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Friday, October 06, 2006

How To Cure Hiccups

Today Yaxlich has learned that you can cure hiccups with digital rectal massage. For those unfamiliar with the technique it involves sticking a finger up your bottom.

Some readers of his blog might be asking how Yaxlich discovered this fact. After all, the commonly accepted methods of curing hiccups usually involve a fright or drinking a glass of water backwards. This method would appear somewhat unusual in it's approach and, generally speaking, the two actions are not normally associated with each other.

Yaxlich didn't discover the method himself. He rarely suffers from hiccups. It was one of the winners in this years Ig Nobels. Since 1991 Ig Nobels have been awarded to genuine scientific discoveries and research "that cannot, or should not, be reproduced".

Other winners this year included a study on how many photos must be taken to almost ensure no-one in a group shot has their eyes closed (maths award), why woodpeckers do not get headaches (ornithology) and why dung beetles are fussy eaters (nutrition). One of last years winners was a study in fluid dynamics entitled "Pressures Produced When Penguins Pooh - Calculations on Avian Defaecation".

One of Yaxlich's favourite Ig Nobel awards was made in 2001 in the field of biology. It was the invention of airtight underpants with a special charcoal filter to remove bad smells. In 1999 Dr Len Fisher revealed the physics behind the perfect biscuit dunk.

Back to the topic in hand, so to speak. Yaxlich has been pondering how Francis Fesmire, Majed Odeh, Harry Bassan and Arie Oliven discovered that putting your finger up your bottom cured hiccups. Indeed, which came first? Had they exhausted all previous ideas for curing hiccups and then thought "Sod it, I'll stick my finger up my arse" or was it that after a prolonged bout of anal fingering they said "Gosh, since I've been indulging in digital rectal massage I have not suffered from a spasm of the diaphragm resulting in a rapid, involuntary inhalation that is stopped by the sudden closure of the glottis and accompanied by a sharp, distinctive sound"?

Comments on "How To Cure Hiccups"


Blogger Rob said ... (7:21 pm) : 

Possibly they noticed that no passengers on El Al flights, and no passengers of Arab appearance on transatlantic flights, were hiccupping.

Nice to find an upside to enhance airport screening.


Blogger Richard said ... (9:26 pm) : 

Yaxlich - this is indeed a very unusual post - your verbal dexterity and use of long, often unpunctuated sentences suggests a far more intelligent chap than we might otherwise have been led to believe.

I doff my cap.....

Is doff a word?


Blogger laugh said ... (4:33 am) : 

superb idea. kewwwl...


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:25 am) : 

How indeed?


Blogger Yaxlich said ... (2:06 pm) : 

Yaxlich will be sure never to have hiccups in an airport departure lounge again. Not that he ever uses one.

Yaxlich thanks Richard for noticing that he swallowed a dictionary this morning.
Doff is, indeed, a word and he thanks you for using it as he believes it is a sadly underused word. Piffle is another one.

He thanks Laugh for stopping by and saying hello. Briefly.

Gem - Yaxlich has been thinking about nothing else for the last 24 hours.


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