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Ladies and gentlemen: DIGITAL SPORTS

Defense of the Ancients is a MOBA (what's a MOBA? | comprehensive history of MOBAs) that has skyrocketed in recent years from a humble Warcraft multiplayer mod to a genre-defining megahit whose worldwide competitive bracket The International (whose finale airs tonight) boasts a prize pool of more than $10 million dollars. While publisher Valve is determined to help mainstream the esports craze with helpful noob newcomer-friendly broadcasts of the final and a simulcast on ESPN, the community has been dogged by accusations of hostility and a very steep learning curve. Luckily, you don't have to know anything about DOTA to enjoy the best thing to come out of it so far: 45 minutes of witheringly sarcastic in-game meta-commentary [playable transcript] in the dulcet tones of Kevan Brighting, the very charming (and very British) narrator of beloved metagame The Stanley Parable. Once you're finished with that delightful deconstruction of esport tropes, you might also enjoy perusing similar announcer packs for Portal's GLaDOS, Bastion's Rucks, and... a pirate. DIGITAL SPORTS!
posted by Rhaomi on Jul 21, 2014 - 47 comments

The Longitude Prize is back after 300 years

To commemorate the 300th Anniversary of the original Longitude Prize (won by John Harrison with the invention of a clock that could keep time at sea), UK charity Nesta has launched a new £10million prize to encourage inventors and scientists to find a solution to one of six problems facing the world. [more inside]
posted by Jakey on May 19, 2014 - 22 comments

Building hope

Shigeru Ban’s Pritzker win proves that building hope is finally in vogue
The architecture world has a new laureate, and he builds in cardboard. Japan’s Shigeru Ban was named this week as the winner of the Pritzker Prize, an annual award that is often called architecture’s Nobel – and his win sends a clear and timely message. Social change, sustainability and improving the lives of the many: This is what matters now to the world of architecture. With Ban’s Pritzker, the global design elite is marking that shift.
Take a Tour of Pritzker Winner Shigeru Ban's Paper Tube Structures [more inside]
posted by infini on Mar 31, 2014 - 9 comments

Noble Nobel Offices

Panoramic views of the offices of some recent Nobel Prize winners
posted by z11s on Oct 10, 2013 - 14 comments

I can hear you now!!

The 2013 Lasker Awards were announced today. Often called the "American's Nobels", they recognize the contributions of scientists, physicians, and public servants who have made major advances in the understanding, diagnosis, treatment, cure, and prevention of human disease. Included in today's crop of recipients are Dr. Graeme M. Clark, Dr. Ingeborg Hochmair, and Blake S. Wilson who were awarded their prizes for developing the modern cochlear implant. [more inside]
posted by scblackman on Sep 9, 2013 - 2 comments

Let them eat two dollars a day.

The winner of the 2013 Bald Archy Prize has been announced. [more inside]
posted by pompomtom on Apr 4, 2013 - 37 comments

The Royal Society Winton Prize 2012

The Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Writing 2012 has been announced. James Gleick has won for his book The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood. The shortlist is also available with Chapter 1 of each book downloadable as a PDF.
posted by shimmerbug on Nov 27, 2012 - 5 comments

FPP: Fundamental Physics Prize

Russian billionaire Milner's new physics prize is awarding nine scientists 3 million dollars each in its inaugural year. Aside from the size of the prize, it's different from the Nobel in physics in that it can be awarded to scientists whose ideas have not yet been verified by experiments. According to the Forbes article, the winners "can be groups of any size; scientists of any age; and there is no limit on how many prizes an individual can win." And soon the prize would be open to online nominations. [more inside]
posted by of strange foe on Jul 31, 2012 - 18 comments

From 100 to 0

The Royal Society of Chemistry is offering £1000 to the person or team producing the best and most creative explanation of the phenomenon, known today as The Mpemba Effect [more inside]
posted by Kiwi on Jun 27, 2012 - 95 comments

“It's easy, after all, not to be a writer. Most people aren't writers, and very little harm comes to them.”

Julian Barnes Wins the 2011 Man Booker Prize. [Guardian] Fourth time lucky for Julian Barnes, who wins the Man Booker prize 2011 for his novel The Sense of an Ending after missing out on three previous occasions.
posted by Fizz on Oct 19, 2011 - 20 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

Advance Market Commitments

Inducement Prizes -- Best known for the Ansari X Prize, the DARPA Grand Challenge and the Clay Mathematics Millennium Problems, inducement prizes have a long history, but their recent successes have led to increased government interest, viz. challenge.gov, and resulted in the development of vaccines, thanks in large part to the work of Michael Kremer.* [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jan 6, 2011 - 8 comments

this petty-bourgeois uptightness, this terror of not being in control, this schoolboy desire to boast and to shock

The 2010 Booker longlist is out, and it seems that most of the buzz in the UK is about who's not on the list. The Guardian article "Amis-free Booker prize longlist promises to 'entertain and provoke'" introducing the list of 13 nominees actually devotes its headline, subhead, and most of the first four paragraphs to the subject of who's missing in action: Amis, McEwan, Rushdie. Elsewhere in the Guardian Books section, research professor Gabriel Josipovici pulls no punches in including these (former?) darlings of the glitterati in his assertion that Feted British authors are limited, arrogant and self-satisfied, compares them to "prep-school boys showing off," calls them "virtually indistinguishable from one another in scope and ambition," and muses that the fact that they have won so many awards is "a mystery." [more inside]
posted by taz on Jul 29, 2010 - 50 comments

You are disturbing me. I am picking mushrooms.

Grigori Perelman has refused one million dollars from the Clay Mathematics Institute for his solution to the Poincaré conjecture. Despite some pressure to take the money and give it to one party or another, Perelman insists "I am not a hero of mathematics. I am not successful at all, and I do not want to be observed by everyone." Perelman previously refused the Fields Medal, mathematics' highest honor. (Previously.)
posted by twoleftfeet on Mar 27, 2010 - 146 comments

The Joy of Chickens?

The Big Book of Lesbian Horse Stories needs your vote.
To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Diagram Prize for Oddest Book Title of the Year, The Bookseller is pleased to announce the "Diagram of Diagrams" – a public vote to find the oddest book title of the past 30 years.
Direct link to poll page is here. There are only a few days left to do your part for world-wide (literary) democracy!
posted by yhbc on Aug 29, 2008 - 40 comments

Best of lists

Lists of Bests. Track your progress through "Best of lists.." of movies, books, etc.. add your own lists, compare your progress with others.
posted by stbalbach on Dec 6, 2007 - 11 comments

Big man with a big heart does his part

Mark Wallinger has won the Turner Prize for 'State Britain' his recreation of Brian Haw's Parliament Square peace protest. [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Dec 5, 2007 - 12 comments

Asia’s Nobel Prize

The Ramon Magsaysay Award for 2007 (list of previous winners)
posted by hadjiboy on Aug 1, 2007 - 6 comments

“What you got back home, little sister, to play your fuzzy warbles on?"

The 2007 Mercury Music Prize Shortlist: Amy Winehouse - Back to Black; Arctic Monkeys - Favourite Worst Nightmare; Basquiat Strings with Seb Rochford - Basquiat Strings; Bat For Lashes - Fur And Gold; Dizzee Rascal - Maths And English; Fionn Regan - The End of History; Jamie T - Panic Prevention; Klaxons - Myths Of The Near Future; The View - Hats Off To The Buskers; Maps - We Can Create; New Young Pony Club - Fantastic Playroom; The Young Knives - Voices Of Animals And Men [warning: several links auto-play]. Although The View claim that the prize is irrelevant, most British musicians view the award as the highest honour a musican can receive. The Arctic Monkeys were victorious in 2006, winning with their album Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not. Dizzee Rascal took home the prize in 2003 for his album Boy in Da Corner. While both will be hoping to repeat their success, but no band/artist has ever won the Mercury Prize more than once.
posted by chuckdarwin on Jul 29, 2007 - 34 comments

Prime Prize

In September 2006 the largest known prime number, a 9.8 million digit number, was discovered. If you find one over ten million digits you can win US$100,000 (of which you get to keep $50,000). No maths is required - just download the software and you're away. Warning: it takes about a month to run one primality check so some patience is required. Look out though Cooper and Boone look like they might beat you to it.
posted by meech on Apr 12, 2007 - 35 comments

Pinter who?

It's Pinter. The Nobel Prize in Literature is awarded to the English writer Harold Pinter, “who in his plays uncovers the precipice under everyday prattle and forces entry into oppression’s closed rooms”.
posted by Termite on Oct 13, 2005 - 34 comments

The Peace Prize

Mohamed ElBaradei and the International Atomic Energy Agency have won this year's Nobel Peace Prize. (previous)
posted by Silune on Oct 7, 2005 - 29 comments

Rocket Racing League Scheduled to start in 2006

NASCAR? F1? Pah! Now we're talking Rocket Racing!! Apparently not content to sit idle, the founder of the Ansari Space X-prize , Peter Diamandis, has launched a rocket racing league. While this sounds pretty amazing in itself, here's the real clincher: it's scheduled to start its first race in September 2006.

According to the press release: the RRL will see Grand Prix-style races between rocket planes, flown by top pilots through a "3D trackway" just 5,000ft (1,500m) above the ground. Pictures here (make sure to click the concept links on the same page). BBC Story here.
posted by Mave_80 on Oct 4, 2005 - 22 comments

The Color Of Atoms

Americans, German win nobel prize for physics. They won for for their contributions to the development of laser-based precision spectroscopy, including the optical frequency comb technique, which among other thing allows them to measure the speed of light to such accuracy that it is now used as the definition for the meter, see if the laws of physics were the same at the beginning of time, and make gps satellites work much better.
posted by stilgar on Oct 4, 2005 - 5 comments

A chip and a chair

A Chip and a Chair: The World Series of Poker's Main Event started today at the Rio in Las Vegas. That's a change from every other year, when Binion's Horseshoe hosted the event. With the rise of online poker and televised tournaments, it's no surprise this is the biggest year ever: 5,661 people registered for the $10,000 no-limit event. That's about $50 million in prize money, once the tournament and casino costs are taken care of. CardPlayer has up-to-the-minute updates on the tournament. Things at the WSOP can get pretty crazy, as you've got thousands of gamblers ready for any sort of action. For instance, poker celeb Phil Gordon put together a Roshambo tournament (paper rock scissors) together with a $10,000 first prize, just to kill time. The main event, by the way, is only one of 45 events, started back in 1970 by a group of hard-core gamblers. Despite the record turnout, however, there's still plenty of people who didn't make it to the main event, including former Harper's reporter James McManus, who placed 5th in the Main Event in 2000 and wrote a fascinating novel on the subject.
posted by Happydaz on Jul 7, 2005 - 22 comments

International Booker Prize

The short list for the new International Booker Prize has just been announced. John Carey, chairman of judges, discusses the prize and how he hopes it will evolve (Real Audio :: first item in the show) .

But, can Stanislaw Lem really win? Will it become a rival to the Nobel Prize for Literature? And do these writers really need another prize?
posted by johnny novak on Feb 22, 2005 - 23 comments

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

The Goldman Prize

The Goldman Environmental Prize has been awarded to seven people. Sometimes considered the Nobel prize for the environment, it's given to people from six regions of the world, each winning $125,000. The winners include Margie Richard of Norco, Louisiana, and Rashida Bee and Champa Devi Shukla from Bhopal, India, who have respectively fought two of the world's largest chemical companies for justice following chemical plant leaks in their towns (the Bhopal accident killed 20,000 people.)
posted by homunculus on Apr 19, 2004 - 2 comments

Crackdown in Burma

Aung San Suu Kyi, the democratically elected and rightful leader of Burma (Myanmar,) and the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, was arrested by Burma's military government 9 days ago after a premeditated attack on her motorcade. The U.N. representative visiting Burma has not been allowed to see her. There has been a crackdown on the democracy movement, and Suu Kyi's arrest may signal a split within the military government. [More inside.]
posted by homunculus on Jun 9, 2003 - 31 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

Go for the gold!

Go for the gold! Concord 2002: Site of the upcoming Loebner Prize. Can reigning champion A.L.I.C.E. repeat her triumph? Chat bots from around the globe are scouting out their rivals on the AI competitive circuit and studying their crib notes.
posted by otherchaz on Feb 9, 2002 - 0 comments

"Soccer" has been nominated for the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize.

"Soccer" has been nominated for the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize. No, really.

Any other suggestions for nominations?
posted by Avogadro on Jan 22, 2001 - 24 comments

Winner announced - official.
posted by Mocata on Nov 8, 2000 - 6 comments

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