Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
by Fran on Tue Oct 9th, 2007 at 11:36:55 PM EST
'Santo Ernesto': The Curse Of Che Guevara - International - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News

Legendary Argentinian guerrilla fighter Ernesto "Che" Guevara was shot dead in Bolivia 40 years ago. Some worship him like a saint, while others credit him with the power to take revenge on his killers from beyond the grave.

The man who shot the most famous guerrilla fighter of all time lives in Bolivia's largest city, Santa Cruz de la Sierra, in a typical middle-class neighborhood. The street is quiet and located close to Avenida Paraguay, one of the main thoroughfares in the sprawling city. The man who lives here is 68 years old, white-haired and stocky. He once served in the military and was honorably discharged 10 years ago. The former soldier is married and has five children. He introduces himself to strangers as "Pedro Salazar," but his real name is Mario Terán.

It was Mario Terán who killed Ernesto "Che" Guevara 40 years ago on Oct. 9, 1967.

by Fran on Tue Oct 9th, 2007 at 11:55:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Physics of the iPod awarded Nobel Prize - International Herald Tribune

STOCKHOLM: Albert Fert of France and Peter Grünberg of Germany were awarded the 2007 Nobel Prize in Physics on Tuesday for a discovery that has shrunk the size of hard disks found in computers, iPods and other digital devices.

The duo discovered a totally new physical effect that has let the computer industry develop sensitive reading tools for information stored on computer hard drives from the tiniest laptops to portable music and video players.

"The MP3 and iPod industry would not have existed without this discovery," Borje Johansson, a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, said. "You would not have an iPod without this effect."

In its citation, the Nobel academy said the discovery could also be considered "one of the first real applications of the promising field of nanotechnology," the science dedicated to building materials from the molecular level.

"Applications of this phenomenon have revolutionized techniques for retrieving data from hard disks," the prize citation said. "The discovery also plays a major role in various magnetic sensors as well as for the development of a new generation of electronics."

by Fran on Wed Oct 10th, 2007 at 12:32:52 AM EST
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News.com.au: Vodka-drip feed saves tourist

DOCTORS used a case of vodka to help save an Italian tourist being treated for poisoning in a Queensland hospital.

And hospital authorities later proved very understanding about the booze bill.

The 24-year-old man was brought to Mackay Base Hospital, in north Queensland, two months ago after he had ingested a large amount of the poisonous substance ethylene glycol, found in antifreeze, which can cause renal failure and is often fatal.

In details just released by the hospital, Dr Pascal Gelperowicz, who led the man's treatment with Dr Todd Fraser, said the man was unconscious on arrival and his treatment was started immediately with pharmaceutical-grade alcohol, which works as an antidote to the poison.

But the hospital's alcohol supplies were soon exhausted.

"We quickly used all the available vials of 100 per cent alcohol and decided the next best way to get alcohol into the man's system was by feeding him spirits through a naso-gastric tube," Dr Gelperowicz said.

The key to culture is religion. Daniel Dennett @ TED (Feb 2006)
by marco on Wed Oct 10th, 2007 at 02:56:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
New York Times: Aging and Gay, and Facing Prejudice in Twilight

Elderly gay people like Ms. Donadello, living in nursing homes or assisted-living centers or receiving home care, increasingly report that they have been disrespected, shunned or mistreated in ways that range from hurtful to deadly, even leading some to commit suicide.

Some have seen their partners and friends insulted or isolated. Others live in fear of the day when they are dependent on strangers for the most personal care. That dread alone can be damaging, physically and emotionally, say geriatric doctors, psychiatrists and social workers.

The plight of the gay elderly has been taken up by a generation of gay men and lesbians, concerned about their own futures, who have begun a national drive to educate care providers about the social isolation, even outright discrimination, that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender clients face.

Several solutions are emerging. In Boston, New York, Chicago, Atlanta and other urban centers, so-called L.G.B.T. Aging Projects are springing up, to train long-term care providers. At the same time, there is a move to separate care, with the comfort of the familiar.

The key to culture is religion. Daniel Dennett @ TED (Feb 2006)
by marco on Wed Oct 10th, 2007 at 03:26:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In Africa, Prosperity From Seeds Falls Short - New York Times

HERMAKONO, Guinea -- The seeds are a marvel, producing bountiful, aromatic rice crops resistant to drought, pests and disease. But a decade after their introduction, they have spread to only a tiny fraction of the land here in West Africa where they could help millions of farming families escape poverty.

At a time when philanthropists like Bill Gates have become entranced by the possibility of a Green Revolution for Africa, the New Rices for Africa, as scientists call the wonder seeds, offer a clear warning. Even the most promising new crop varieties will not by themselves bring the plentiful harvests that can end poverty. New ways to get seeds into the hands of farmers are needed, as well as broader investment in the basic ingredients of a farm economy: roads, credit and farmer education, among others.

Developed with financing from wealthy countries and private foundations, the New Rices for Africa, or Nericas, are unpatented and may be grown by anyone. Yet there is a severe shortage of them in a region where both the private and the agricultural sectors are woefully undeveloped.


"You have farmers who are very willing adopters of new technologies and want to raise yields," he added, "but are not getting access to seed, fertilizer and small-scale irrigation." Finding a sustainable way to supply them with seed, he said, "is emerging as the holy grail for agricultural development."

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Wed Oct 10th, 2007 at 03:53:43 AM EST
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Press Release: The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2007
The Nobel Prize in Chemistry for 2007 is awarded for groundbreaking studies in surface chemistry. This science is important for the chemical industry and can help us to understand such varied processes as why iron rusts, how fuel cells function and how the catalysts in our cars work. Chemical reactions on catalytic surfaces play a vital role in many industrial operations, such as the production of artificial fertilizers. Surface chemistry can even explain the destruction of the ozone layer, as vital steps in the reaction actually take place on the surfaces of small crystals of ice in the stratosphere. The semiconductor industry is yet another area that depends on knowledge of surface chemistry.

It was thanks to processes developed in the semiconductor industry that the modern science of surface chemistry began to emerge in the 1960s. Gerhard Ertl was one of the first to see the potential of these new techniques. Step by step he has created a methodology for surface chemistry by demonstrating how different experimental procedures can be used to provide a complete picture of a surface reaction. This science requires advanced high-vacuum experimental equipment as the aim is to observe how individual layers of atoms and molecules behave on the extremely pure surface of a metal, for instance. It must therefore be possible to determine exactly which element is admitted to the system. Contamination could jeopardize all the measurements. Acquiring a complete picture of the reaction requires great precision and a combination of many different experimental techniques.

Is it just me or this is an Europeans year for nobel prizes ? Chemistry especially has a reputation for going very often to Americans...

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Wed Oct 10th, 2007 at 06:51:43 AM EST
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"It's cyclical"

"It's a one off"

"They can't sustain it if they don't reform"

"It's US companies that profited from their discoveries, showing the failures of the European way"

etc, etc...

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Oct 10th, 2007 at 07:49:57 AM EST
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Chemistry often goes to Americans because American make up most of the Chemistry Nobel prize committee. Of course the committee is made up of former prize winners,  so that is a positive feedback loop.

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Wed Oct 10th, 2007 at 08:50:49 AM EST
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The Nobel Price homepage says otherwise:

The Nobel Prize Awarders

Who selects the Nobel Laureates? In his last will and testament, Alfred Nobel specifically designated the institutions responsible for the prizes he wished to be established: The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences for the Nobel Prize in Physics and Chemistry, Karolinska Institute for the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, the Swedish Academy for the Nobel Prize in Literature, and a Committee of five persons to be elected by the Norwegian Parliament (Storting) for the Nobel Peace Prize. In 1968, the Sveriges Riksbank established the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economics in Memory of Alfred Nobel. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences was given the task to select the Economics Prize Laureates starting in 1969.

So it is mostly swedes that decide stuff. However former winners get to nominate.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Wed Oct 10th, 2007 at 09:41:18 AM EST
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A guy from the Nobel museum interviewed by the morning news said that the reason Europeans are starting to get Nobel prizes again is due to the massive invesments in reseach made by France and Germany in the 70's and 80's, even though the total European dominance this year was also due to luck.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 02:37:16 AM EST
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Sounds probable. France recruited lots of people in the 70's, and those people are starting to reach Nobelizable age.

France has mostly stopped to recruit researchers en masse, though. I have no idea about the situation in Germany?

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 06:40:14 AM EST
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Spain carried out a huge expansion of the University system in the 1970's so everyone and their mother got tenure. In the 1980's and 90's the employment outlook has been bleak, leading to a lot of brain drain and many people leaving the field entirely, but all the people who got tenure in the 1970's are going to be retired before 2015 so, assuming their positions are not simply eliminated, there will be another wave of recruitment.

We have met the enemy, and it is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 06:48:51 AM EST
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Stop and go recruiting at its most stupid. The same thing might happen in France.

Well, let's hope the Anglo disease hasn't hit too hard and that those retirments are actually replaced.

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 08:43:55 AM EST
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tomroud.com » Blog Archive » Devinette
Reponse : Albert Fert, prix Nobel de physique 2007, illustration parfaite a la fois de ce qui marche tres bien et devrait etre ameliore dans la recherche francaise. Il faut dire qu'a sa place, je l'aurais mauvaise : l'intendance industrielle ne suivant pas, les brevets sur la magnetoresistance n'ont pas ete deposes en France. Evidemment, les cretins de tout poil pulullant sur internet n'ont pu s'empecher de critiquer cette fonction publique paresseuse , qui n'est meme pas capable de se reveiller a temps pour deposer un simple brevet. Rappelons donc qu'aux Etats-Unis, les universites ont des services entiers charges de ce travail, afin de laisser les chercheurs faire leur boulot, a savoir chercher (et enseigner). Mais evidemment, tout cela impliquerait en France une vraie politique scientifique, une valorisation des metiers de la recherche en general ainsi que tout simplement, un certain respect pour la recherche fondamentale et ceux qui la font. Malheureusement, le potentiel de resonance de ce Prix Nobel qui aurait permis de mettre ces problemes sur la table sera probablement bien attenue a cause du rugby.

In short, the main reason the French didn't get patents on Fert's inventions is that French universities are so thoroughly underfunded they can't have a team responsible for following the patents applications.

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Wed Oct 10th, 2007 at 04:49:13 PM EST
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A fun thing to notice on the nobel prize website : despite what the press and various pundits and economists like to think and say, the site makes the distinction between the various "nobel prize in ... " and "prize in economics"...

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Wed Oct 10th, 2007 at 09:55:40 AM EST
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Because the Prize in Economics is the "Bank of Sweden prize in memory of Alfred Nobel", not a "Nobel Prize".

We have met the enemy, and it is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 06:51:52 AM EST
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That's something I know, and many knows, but the media and economists carefully hide it.

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 08:45:50 AM EST
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