Inspiration can come from the most unusual of places sometimes. That is what Fredrik Sjoberg, a Swedish author, critic, and entomologist discovered when he started writing his autobiography. The man wrote three volumes focused on his love of collecting flies.
The Ig Awards, which are sponsored by the Annals of Improbable Research magazine, honor the craziest, unique science endeavors. Sjoberg, who is both an entomologist and a scientist, published a comprehensive collection on the daily activities of a hoverfly collector from Sweden.
While they may sound like an awful bore, the book is quite popular in Sjoberg’s homeland, and the translation of the first volume of the trilogy was considerably praised by US critics.
It seems that The Fly Trap is a modern masterpiece that manages to capture the thoughts and struggles of a fly collector perfectly. According to the author, the beauty of the books is given by the fact that the author is very familiar with their subject.
“I had written books for 15 years (read by no one) when I finally understood it’s a good thing to write about something you really know, no matter what that might be,” he declared.
Another surprising win was the post-mortem award granted to Ahmed Shafik. The former Egyptian politician and presidential candidate was attracted to more than the political scene.
The late scientist conducted a series of experiments to determine the textile texture that best improves the sex drive of laboratory mice. In other terms, he dressed rats in jeans and other types of trousers in order to find out which texture was more appealing to both males and females.
According to the results, polyester and polyester blends were the least attractive. One of the reasons, besides the obvious fact that polyester is nowhere near elegant, is that polyester usually generates high levels of electrostatic charges.
Unfortunately, Shafik died before applying his findings to humans.
Other awarded scientists were Charles Foster, who spent a couple of years of his life living as an inhabitant of the forest, Andreas Sprenger who demonstrated that people who scratch themselves in the mirror usually scratch the wrong part and Gordon London who analyzed over a thousand liars and then doubted the results of his own research.
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