Thought for the month

“There is nothing noble in being superior to some other man. The true nobility is in being superior to your previous self.” Probably W.L. Sheldon, US lecturer on ethics (1858 – 1907) rather than Ernest Hemingway.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Noble efforts

Last week saw the annual presentation of the 2011 Ig Nobel Prizes. As always this is a fascinating event and two prizes were of particular note this year: 1) Peace Prize: Arturas Zuokas, the mayor of Vilnius, Lithuania, for demonstrating that the problem of illegally parked luxury cars can be solved by running them over with an armoured tank. 2) Mathematics Prize: Dorothy Martin of the USA (who predicted the world would end in 1954), Pat Robertson of the USA (who predicted the world would end in 1982), Elizabeth Clare Prophet of the USA (who predicted the world would end in 1990), Lee Jang Rim of Korea (who predicted the world would end in 1992), Credonia Mwerinde of Uganda (who predicted the world would end in 1999), and Harold Camping of the USA (who predicted the world would end on September 6, 1994 and later predicted that the world will end on October 21, 2011), for teaching the world to be careful when making mathematical assumptions and calculations. Jobs at CERN beckon?

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