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The IgNobel Prizes, 2013! What is the sound of one hand clapping?

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…I don’t know, but whoever did it is under arrest.

Presenting this year’s IgNobel Peace Prize! To the president of Belarus, Alexandar Lukashenko, for making it illegal to applaud in public. The Belarus State Police apparently then arrested a one-arms man for applauding.

(The president of Belarus. Source)

This is one of those prizes that actually has a lot more serious depth than just some weird guy preventing people from clapping. Banning clapping had a purpose.

Here’s the deal. In 2011, young people in Belarus were not pleased with the President. There were laws against public gatherings and demonstrations, people are fed up with inflation, and other problems. To protest this, groups of young people started holding flash mobs, appear on streetcorners, and clapping. They clapping was aimed AT the President as a manner of protest.

So the President banned clapping and the people who do it have faced arrest. The political furor over it appears to have died out for now, but in the meantime, applauding is illegal in Belarus. It’s actually a pretty sad reason for an IgNobel. I do wonder what form of protest they will take up next. Hissing? Booing? Jazz hands?

Scicurious About the Author: Scicurious is a PhD in Physiology, and is currently a postdoc in biomedical research. She loves the brain. And so should you. Follow on Twitter @Scicurious.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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  1. 1. kandylandy8 4:11 pm 09/15/2013

    my buddy’s ex-wife makes $60 every hour on the laptop. She has been unemployed for five months but last month her income was $13647 just working on the laptop for a few hours. you can try here….

    Link to this

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