Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Thursday, 12 February 2009

A reward in this life and thereafter

It’s been done before but what the heck. What have these in common: Grazia Deledda, Werner von Heidenstam, Jacinto Benavente? Let’s make it easier. How about: Elfriede Jelinek, Wole Soyinka, Winston Churchill? That’s right. All six won the Nobel Prize for literature and the latter trio won it post-war.

I used to take flak from a physicist who cited the Nob/lits when jeering at the evanescence of literary taste. Whereas, he said, the Nob/physics not only include the names that should be there but also the deserving lesser lights. I sympathise with hard science practitioners who look on bemused as yet another fictional “genius” is popularly lauded then forgotten in months. Where are you now Wislawa Symborska, who took the cheque in 1996?

But let’s not cry too hard for the unsung quantum mechanics. Their tight world hands out prizes which come close to conferring immortality. Do these words mean anything: henry, becquerel, pascal? They are the internationally approved units for measuring inductance, the activity of a radionuclide and pressure/stress. They are also the surnames of three scientific giants.

Oh, it would be nice to get the cheque but just imagine if the scientific community decided that the quality (Chutzpah? Mendacity? Subversiveness?) of blogs would, from now on, be measured in bondens. Ahhh.

PERFECT NAME FOR A TWO-WHEELER (See below). It isn't a bike and it's not British. But nobody has bettered Vespa (means wasp in Italian).


Sarah said...

I've always wanted to have a theorem or a law (BTW did you know Hooke and Boyle were lab buddies - did they both call each other "Bob"?) or an equation of state (usually logy) or a constant, or a factor - better than a Nobel prize any day!

marja-leena said...

Your mention of Vespa transported me to Rome where their numbers matched or exceeded the autos. Is that one still in business?

Plutarch said...

And where Roger Martin du Gard (1937)?