The discovery that an equivalent of the word 'huh?' exists in every language, a study of what parts of the body are most painful when stung by a bee, and research showing how acute appendicitus can be accurately diagnosed by the amount of pain a patient is in when driven over speed humps have all been honoured at this year's Ig Nobel Awards. At what we presume was a glittering awards night on 17th September, the 25th First Annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony also saw awards handed to an Australian group of researchers who invented a chemical recipe to partially unboil an egg, a group of US and Taiwanese researchers who tested the principle that all mammals empty their bladders in about 21 seconds no matter how big they may be, and an international group of scientists who found many business leaders had developed a fondness for risk-taking in childhood after experiencing a natural disaster like a earthquake that had no dire consequences for them personally. The Ig Nobels are awarded in a range of categories for achievements that "first make people laugh, then make them think".

The quest for an invisibility cloak took a step forward recently with news that a team of researchers in the US have reportedly developed a 'cloak' which conforms to the shape of an object and makes it undetectable with visible light. The super-thin cloak - which has a thickness of just 80 nanometres - re-routs light waves to make it invisible to the eye. Those behind the research have suggested the technology could be used for a range of military applications - hiding a tank, for example - or even for masking facial blemishes or hiding one's belly.

Remember the Indonesia monkey who took what appeared to be a grinning selfie when a British photographer left his camera unattended? Animal rights activists in the US have reportedly lodged a federal lawsuit in California in which they claim that Naruto, a six-year-old crested macaque who lives on the island of Sulawesi, should be given the copyright on that and a series of photos he took using the camera of British photographer David Slater. They're also asking for the monkey to receive damages for copyright infringement after Slater used the images in a wildlife book. Slater has reportedly said he was "very saddened" by the lawsuit - filed by People for the Ethical Treatment for Animals (PETA) - because he considers himself an advocate of animal rights.