By Angelina Tzankova

Edited by Julia Dec

Do you ever feel unmotivated, bored, or simply like doing nothing? While doing nothing is great, here are three random examples of people who have had too much time on their hands, and what they did with it. Perhaps it will pull you out of your boredom, or even push you to make something out of nothing.  

If you ever have an idea for research about something that at first glance seems completely insignificant, go for it! Who knows? You may win an Ig Nobel Prize. That’s right, an Ig Nobel Prize: a parody of the Nobel prize, with a slogan that states: “First make people laugh, and then make them think”.  

The awards are presented by Nobel Prize laureates at Harvard University. The best part though, are the achievements themselves, with each one getting weirder and weirder. Here are some examples:  

Illustration by Ana R. Wallis
  • When people say that something has the “sweet smell of success”, they might not be too far from the truth. In 1993, the Ig Nobel Prize in Chemistry was attributed to Gaines Campbell for inventing scent stripes, that give off the smell which humans associate with success. These stripes are still used nowadays – included in magazines, cleverly placed in the waiting room of a dentist’s office.  
  • A flying frog. Thanks to the frog’s innate magnetism, Sir Andre Geim made it levitate. He suggested that using the same principle, a human being would also be able to float. For this discovery, he was awarded the 2000 Ig Nobel Prize in Physics.  
  • The 2001 Ig Nobel Prize in Astrophysics was awarded to two evangelists, Jack and Rexella Van Impe. This couple discovered that black holes are supposedly the location of Hell. This discovery was widely accepted, so much so that when the first images of a black hole were captured, astrophysicists acknowledged the couple’s discovery by referring to the black hole as “The gates of Hell, the end of space and time”. 
Illustration by Jeanne Bouchez

The CV, an indicator of how much a person reeks of success, was created in 1482, by none other than Leonardo Da Vinci. The outlined skills and experiences in his CV included sculpting, construction of lightweight bridges, and, naturally, rock flinging. The most impressive part is that even today his CV would be considered strong and incredibly personalized.  

Did you know, though, that the letter “J” did not make an appearance in Da Vinci’s CV?  

The letter “J” was the last letter added to the Latin alphabet. The letter “I” was used for both “J” and “I” sounds, until the year 1524, when the Italian author Gian Giorgio Trissino “created” it.  

Dear readers, from black holes to Italian geniuses, you just learned three random yet inspiring facts. The rest is now up to you.   

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