The Ig Nobel Prizes are, as you probably know, one of the cultural highlights of Western Civilization.
Held at Harvard University in the stately, majestic, awesome (choose your adjective) Sanders Theater, the ceremony mixes the goofy and the intellectual in a spoof of the Nobel Prizes. Prizes are given sometimes to make a political – e.g., against creationists – and sometimes just to make geek favorites – such as the award to the inventor of the karaoke machine – but the best ones highlight entertaining but real research, of which there is more than you can shake a petri dish at.
The evening is deliberately semi-amateurish in presentation, although the amateurs include professional opera singers and enough science Nobel laureates to make up their own volleyball team.
If you’ve never seen it – I’ve witnessed about 20 of them – you’ve missed something. But thanks to the miracle of Internet video, you can watch it here, assuming the embedded YouTube link works: