RU  UK  EN
Articles  >  Enjoy  >  Back side of Swedish solemnity

Back side of Swedish solemnity

Author: 23.10.2014 | science, history, personalities
October is a season not only for scarves, mulled wine and mellow autumn, but for announcement of Nobel laureates. The world usually keeps a close watch on this event, yet often public sees only the "glossy" side of the coin. Outlook dived deeper and found out about curiosities and scandals that have escorted the prestigious award for more than a hundred years.

See also: Great Refusal Theory


Let’s begin with some statistics. According to it the average age of prize recipients is 59 years. They likely were born either in spring or winter. The most "popular" birthdays are May 21 and February 28. If we talk about nationality, the Americans are awarded most often: 43% of all the winners come from there, they are followed by the Germans and the British. With regard to the Germany natives, during the Nazi era, prominent people of this country were banned from taking prizes from the committee. At present in addition to the glory, the lucky ones get about a million dollars and 200-gram gold medal with a portrait of a patron gunsmith.

Hitler the Peacemaker

One of the main contenders for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1939 was no one else but the Fuhrer. The most striking is that his chances rocketed up after split of Czechoslovakia the previous year. Both German and Western media referred to the Munich Agreement, signed by Hitler along with leaders of democratic countries, as "peace-making"… It is said that only after the invasion of Poland, that was the beginning of the World War II, a failed artist was removed from the list of candidates. Today this story sounds nonsense, but so it seems only at first glance, in 1938 the most influential Time magazine chose the said pacifist as the man of the year.

Cut-throat writer

Not only the Peace nomination lists ambiguous individuals. In 2000 a little-known outside the United States writer Stanley "Tookie" Williams was nominated for the award in Literature. He began his writing in prison, after he murdered four people to rob them. Waiting for sentence, the criminal wrote several children's books about street violence and became a real star in California. "Tookie" was a contender for several years, right up to the point in 2005 when the governor of the state Schwarzenegger rejected his petition and signed an order for execution. By the way, despite the fact that the Swedish gold medal did not come to Williams, in homeland the author received several awards including the President's Award.

He laughs best who laughs last

There are also a bunch of funny stories associated with the cherished reward. A native of the USSR, whom Elizabeth II conferred the "Sir" title, Andre Geim became famous in 2000 after he was awarded with t Ig Nobel Prize. This dubious award found him for flying frog from the experiment with a diamagnetic levitation. It seems that the scientist did not pay any attention to the joke and went on to study physics. In 2010 he shared the Nobel with Konstantin Novoselov for discovery of new material graphene. Thus, Geim is the only person in history who won two awards

Some more fun facts for the dessert

The Nobel Prize Award Ceremony is unthinkable without the solemn reception and banquet with the king of Sweden. It takes place in the Golden Hall of the Stockholm City Hall. And there is also a restaurant where everyone in any season can order dishes from the latest Nobel Banquet menu. It costs about $ 200 per person.

The youngest-ever winner is the 25-year-old physicist William Bragg in 1915. And the most senior laureate was Leonid Hurwicz who received his medal and a million at age of 90.

Some scientists were lucky enough to win the award twice, among them is Maria Skłodowska-Curie. Three prizes went to the organization the Committee of the Red Cross.

Contrary to popular belief, Albert Einstein was bestowed not for the formulation of the theory of relativity, but for the explanation of the photoelectric effect.

In 2010 the Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo was not aware that he was honoured in Peace nomination, as he was in prison and had no communication with the outer world. The writer Günter Grass was caught with joyful news by surprise at the dentist’s.

It will be interesting:
Little Lenin dreamt of…Mausoleums of the world
The great ones of the earth as well as not really great ones set tongues wagging significantly not only when alive but also after death. Indeed, how can one remain silent when looking at a pompous shrine of one or another figure even with Egyptian pyramids off the market? Outlook made sure that Vladimir Lenin’s Mausoleum on the Red Square is a pretty modest resting place unlike…
Everyone needs money. Currency of the world
They are referred to differently in every other place but are loved, probably, in the same way everywhere. Sure enough, we talk about money or more precisely their “second names” because alongside official ones currencies have common nicknames which is not so well known, but clearly deserves attention!
Know Ukrainians: Anatoliy Kokush
Cinematography is probably the most "technological" art form that mankind has ever come up with – no matter how much talent, imagination and energy creators of a movie have, almost every stage of creation process one way or another comes to technologies; and without them ideas will remain just ideas.
Forgotten art: Chinese ceremony in South Korea
After the walking along the boisterous streets of Seoul one wants to take it easy in a café drinking a cup of flavored tea, however, it never happens like that. Good teahouses are found out only near Buddhist monasteries or at the bohemian pedestrian street Insadon. Chinese ceremony in Korea that is incomparable with the rough schedule of offices and remaining the joy of wise people and privilege of the masters.
Rice fields: Grains of unbelievable beauty
- Do you want to try some rice? - such a question is greeted by guests in China. And if the owners are also farmers, they can invite you on an unusual excursion and show you the masterpiece of natural art. The grass which we often eat without thinking about its aesthetics, at the time of growing resembles a blanket woven from multi-colored rags ...
Antique guide: European flea markets
Despite a wide-spread belief, European flea markets have little in common with both second-hand and ordinary trade rows on traditional merchandise markets. These places per se are unique due to a one-of-a-kind reflection of the country’s spirit and what at first glance seems like plain goods may tell you about its past and help feel a spirit of an era.
"So sorry for the bird!". Feathered Mauritius symbol
Figurines of dodo bird “invaded” all souvenir shops of Mauritius and its image even managed to become a national symbol complementing to the country’s emblem. But the most grievous thing of all is that all this glory came to Raphus cucullatus after it was completely extinct from the face of Earth – and it took it less then a hundred years…
Yummy fingers: What awaits you behind scenes of the world best kitchens
Can you remember the most unusual dish that you had ever a chance to try? You decide what kind of food it was: something exotic; those insects that we can hardly imagine as an ingredient; strange drink with a bitter taste; an unexpected combination of bitter and sour... Everyone has his or her own unforgettable experience in this regard. Today we would like to tell our readers about unusual and prominent chefs of the world, and even without reference to their era.
I came, I saw, I built. Masterpieces of Giovanni Lorenzo Bernini
Sometimes it happens that you look at a postcard with a picture of a city and instantly realize that this is Kyiv, or Moscow, or Rome or your native village. And it isn’t courtesy of your geography teacher but back-breaking efforts of artisans with whose hands commonly familiar architecture masterpieces were created. Today we recall Italian conqueror of marble Gian Lorenzo Bernini.
Know Ukrainians: Serge Lifar
In the childhood a famous Frenchman from Ukraine was a blue-eyed dreamer. Once all his dreams came true. Whatever he wanted, everything was easy, as if luck was following him. HBe was singing in the choir, he made his best at artistic talent - and, finally, he succeeded in ballet.
Art of Patrick Cabral: paper as a symbol of fragility of our world
Independent artist originally from the Philippines, Patrick Cabral conquers the world with his unusual artwork. His creations are an innovation that combines the age-old traditions of calligraphy and cutting-edge 3D technologies. His art is a way to change the world for the better, both through aesthetics and through the fulfillment of a social mission.
EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Peter Høeg: "There was no bottom, only eternal falling"
Peter Høeg is Danish writer and philosopher. Sometimes he is called as anchoret because he comes to society events quite rarely, only to represent his new books. The indoor life led to numerous legends that penetrate the image of Peter Høeg on his motherland. In this interview Peter Høeg told OUTLOOK how new novels are created, what hides behind the evident asceticism, and shared his view of life and person.
Packed and Ready: Oleg Borschevskiy
Oleg Borschevskiy is a famous film director, screenwriter and music video director. Among his works, there are music videos for such stars as Potap and Nastia, music bands NeAngely, Boombox, NIKITA, singers Maria Burmaka, Tonia Matvienko and many others. In a nice conversation, he recalled the most interesting places on the world map, which he visited and shared his personal disappointments.
Pablo Picasso: Poet for his era
About Picasso as a distinctive artist, graphic artist and sculptor, we know to some extent everything. Meanwhile, his other incarnations are pushed into the background. Ilya Ehrenburgh once very concisely described Pablo Picasso’s relations with his era: “20th century found in him its own dynamite expert, its own philosopher and its own poet”.
Where stars are “set glowing”
There’s hardly anything that compares to bright-starred sky and silence. It is the stars that OUTLOOK want to tell you about or more precisely about the places with the best view on them. In Europe it is recommended to go stargazing not to some place but to… Slovenia. Point is, this small country is one of the cleanest in the world and consequently isn’t that polluted with smog.
Know Ukrainians: Continuous music of Lubomyr Melnyk
The music as long as the eternity or, in other words, Continuous music is the genre which causes loud arguments in professional circles. Lubomyr Melnyk, Canadian composer of Ukrainian origination sees in his ‘child’ Continuous music continuation of classic traditions. Which rules his scripts follow will OUTLOOK tell in the following material of the rubrics ‘Look at us!’
VIDEO: Majestic heritage of Uzbekistan
Thanks to the Embassy of Uzbekistan in Ukraine and personally Ambassador extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Alisher Abdualiev OUTLOOK was lucky enough to visit this hospitable country. And today we will tell about a unique place - the Mausoleum of the prominent military leader and political figure of Amir Temur.
Don’t break the tongue: The hardest languages in the world
It is said, the easier it is, the better we feel, however, is it always like that? We know that not all the nations follow this principle. Outlook has found out the strangest, toughest and hard in articulation international languages and would like to share it with the readers.
The magnificent world of land-art: Patrick Dougherti
Land-art is not simply the landscape design but also the whole direction in art which in thee 21-st century considered one of the most important when only lazy people do not speak about the ‘green technologies’ and environment. The names of stars of such an activity have sturdily come into the speech of the tutors, critics, and connoisseurs, especially they outline Patrick Dougherti with his unbelievable works.
Sculpture of the Vatican: history and philosophy
"A small territory with a great mission" is the motto under which on February 11, 1929 Lateran Treaty between the Kingdom of Italy and the Holy See recognized Vatican as a sovereign territory. It was an agreement which opened doors for curious patrons who for centuries had been trading gossip about "What is kept inside Vatican castles?". Evil tongues grumbled that the walled enclave protected magic books of how to seize the world, the castle’s cellars hide torture chambers for sinners, and after liturgies alchemists are busy inventing the Philosopher's Stone. But when museums welcomed visitors, both guests and the Romans gasped with delight. Collectors estimated that the cost of all the works of art featured by almost the smallest country in the world, is 150 times more than the world's GDP.
Close
Outlook facebook page