Slightly off topic, but quite amusing: Last night the IgNoble prizes were awarded. Their slogan reads “First it makes you LAUGH, then it makes you THINK”. The 2006 IgNoble prize in chemistry was awarded to a research group studying “Ultrasonic Velocity in Cheddar Cheese as Affected by Temperature”. Just in case you were wondering, melting fat is the reason for the varying ultrasonic velocities observed. And yes – this could be useful for determining mean temperatures in heating/cooling processes acording to the abstract. But why not just use a thermometer?
There was also a nutrition prize awarded to researches who showed that dung beetles are finicky eaters… yuck! My favorite IgNoble this year is the ornithology prize awarded to a team who explored why woodpeckers don’t get headackes!