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Prestigious award from the "Merchants of Death"

December 10 2009

Tenth December the whole world is watching the award of the Nobel Prize in Stockholm City Hall. Thanks to the invention of dynamite Nobel during his lifetime received unflattering epithets: "millionaire in the blood", "dynamite king" ... In reality, the scientist was a pacifist and did not want to stay in the memory of mankind as a "death merchant".

The first Nobel Prizes were awarded on Dec. 10, 1901, the day of the death of Alfred Bernhard Nobel, Swedish chemist and engineer. He bequeathed to the institution of this award all of his vast fortune, which had accumulated from the invention and manufacture of explosives, including dynamite.

During the life of a scientist popularly called the "merchant of death", and in the media and does not hesitate in definitions - "millionaire in the blood", "dynamite king," a global villain "... Remain in human memory killer, profit from war and suffering, the scientist did not want to. Ironically, the author of the terrible weapon has always been a pacifist, and sincerely believed that the dynamite did not unleash a new conflict, but rather to prevent, because the state would be afraid to completely destroy each other.

Few people know that Alfred Nobel was not only a chemist and engineer, but also tried his hand as a playwright. His play "Nemesis" was published in 2003, and in 2005 it put in a theater in Stockholm. Before the "Nemesis" published in Paris, but the church considered the product of a scandalous and blasphemous, and therefore the entire print run, but three books, was destroyed immediately after his death.

According to Alfred Nobel's five prizes of equal size were to be awarded to those who during the preceding year brought the greatest benefit to mankind. Nominations are unchanged since 1901: Discoveries in physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature, as well as a special contribution to the protection of the world.

The value of awards varies each year and currently amounts to approximately 1 million USD

About the absence in the list of awardees of Mathematics, Sciences, there are several versions. The most popular of them - romantic - Revenge of rejected love.

Some claim that Nobel was not indifferent to the Sofia Kovalevskaya, who preferred him to the other - the leader of the Swedish mathematician of the time - the Mittag-Leffnera. Others believe that the subject of mutual passion Nobel Dezri was Anna, who then married a mathematician Franz Lemarzha.

The name of the Mittag-Leffnera is one more, less lyrical explanation of what the Nobel ignored math - ostensibly, the Nobel could not stand his colleague, persistently begging for all donations to the University of Stockholm.

In recent years, biographers Nobel inclined to think that an unhappy love or personal hostility had no effect on the premium. Just wanted to reward the inventor of dynamite, only those developments that bring concrete benefits to mankind, and mathematical discoveries are very rarely tangible benefit in terms of society.
This version, built not on emotion, said that mathematics was originally on the list, but then replaced it with the Nobel for Peace.

Feast with the secret menu

In our time, awarded the Nobel Prize is celebrated with a truly theatrical scale. Each winner receives a cash check, a gold medal and a diploma from the hands of the King of Sweden.And then in the Blue Hall of Stockholm City Hall is the grandest in the world of the banquet.

And participate in the Nobel banquet members of royal families, heads of government, eminent scientists and the whole color of Swedish society - almost a half thousand people strictly in evening dress and evening gowns.

Prominent chefs involved in the development of the three options menu, and the Nobel Committee selects the most-most. And the list of dishes is kept a closely guarded secret until 19.00 pm on December 10. The mystery is revealed after the first toast, but before the guests know just about dessert - dessert is always served ice cream, decorated with a chocolate monogram, monogram «N».

In future, all meals with the Nobel banquet is available at the restaurant City Hall in Stockholm for a relatively small amount - about 150 euros. Nobel menu is very popular - the year he bought several thousand guests.

For decorating the hall of the San Remo send 23,000 colors, and handmade service is an exclusive design. He was ordered to the 90 th anniversary of the award and a member of 6750 glasses, 9,450 knives and forks, 9550 cymbals, and ... one tea cup.

Only a teacup is designed for Princess Liliane and stored in a box made of wood. Alas, cup saucer-deprived, his long-kidnapped by an unknown thief. At each corner of the tablecloth and napkins woven portrait of Alfred Nobel.

After a banquet at the Golden Hall begin dancing, but at 1.30 the guests disperse.

Another important event is the Nobel week along with a banquet and presentation of prizes - a Nobel Prize concert, to which the best classical musicians of our time preparing for several months. Expert concert - the famous violinist and musicologist Michael Kazinik Russian origin.

Nobel Prize-2009

In 2009, Nobel Prize winners were:
physiology and medicine - American researchers Elizabeth Blackburn, Jack Shostak and Carol Greider, who used to study the mechanisms of cellular aging;

Physics - Charles Kao, Willard Boyle and George Smith for his work on fiber-optic data transmission and optical semiconductor circuits;

Chemistry - Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, Thomas Steitz, and Ada Yonath, who were involved in determining the structure and function of ribosomes;

Literature - Herta Müller with the wording "for the concentration in poetry and prose in the honesty with which she describes the life of the disadvantaged;

Peace Prize - Barack Obama.

Award Winners

For the centennial history of the award only four people were awarded the Nobel Prize twice, and one of those winners - Maria Sklodowska-Curie. She received a prize for physics in 1903 and in chemistry in 1911. She became the first female winner, and in 1935 the Nobel committee awarded the prize in chemistry to her daughter - Irene Joliot-Curie.

Winners of the women is still far less than men - 40 vs. 762, but 2009 gives hope to rectify the situation. It was a record - as many as five of the fairer sex in the list of winners.

At present only 19 Soviet citizens and Russians were awarded the Nobel Prize. This is considerably less than the U.S. (304), Britain (114), Germany (100) and France (54).

Elena Chirkova

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