10/21/2004: Significant days in history:
Today is the 171st anniversary of the birth of Swedish inventor and prize endower, Alfred Nobel, who of course endowed the Nobel Prizes for achievements in physics, chemistry, medicine, literature, and peace. [The so-called "Nobel" prize for economics is no such thing; it's a prize endowed by the Bank of Sweden in honor of Alfred Nobel, but it is not a "real" Nobel Prize. Nobel was smarter than that, and knew economics was a pseudo-science undeserving of the honor. :-) About the only grudging legitimacy that I will grant the Economics pseudo-Nobel is that it has become a means by which mathematicians can be honored for their work, when it just happens to bear some relevance to economics. See, e.g., John Nash (of A Beautiful Mind fame).]
As long as we're mentioning Nobel and his prizes, we'll mention that there's no truth to the persistent story that Nobel did not endow a prize in mathematics because his wife was doing the horizontal mambo with a mathematician.
Len on 10.21.04 @ 10:42 AM CST