Anderson, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Boston University's School of Medicine, and her colleagues found that not only was Coca-Cola a spermicide, but Diet Coke for some reason worked best. Their study appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1985.
...A group of Taiwanese doctors were honored for a similar study that found Coca-Cola and other soft drinks were not effective contraceptives. Anderson said the studies used different methodology.
...Duke University behavioral economist Dan Ariely won an Ig Nobel for his study that found more expensive fake medicines work better than cheaper fake medicines.
"When you expect something to happen, your brain makes it happen," Ariely said.
...Charles Spence's award-winning work also has to do with the way the mind functions. Spence, a professor of experimental psychology at Oxford University in England, found that potato chips -- "crisps" to the British -- that sound crunchier taste better.
His findings have already been put to work at the world-famous Fat Duck Restaurant in England, where diners who purchase one seafood dish also get an iPod that plays ocean sounds as they eat.
...Miller, an associate professor of psychology at the University of New Mexico, and his colleagues knew of prior studies that found women are more attractive to men when at peak fertility. So they took the work one step further: studying earnings of exotic dancers.
In the 18 subjects Miller studied, average earnings were $250 for a five-hour shift. That jumped to $350 to $400 per five-hour shift when the women were their most fertile, he said.
"I have heard, anecdotally, that some lap dancers have scheduled shifts based on this research," he said.
Armadillos helped win an Ig Nobel for Astolfo Gomes de Mello Araujo, a professor of archaeology at the Universidade De Sao Paulo in Brazil, and a colleague earned.
Pesky armadillos, they found, can move artifacts in archaeological dig sites up, down and even laterally by several meters as they dig. Armadillos are burrowing mammals and prolific diggers. Their abodes can range from emergency burrows 20 inches deep, to more permanent homes reaching 20 feet deep, with networks of tunnels and multiple entrances, according to the Humane Society of the United States' Web site.
Araujo was thrilled to win. "There is no Nobel Prize for archaeology, so an Ig Nobel is a good thing," he said in an e-mail.