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 -
One of my favorite blogs
happens to be local to me. Eric Berger, the Houston Chronicle's "SciGuy" usually reports on the weather
. But he also posts entertaining and serious stuff as well. [more inside]
posted by PapaLobo
on Nov 22, 2011 -
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 -
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 -
Dissolve my Nobel Prize! Fast!
It's 1940. The Nazis have taken Copenhagen. They are literally marching through the streets, and physicist Niels Bohr has just hours, maybe minutes, to make two Nobel Prize medals disappear.
posted by sweetkid
on Oct 3, 2011 -
A 28-acre plot of unspoiled Sierra foothill forest is bequeathed to the Auburn (CA) Recreation District. The bequeath came with one condition: That the park be named "Nobel Laureate William B. Shockley
And His Wife Emmy L. Shockley Memorial Park." [more inside]
posted by mudpuppie
on May 18, 2009 -
Doris Lessing's Nobel Prize for Literature acceptance speech.
"The storyteller is deep inside everyone of us. The story-maker is always with us. Let us suppose our world is attacked by war, by the horrors that we all of us easily imagine. Let us suppose floods wash through our cities, the seas rise . . . but the storyteller will be there, for it is our imaginations which shape us, keep us, create us - for good and for ill. It is our stories that will recreate us, when we are torn, hurt, even destroyed."
posted by jokeefe
on Dec 10, 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 -
[MediFilter] The 2006 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
goes to the discoverers of RNA interference (RNAi)
[Note: Links to original 1998 Nature paper .pdf]. The finding that cells have an intricate mechanism for blocking viral RNA replication
quickly spawned a new technology for investigating the role of different genes by allowing scientists to quickly
, (relatively) cheaply and easily "knock down" their expression and measure the effects. When Kerry Mullis won in 1993
for the discovery of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), there was talk of whether or not the prize had gone to a technical advance and not a fundamental discovery. It will be interesting to see, in this case, which receives more focus: the discovery of a new technology or of a new cellular mechanism.
posted by scblackman
on Oct 2, 2006 -
"Jesus?" he murmured, "Jesus -- of Nazareth?..." Pontius Pilate
, is the only historical figure named in
the Nicene Creed
-- Coptic saint
or eternally damned
, his role in the greatest story ever told
has been debated by many of history's greatest minds: St Augustine
, Dante Alighieri
, John Ruskin
, Mikhail Bulgakov
, Monty Python
. Unfortunately, there is very little historical evidence
about him. His role in the death
of a certain
healer and apocalyptic
preacher is still being debated today
and historians alike
. He is also, of course, the main character of The Procurator
, the classic short story (complete text in main link) by Anatole France
. (France's magnificent story has lately been tragically neglected by publishers, even if the author was one of his era's most acclaimed writers in the world -- he won the Nobel Prize in 1921 over Shaw, Yeats, Joyce, Thomas Hardy, D.H. Lawrence, and Proust, and when he died in 1924, hundreds of thousands of people followed his funeral procession
through Paris). These last 2,000 years of fascination with Pilatus
can be explained, some argue... (more inside, for those unwilling to wash their hands of this post)
posted by matteo
on Jun 24, 2004 -
J.M. Coetzee's Nobel Speech. It seemed to him, coming from his island, where until Friday arrived he lived a silent life, that there was too much speech in the world.
Coetzee, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, delivers his lecture from the perspective of Robinson Crusoe.
posted by _sirmissalot_
on Dec 9, 2003 -
The Nobel Prize for Literature
will be announced on Thursday. Two candidates with buzz this year are Syrian poet Ali Ahmad Said
, better known as Adonis, and New Zealand novelist-memoirist Janet Frame
. Other candidates frequently mentioned include JM Coetzee, Philip Roth, Inger Christensen, Tomas Transtroemer, Margaret Atwood and Carlos Fuentes.
posted by Daze
on Sep 30, 2003 -
As war looms, a Peace Prize is awarded.
But not to Hamid Karzai, valiantly attempting to rebuild Afghanistan, or 154 other candidates, (a list which will be largely secret until 2052) individuals and groups which are working worldwide. Instead, the Nobel Institute has chosen former U.S. President Jimmy Carter
. The award is not just for his (largely unheralded) work in the last year, but for his "decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development." Deserved? More so than others? Care to second guess the Norwegians
on this one?
posted by Dreama
on Oct 11, 2002 -
In case you still thought there was still anything even slightly rational, even-handed and non-ideological about the Nobel Peace Prize:
Members of the NPP committee that gave Shimon Peres the Prize in 1994 are now attacking him for not singlehandedly putting a stop to Israeli reoccupation of Palestinian territory, even though here's only a member of the cabinet, not the leader of the country. (Alternatively, they say, he should have quit.) Which would be okay, since what's going on now isn't very peaceful ... except that they've said not a peep about about the actions of one of the other two men that shared the prize that year, one Yassir Arafat. (The third, Yitzhak Rabin, apparently gets off the hook since he's already dead.)
posted by aaron
on Apr 5, 2002 -
The Nash equilibrium
So at the present time I seem to be thinking rationally again in the style that is characteristic of scientists. However this is not entirely a matter of joy as if someone returned from physical disability to good physical health. One aspect of this is that rationality of thought imposes a limit on a person's concept of his relation to the cosmos....from John F. Nash Jr.'s autobiography for the 1994 Nobel Prize for Economics.
posted by riley370
on Dec 12, 2001 -
"He considers religion
as the scourge of humanity, which dampens down our fantasies and our lust to think and experiment.''
Academy board member Per Wastberg, about Nobel Prize winner for Literature V. S. Naipul (NYT-register, etc.)
posted by semmi
on Oct 11, 2001 -
Finally the Nobel Prize For Literature Gets It Right
Jorge Luis Borges didn't get it. Neither did Marcel Proust. But today V.S.Naipaul, arguably the best writer in the English language since Samuel Beckett died, was awarded the Nobel Prize.
Doesn't this just show it helps not to be English(e.g. Irish, American, Indian or Trinidadian)to be able to write dry and timeless prose such as Sir Vidia's?
posted by MiguelCardoso
on Oct 11, 2001 -