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IG Nobels Honor Inane Yet Useful Scientific Discoveries

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And now this. We have some news you can use.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

News you can use, but that you hopefully won't have to. It involves a way to stop a nosebleed. You can stop the bleeding by shoving pork up your nose.

INSKEEP: Of course.

CORNISH: Cured, salted pork works best.

INSKEEP: This folk remedy dates back to the 1800s, when salt pork was more likely to be sitting around the house. It was recently rediscovered by a team at the Detroit Medical Center. It won them a 2014 Ig Nobel Prize, an annual award for inane, yet useful scientific discoveries.

CORNISH: The researchers note you should only do this if you have a specific blood clotting disorder. Otherwise, it could cause an infection.

INSKEEP: And here's another winner of an Ig Nobel. A study discovered dogs can sense the Earth's magnetic field. The evidence for this is that dogs tend to align themselves on a north-south axis when they poop.

CORNISH: OK. Other winners studied bananas. Japanese researchers wanted to know if it's easy to slip on a banana peel, like in cartoons.

(SOUNDBITE OF CARTOON)

INSKEEP: And the finding is yes. Banana peels are slippery. Or, as the researchers put it, they studied, quote, "the frictional coefficient under banana skin" and found, quote, "the lubricating ability of banana skin can be proved." Excellent.

(SOUNDBITE OF "BANANAS IN PAJAMAS" THEME SONG)

UNIDENTIFED WOMEN: Bananas in pajamas are coming down the stairs. Bananas in pajamas are coming down in pairs. Bananas...

INSKEEP: Yeah, it's NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.