In search of a prize

As do many others, I like to collect prizes. So in my continued pursuit I checked this years IgNoble prizes but failed to find my name. Here are two that did turn up that readers may find of interest:

SAFETY ENGINEERING PRIZE: The late Gustano Pizzo [USA], for inventing an electro-mechanical system to trap airplane hijackers — the system drops a hijacker through trap doors, seals him into a package, then drops the encapsulated hijacker through the airplane’s specially-installed bomb bay doors, whence he parachutes to earth, where police, having been alerted by radio, await his arrival. US Patent #3811643, Gustano A. Pizzo, “anti hijacking system for aircraft”, May 21, 1972.

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Editors comment: We are still waiting for empirical evidence that it works, but note how long it took for this to finally earn the recognition it so clearly deserves!

MEDICINE PRIZEEmmanuel Ben-Soussan and Michel Antonietti [FRANCE] for advising doctors who perform colonoscopies how to minimize the chance that their patients will explode.

REFERENCE: “Colonic Gas Explosion During Therapeutic Colonoscopy with Electrocautery,” Spiros D Ladas, George Karamanolis, Emmanuel Ben-Soussan, World Journal of Gastroenterology, vol. 13, no. 40, October 2007, pp. 5295–8.
REFERENCE: “Argon Plasma Coagulation in the Treatment of Hemorrhagic Radiation Proctitis is Efficient But Requires a Perfect Colonic Cleansing to Be Safe,” E. Ben-Soussan, M. Antonietti, G. Savoye, S. Herve, P. Ducrotté, and E. Lerebours, European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, vol. 16, no. 12, December 2004, pp 1315-8.


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Editors comment: You may mock, but an exploding patient is not to be taken lightly!

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