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2014 Nobel Prize in Literature Goes to Patrick Modiano

2014 Nobel Prize in Literature Goes to Patrick Modiano who is a French novelist and memoir writer. This article from 2011 is a good overview over his career and life. He was born in Italy to a Jewish father and a Belgian mother. Much of his writing deals with recent Jewish history such as in the book Dora Bruder. His detective novel Missing Person, which won the Prix Goncourt in 1978, has been called a postmodern mystery novel.
posted by Kattullus on Oct 9, 2014 - 27 comments

Make that fiftyone years

Any list like this will inevitably leave deserving people out, and probably this list is biased toward U.S.­–based physicists. It is not intended to be comprehensive or a “top 10 list,” or to be the last word on the topic, but rather to spark a discussion. And most importantly, it is intended to show that the 51-year streak of male physics laureates cannot be blamed on a lack of viable female candidates. So with that out of the way, let’s hope to soon see this tired streak broken by a third—and fourth and fifth—woman accepting the Nobel Prize in Physics.
The nobel Prize committee have decided to honour the inventors of the blue light LED with the 2014 Nobel Prize in physics, extending the half a century streak of only having male winners with another year. Yet as Gabriel Popkin's list of worthy female Nobel Prize candidates shows, there's no lack of female contenders.
posted by MartinWisse on Oct 8, 2014 - 48 comments

Chronicle of a death foretold

Novelist Gabriel García Márquez has died at the age of 87. A giant of Latin American literature, he had struggled with lymphatic cancer and likely dementia (previously) in his latter years. To honor his memory, The Paris Review has reposted their interview with García Márquez from 1981, the year before he won the Nobel Prize for Literature.
posted by Cash4Lead on Apr 17, 2014 - 121 comments

Alice Munro has won the Nobel Prize in Literature

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, Gravel, Face, Deep-Holes, Free Radicals, Dimension, Wenlock Edge, The View from Castle Rock, Passion, Runaway and The Bear Came Over the Mountain.
posted by Kattullus on Oct 10, 2013 - 81 comments

Perpetual Motion, maybe for real

Now, a technological advance has made it possible for physicists to test the idea. They plan to build a time crystal, not in the hope that this perpetuum mobile will generate an endless supply of energy (as inventors have striven in vain to do for more than a thousand years) but that it will yield a better theory of time itself.
Nobel laureate Frank Wilczek's "somewhat embarassing" idea will be put to the test as scientists try to build time crystals.
posted by hippybear on Apr 30, 2013 - 73 comments

Freedom From Famine - The Norman Borlaug Story

A documentary film about Norman Borlaug, the Iowa farm boy who saved over a billion people from starvation. (1:06:47) Americans have little knowledge of one of their greatest sons. Why do schoolchildren in China, India, Mexico, and Pakistan know the name and work of Nobel Peace Prize winner [His speech] Norman Borlaug while so few of his countrymen have never heard of him? How did a dirt-poor farm boy from rural Iowa grow up to save a billion people worldwide from starvation and malnutrition and become the father of the Green Revolution? What were the inherited traits and environmental factors that shaped his astonishing journey and led to successes that surprised even him? What can we learn from his life and views that might help the human race survive the next critical century? [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Jan 28, 2013 - 84 comments

Nobel Prize Library

We introduced UNZ.org before but it's probably worth revisiting for a vein of gold, the Nobel Prize Library (1971), which contains full modern translations of significant works of 20th century literature. For example [more inside]
posted by stbalbach on Jan 5, 2013 - 4 comments

You mean they sat on the platform with you?

In the spirit of the Nobel season, Yasha Levine discusses the history of the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel as a PR gimmick for laissez-faire economics, and how its existence is an affront to the Nobel legacy.
posted by clarknova on Oct 26, 2012 - 26 comments

2012 Nobel Prize in Physics

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 - 51 comments

No Prize Awarded

The 2012 Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to the European Union.
posted by gerryblog on Oct 12, 2012 - 95 comments

The 2012 Nobel Laureate in Literature Is Chinese Novelist Mo Yan

Mo Yan has been awarded the 2012 Nobel Prize in Literature. A Chinese novelist, born as Guan Moye, his pen name means "don't speak." His most famous novel, Red Sorghum: A Novel of China, was turned into an acclaimed film in 1987. Here are some interviews with Mo Yan: Granta, National Endowment for the Humanities and Paper Republic. Speculation was rife in China before the announcement whether Mo Yan would receive it, and the matter was controversial. For people who haven't read any books by Mo Yan, the Swedish Academy recommends Garlic Ballads [NYT]. For more news over the day, keep an eye on The Literary Saloon and The Guardian's liveblog.
posted by Kattullus on Oct 11, 2012 - 24 comments

SciGuy Eric Berger

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 - 3 comments

From ridicule to Nobel: The quasi-crystals of Daniel Shechtman

In 1982, Daniel Shechtman was on sabbatical at Johns Hopkins University studying aluminum-manganese alloys, and discovered that the resulting crystalline patterns of the alloy resulted in five-way symmetry, much like the famed Penrose Tiles. The resulting publication of these "quasicrystals" resulted in scathing ridicule from most of the scientific community, including Linus Pauling saying "There is no such thing as quasicrystals, only quasi-scientists.", and his research director claiming he had "Brought disgrace" upon their program. However, by 1987 he had managed to grow large enough crystals to be imaged with electron microscopy, verifying his results. His subsequent studies of quasicrystals eventually earned him the 2011 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
posted by kaszeta on Nov 8, 2011 - 45 comments

The golden parking pass!

An esteemed UC Berkeley tradition is to award Nobel prize winners free parking. Every Nobel prize winner who works at the UC Berkeley campus is awarded the "Nobel Laureate Parking Permit," that allows the holder free parking on campus; a precious and scarce thing, not unlike the Nobel Prize. [more inside]
posted by honey badger on Oct 10, 2011 - 37 comments

"Once there was a shock that left behind a long, shimmering comet tail."

Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer has been awarded the 2011 Nobel Prize in Literature. His poetry has been translated into more than five dozen languages and is the living poet who has been translated most into English. He received the Griffin Poetry Prize in 2007, and the award page is a pretty extensive source of information. Below the cut I'll include a few of his poems that I've found online, but the best place to start is the poetry section of his website, where you'll also find an interview, video, audio and a list of English translations. Tom Slegh wrote an appreciation of Tranströmer and Mary Karr and Christopher Robinson discuss him briefly on Poetry Fix, and read two of his poems. [more inside]
posted by Kattullus on Oct 6, 2011 - 52 comments

Malignant Narcissism Or Middle-Aged White Dudes Constantly Boning Down?

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 - 121 comments

Dr Ralph Steinman, father of dendritic cells and first posthumous nobel prize winner since 1961

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 and illustrious 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 - 25 comments

Dissolve my Nobel Prize! Fast!

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 - 70 comments

Callil's complaint

"[H]e goes on and on and on about the same subject in almost every single book. It's as though he's sitting on your face and you can't breathe." As expected, Philip Roth (bibliography) won the Man Booker International Prize today. Perhaps not unexpectedly, one of the judges quit rather than award it to him. Was she so wrong? Should they give Roth the Nobel Prize already?
posted by mrgrimm on May 18, 2011 - 141 comments

for his cartography of structures of power and his trenchant images of the individual's resistance, revolt and defeat

Mario Vargas Llosa wrote poems when he was young. His father famously responded by sending the boy to military school—where he spent two ghastly years, gathering inspiration for his first novel—La Ciudad y Los Perros, published in English as The Time of the Hero. The military burned a thousand copies of the book and Vargas Llosa's infamy was secured.
Mario Vargas Llosa, who once ran for president of Peru and once punched Gabriel Garcia Márquez in the face, has won the Nobel Prize in Literature, meaning Ladbrokes dodged a bullet. [more inside]
posted by gerryblog on Oct 7, 2010 - 34 comments

The Dynamite Prize in Economics

As a reaction towards the financial crisis the Real-World Economics Review will award the Dynamite Prize in Economics to the three economists who contributed most to blowing up the global economy. The Real-World Economic Review is the central organ of the movement for Post-Autistic Economics which is critical about the current mainstream in economics — in particular microeconomics and neoclassical theorists. [more inside]
posted by jfricke on Feb 4, 2010 - 52 comments

The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2009

Surprise, surprise. It's a girl - for the first time. Elinor Ostrom ("for her analysis of economic governance, especially the commons") and Oliver E. Williamson ("for his analysis of economic governance, especially the boundaries of the firm") have won the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2009.
posted by jfricke on Oct 12, 2009 - 42 comments

Obama wins Nobel Prize Peace 2009

Barack Obama wins Nobel Prize for Peace 2009. Isn't this kind of... soon?
posted by NekulturnY on Oct 9, 2009 - 705 comments

Herta Müller is the 2009 Nobel Laureate in Literature

This year's Nobel Laureate in Literature is Romanian born author Herta Müller, who writes in German, as predicted yesterday by M. A. Orthofer of The Complete Review and Literary Saloon. Here's an interview with Herta Müller and a short bio.
posted by Kattullus on Oct 8, 2009 - 38 comments

Never look a gift park in the mouth.

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 - 89 comments

Star Stories and the Nobel Prize

Star Stories explains the life and death of stars using a multimedia approach that incorporates images, animation, video and text. From the official website of the Nobel Foundation. Don't miss out on the other cool games . [more inside]
posted by ozomatli on Sep 25, 2008 - 6 comments

Reading Anna Karenina in Africa

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 - 20 comments

Nobel Prize in literature 2007

The Nobel Prize in Literature for 2007 is awarded to ... [more inside]
posted by Termite on Oct 11, 2007 - 93 comments

Fritz Haber

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 - 17 comments

"For their efforts to create economic and social development from below"

In 1976, a young Bangladeshi economics professor named Muhammad Yunus founded Grameen Bank to implement microcredit — lending small sums to the very poorest members of society. Today, he and his bank share the Nobel Peace prize. Grameen, a profit-making company with social objectives, has lent $5.3bn to 6.4m people. 97% of borrowers are women, as Yunus believes [video] "men will do whatever they could to enjoy for themselves personally [but] women looked at it for the children, for the family and for the future."
posted by matthewr on Oct 13, 2006 - 24 comments

Orhan Pamuk receives the Nobel Prize

Orhan Pamuk has been awarded the 2006 Nobel Prize in Literature. The Nobel website has a short audio interview with Orhan Pamuk in English. Here is the AFP article which has a good rundown of his career. And finally, here's an essay he wrote this summer called Who do you write for?
posted by Kattullus on Oct 12, 2006 - 44 comments

RNA Interference. 10 Kilodalton Penalty. First Down.

[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 - 18 comments

Co-winner of the Nobel prize in economics

Co-winner of the Nobel prize in economics Robert Aumann of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem gave a very interesting interview about how he became interested in economics, math, and the "topology of bagels." How he applied logic from the Talmud to bankruptcy and other economic events was described nicely at Slate here.
posted by Adamchik on Oct 21, 2005 - 4 comments

The 2005 Nobel Prize for Economics

The 2005 Nobel Prize for economics goes to Robert J. Aumann and Thomas C. Schelling. Marginal Revolution has a wonderful set of posts that link to various related resources, like a summary of Aumann's work or Schelling's views on global warming.
posted by daksya on Oct 10, 2005 - 17 comments

Putting your stomach where your mouth is

A young, average intern looking for a research project and an older, oft-ridiculed pathologist from an Australian hospital were scoffed at for a decade for daring to challenge the conventional wisdom that stomach ulcers were caused by stress and diet. It took the intern's self-promotion skills, and a extraordinarily bold move of ingesting a large quantity of the Helicobacter bacteria they believed were the dominant cause of ulcers, giving himself severe gastritis and subsequently curing it with only fairly standard antibiotics, before the medical world started taking notice. Despite the ongoing resistance of an 8 billion dollar industry in over the counter heartburn medication, the two have been finally rewarded with a Nobel Prize for uncovering the easily diagnosed bacterial cause and fairly simple cure of over 90% of peptic ulcers.
posted by DirtyCreature on Oct 3, 2005 - 33 comments

Nobel Prize Market

Nobel Prize Market - trading is now over; at least we can see if the economics market outperforms the others.
posted by MzB on Oct 10, 2004 - 1 comment

Congratulations to Austria

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2004: Elfriede Jelinek, probably best known for the story behind Michael Haneke's La Pianiste.
posted by mr.marx on Oct 7, 2004 - 22 comments

Pontius Pilate contracted his brows, and his hand rose to his forehead...

"Jesus?" he murmured, "Jesus -- of Nazareth?..." Pontius Pilate, prefect of Judea, 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, Tintoretto, John Ruskin, Mikhail Bulgakov, Monty Python. Unfortunately, there is very little historical evidence about him. His role in the death of a certain charismatic Galilean healer and apocalyptic preacher is still being debated today by theologians and historians alike. He is also, of course, the main character of The Procurator of Judea, 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 - 37 comments

Nobel Prize Winners Hate School.

Nobel Prize Winners Hate School. Not that it takes a genius to figure out that 'school is a lot like prison but worse' (George Bernard Shaw) or that it "smothers every truly scientific impulse" (Einstein)....
posted by limitedpie on Jan 14, 2004 - 49 comments

He and His Man

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 - 8 comments

Nobel Prize in Literature

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 - 20 comments

In 1956, Dr. Werner Forssman was awarded The Nobel Prize

Human cardiac catheterization was introduced by Werner Forssman in 1929. Ignoring his department chief, and tying his assistant to an operating table to prevent her interference, he placed a ureteral catheter into a vein in his arm, advanced it to the right atrium [of his heart], and walked upstairs to the x-ray department where he took the confirmatory x-ray film. In 1956, Dr. Forssman was awarded The Nobel Prize. [via the "fortune" command]
posted by hob on Aug 7, 2003 - 15 comments

Globalization

Nobel Laureate says it is right to rebel against globalization. "The protests against globalisation are often ungainly, ill-tempered, simplistic, frenzied and frantic, even highly disruptive. And yet, they also serve the function of questioning and disputing the unexamined contentment about the world in which we live." [Exact quote- British spelling]
posted by SandeepKrishnamurthy on Dec 17, 2002 - 11 comments

Nobel Price for Literature

The acceptance speech of Nobel Price winner for literature Imre Kertesz
posted by semmi on Dec 10, 2002 - 30 comments

As war looms, a Peace Prize is awarded.

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 - 68 comments

Nobel Prize for Literature.

Nobel Prize for Literature. We've got a winner. Imre Kertesz from Hungary. Ever heard of him?
posted by ushuaia on Oct 10, 2002 - 16 comments

In case you still thought there was still anything even slightly rational, even-handed and non-ideological about the Nobel Peace Prize:

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 - 12 comments

The Nash equilibrium

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 - 8 comments

The PBS show "Nobel:Visions of our Century"

The PBS show "Nobel:Visions of our Century" interviews past Nobel Prize winners on their views of social responsibility. Which got me thinking, is the Nobel Prize the top award society can give? Is it a Grammy? A Pulitzer? Or is it something completely different altogether? Granted I will never win any of them, I was wondering what the planet Earth's top honor was.
posted by remlapm on Dec 12, 2001 - 7 comments

"He considers religion

"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 - 17 comments

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