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A weekly show where knowledge junkies get their fix of trivia-tastic information. This week, Paige looks at 23 weird awards you can win!

Want more Paige? Check out her channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/paigelfinch

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Hi! I'm Paige. Welcome to the salon. This is Mental Floss on YouTube, and did you know that every year, the state of Vermont holds the "odor eaters rotten sneakers contest"?

The competitions is for kids between the ages of five and fifteen, and all you have to do to win, is have the smelliest shoes. The judges take how worn the shoes are into consideration as well, and the winner receives $2,500. That's the first of many of the weird awards you can win that I'm gonna tell you about today. 

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You've probably heard of the Darwin Awards, which honor people who have removed themselves from the human gene pool, by either dying or self-sterilizing in a ridiculous way.

Then, of course, there are The Golden Raspberry Awards, or 'Razzies', which honor the worst films of the year. Typically, winners don't accept their awards in person, but a couple stars have - like Sandra Bullock, who won Worst Actress for 'All About Steve', and Halle Berry for Catwoman. This role has 'Oscar' written all over it.

Every year, James Randi gives out the Pigasus Award - Randi has become a famous skeptic of the paranormal, after retiring from his career in magic as The Amazing Randi, at the age of 60. The winner of the Pigasus Award is whoever Randi considers to be a para-psychological fraud.

Similarly, the group Australian Skeptics has been giving out The Bent Spoon Award since 1982 - according to the group, the award is given to the perpetrator of the most preposterous piece of paranormal or pseudo-scientific piffle.

If you love magic though, don't worry, The Merlin Awards are given out by the International Magicians Society for achievements in the field. Past winners include David Copperfield, Siegfried & Roy and Criss Angel.

Then, of course, there are the psychic of the year awards, given out by the Australian Psychics Association. They're voted on by the members of the association, which makes me wonder, "Why do they even vote, if they can predict the winner?"

Every year the website "WeLoveThisBook" gives the Diagram Prize for Oddest Title. Past winners have included, "How to Avoid Huge Ships", "Goblin-Proofing One's Chicken Coop" and "Greek Rural Postmen and Their Cancellation Numbers".

The Bad Sex in Fiction Award is another self-explanatory one. it's given out every year by The Literary Review. In 2010, author Rowan Somerville won for a scene in his book, "The Shape of Her". He accepted his award, saying "There is nothing more English than bad sex. So on behalf of the nation, I thank you."

The Golden Collar Awards are like the dog-version of the Academy Awards, dogs can win for being the best in one of five entertainment categories. Theatrical Film, Foreign Film, Television Series, Reality Television Series and Direct-to-DVD Film.

Since 1903, the Tour de France has acknowledged the Laterne Rouge, the person who comes in last place. The distinction is named for the red lantern that typically hangs on the caboose of a train. Historically, this person has made so much money for doing appearances after the race, that people actually have competed for last place.

Speaking of trains, the trade journal, Modern Railroad, has been giving out a Railroader of the Year Award since 1964 - it's given to an excellent worker in the industry.

And the trade journal Railway Age gives out their Regional Railroad of the Year Award for railroads with particularly good customer-service and innovation. Basically, if you feel like your profession doesn't have enough awards, look into the railroad industry.

Another very specific award - the Food Photographer of the Year Award. They take applications and had over 5500 of them in 2013. The cool part? The competition partners with charities, like Action Against Hunger.

In 2003, Cabinet Magazine held a contest for the Most Phallic Building. Here are some of the nominees, but the winner was the Ypsilanti Water Tower.

The Bad Writing Competition is run by The Journal of Philosophy and Literature, people nominate one or two sentences of bad writing from either a scholarly book or a journal. Then, the heads of the publication choose winners. 

Similarly, the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest asks people to write the worst opening sentence for a novel they can think of.  It's held by the English department at San Jose State University.  Bulwer-Lytton, by the way, wrote the novel Paul Clifford, which opens with "It was a dark and stormy night."

The Ig-Nobel Prizes have been around since 1991.  They honor scientific achievements that make people laugh and then think.  Past winners have included the inventor of the pink plastic flamingo, a person who wrote a medical report titled "Injuries Due to Falling Coconuts", and a man who wrote his Ph.D on the sociology of Canadian donut stores.

According to the website of the Big Brother Awards Int'l, they give their annual awards to government agencies, private companies, and individuals who have excelled in the violation of our privacy.

The website Mother Reader gives out the Weird-Ass Picture Book Awards for the strangest stories, illustrations, and cover art in picture books.  

The Australian Ernie Awards are given to the most misogynistic speaker of the year.  They're named after former Australian worker's union secretary, Ernie Ecob.  According to Meredith Bergman, who founded the awards, "Ecob, who was head of the sheep shearers' union, has had his name permanently etched in the annals of Australian history with his infamous comment that 'women only want to become shearers for the sex.'"

Similarly, the Plain English Campaign gives an annual Foot in Mouth Award to the public speaker who said the most embarrassing thing that year.  In 2008, they gave George W. Bush a lifetime achievement award.

Finally, I return to the salon to tell you that the Stella Awards were given out between 2002-2007 for the most wild, outrageous, or ridiculous lawsuits.  The last winner, before the awards stopped, was Roy L. Pearson, an administrative law judge from Washington D.C. who sued a small dry cleaner business for $65,000,000 for losing a pair of his pants.

Thanks for watching mental_floss on YouTube, which is made with the help of all these nice people.  Again, I'm Paige, and if you want to check out my channel, you can find it here.  

Don't forget to be awesome!

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