The 365 Ways Blog

Michael Norton is author of "365 Ways to Change the World", which provides an issue for each day of the year, interesting facts, inspiring case studies of people doing things to address the issue and ideas for action. Originally published in the UK, versions with local content have been published in Australia, Canada, India, South Africa and the USA. To find out more visit our website:

17 October 2007

Viral messages

Viral messages spread on the internet as a virus might, with people passing the message on to their friends, and friends then passing the message on.

Viral marketing is an attempt to use this technique to market a product or a service. But sometimes a message will spread because it is funny, curiouos, important or the people spreading it are really committed to getting it out.

Here is a recent viral message. How far will it go? Will you pass it on to your friends?

Donating a mammogram
**Please tell ten friends to tell ten today! The Breast Cancer site is
having trouble getting enough people to click on their site daily to meet
their quota of donating at least one free mammogram a day to an
underprivileged woman. It takes less than a minute to go to their site and
click on 'donating a mammogram' for free (pink window in the middle).

This doesn't cost you a thing. Their corporate sponsors/advertisers use the
number of daily visits to donate mammogram in exchange for advertising.

Here's the web site! Pass it along to people you know. **



The Ig Nobel Awards

The Ig Nobel Prize awards are given out every early October since 1991 by the Annals of Improbable Research, a bimonthly magazine which satirises scientific research. The awards are a parody of the Nobel Prize, and are given to achievements that "first make people laugh, and then make them think."

Ten awards were made in 2007 in different fields. The winners are:
Medicine: Brian Witcombe, of Gloucestershire Royal NHS Foundation Trust, UK, and Dan Meyer, who studied the health consequences of sword swallowing.
Physics: A team from the USA and Chile, who made a study about how cloth sheets become wrinkled.
Biology: Dr Johanna van Bronswijk of the Netherlands, for carrying out a census of creatures that live in people's beds.
Chemistry: Mayu Yamamoto, from Japan, for creating a method of extracting vanilla fragrance and flavouring from cow dung.
Linguistics: A team from the University of Barcelona, who discovered that rats cannot tell the difference between Japanese and Dutch when spoken backwards.
Literature: Glenda Browne of Blue Mountains, Australia, for her study on how the word "The" confuses people when they try to put things in alphabetical order.
Peace: The US Air Force Wright Laboratory for trying to develop a "Gay bomb" that would turn enemy soldiers homosexual.
Nutrition: Brian Wansink of Cornell University for his investigation into the limits of the human appetite, by using a self-refilling "bottomless" bowl of soup.
Economics: Kuo Cheng Hsieh of Taiwan, for patenting a machine that catches bank robbers by dropping a net on top of them.
Aviation: A team from the National University of Quilmes, Argentina, for discovering that impotency drugs can help hamsters recover from jet lag.

Annals of Improbable Research:
The Ig Nobel awards: and the list of past winners:

The official Nobel Prize website:
The official Nobel Peace Prize website:

The 2007 Nobel Peace Prize was won jointly by Al Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

Since just failing to become President of the USA, Al Gore has been devoting his talents and his energy to campaigning on the issue of global warming. His book and film “An Inconvenient Truth” have been subtitled “A global warning”, and are intended as a wake-up call to the world. He is also building a movement of activists who can go out and spread the message to a world which needs to act faster than it seems to want to.

These are Al Gore’s Top Ten Tips for simple things you can do today that will help stop the world warming up (or at least make a small contribution to slowing down the rate).

1. Replace lightbulbs with compact fluorescent ones.
2. Drive less.
3. Recycle more.
4. Keep your car tyres properly inflated.
5. Use less hot water
6. Avoid products with a lot of packaging.
7. Reduce your heating and air conditioning usage.
8. Plant a tree.
9. Turn off electronic devices when you are not using them instead of putting them on standby.
10. Be part of the solution.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change:
Al Gore’s site: