And the Ig Nobel Goes To...

As my colleague has pointed out below, this week off in some place called Sweden, five prizes are being given out to a bunch of stuffy scientists, writers and peacemakers. And what do the winners receive? A hefty check for $1.4 million, a diploma and a shiny medal that is awarded to them by King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden. Boring.

Who cares about those prizes, when a much more important awards ceremony is set to take place tonight? The Ig Nobels, the bastard child of the Nobel Prizes, are awards presented to scientists for research that "cannot or should not be reproduced." The raucous event is a chance for real Nobel laureates to throw paper airplanes as well as to recognize the work of cohorts in poorly publicized fields of research. Last year's winners include researchers who studied the brain patterns of locusts forced to watch Star Wars and the guy who made Neuticles, replacement testicles for neutered dogs.

If you're in the greater Boston area, you may still be able to get tickets for tonight's 7:30 ceremony. For the rest of us, a live webcast is offered at the official Ig Nobel site. It promises to be a truly inspiring and magical evening. —Dan Smith