Tag Archives: September

How They Pick Nobel Laureates

Posted by Audiegrl

Chairman of Norwegian Nobel Committee, Thorbjoern Jagland

Chairman of Norwegian Nobel Committee, Thorbjoern Jagland

TPM/Rachel Slajda—Much has been made today of the fact that the nomination deadline for the Nobel Peace Prize is Feb. 1 — just 12 days after President Obama took office.

But the winner isn’t selected until much later, usually around mid-September. The Norwegian Nobel Committee, made up of five members appointed by the Norwegian Parliament, makes the decision. Here’s the process, according to the committee’s web site:

Nominators — including members of governments, university professors, past Nobel laureates and members of the International Court of Justice — must make their picks to the committee by Feb. 1. The committee usually receives between 150 and 200 nominations for the Peace Prize, but this year they received a record 205 nominations.

noble_medalsThe committee then holds its first meeting,when members can add their own nominees to the list. They then narrow the list down to between five and 20 candidates.

Those candidates are then reviewed by the Nobel Institute’s director, research director and a team of advisers, usually university professors. Those advisers draw up reports on each candidate, a process that takes a few months, and present those reports to the committee.

And then the committee “embarks on a thorough-going discussion of the most likely candidates.” They sometimes request more information, especially when, like Obama, candidates are involved in current affairs. The committee usually makes its decision by mid-September, but has been known to take until the final meeting in early October.

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Nobel Peace Prize Statistics

Geographical distribution of Peace Prize laureates 1901-2000

Geographical distribution of Peace Prize laureates 1901-2000

nobelchart2During the first century of the Nobel Peace Prize, there were 107 laureates from different parts of the world. Alfred Nobel’s intention was to create an international prize, a wish that was upheld by the Norwegian Nobel Committee. However, it took the committee a long time before it started to look beyond the western world for suitable candidates. Globalisation of the prize was a very slow process. From 1901 to 1975 only four laureates did not come from Western Europe or North America.

To find more interesting historical facts, please visit nobelprizelogo

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Filed under History, Politics, United Nations

September 19th: Today is International Talk Like A Pirate Day!

Capn' Slappy and Ol' Chumbucket

Capn' Slappy and Ol' Chumbucket

All around the world and even hundreds of miles above it, people celebrate International Talk Like a Pirate Day every September 19. International Talk Like a Pirate Day is the only holiday on the calendar that encourages people to babble like buccaneers for the sheer, anarchic fun of it. It’s been celebrated by millions of people on all seven continents – yes, even at the South Pole – and on the International Space Station! The holiday was the brainchild (if that’s the right word) of John Baur and Mark Summers, two friends from Albany, Ore., who were playing racquetball when, for reasons that aren’t clear to either of them now, they started insulting each other in pirate jargon. They decided to start Talk Like a Pirate Day, and picked September 19th because it is Summers’ ex-wife’s birthday. The date was stuck in his head and he wasn’t doing anything with it anymore, so it would be easy to remember, Summers said.

The Pirate Life by John "Chumbucket" Baur, Mark "Cap'n Slappy" SummersFrom such unlikely seeds was born an international sensation. The two friends – who now go by the
pirate personas of Ol’ Chumbucket and Cap’n Slappy have swashed their buckles from the Gulf of Mexico to the Puget Sound, from Los Angeles to Chicago to Philadelphia. They’ve performed at a glamorous Las Vegas resort, at libraries, bookstores, schools and at several seedy bars. They have two books out, “The Pirates Life: Unleashing Your Inner Buccaneer,” published by Kensington, a hilarious sequel to their first hit, “Pirattitude! So You Wanna Be a Pirate? Here’s How!” published by New American Library.

Talking Like a Pirate – The Beginner’s Course

images“Aarr!” is one of what we call “the Five As.” We call them this because that’s the letter they begin with, and our crack mathematics team assures us that there are five of them.

These exclamations are the glue that binds together pirate lingo. Even if you don’t know a bunghole
from a broadside or a mizzenmast from a maidenhead, you can still give your conversation a little pirate panache by injecting these exclamations into yer landlubber lexicon.

PiratesAvast – Stop and give attention. It can be used in a sense of surprise, “Whoa! Get a load of that!” when a beautiful woman walks into the room. “Avast! Check out the bowsprit on that fine beauty!” you might say.

images
Ahoy – “Hello!” Any inference beyond “Hello!” is simply vocal inflection and has nothing to do with the real meaning of the word.

PiratesAye – “Why, yes, I agree most heartily with everything you just said or did.”

imagesAye aye – “I’ll get right on that, sir, as soon as my break is over.” We’ve never heard any similarly
colorful expressions for “no,” perhaps because pirates were the type you didn’t want to say no to.

PiratesArr – This one is often confused with arrgh, which is of course the sound you make when you sit on a belaying pin. “Arr!” can mean, variously, “yes,” “I agree,” “I’m happy,” “I’m enjoying this beer,” “My team is winning,” “My team is losing,” “I saw that television show, it sucked,” “I am here and alive” and “That was a clever remark you or I just made.” And those are just a few of the myriad possibilities of “Arrr!” It’s a little bit like the pirate version of “Oy,” that indispensable Yiddish word that has almost as many meanings as there are ways to pronounce it.

Pirattitude! : So You Wanna Be A Pirate? Here's How! by John ''Chumbucket'' Baur, Mark "Cap'n Slappy" Summers(Excerpt from “Pirattitude!” So You Wanna Be a Pirate? Here’s How!” by John “Ol’ Chumbucket” Baur and Mark “Cap’n Slappy” Summers, published in 2005 by New American Library. All rights reserved.)

Arr…check the pirate guys out at their website. They have lots of Pirate fun and games, how to get ur Pirate Booty, links to The Official International Talk Like A Pirate Day FaceBook group, and the “Official” TLAPD MySpace page.

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President Obama’s Message on the Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina


Posted by Audiegrl
Today on the fourth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, President Obama used his weekly address to touch upon the importance of disaster readiness for American families.

On this anniversary, we are focused on the threat from hurricanes. But we must also be prepared for a broad range of dangers – from wildfires and earthquakes, to terrorist attacks and pandemic disease. In particular, my Administration is working aggressively with state and local governments – and with partners around the world – to prepare for the risk posed by the H1N1 virus. To learn more about the simple steps that you can take to keep you and your family safe from all of these dangers, please visit www.ready.gov.

So on this day, we commemorate a tragedy that befell our people. But we also remember that with every tragedy comes the chance of renewal. It is a quintessentially American notion – that adversity can give birth to hope, and that the lessons of the past hold the key to a better future. From the streets of New Orleans to the Mississippi Coast, folks are beginning the next chapter in their American stories. And together, we can ensure that the legacy of a terrible storm is a country that is safer and more prepared for the challenges that may come.–President Barack Obama

National Preparedness Month (NPM), is a nationwide effort held each September to encourage Americans to take simple steps to prepare for emergencies in their homes, businesses and schools.

Please take a moment and visit the site. It has a wealth of information that will help your family. I really enjoyed watching the PSA’s on the site. They interviewed different families and asked them separately about their own ’emergency plans’. Each family member had a different idea of where they are to meet, and none of them had any emergency supplies like water, non-perishable food, etc. to last them more than two weeks. My family is like the one who only had crackers and tomato paste. 😉

So this is an eye opener for me, and our pantry will definitely be stocked in the future.

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Filed under Medicine, Politics