The 2009 Ig Nobel Awards honor achievements that first make people laugh, and then make them think. The prizes celebrate the unusual, honor the imaginative—and spur people's interest in science, medicine, and technology. Here, our take on the fun contest's winners.
Tune in this evening to watch the sold out annual parody of the Nobel Prizes streamed live online.
The Ig Nobel Prizes are awarded to achievements "that first make people laugh, and then make them think," their website reads. The 23rd ceremony, which is set to take place at Harvard's Sanders Theatre, is organized by the humorous scientific magazine Annuals of Improbable Research.
Founded in 1991, the prizes are "intended to celebrate the unusual, honor the imaginative and spur people's interest in science, medicine and technology."
1,200 audience members along with those tuning in online across the world will watch as Nobel laureates hand out the awards with the help of Miss Sweetie Poo, a little girl who screams out "Please stop, I'm bored," should a speaker babble on for long.
Previous winners include studies of beetles that have sex with beer bottles, engineers who invented a way to make diamonds out of unused military ammunition, and scientists that solved the puzzle of why certain houses in Sweden turned residents' hair green.
As always, the ceremony is expected to be full of strange costumes, unceremonious behavior and a nice break from the sometimes stiff world of science.