Science is our key to unlocking the mysteries of the universe, and also occasionally the key to unlocking the brain waves of dead salmon. Thus: another year, another announcement of the Ig Nobel prize winners, the men and women behind the most unlikely, hilarious, thought-provoking science of the year. The titles of the papers alone are great enough--"Shape of a Ponytail and the Statistical Physics of Hair Fiber Bundles," "Walking With Coffee: Why Does It Spill?"--but we're also particularly fond of this year's winner for literature: "The US Government General Accountability Office, for issuing a report about reports about reports that recommends the preparation of a report about the report about reports about reports." Read them all here.
The annual Ig Nobel award ceremony is one of, if not our absolute favorite awards shows of the year. For those who don't know, it awards prizes to serious scientific studies about, well, offbeat things. This year's crop of winners include the inventors of a wasabi alarm clock, a study that shows we make better decisions when we have to pee, and the discovery of a beetle that likes to mate with a certain brand of Australian beer bottle.
The Ig Nobel prize, which awards the year's weirdest scientific achievements (last year's included studies on fruit bat fellatio and whale snot), is being awarded this year on this very night, at 7:30 EST from Harvard University. You'll be able to find out the winners this year by watching the live webcast, just after the jump.
If the MacArthur "Genius" Grants announced earlier this week were too staid for you, the Ig Nobel Prize (now in its 20th year--here's last year's coverage) might be the scientific awards presentation for you. The Ig Nobels aren't a joke; every winning study has a legitimate scientific purpose and execution, making real discoveries and solving real problems. But they're also all chosen for their ability to "make you laugh and then make you think." This year's winners include remote-controlled whale snot retrieval, the benefits of roller coaster riding on asthma sufferers, and our own personal favorite which you may remember: transit planning by slime mold