Remember Arturas Zuokas, the mayor of Vilnius, who ran over a Mercedes parked in a bike lane USING A TANK? He's just won an Ig Nobel prize, the coveted award for research (or, you know, a mayoral publicity stunt) that first makes people laugh, then makes them think.
Mayor Zuokas won the Ig Nobel Peace Prize for "demonstrating that the problem of illegally parked luxury cars can be solved by running them over with an armored tank." He attended the ceremony at Harvard, joining such luminaries as Ludwig Huber, who found that tortoise yawns are not contagious, and Darryl Gwynne and David Rentz, who demonstrated why a particular type of beetle likes to mate with a particular type of beer bottle. (Also attending: A bunch of actual Nobel laureates, one of whom was auctioned off for a date.) Past Ig Nobel Peace Prize winners include the developer of the "Gay Bomb," three scientists who determined that swearing helps relieve pain, and a research team that investigated whether it's better to be hit over the head with an empty beer bottle or a full one.
You can watch the entire ceremony below — it's reliably awesome and this year features an opera about coffee. Hizzoner is up at about 1:29:00. Money quote: "It is universally understood that an idiot blocking the bike lane is the same idiot no matter where he lives and what language he speaks."
Get Grist in your inbox