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Car-Crushing Vilnius Mayor Wins 'Ig Nobel' Peace Prize

You may recall Arturas Zuokas, the mayor of Lithuanian capital city Vilnius, as the star of one of the summer's biggest viral videos, in which he crushed a parked luxury car with a tank as part of a silly-but-sincere campaign against drivers who block dedicated bike lanes. (For the definitive post-Internet sensation interview with Zuokas, don't miss Todd Zwillich's piece at Transportation Nation.) Well now Zuokas has been honored for the stunt with an Ig Nobel prize, the annual awards that recognize "improbable research," or "achievements that makes people laugh and then think."

Bestowed by the magazine Annals of Improbable Research, Ig Nobel prizes are awarded in the same categories as the more famous Nobel version, and Zuokas walked away with perhaps the most prestigious: The Ig Nobel Peace Prize. The tank stunt demonstrated "that the problem of illegally parked luxury cars can be solved by running them over with an armored tank," according to the Ig Nobel committee.

Zuokas flew all the way to Boston to attend the official ceremony, held each year at Harvard. You can watch the entire ceremony for yourself below. Other award winners this year include John Senders of the University of Toronto, for "conducting a series of safety experiments in which a person drives an automobile on a major highway while a visor repeatedly flaps down over his face, blinding him," and Karl Halvor Teigen of the University of Oslo, "for trying to understand why, in everyday life, people sigh."

Skip ahead to about the 1:28:00 mark if you just want to catch Zuokas.

Sommer Mathis is editor of The Atlantic Cities. Previously she spent five years editing and reporting on the D.C. metro area at DCist.com and TBD.com. All posts »

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