was born when the late Frank Smith and his son Donald, both of Orlando, Florida, began discussing Frank's baldness over some wine in 1977. Frank shaved his head, but had so many knocks that "it didn't look good at all," his son said. "So we went to Plan B."

A toupee was out of the question. Donald noticed his dad had plenty of hair on the sides of his head. Why not grow one side long and sweep it over the top?

"It seemed a hell of a lot more practical," Donald said.

The combover patent -- complete with instructional diagrams -- was meant to allow Frank to bill himself as the father of the hairstyle and better sell a spray he developed to hold it in place, his son said. They never got around to producing the spray, but they did receive an Ig Nobel.

The Ig Nobel in public health went to Jillian Clarke for her investigation into the "five-second rule," which says that food dropped on the floor is safe to eat as long as it's picked up within five seconds.

Her research showed many floors had surprisingly little bacteria. The conclusion: If the floor is clean, it's safe to eat what's dropped on it, even after five seconds. Abrahams said Clarke's research also studied how the sexes reacted to dropped food.

"A lot more women than men will pick up food from the floor and eat it when they dropped it," Abrahams said. "That's unexpected."

The medicine prize went to Steven Stack of Wayne State University and James Gundlach of Auburn University, for their 1992 report, "The Effect of Country Music on Suicide." The research of 49 metropolitan areas concluded "that the greater the airtime devoted to country music, the greater the white suicide rate."

Abrahams said the highlight of Thursday's ceremony was when Daisuke Inoue was awarded the Ig Nobel Peace prize for inventing karaoke.

The crowd roared in delirium, Abrahams said, as real-life Nobel Laureates serenaded Inoue with a karaoke rendition of Frankie Valli's "Can't Take My Eyes Off You."

"The karoake thing was just one of these moments out of a history book," Abrahams said.

"If spending money you don't have is the height of stupidity, borrowing money to give it away is the height of insanity." -- anon
GeeS is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 10-01-2004, 09:40 PM
BenzWorld Member
Usual Suspect's Avatar
Date registered: Sep 2004
Vehicle: W126
Location: West Coast
Posts: 90
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
RE: Ig Nobel honors 'combover' engineers

And let us not forget the technical brillance
that gave us the neck hair pony tail.
Usual Suspect is offline  
post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 10-02-2004, 09:42 AM
BenzWorld Member
sflori's Avatar
Date registered: Aug 2002
Location: Reston, Virginia
Posts: 143
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
RE: Ig Nobel honors 'combover' engineers

Has the mullet been patented yet?


1995 E-320, 163*** miles
1987 190-E 16-valve, 150*** miles

1980 300-D, approx. 225*** miles, donated to the National Kidney Foundation.
1980 240-D, 297500 miles, totalled when hit by innatentive driver. Missed dearly.
sflori is offline  
Sponsored Links

  Mercedes-Benz Forum > General Mercedes-Benz Forums > Off-Topic

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mercedes-Benz Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


  • Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
    Thread Tools
    Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
    Email this Page Email this Page
    Display Modes
    Linear Mode Linear Mode

    Posting Rules  
    You may post new threads
    You may post replies
    You may not post attachments
    You may not edit your posts

    BB code is On
    Smilies are On
    [IMG] code is On
    HTML code is Off
    Trackbacks are On
    Pingbacks are On
    Refbacks are On


    Title goes here

    video goes here
    description goes here. Read Full Story
    For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome