Society: Arts and Science – February 28

Today is International Thanksgiving Day. Find a way to celebrate your life today…
Swedish and Norwegian committees bestow Nobel Prizes in recognition of cultural or scientific advances. In 1895, the will of Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel established the prizes.
Charles Jules Henry Nicolle died on this date in 1936 at Tunis. He was a French bacteriologist who received the Nobel Prize in Medicine for his identification of lice as the transmitter of epidemic typhus. Nicolle’s major accomplishments in bacteriology and parasitology were: the discovery of the transmission method of typhus fever, the introduction of a vaccination for Malta fever, and the discovery of the transmission method of tick fever, as well as his studies of cancer, scarlet fever, rinderpest, measles, influenza, tuberculosis, trachoma and identification of the parasitic organism Toxoplasma gondii within the tissues of the gundi (Ctenodactylus gundi). During his life Nicolle wrote a number of non-fiction and bacteriology books, including Le Destin des Maladies infectieuses; La Nature, conception et morale biologiques; Responsabilités de la Médecine; and La Destinée humaine.
Philip Showalter Hench was born on this date in 1896. He was an American physician. Hench, along with his Mayo Clinic co-worker Edward Calvin Kendall and Swiss chemist Tadeus Reichstein was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1950 for the discovery of the hormone cortisone, and its application for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. The Nobel Committee bestowed the award for the trio’s “discoveries relating to the hormones of the adrenal cortex, their structure and biological effects.” Hench received his undergraduate education at Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania, and received his medical training at the United States Army Medical Corps and the University of Pittsburgh. He began working at Mayo Clinic in 1923, later serving as the head of the Department of Rheumatology. In addition to the Nobel Prize, Hench received many other awards and honors throughout his career. He also had a lifelong interest in the history and discovery of yellow fever.
Linus Carl Pauling was born on this date in 1901. He was an American chemist, biochemist, peace activist, author, and educator. He was one of the most influential chemists in history and ranks among the most important scientists of the 20th century. Pauling was one of the founders of the fields of quantum chemistry and molecular biology. For his scientific work, Pauling was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1954. In 1962, for his peace activism, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. This makes him the only person to be awarded two unshared Nobel Prizes. He is one of only four individuals to have won more than one Nobel Prize (the others being Marie Curie, John Bardeen, and Frederick Sanger). Pauling is also one of only two people to be awarded Nobel Prizes in different fields, the other being Marie Curie. In his later years he promoted orthomolecular medicine, megavitamin therapy, dietary supplements, and taking large doses of vitamin C.
Owen Chamberlain died on this date in 2006. He was an American physicist, and Nobel laureate in physics for his discovery, with collaborator Emilio Segrè, of antiprotons, a sub-atomic antiparticle.Born in San Francisco, California, Chamberlain graduated from Germantown Friends School in Philadelphia in 1937. He studied physics at Dartmouth College, where he was a member of Theta Chi Fraternity, and at the University of California, Berkeley. He remained in school until the start of World War II, and joined the Manhattan Project in 1942, where he worked with Segrè, both at Berkeley and in Los Alamos, New Mexico. He married Beatrice Babette Copper (d. 1988) in 1943, with whom he had four children. In 1946, after the war, Chamberlain continued with his doctoral studies at the University of Chicago under legendary physicist Enrico Fermi. Fermi acted as an important guide and mentor for Chamberlain, encouraging him to leave behind the more prestigious theoretical physics for experimental physics, for which Chamberlain had a particular aptitude. Chamberlain officially received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1949. In 1948, having completed his experimental work, Chamberlain returned to Berkeley as a member of its faculty, where he, Segrè, and other physicists investigated proton-proton scattering. In 1955, a series of proton scattering experiments led to the discovery of the anti-proton, a particle exactly like a proton except negatively charged. Chamberlain’s later research work included the time projection chamber (TPC), and work at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC). Chamberlain was also politically active on issues of peace and social justice, and outspoken against the Vietnam War. He was a member of Scientists for Sakharov, Orlov, and Shcharansky, three physicists of the former Soviet Union imprisoned for their political beliefs. In the 1980s, he helped found the nuclear freeze movement. In 2003 he was one of 22 Nobel Laureates who signed the Humanist Manifesto. Chamberlain was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1985, and retired from teaching in 1989. He died of complications from the disease on February 28, 2006, in Berkeley at the age of 85.
Donald Arthur Glaser died on this date in 2013. He was an American physicist, neurobiologist, and the winner of the 1960 Nobel Prize in Physics for his invention of the bubble chamber used in subatomic particle physics. His invention allowed scientists to observe what happens to high-energy beams from an accelerator, thus paving the way for many important discoveries.
Sir Peter Brian Medawar OM CBE FRS was born on this date in 1915. He was a British biologist born in Brazil, whose work on graft rejection and the discovery of acquired immune tolerance was fundamental to the practice of tissue and organ transplants. He was awarded the 1960 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Sir Frank Macfarlane Burnet. For his works he is regarded as the “father of transplantation”. He is remembered for his wit in real life and popular writings. Famous zoologists such as Richard Dawkins, referred to him as “the wittiest of all scientific writers”, and Stephen Jay Gould, as “the cleverest man I have ever known”. Medawar was the younger son of a Lebanese father and a British mother, and was naturalised British citizen. He studied at Marlborough College and Magdalen College, Oxford. He was professor of zoology at University of Birmingham and University College London. Until he was partially disabled by a cerebral infarction, he was Director of the National Institute for Medical Research at Mill Hill.




Society: Arts and Science – October 2


The Nobel Prize is bestowed annually in categories as selected by Swedish and Norwegian committees in recognition of cultural or scientific advances. The 1895 will of Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel established the prizes.
Svante August Arrhenius died on this day in 1927. He was a Swedish scientist, originally a physicist, but often referred to as a chemist, and one of the founders of the science of physical chemistry. He received the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1903 and in 1905 became director of the Nobel Institute where he remained until his death.[1] The Arrhenius equation, Arrhenius definition of an acid, lunar crater Arrhenius and the Arrhenius Labs at Stockholm University are named after him.
Sir William Ramsay KCB FRS FRSE was born on this date in 1852. He was a Scottish chemist who discovered the noble gases and received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1904 “in recognition of his services in the discovery of the inert gaseous elements in air” (along with his collaborator, Lord Rayleigh, who received the Nobel Prize in Physics that same year for their discovery of argon). After the two men identified argon, Ramsay investigated other atmospheric gases. His work in isolating argon, helium, neon, krypton and xenon led to the development of a new section of the periodic table.
Cordell Hull was born on this date in 1871. He was an American politician from the U.S. state of Tennessee. He is best known as the longest serving Secretary of State, holding the position for 11 years (1933–1944) in the administration of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt during much of World War II. Hull received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1945 for his role in establishing the United Nations, and was referred to by President Roosevelt as the “Father of the United Nations”.
Alexander Robertus Todd, Baron Todd, OM, PRS FRSE was born on this date in 1907. He was a British biochemist whose research on the structure and synthesis of nucleotides, nucleosides, and nucleotide coenzymes gained him the Nobel Prize for Chemistry.
Sir Peter Brian Medawar OM CBE FRS died on this date in 1987. He was a British biologist born in Brazil, whose work on graft rejection and the discovery of acquired immune tolerance was fundamental to the practice of tissue and organ transplants. He was awarded the 1960 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Sir Frank Macfarlane Burnet. For his works he is regarded as the “father of transplantation”. He is remembered for his wit in real life and popular writings. Famous zoologists such as Richard Dawkins, referred to him as “the wittiest of all scientific writers”, and Stephen Jay Gould, as “the cleverest man I have ever known”. Medawar was the younger son of a Lebanese father and a British mother, and was naturalised British citizen. He studied at Marlborough College and Magdalen College, Oxford. He was professor of zoology at University of Birmingham and University College London. Until he was partially disabled by a cerebral infarction, he was Director of the National Institute for Medical Research at Mill Hill.


Darwin and McCallum, LFL and pipelines?

Darwin famously mused that life began in some warm pond. Scientists have found evidence over the last two hundred years that these first biotics were formed about 3.7 billion years ago. The genius who created the National Research Council, Dr. Archibald McCallum, framed the ultimate origin of life question in the 1920s, noting that life continues to mimic the conditions under which it was first able to exist and most importantly, that cells have a concentration of potassium over sodium. Oceans under any models we can construct have always had a higher concentration of sodium over potassium. And so it would seem that life must have started in ponds with a high concentration of potassium. Biochemists have also pointed to the need for energy that is also mimiced in the cell. Some theories point to lightning, others to thermovolcanic vents as the most likely source of energy affecting the ponds as the chemicals were jumpstarted. Studies today have restarted the debate and come to the same conclusions as McCallum who in some way was showing that Darwin had the right idea.
The Lingerie Football League Canada franchise is playing with fire. They are planning to put two teams into Saskatchewan this year. I predict someone is going to die from mosquito distraction or chemical poisoning. The Edmonton Eskimos have had to cancel practices due to overwhelming mosquito attacks. How much worse will it be in Saskatchewan? as environmental forces become more militant about bug control? where the players are wearing modified bikinis? Saskatoon and Regina are listed as possible sites for this season’s schedule whch already includes Vancouver’s BC Angels and the Toronto Triumph. It may lead to someone cornering the market on DEET. But perhaps it will catch on. In 2011, eleven American cities fielded 7 0n 7 LFL teams in a 12 game season and they called it fantasy football.
Pipelines form an important part of many water-cooler conversations in Canada. There are three major initiatives at some stage of development. The Trans Mountain pipeline is currently providing oil to Vancouver ports but at a low capacity. In fact, 2012 saw the first sale of bitumen to China through the Trans Mountain pipeline. Plan are in the works to expand the capacity of the line. A larger pipeline is in the works for the Kitimat harbour, the Northern Gateway pipeline project. Much of the planning has taken place and public consultation is underway in the approval process. The Keystone pipeline approval process has been delayed until after the 2012 presidential debate. All three pipelines are expected to feed American refineries across California and Texas. As alternative energy projects continue, these pipelines are seen as essential to the transition of North American consumers to more fuel efficiency and smaller ecological footprints. The pipelines will also assist the growing BRICK economies.