For most females (and males as the case may be) a bra is something one wears to enhance/shape/retain/contain one's breasts. There could be other lesser known uses, for example, a sling-shot or a small container in which to carry seashells collected on a beach. Interesting but lesser-known stuff. However, the winner of the 2009 Ig Nobel Prize, one Dr. Elena Bodnar, took home the public health prize for creating a dual bra that could be converted (if necessary obviously) into two gas masks.
Note the "Ig" in front of Nobel Prize signifying that this is not "the" Nobel Prize, which usually spring to mind. In fact, "The Ig Nobel Prizes' - there are numerous categories - honor achievements that first make people laugh, and then make them think. The prizes are intended to celebrate the unusual, honor the imaginative and spur people's interest in science, medicine, and technology."
Obviously pleased to be a recipient and winner, Dr. Bodnar did a demo and then gave the Nobel laureates each their very own gas bra/gas mask.
So this leads one - me - to wonder about the comfort aspect of this bra-come-gas mask. Is it padded to prevent chaffing from the gas...whatevers? More importantly, how many colors does it come in? Are there different cup sizes or is it a one-size-fits-all?
The mind boggles at its potential usage in the military. A soldier (female and/or male) who wears said double-duty bra, could when there is the scent of gas and lurking danger, disrobe, unhook said bra and place it on their face(s). This act in itself could cause a shock wave among the enemy. I mean, it's rare for your average person to walk around with a bra over one's face, period. Then again, the time delay in actually getting access to the bra might be a problem.
The ceremony was organized by the magazine, "The Annals of Improbable Research", which is a good name given the nature of the awards. For the full list of names, try this site:
And for a diagram of the winning bra...that is to say, gas mask...whatever, try here: