Marina de Tommaso, Michele Sardaro and Paolo Livrea won this year’s Ig…

Marina de Tommaso, Michele Sardaro and Paolo Livrea won this year’s Ig Nobel Prize for measuring the relative pain people suffer while looking at an ugly painting, rather than a pretty painting, while being shot (in the hand) by a powerful laser beam. Here are more scientific findings that won the highest honors at the 24th annual Ig Nobel Prize ceremony.

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Despite being one of the most famous painters in history, only 15 paintings…

Despite being one of the most famous painters in history, only 15 paintings of Leonardo da Vinci are known to exist. The small number of surviving paintings is due in part to Leonardo’s frequently disastrous experimentation with new techniques and his chronic procrastination. He also had a weird artistic philosophy in which he would destroy any art he felt was not perfect. He thought art should be like magic; that is should be produced flawlessly. He destroyed most of his sketchbooks for this reason.

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Catherine Yass has been nominated for a Turner Prize, so this means…

yassCatherine Yass has been nominated for a Turner Prize, so this means that she’s a serious artist. Nevertheless, her plan to drop a piano off the top of a 27-story building in London, as a way to allow the community to “explore how sound travels,” has been vetoed by the local housing association. Locals apparently feared her plan was “dangerous and ludicrous.”

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Chinese artist He Yunchang believes in suffering for his art…

He-Yunchang-croppedChinese artist He Yunchang believes in suffering for his art. His performance pieces have included:

  • Having one of his ribs removed so that he could wear it as a necklace.
  • Having a doctor cut a one meter gash down the side of his body, without anesthesia.
  • Encasing himself in a cube of quick-setting concrete for 24 hours.
  • Trying to “cut a river in half” by suspending himself above it from a crane while holding a knife in the water, as blood dripped from cuts in his arms.
  • Painting the fingernails and toenails of 10 mannequins with his own blood.
  • Staring at 10,000 watt bulbs to damage his eyesight
  • Burning his clothes while wearing them.

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