By MARK PRATT
Beards aren’t just cool and trendy — they might also be an evolutionary development to help protect a man’s delicate facial bones from a punch to the face. That’s the conclusion of a trio of scientists from the University of Utah who are among the winners of this year’s spoof Ig Nobel prizes. The 2021 winners include researchers who figured out how to better control cockroaches on U.S. Navy submarines. They also honor animal scientists who looked at whether it’s safer to transport an airborne rhinoceros upside-down. And among the winners is a team that figured out just how disgusting that discarded gum stuck to your shoe is.