IgNobel Prizes 2012

Every year real Nobel prize winners gather at MIT for the IgNobel Prizes, awards for silly research. The ceremony is full of fun, weird traditions.  And I think it does a great job at promoting the idea that scientists are real people and science is a human endeavor. Plus there are "win a date with a Noble laureate" contests, annoying children ushered on the stage to discourage long-winded speeches, demos and science-themed operas.

The chemistry prize this year was for for "solving the puzzle of why, in certain houses in the town of Anderslöv, Sweden, people's hair turned green." It's copper pipes, not terribly exciting. 

The medical prize was much more interesting - advice to keep patients from exploding when a specific colonoscopy technique is used. And the literature prize for the government report about reports about reports calling for more reports was the only prize which no one showing up to receive.