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Each year the Ig Nobel Prize is given to a number of scientists in different fields. Marc Abrams, editor of Annals of Improbable Research, co-sponsor of the awards says “The prizes are intended to celebrate the unusual, honour the imaginative, and spur people’s interest in science, medicine and technology”. The winner in 2006 in the field of ornithology was Ivan R Schwab, cover editor for the British Journal of Ophthalmology. He was awarded his prize for exploring and explaining why woodpeckers don’t get headaches. (

.) The Journal wishes to congratulate him on this award. We understand that his enthusiasm for this award may be tempered by the recognition that the prize in physics in 2006 went to two investigators from Paris for their work on why when you bend dry spaghetti it often breaks into more than two pieces. He may have been also taken back when the award ceremony was closed with the traditional words “If you didn’t win a prize-and especially if you did-better luck next year!”. For more details go to

The debate concerning the French paradox continues. Evidence that red wine contains special compounds that may be health enhancing …

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