You Can Ring Nobel

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A video is making the rounds on the internet this week caught on one of those smart doorbell cameras. It's 2 a.m. And a man is anxiously knocking on his neighbor's door trying to wake him. Does the man need help? Is there an emergency is the neighbor's house on fire? Was there a Prowler in the area or some other kind of threat? No doubt. The man Robert Wilson is trying to wake his across the street neighbor to tell him that they just won the Nobel Prize. My name's Moxi and this is your brain on facts. A good reputation is more valuable than money for lilias. Serious a Syrian living in Rome at the time of the big b c a d change over we have no way of knowing if Alfred Nobel ever read publilius, but he definitely had reputation on his mind the Swedish chemist engineer and industrialists found a novel way to combine good old Gunpowder with the exciting new discovery of nitroglycerin to form a truly earth-shaking invention Dynamite. It was a game-changer for Industries like coal mining and it killed people like it was nobody's business both intentionally and through many many Factory explosions. Nobel got richer with each Improvement on the dynamite then his brother Ludovic died a French newspaper ran an obit for Alfred having gotten their lines cross somewhere along the way they were shown the remote As more the paper proclaimed. The merchants of death is dead. Dr. Alfred Nobel who became a rich by finding ways to kill four people faster than ever before died yesterday. That's gotta sting. Nobel had no children and a sudden intense concern about his legacy. So he decided to put some of the money he'd made into the service of repairing his name with a real long-term strategy in his 1895 will drafted the year before he died Nobel instructed that most of his fortune the equivalent of two hundred and fifty million dollars today be set aside to create an award five annual prizes quote to those who during the preceding year shall have conferred the greatest benefit of mankind provided you benefit mankind by way of physics chemistry physiology or medicine literature and problematically vague more on that later long piece. Wait a sec. Say those of you with better recall than me. Where's the Nobel Prize for economics? There wasn't one. There still isn't a part from the one that they're kind of is. The bank of Sweden prize in economic Sciences in memory of Alfred Nobel was created by Sweden's Central Bank in nineteen. Sixty-eight. What about mathematics game popular Apocrypha is that Nobel lost the woman he loved to a mathematician and so did not consider mathematics to be important enough. There's no proof for that story sadly wage and while no one knows for sure the reason it could be as simple as Nobel really wasn't a math guy. I feel you there. Winners are announced in October and November the culmination of a Year's preparation more than six thousand people like Nobel laureates AKA past winners School in various fields and officials from various universities are invited to nominate candidates about a thousand of them for each prize, which usually results in between 150 and 250 nominees. It's not just names in a hat. You have to write a detailed proposal in favor of your nominee and no no matter how much you want to know how cleverly you think you can get away with it. You cannot nominate yourself. Also. You must be alive. Nobel prizes aren't awarded posthumously at least not any more than a few were in the early days, but it was decided in the 1970s that that wasn't their bag anymore, but exceptions make the rule and there is one notable exception in 20 job. 11:00 Canadian immunologist Ralph Steinman received the Nobel Prize for physiology or medicine but he passed away between being nominated and the prize being announced akong assignments daughter. Her father had actually joked about getting the Nobel Prize shortly before he died. They don't give it to you if you've passed away. He said according to her I got to hold out for that. He didn't quite make it but they gave them the prize. Anyway, Steinman must have had a real sixth sense when it comes to convoluted award schemes because non-winning nominees are kept secret out for fifty years in part to prevent a sort of Susan Lucci situation. For those of you who don't recognize the name Susan Lucci is an American soap opera actress who was nominated for a long time. Emmy Award nineteen years in a row before she won. I always suspected that she got the Nam as a running gag after a

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