Friday, October 12, 2007

An Observation

I, the undersigned, Alfred Bernhard Nobel, do hereby, after mature deliberation, declare the following to be my last Will and Testament with respect to such property as may be left by me at the time of my death:

To my nephews, Hjalmar and Ludvig Nobel, the sons of my brother Robert Nobel, I bequeath the sum of Two Hundred Thousand Crowns each;

To my nephew Emanuel Nobel, the sum of Three Hundred Thousand, and to my niece Mina Nobel, One Hundred Thousand Crowns;

To my brother Robert Nobel's daughters, Ingeborg and Tyra, the sum of One Hundred Thousand Crowns each;

Miss Olga Boettger, at present staying with Mrs Brand, 10 Rue St Florentin, Paris, will receive One Hundred Thousand Francs;

Mrs Sofie Kapy von Kapivar, whose address is known to the Anglo-Oesterreichische Bank in Vienna, is hereby entitled to an annuity of 6000 Florins Ö.W. which is paid to her by the said Bank, and to this end I have deposited in this Bank the amount of 150,000 Fl. in Hungarian State Bonds;

Mr Alarik Liedbeck, presently living at 26 Sturegatan, Stockholm, will receive One Hundred Thousand Crowns;

Miss Elise Antun, presently living at 32 Rue de Lubeck, Paris, is entitled to an annuity of Two Thousand Five Hundred Francs. In addition, Forty Eight Thousand Francs owned by her are at present in my custody, and shall be refunded;

Mr Alfred Hammond, Waterford, Texas, U.S.A. will receive Ten Thousand Dollars;

The Misses Emy and Marie Winkelmann, Potsdamerstrasse, 51, Berlin, will receive Fifty Thousand Marks each;

Mrs Gaucher, 2 bis Boulevard du Viaduc, Nimes, France will receive One Hundred Thousand Francs;

My servants, Auguste Oswald and his wife Alphonse Tournand, employed in my laboratory at San Remo, will each receive an annuity of One Thousand Francs;

My former servant, Joseph Girardot, 5, Place St. Laurent, Châlons sur Saône, is entitled to an annuity of Five Hundred Francs, and my former gardener, Jean Lecof, at present with Mrs Desoutter, receveur Curaliste, Mesnil, Aubry pour Ecouen, S.& O., France, will receive an annuity of Three Hundred Francs;

Mr Georges Fehrenbach, 2, Rue Compiègne, Paris, is entitled to an annual pension of Five Thousand Francs from January 1, 1896 to January 1, 1899, when the said pension shall discontinue;

A sum of Twenty Thousand Crowns each, which has been placed in my custody, is the property of my brother's children, Hjalmar, Ludvig, Ingeborg and Tyra, and shall be repaid to them.

The whole of my remaining realizable estate shall be dealt with in the following way: the capital, invested in safe securities by my executors, shall constitute a fund, the interest on which shall be annually distributed in the form of prizes to those who, during the preceding year, shall have conferred the greatest benefit on mankind. The said interest shall be divided into five equal parts, which shall be apportioned as follows: one part to the person who shall have made the most important discovery or invention within the field of physics; one part to the person who shall have made the most important chemical discovery or improvement; one part to the person who shall have made the most important discovery within the domain of physiology or medicine; one part to the person who shall have produced in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction; and one part to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses. The prizes for physics and chemistry shall be awarded by the Swedish Academy of Sciences; that for physiological or medical work by the Caroline Institute in Stockholm; that for literature by the Academy in Stockholm, and that for champions of peace by a committee of five persons to be elected by the Norwegian Storting. It is my express wish that in awarding the prizes no consideration whatever shall be given to the nationality of the candidates, but that the most worthy shall receive the prize, whether he be a Scandinavian or not.

As Executors of my testamentary dispositions, I hereby appoint Mr Ragnar Sohlman, resident at Bofors, Värmland, and Mr Rudolf Lilljequist, 31 Malmskillnadsgatan, Stockholm, and at Bengtsfors near Uddevalla. To compensate for their pains and attention, I grant to Mr Ragnar Sohlman, who will presumably have to devote most time to this matter, One Hundred Thousand Crowns, and to Mr Rudolf Lilljequist, Fifty Thousand Crowns;

At the present time, my property consists in part of real estate in Paris and San Remo, and in part of securities deposited as follows: with The Union Bank of Scotland Ltd in Glasgow and London, Le Crédit Lyonnais, Comptoir National d'Escompte, and with Alphen Messin & Co. in Paris; with the stockbroker M.V. Peter of Banque Transatlantique, also in Paris; with Direction der Disconto Gesellschaft and Joseph Goldschmidt & Cie, Berlin; with the Russian Central Bank, and with Mr Emanuel Nobel in Petersburg; with Skandinaviska Kredit Aktiebolaget in Gothenburg and Stockholm, and in my strong-box at 59, Avenue Malakoff, Paris; further to this are accounts receivable, patents, patent fees or so-called royalties etc. in connection with which my Executors will find full information in my papers and books.

This Will and Testament is up to now the only one valid, and revokes all my previous testamentary dispositions, should any such exist after my death.

Finally, it is my express wish that following my death my veins shall be opened, and when this has been done and competent Doctors have confirmed clear signs of death, my remains shall be cremated in a so-called crematorium.

Paris, 27 November, 1895

Alfred Bernhard Nobel

The last will and testament of Alfred Nobel, in which he created the various Nobel prizes.

One prize to: "one part to the person who shall have made the most important discovery or invention within the field of physics";

A second to: "the person who shall have made the most important chemical discovery or improvement";

Thirdly to: "the person who shall have made the most important discovery within the domain of physiology or medicine";

A fourth prize to: "the person who shall have produced in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction"; and

The fifth and last prize to: "the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses."

Fraternity between nations, abolition or reduction of standing armies, and holding or promoting peace congresses.

Hmmph.

While Mr. Gore has done nothing to abolish or reduce any standing army, and I believe I must have missed the peace congress he held, I suppose one could argue that his global warming travelling tour has fostered some kind of fraternity between nations.

Sort of. I guess.

We have long suspected that the Nobel Prize for Peace is increasingly irrelevant -- despite repeated nominations, Ghandi never received one, yet Yasser Arafat is a Nobel Peace prize recipient.

Ah, well. That's politics for you.

LawDog

31 comments:

James E. Griffin said...

Did Alfred Nobel intend that, after the announcement of the "winner's" name of the Nobel Peace Prize, we should hear snorts, giggles of derision, to be immediately followed by gales of laughter? If that's the case, it was awarded to the right guy.

Lasse said...

This is a bl#&¤y scandal.

As a Swede I'm not surprised that the Norwegian committee for the peace price once again has had a brain hemorrhage, but it still saddens me. I wish the Norwegian Storting (parliament) would take their responsibility and replace the idiots in the committee.

It’s also an insult to earlier, occasional, better deserved price receivers.

Al Goore is just a lying left wing attention seeker on par with Michael Moore.

Bernard Brandt said...

When one considers that the Nobel Peace Prize has also been awarded to former president Jimmy Carter, Kofi Annan, Yasser Arafat, and Willi Brandt, (in other words, three corrupt knaves and one somewhat harmless fool), then I think that the award should be renamed the Nobel Pointless Prize.

TBeck said...

I wouldn't consider Kofi Annan a harmless fool.

Anonymous said...

'Dog, the reason Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (please note spelling - it is NOT "Ghandi") did not receive the prize is that he was already dead by the time they announced the prize for that year, and apparently the Nobel prizes are never posthumously awarded.

That was also the reason that Rosalind Franklin, the woman who was the brainchild behind the discovery of DNA missed getting the Nobel - she was already dead (1958) by the time they got around to awarding the Nobel in Medicine for the discovery of DNA (1962). Of the three who did, Watson, Crick and Wilkins, the last was the only one who even bothered to mention Franklin in his acceptance speech.

- Radi

Kaerius said...

As someone who believes Al Gore would've made a much better president of the USA than Bush has(but then, a trained chimp would), I consider this to be total bullshit. It's not the "Nobel enviroment prize", and even if it was, Gore flies around in his private jet telling people they need to fly less(and drive cars less), so he's quite the hypocrite. So, totally wrong guy for the prize. Oh well, from what I hear, at least he's giving the prize money to charity, at least that's something.

John J. Kaiser said...

"We have long suspected that the Nobel Prize for Peace is increasingly irrelevant"

You got that right.

Anonymous said...

Spelling is irrelevant, as is often, pronunciation. The Dog often spells phoenetically according to Arab pronunciation, thus the 'Gh' on Ghandi. And American Kadaffy is, if you discount the 'daffy' more properly Ghadafi.
And while we're at it, how about Hedy Lamarr? Yes, she was a zaftig movie star, but she was also a brilliant woman in the field of electronics. I wouldn't go so far as to say we wouldn't have electrical guidance systems and cellphones without her, but she was definitely a pioneer in those fields, far ahead of anyone else. She died in her 80s, virtually forgotten in a nursing home in California.
Those who deserve are rarely rewarded; there is always someone there just ahoning to take the credit.
LawMom

LawDog said...

A Nony Mouse said:

'Dog, the reason Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (please note spelling - it is NOT "Ghandi") did not receive the prize is that he was already dead by the time they announced the prize for that year, and apparently the Nobel prizes are never posthumously awarded.

M. Ghandi was murdered in 1948, a few days before being nominated for the Nobel Pize.

However, he was also nominated in 1937 -- but passed over.

And again in 1938.

And 1939.

And 1947.

Personally, I'd only consider the 1948 nomination to be the posthumous one, rather than the four previous nominations -- but whatever flips your skirt up.

LawDog said...

By the way -- when Dag Hammarskjöld received the Nobel Peace prize in 1961, the prize was awarded on December 10, 1961.

Considering that Mr. Hammarskjöld was busy dying on September 18 of that year -- about three months before receiving the prize -- I'd say that the whole "never awarded posthumously" thing might not be so.

LawDog said...

*M. Ghandi was murdered in 1948, a few days after being nominated for the Nobel Prize.

Sorry 'bout that.

Jerry The Geek said...

Personally, I think the Nobel Peace Price should have been awarded to the other "other white meat" candidate -- Rush Limbaugh.

I'm not saying that either of those two gentlemen would have actually deserved it, but at least Limbaugh would have appreciated the irony.

Anonymous said...

While I'm inclined to agree that the 2007 award to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and Al Gore is weak, I can see an argument to be made. As the world becomes more resource constrained, especically in energy, there is increased risk of conflict between the haves and have nots. Reducing resource usage reduces risk of conflict. Yes, it's a weak argument, but it is there.

Regarding Ghandi, the no award in 1948 is a statement itself. While I can't find a definitive reasoning it appears that the must be alive rule was simply misapplied, since winners didn't need to be alive at the time of announcement until 1974. Unfortunate, but mistakes happen all the time, everywhere, even (and especially) when care should be taken to avoid mistakes.

While it's open to argument if the 1937, 1938, or 1947 winners were more deserving, I don't think any of them were undeserving. No award in 1939 also seems reasonable to me. Just to play devil's advocate for a moment, I can see an argument where his politically motivated assassination could cast a doubt over whether his peace would be lasting.

Gareth said...

I wonder how much fuel those jets Al Gore used chewed up in taking him on this tour of enlightenment?

I'm actually kind of glad that recently one of the highest courts in the UK ruled our government was irresponsible and illegal in issuing "An Inconvenient Truth" to all schools in the country and instructing science teachers to play it. How was it illegal? A school governor took the case to the courts that the film was a form of indoctrination based on political spin.

The judge ruled that the film has nine significant errors in it and the only way the government is allowed to continue issuing the film to schools is if it is accompanied by guidance information for teachers saying where they should point out controversial sections or those disputed by current scientific investigations.

Personally someone who produces that sort of political spin should not be in receipt of any of the Nobel prizes, and certainly not the Peace prize!

In line with Bernard's comment above it does need a rename though I think it should be more along the lines of Nobel Politically Pointless Prize ... after all we have the Darwin award for most other Pointless (though sometimes humourous) things

phlegmfatale said...

The entire environmentalism movement has enjoyed extended play with the glut of has-been mediawhore types like Madonna and Al Gore who are desperate to remain in the spotlight and to be regarded as relevant. I recently watched a clip of the "Live Earth" concert in which Madonna shouts to the audience something like "OK, London, this is your last chance to save the planet." Really? London can save us all?

If anyone takes careful notes and holds these "spokespersons" accountable, I believe that they will live to be humbled by their previous outrageous and arrogant assertions.

If we took a holiday from such dystopic harangues, it would be so nice.

Rico said...

It is good to be the prince. My last will and testament is not nearly so complex (though I do have an interesting disposal-of-my-ashes thing going), but then I don't have (in today's money) a couple of billion dollars to spread around.

Anonymous said...

Well, I hate to disagree but I think Gore deserves a prize for being such a piece.

That's what he won for. Right?

Flintlock Tom said...

Kaerius said...

"Oh well, from what I hear, at least he's giving the prize money to charity, at least that's something."

That's a laugh, the "charity" he donated it to was founded, and is chaired by, (drumroll)

himself.

Anonymous said...

Best comment I heard was from Dennis Miller. His view is the next great person of our time will be the one that refuses to accept the Nobel prize.

Flintlock Tom said...

I have heard, anecdotally, that University professors may nominate candidates for the Nobel prize.
Now there's a conservative bunch.

KBCraig said...

Flintlock Tom:

From Wikpedia: "Nominations for the Prize may be made by a broad array of qualified individuals, including former recipients, members of national assemblies and congresses, university professors (in certain disciplines), international judges, and special advisors to the Prize Committee."

It's also worth noting that such a fine group has previously nominated Adolph Hitler, Joseph Stalin, and Benito Mussolini.
h

Ky Person said...

Since I live near Tennessee, the news outlets there are all aflutter about Algore's achievement.

I plan to drive through his hometown today to see if his homies are as lemminglike as they usually are when you mention His Dorkness's name.

velocette said...

Alfred Nobel is probably laying in his grave thinking of ways to use his most explosive invention on the morons that have subverted the intent and purpose of his award.

Jeff Wood said...

I read the other day that the Salvation Army has been repeatedly nominated for the Prize; never awarded it.

Over at the Swedish Academy, they take their time, years in fact and sometimes decades, before giving out the science Prizes, to see if the reason for considering the nominee holds up over time.

I expect that is why so often the Peace Prize is quickly discredited.

bigdaddyb said...

Actually, Al Gore has done a lot to stop global warming.

If you look at his record last year, every city he visited was plagued with extreme winter weather. A number of his meetings and speeches were canceled due to snow storms and other severe winter weather.

Hey LD.... Wasn't his DFW visit messed up by an unexpected, unusual snow storm last winter?

Who can argue with results like that?

He may not be doing anything for peace, but if we can keep ole Al on the road, he'll solve global warming once city at a time.

Anonymous said...

Dog, read this if you care to. http://tinyurl.com/yr8ukr
"Change will be made for us unless we make changes"

outside_of_apex said...

It seems that the Nobel Peace Prize winners are deliberately chosen to stir up debate and controversy. The current administration has certainly done its fair share to alienate the US from virtually every other country in existence.

While I am no fan of Al Gore all I see here are ad hominem attacks.

I would say one would have to be delusional to deny that significant global warming has not occurred in the last 20,000 years. Whether global warming has occurred in recent years and is a direct result of the industrial revolution is still debatable.

However it is still undeniable that in the northern hemisphere glaciers are shrinking and sea ice is diminishing. My state (NC) is already making plans for the inevitable rise in sea levels.

Gases such as carbon dioxide and methane are known to be `green house' gases, capturing heat radiated from the sun within the atmosphere. As more and more land and sea becomes less covered in ice, the albedo (reflectivity) effect diminishes. It is feared that this can lead to a positive feedback loop. For example, as more Siberian tundra is exposed then more carbon gases are released into the atmosphere making even more tundra exposed, and so on.

My opinion is that the reason why the US is burying its head in the sand about global warming is that it is bad for big business. It's bad for big business because big business lives quarter to quarter. Big business would rather maximize its profits for the short term rather than the long term. With luck, big business owners can defer the costs to the next generation.

It's all about greed and power.

Anonymous said...

Al Gore has done a lot about global warming: he's increased it with a lot of hot air.

James said...

quote
I would say one would have to be delusional to deny that significant global warming has not occurred in the last 20,000 years. Whether global warming has occurred in recent years and is a direct result of the industrial revolution is still debatable.
/quote

Let's see, geologically speaking the earth was in the last major ice age... drumroll please... 20-30,000 years ago? And let's conveniently forget that a volcanic eruption of the size of say... Mt. St. Helens puts out as much green house gas as the majority of human civilization.

Sure we could do much more to live in a ecologically friendly manner. But to say that 1 species is single handedly swinging the course of the environment in less than a couple of thousand years (let along since the industrial revolution) is just a tad pretentious.

Here's my slogan for fighting global warming:

"Help stop Global Warming. Ask AlGore to hold his breath!"

Anonymous said...

The dumbass didn't establish one for deerhunting.

Anonymous said...

Forget the prizes. Who were all those women receiving bequests?

markm