The mathematics prize went to another financial wizard, Gideon Gono, governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, who imbued his compatriots with a sophisticated understanding of large numbers by printing the national currency in denominations ranging from 1 cent to 100 trillion dollars as the country's inflation rate soared to 231 million per cent.
Donald Unger, an allergist in Thousand Oaks, California, earned the medicine prize for addressing another timeless question: does cracking knuckles really cause arthritis, as his mother warned him it would?... To resolve the issue Unger embarked on a long-term controlled experiment, and began cracking the knuckles on his left hand twice a day, but not those on his right (Arthritis and Rheumatism, vol 41, p 949). He has done so for more than 60 years, and never suffered arthritis in either hand. “Mother, you were wrong,” he says, looking heavenwards. What he now wants to know is: “Was it really necessary for me to eat my broccoli?”
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