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Thursday, 05.12.2013, 20:45
Vilnius mayor Zuokas wins Ig Nobel peace prize
"I have had enough of these drivers parking their luxury cars on bike lanes and pedestrian crossings. This tank is a good tool to solve the problem of illegal parking," Zuokas said in his Facebook account on August 2, after crashing a Mercedes which was illegally parked on Gediminas Avenue in Vilnius.
The American Ig Nobel awards were handed out on Thursday at Harvard University's Sanders Theatre, in what has become down the years a slightly chaotic but fun event where people throw paper planes and a little girl berates the winners.
Other recipients this year of the prizes run by the science humour magazine Annals of Improbable Research included entomologists Darryl Gwynne and David Rentz who discovered that certain Australian beetles will try to copulate with discarded beer bottles, but they have to be of the right type – brown ones with bobbly bits on them.
"I am a great believer in communicating science to non-scientists and I think humour is a good way of doing that; and for that reason I think the Ig Nobels are very positive," Professor Darryl Gwynne told BBC News.
The Chemistry Prize went to an inventive Japanese team that worked out how to use wasabi (pungent horseradish) in a fire alarm system. The group even has a patent pending on its idea.
Understanding why discus throwers get dizzy was the topic of the study that won the Physics Prize.
The Igs are the "alternative" version to the rather more sober Nobel awards announced in Sweden next week.