Tomorrow the Ig Nobel Prizes will be awarded — 10 prizes given for achievements that first make people laugh, then make them think. You can watch the ceremony at 7:30 pm EST on Improbable.com.
Past winners are always invited back, if they so desire, and this year one of the returning winners is Hyuk Ho Kwon, inventor of the self-perfuming business suit. Here is Mr. Improbable talking about the suit:
He really does own one of those self-perfuming suits, in peppermint. In fact, it’s the only suit he owns, because you don’t really need to dress up to spend all day in your attic writing funny things about science, and when he gives talks, he ought to look like a scruffy academic, not a businessman. Which means every time we have some formal occasion, like a friend’s kid’s bat mitzvah or a wedding, he winds up wearing the scented scuit because I forget to drag him into J Press or some such and have an odorless suit fitted for him in time.
Mr. Kwon won the prize in 1999, and presented Marc with his suit at that time. Ten years and several dry-cleanings later, we took the suit to the wedding of a good friend of mine in Lincoln, Nebraska, during a glorious Indian-summer September. The day of the wedding, it was 85 degrees outside. The wedding venue was nine blocks from our hotel.
Turns out, the scented scuits can be activated by friction … or by heat. By the time we got to the wedding, my man was a walking Altoid, the misbegotten love child of Pigpen and Peppermint Patty.
You just never know.