Alice Munro has won the Nobel Prize
in Literature. Munro is praised by the Swedish Academy as a "master of the contemporary short story." You can read a long interview with her at the Paris Review website
and read some of her short fiction at The New Yorker's website: Amundsen
, Free Radicals
, Wenlock Edge
, The View from Castle Rock
and The Bear Came Over the Mountain
posted by Kattullus
on Oct 10, 2013 -
The 2012 Nobel Prize in Physics has been awarded
to Serge Haroche (France) and David Wineland (US) for discovering ways to measure and manipulate quantum particles, a discovery which many are suggesting may soon allow us to build computers with virtually limitless capabilities
. The Nobel press release provides a layman friendly PDF summary
of the research and its potential applications, as well as a less layman friendly PDF with additional scientific background
information. The press release cites two older Scientific American articles for further reading, and the magazine has made these articles available to read free online for the next 30 days:Monroe, C. R. and Wineland, D. J. (2008) Quantum Computing with Ions, Scientific American, August.Yam, P. (1997) Bringing Schrödinger’s Cat to Life, Scientific American, June.
posted by dgaicun
on Oct 15, 2012 -
An American writer hasn't won the Nobel Prize for Literature since 1993 (Toni Morrison). Slate's Alexander Nazaryan tells us why
: "The rising generation of writers behind Oates, Roth and DeLillo are dominated by Great Male Narcissists — even the writers who aren’t male (or white)."
posted by bardic
on Oct 4, 2011 -
"I remember back in the '90s, when I first heard about their discovery of cell receptors activated by pathogenic microorganisms. I was in this bar called Alumni Club on Clark Street in Chicago. It's gone now, which is fine because it was terrible. Doesn't matter, I guess, but me and my buddies had just polished off a mound of wings and, like, seven buckets of Corona when this dude comes in blabbing about the critical role dendritic cells play in adaptive immunity. I almost kicked the hell out of him on the spot, but I have to admit the slides he brought made me a believer." Dennis O'Toole uses the Nobel Prize to satirize sports commentary in hilarious fashion
posted by jbickers
on Oct 4, 2011 -
In 1973, while working as a young post-doc in Zanvil A. Cohn's laboratory in Rockefeller University, Ralph Steinman
described a completely new immune cell within the lymphoid organs of mice (original paper can be read here
). Based on it's distinctive shape, with it's many branched projections, he named the cell "dendritic cell
" (derived from the Greek word for "tree").
Such began a prolific
career, devoted to the further understanding of these cells, which transformed the way the world understood how the immune system worked. Yesterday, Dr Steinman was awarded the The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2011
"for his discovery of the dendritic cell and its role in adaptive immunity
". Tragically, he had died just three days earlier of pancreatic cancer
, and never learned that he was to be awarded science’s top honour. [more inside]
posted by kisch mokusch
on Oct 4, 2011 -
Experts are little help in the constant struggle in this conversation to separate myth from reality, because they have the same difficulty, and routinely demonstrate it by talking past each other. Respected scientists warn of imminent energy shortages as geologic fuel supplies run out. Wall Street executives dismiss their predictions as myths and call for more drilling. Environmentalists describe the destruction to the earth from burning coal, oil, and natural gas. Economists ignore them and describe the danger to the earth of failing to burn coal, oil, and natural gas. Geology researchers report fresh findings about what the earth was like millions of years ago. Creationist researchers report fresh findings that the earth didn’t exist millions of years ago. The only way not to get lost in this awful swamp is to review the basics and decide for yourself what you believe and what you don’t.
posted by infinite intimation
on Jun 27, 2010 -
It may increase schadenfreude.
It's an assistant to abortifacients and it's produced by stimulating the nipples. Got a clogged lizard? Your mom used it to turn off your brain for your own good
. In women, it peaks at orgasm, but in men, it might be elevated throughout sex without peaking
. And what do you mean "social" monogamy!?
Is it the love 'em and leave 'em hormone?? Well, it's NOT Vasopressin For Her, contrary to what some people think
Is it an impedance to feminism
? Could it be the key to treating Autism
? Ism... ism... jism? YEP. It's in the jism
! Its synthesis was the end of A Trail of Sulfa Research
, and its master was awarded the Nobel Prize
. (Chemistry, not Peace.) You can scent your loveletters with it
, but sorry, peaches... you can't huff a good cuddle, but you might like to huff while you cuddle. Previously.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur
on Mar 14, 2010 -
: In Praise of Boredom
-- from his Dartmouth
College commencement address in 1995. " Boredom is your window on the properties of time that one tends to ignore to
the likely peril of one's mental equilibrium. It is your window on time's
infinity. Once this window opens, don't try to shut it; on the contrary, throw
it wide open. For boredom speaks the language of time, and it teaches you the
most valuable lesson of your life: the lesson of your utter insignificance. It
is valuable to you, as well as to those you are to rub shoulders with. "You are
finite," time tells you in the voice of boredom, "and whatever you do is, from
my point of view, futile."
posted by vronsky
on Aug 20, 2009 -
has died. ( BBC
) The great author and opponent of totalitarianism lived to see the end of Communism in the Soviet Union and almost everywhere else. He survived WWII as a commander in the Soviet army before being put into gulags where he spent 20 years. He went on to write the Gulag Archipelago
and win the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1970.
posted by sien
on Aug 3, 2008 -
"It so often happens that I receive mail - well-intended but totally useless - by amateur physicists who believe to have solved the world. They believe this, only because they understand totally nothing about the real way problems are solved in Modern Physics...It should be possible, these days, to collect all knowledge you need from the internet. Problem then is, there is so much junk on the internet... I know exactly what should be taught to the beginning student...I can tell you of my own experiences. It helped me all the way to earn a Nobel Prize. But I didn't have internet. I am going to try to be your teacher. It is a formidable task."
posted by vacapinta
on Aug 29, 2007 -
Fritz Haber's story
is the story of the double edged sword of science. He won the Nobel prize
in 1918 for his groundbreaking work in breaking the nitrogen cycle
for Germany's WWI efforts, but it's been estimated that two out of every five people now living would not have been born if it weren't for artificial fertilizers
created using his process. He also spent much of the war developing poison gases; first chlorine (after watching its first use, Haber's wife committed suicide) and later Zyklon B (the cyanide insecticide later used against his fellow Jews in concentration camps). He died alone and in poverty in Switzerland. But the lessons of his life haven't quite been forgotten
posted by Plutor
on Nov 21, 2006 -