The EU is currently undergoing grave economic difficulties and considerable social unrest. The Norwegian Nobel Committee wishes to focus on what it sees as the EU’s most important result: the successful struggle for peace and reconciliation and for democracy and human rights.Nobel Committee chairman Thorbjoern Jagland • Discussing why, exactly, an entire continent, with millions of people, is worthy of the Nobel Peace Prize — he says it’s because the continent has converted “from a continent of wars to a continent of peace.” Does this mean we have to preface any time someone does something terrible on the continent with a phrase like “Nobel Peace Prize winning dictator”? The union will now split the $1.2 million prize between roughly 500 million people — though we’re assuming a few hundred million will be left out.
We have included the Arab Spring in this prize, but we have put it in a particular context. Namely, if one fails to include the women in the revolution and the new democracies, there will be no democracy.Nobel Prize Committee chairman Thorbjoern Jagland • Explaining how the committee worked the Arab Spring into the Nobel Peace Prize while giving it a broader context — the repression of women. One of the three winners, Yemen’s Tawakkul Karman, has been a leader the anti-government protests in that country. The other two, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and fellow Liberian Leymah Gbowee represent different parts of the issue — Sirleaf is Africa’s first freely elected female leader, while Gbowee led a successful campaign against the usage of rape as a weapon during Liberia’s civil war. As the Arab Spring has plenty of moments which might be considered problematic for giving out a Nobel Peace Prize (such as war and violence), this is a compromise that de-emphasizes all that, while focusing on a quite-important issue. Think it’s the right approach? source (via • follow)
When people reach a point when they are in so much pain they just can’t stand it anymore, it was like being drunk. The ability to hold information was really impaired.Ig Nobel Prize-winning scientist Peter Snyder • Describing his team’s findings — that really having to use the bathroom creates an effect on drivers similar to driving drunk or on limited sleep — at the 2011 Ig Nobel Prize awards ceremony Thursday. Snyder’s bladder-busting team (who won for medicine) was only one of many to get awarded for their weird or dubious honors, including that crazy Lithuanian mayor who used a tank to prove his point about illegal parking (he won the Ig Nobel Peace Prize), a Norwegian group that produced a useless study on sighing (psychology), and a group of Japanese researchers who created a fire alarm that uses the smell of wasabi as its key alarm agent (chemistry). All in all, a pretty Ig Nobel night. source
» Who are these people? Besides China (duh), the countries are Afghanistan, Colombia, Cuba, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Morocco, Pakistan, the Philippines, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Sudan, Tunisia, Venezuela, Vietnam and Ukraine. Most aren’t very surprising, but a couple (The Philippines, Russia) are. So why are they choosing to boycott Liu Xiaobo’s Nobel Peace Prize ceremony? Simple. China probably threatened economic retribution against countries that supported the ceremony. And China is powerful.
In her last days, my mother occasionally became confused....”
One of the perks of being an early employee...
Over the last 90 days, the Digg...
I hope that graphene and other two-dimensional crystals will change everyday life as plastics did for humanity.University of Manchester, England professor Andre Geim • On winning the Nobel Prize for Physics along with his partner in really-thin-material crime, Konstantin Novoselov. The two of them have done a bunch of research into graphene, a carbon-based material that is really, really, thin. Among other benefits? It’s super-flexible and ultra-strong. Steve Jobs is going to figure out a way to make an iPad out of this. Just you wait. source (via)
» Why Robert Edwards won the prize: It wasn’t just for his pioneering spirit, though that helped. It was for the way that he followed his technique through and was able to allay moral concerns. “In retrospect, it is amazing that Edwards not only was able to respond to the continued criticism of in vitro fertilization, but that he also remained so persistent and unperturbed in fulfilling his scientific vision,” wrote Nobel Prize committee member Christer Höög.