Sep. 01, 2013
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Ig Nobel Prize Winners Rushing to Harvard

On Thursday night, September 12, the 2013 Ig Nobel Prize winners will be announced - and showered with applause and paper airplanes - at Harvard University. They will be honored for achievements that first make people LAUGH, and then make them THINK.

This will be the 23rd First Annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony. Organized by the science humor magazine Annals of Improbable Research (AIR), in cooperation with several Harvard student groups, it celebrates the unusual, honors the imaginative, and spurs interest in science.

THE WINNERS: Ten (10) new Ig Nobel Prizes will be awarded. The identity of the winners is kept secret until they receive their prize on stage. Their acceptance speeches will be brief, with time limits enforced by a stoic, very cute eight-year-old girl.

Prizes Awarded by Nobel Laureates

Genuine Nobel laureates will physically hand the prizes to the winners. Attending the ceremony will be Dudley Herschbach (chemistry, 1986), Eric Maskin (economics, 2007), Frank Wilzcek (physics, 2004), Sheldon Glashow (physics, 1979) and Roy Glauber (physics, 2005). One of them will also be the prize in the Win-a-Date-with-a-Nobel-Laureate Contest.

Last year (2012) the honorees included the Dutch authors of a study called "Leaning to the Left Makes the Eiffel Tower Seem Smaller"; the chemist who discovered why, in Sweden, some people's hair turned green; and 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.

THEME: The theme of this year's ceremony (though not necessarily of the individual prizes) is: FORCE.

The ceremony will also include:

• The premiere of "The Blonsky Device", a mini-opera inspired by the life and work (US patent #3216423, "Apparatus for Facilitating the Birth of a Child by Centrifugal Force") of 1999 Ig Nobel Prize winners George and Charlotte Blonsky. The opera stars Maria Ferrante (as Charlotte), Martin Kelly (as George), Philip Lima (as The Zookeeper) and Miles Rind (as The Patent Examiner), under the direction of maestro Henry Akona.

They will be accompanied by, "The Forces of Nature", a new orchestra composed of Harvard and MIT doctors and researchers.

• THE 24/7 LECTURES, in which several of the world's top thinkers each explains his or her subject twice - first in TWENTY-FOUR (24) SECONDS, and then, clearly, in SEVEN (7) WORDS.

• The Win-a-Date-with-a-Nobel-Laureate Contest.

The ceremony will be broadcast live on the Internet. There will be webcast-watching parties around the world, including a grand, middle-of-the-night event in Paris, and a party two days later in Leiden, The Netherlands.


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