Field of Science

The Gay Bomb

The Ig Nobels came out last week. For those who haven't heard of them, the Ig Nobels are intended as a spoof on the Nobel Prizes for academic achievement, and according to the official website are awarded for research that "first makes people laugh, then makes them think". I have to admit that I could probably name more Ig Nobel winners than Nobel winners - not to mention that unlike the proper Nobel prizes, the Ig Nobels do directly recognise achievements in fields like biology and mathematics*.

*There is a widespread urban myth that there is no Nobel Prize for Mathematics because Nobel's mistress left him for a mathematician. Sadly, there seems to be little direct evidence for this story.

Among this year's winners, one prize really stands out. The Peace prize was awarded to "The Air Force Wright Laboratory, Dayton, Ohio, USA, for instigating research & development on a chemical weapon -- the so-called "gay bomb" -- that will make enemy soldiers become sexually irresistible to each other". Personally, I would like to wish the researchers of the Wright Laboratory every success in their endeavour, and please could they tell me where I might purchase one (or two or three) on completion? This could be a perfect example of a military development with wide-ranging civilian uses.

I was about to suggest that, as well as expanding my own personal options, the judicious release of a few well-placed gay bombs around fundamentalist hang-outs would solve a lot of problems currently besetting society. But then I realised that probably it wouldn't.

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