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. The plastic flamingos were created by Donald Featherstone. This mass produced form of art is identified 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. I think in my grandmother's case it reminded her of their many trips to Florida during the cold Wisconsin winter months of year.
Occasionally even today for the announcement of a special 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! They can be rented for special occasions.
We have seen some on occasion celebrating such milestones as a 40th or 50th birthday. Whether we know the person who is being honored 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 10 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 a possibility.
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 his invention to be useful?
A few of the prize winners were actually fictitious. A sense of humor is definitely 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 who 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 as well as 3 other species are found in the Americas with 2 other 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 for them to become more colorful like their parents all depending upon their diet.
See & 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?
© 2016 Peggy Woods