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Peter Gabriel and the Polar Music Prize

31 August, 2009; 16:38 1 comment

Peter Gabriel is one of this year’s winners of the Polar Music Prize, which was presented today at Grand Hôtel in Stockholm. In honor of the occasion, here’s a video of Peter Gabriel performing his song Games without Frontiers while riding a Segway Personal Transporter:

Other winners of this year’s Polar Music Prize were José Antonio Abreu, a Venezuelan pianist and music educator, along with his humanitarian organization El Sistema.

The Polar Music Prize, while not quite the Nobel, is still quite prestigious in the music world. It was founded by the late ABBA manager Stig Anderson. Like the Nobel prizes, the Polar Music Prizes are decided by a committee of Swedish “experts” in music, ranging widely in styles, traditions, and roles.

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Categories: awards, music

Paul Krugman, Nobel Laureatte

13 October, 2008; 11:21 Leave a comment

Paul Krugman certainly deserves it for all the proper reasons, given his contributions to theories of global trade and economic geography. But I can’t help but think there’s also something to the fact that he’s had his head on straight about the current financial crisis since long before most people took it seriously.

You can read here his columns and blog, at the NY Times.

P.S. I am so going to his Nobel speech in December.

Categories: awards, politics

Not Quite a Brush with Fame

17 October, 2007; 12:00 Leave a comment

hurwicz.jpgYou didn’t really believe that was my last post on the Nobel Prizes, did you? Well it was supposed to be, but my mom added some interesting information in the comments:

Turns out you have visited the home of one of the Nobel prize winners [Leonid Hurwicz] in Economics. Really! Doris mentioned that when going downstairs in her building earlier this week, there were many news stations and personnel at the entrance. Right, the prize-winner is a resident of her condo, and the news media were there to interview him.

Doris is my grandmother (step-grandmother, technically, which is why she is “Doris” to my mother), and she lives in a retirement condo building in southern Minneapolis. My mother says she met him on one of her visits.

Categories: awards

The Nobel Prizes: the game’s up

15 October, 2007; 13:06 1 comment

In my last post about the Nobel Prizes, this year’s prize in economics has gone to…

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Categories: awards

Peace

12 October, 2007; 9:40 Leave a comment

You’ve probably already read this somewhere, but this year the Nobel Peace Prize goes to the one and only…

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Categories: awards

The literal truth

11 October, 2007; 11:08 1 comment

nobel_medal_dsc06171.jpgYou may have heard some of the quotes from past years’ Nobel Prize laureates on their reactions when finding out that they won the prize–in particular, I seem to have the impression that it’s always a middle-of-the-night thing, making it more than one kind of shock when they get the phone call. Why is that? Can’t they show a little more consideration and call during the recipient’s daytime hours? Well of course since I’m American, the stories I’ve heard have been from Americans. And to understand the middle-of-the-night phone calls, one must understand that the Nobel Prize isn’t something that’s been decided ahead of time, at least not completely. The truth is, the final decision on each award is decided only moments before that phone call.

Yet the full process is very long and deliberate, starting even before the previous year’s awards ceremony. For each prize, it involves sending out requests in September for nominations to several thousand experts in the field. The nominations are received by the end of the following January or early February. During February, the committees screen the nominees and choosing the best several hundred in each field. Then during March to May, select panel of specially appointed experts to assess the candidates’ work. In June to August, the Committee writes a report and prioritizes 15 candidates as finalists. Lastly, during October, each prize’s Assembly (e.g. the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences) meets to vote on these finalists. Everything up to now takes place in secrecy, and all records are sealed for 50 years. Only moments after the Assembly’s vote is finalized, the laureate is telephoned by the committee, and following that, a press announcement is made.

The announcements are usually made around midday, Central European Time. This means that if the phone call is made at, say, 11 a.m., and the laureate is in North America, then the phone call will be at 2, 3, 4, or 5 a.m., depending on the time zone in North America. Not the most convenient of times! But I don’t think any laureate has complained.

And now, back to the show: The winner of the 2007 Nobel Prize in Literature…

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Categories: awards

It’s all about the chemistry

10 October, 2007; 10:51 Leave a comment

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry goes to…

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Categories: awards