Pink Flamingos, Kitsch Art and IG Nobel Prizes
Pink Plastic Flamingos
Back during the 1950s, a popular lawn ornament was a plastic pink flamingo or even a grouping of them. Donald Featherstone created the plastic flamingos. This mass-produced form of art is known as kitsch.
Some people consider plastic flamingos in a yard to be gaudy, and others find them to be sentimental and fun. My grandmother had a couple of them in her front yard. In my grandmother's case, it reminded her of their many trips to Florida during the cold Wisconsin winter months of the year.
Occasionally even today, for the announcement of a particular date like a birthday or other event, we will drive by a yard filled with plastic flamingos. It is hard to miss such an attention grabber! People can rent them for special occasions.
We have seen some on occasion celebrating such milestones as a 40th or 50th birthday. Whether we know the person or not, it brings smiles to our faces when we view such a temporary display of kitsch art. Our neighbors recently had a bunch of them placed in their yard as a type of joke. They will soon pass them on to other friends of theirs, bringing smiles to more faces.
Have you ever used plastic flamingos in your yard for decorations or for a special occasion?
IG Nobel Prizes
Donald Featherstone accepted his IG Nobel Prize for his creation of the plastic pink flamingos in 1996. The category was art.
Each year since 1991, when these parody of prizes were first awarded, there are ten recipients. They "honor achievements that first make people laugh, and then make them think." Discoveries and inventions spanning subjects ranging from mathematics to economics to medicine and psychology are just some examples.
Have you ever opened a magazine and been offered the opportunity to scratch and sniff a perfume sample? In 1993 a dual IG Nobel Prize award was given to James Campbell and Gaines Campbell for inventing those scent strips.
Are you a blue-colored jello fan? That award went to Ivette Bassa in 1992, who created the colloid, which made blue jello possible.
And the Blue Jello IG Nobel Prize goes to Ivette Bassa!
In the first year of awards, Alan Kligerman was given the prize. His invention was the product Beano. Have you ever tried that product and found it to be useful?
A few of the prize winners were fictitious. A sense of humor is an asset when pondering those awards! Some of the inventions turn out to be of some valid use, but many are just plain silly. Yet time and effort went into the creation of each of them.
If you take the time to look at the full list of IG Nobel Prize winners, you will be amazed. I promise! They come from all walks of life.
A person who received this tongue in cheek award but also received a real Nobel Prize for his work with graphene was Sir Andre Geim.
Some of the IG Nobel Prize WinnersClick thumbnail to view full-size
IG Nobel Prizes
Had you ever heard of the IG Nobel Prizes?
Real Flamingo Birds, Not Plastic Ones
The first photo above was taken by me when we visited Discovery Island many years ago at Walt Disney World in Florida. It shows a flock of flamingos.
- Greater flamingos and three other species are in the Americas with two types in the Old World.
- This tall wading bird prefers living near warm watery regions where they dip their curved bills into the water and filter out their food from the mud and water. They then swallow the filtered algae, small fish, shrimp-like crustaceans, and other things.
- The more shrimp and algae that flamingos consume containing beta carotene, the brighter pink or even red-pigmented their color becomes.
- Flamingo chicks are born grey and white. It takes several years to become more colorful like their parents, all depending upon their diet.
See and learn more about flamingos, specifically those from the Caribbean, by watching the video presented below.
Do you regularly see flamingos in the wild where you live?
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2016 Peggy Woods