Two studies which demonstrated that rectal massage was a cure for "intractable hiccups" last night secured the prestigious Ig Nobel Prize for Medicine at the annual Annals of Improbable Research awards ceremony.
Francis M Fesmire of the University of Tennessee College of Medicine was honoured for his medical case report entitled "Termination of Intractable Hiccups with Digital Rectal Massage", sharing the spoils with and Majed Odeh, Harry Bassan, and Arie Oliven of Bnai Zion Medical Centre, Haifa, Israel, for their subsequent medical case report also titled "Termination of Intractable Hiccups with Digital Rectal Massage."
Other laureats stepping up to receive their awards at Harvard's Sanders Theatre included: Nic Svenson and Piers Barnes of the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Research Organisation, for "calculating the number of photographs you must take to (almost) ensure that nobody in a group photo will have their eyes closed" (Mathematics award); Basile Audoly and Sebastien Neukirch of the Université Pierre et Marie Curie, in Paris, for their "insights into why, when you bend dry spaghetti, it often breaks into more than two pieces" (Physics); and Antonio Mulet, José Javier Benedito and José Bon of the University of Valencia, Spain, and Carmen Rosselló of the University of Illes Balears, in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, for their study "Ultrasonic Velocity in Cheddar Cheese as Affected by Temperature." (Chemistry).
The full list of ground-breaking scientific endeavour can be found here. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to deal with a nasty bout of hiccups...®