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Bernie Madoff, fractals, and prophylactic Coke: The Ig Nobels get risky tonight at Harvard

Watch live video from 2009 Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony on Justin.tv

Tonight's Ig Nobel ceremony, a festival of dubious achievements in the realm of science, may be nigh sold out (as of yesterday, all but a few "imperfect view" seats had already been snatched up). But you can still catch all the glorious, uproarious, tonque-in-cheek geekery tonight -- from the comfort of your living room, no less.

The good folks at Improbable Research are offering up the evening's poindextrous folderol as a live-streaming webcast, available both either justin.tv and Quicktime. The broadcast starts at approximately 7:13 pm, so consult your nearest atomic clock and synchronize those watches.

This year's Ig Nobels are a tribute to "risk" (in stark contrasted to last year's, which feted "redundancy"). Here's what you can expect on tap tonight:

- A 60-second keynote speech from Benoit Mandelbrot, the father of fractal geometry

- The Penny-Wise Guys singing ditties about Bernie Madoff, plus a mini-opera on the collapse of Wall Street

- "The 24/7 lectures," which star a slew of geniuses -- including Stephen Wolfram, creator of the spooky, totally-not-Skynet search engine Wolfram Alpha -- describing research topics twice: once in 24 seconds, and again in 7 words

- Special cameo appearances by Don Featherstone (the inventor of the pink lawn flamingo), Deborah Anderson (the researcher who studied the effect of Coke on sperm motility), and  Francis Fesmire (who discovered you can cure the hiccups via rectal probe).


Obviously, nothing beats watching this stuff in flesh (it's also a good place to corner XKCD creator Randall Munroe, one of tonight's "Minordomos," and ask him about his own dubious research projects -- both vaguely NSFW). But if you're not lucky enough to sit among the city's top-tier nerderati tonight, get your Ig Nobel fix here:


Ig Nobel ceremony live stream:
http://improbable.com/ig/2009/webcast/

Pregame with last year's event, archived on Google Video:

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