Sunday, August 30, 2009

Stockholm's City Hall and the Nobel Prize

I was so enamoured with Stockholm's City Hall that I decided to make an appendix post about it. Is that such a thing? An appendix post? Oh well - there is in my blog world! As I said before, we cut our time too short to actually take the inside tour of City Hall, but I found these photos online and wanted the e-memory to stay of the stunning interiors. At least until I go back one day for my own pictures!City Hall (Stadshuset in Swedish) is an impressive mix of eight million red bricks, 19 million chips of gilt mosaic, and lots of Stockholm pride. One of Europe's finest public buildings (built in 1923) and site of the annual Nobel Prize banquet.

Here is a photo of the famed annual December dinner in the "Blue Hall" followed by some shots of the empty room. The Golden Room shimmers warm and brilliant. This got me thinking...who are our most recent Nobel winners? Who are those movers and shakers of the academic world? Here is the list I found by Nobel Prize category for 2008. A good reminder of how globally linked we are in all areas of life - the arts, sciences, and efforts for worldwide peace:

*** Peace - Martti Ahtisaari (Finland) - for mediating and resolving international conflicts

*** Physics - Yoichiro Nambu (USA, 1/2); Makoto Kobayashi (Japan, 1/4); Toshihide Maskawa (Japan, 1/4) - for discovery of mechanism of spontaneous broken symmetry in subatomic physics

*** Chemistry - Osamu Shimomura (USA, 1/3); Martin Chalfie (USA, 1/3); Roger Y. Tsien (USA, 1/3) - for discovery and development of the green fluorescent protein, GFP

*** Medicine - Harald zur Hausen (Germany, 1/2); Francoise Barre-Sinoussi (France, 1/4); Luc Montagnier (France, 1/4) - for discovery of human popilloma viruses causing cervical cancer and discovery of human immunodeficiency virus

*** Literature - Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clezio (France) - author of new departures, poetic adventure and sensual ecstasy, explorer of a humanity beyond and below the reigning civilization

*** Economics - Paul Krugman (USA) - for his analysis of trade patterns and location of economic activity

PS - Al Gore won the PEACE prize in 2007 for his work on man made climate change. Interesting that it would be the peace prize. Although I guess as the world's climate is more "hot-ly" debated it could and likely will come to that.

Click here to learn more about the Nobel Prize - its origins, previous winners, and lots of other cool stuff. Stuff, what a descriptive noun --- yeah, look out Mr. Nobel and the literature prize - here I come.

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