10 Things You Might Not Know About the Nobel Prize

Photos.com/iStock via Getty Images
Photos.com/iStock via Getty Images

Alfred Nobel was a Swedish inventor who created new types of explosives. He made millions, and bequeathed nearly all of his fortune to establishing the prizes named for him. Read on for some surprising facts about the Nobel Prizes, whose honorees in six categories are always dynamite in their fields.

1. A mistaken obituary gave Alfred Nobel the idea for the prizes.

The story goes that Alfred Nobel was inspired to establish his awards in 1864 after a French newspaper mistakenly ran his obituary, called "The merchant of death is dead." Nobel didn't want that to be his legacy, and began thinking of more productive ways to be remembered for posterity. (The obituary was supposed to be for Nobel's younger brother Emil, who died while experimenting with nitroglycerine in their father's factory.)

The Nobel Prizes are announced in October and awarded December 10 each year, the anniversary of Alfred Nobel's actual death. He died of a stroke at the age of 63 in 1896.

2. One of the Nobel Prize ceremonies takes place in Norway.

The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded in Oslo and presented by the chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, while the other Nobel Prizes are awarded in Stockholm and presented by the King of Sweden. Alfred Nobel planned it that way in his will:

"The prizes for physics and chemistry shall be awarded by the Swedish Academy of Sciences; that for physiological or medical works by the Caroline Institute in Stockholm; that for literature by the Academy in Stockholm; and that for champions of peace by a committee of five persons to be elected by the Norwegian Storting.

3. There's no Nobel Prize for economics.

Notice that Nobel didn't mention economics in his will: that's because the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences is not a "Nobel Prize." It's technically the Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel. Sweden's central bank created the endowment in 1968.

4. The Nobel Prizes come with cash.

Nobel Prize winners take home a diploma, a gold medal, and some cold, hard cash. In 2019, winners of "full Nobel Prizes" are awarded 9 million Swedish kroner, or almost $910,000.

5. Organizations can win the Nobel Peace Prize.

Only individuals can be nominated for the Nobel Prizes in medicine, chemistry, literature, and physics, as well as the economics prize. Recent organizations that have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize include the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (2017), the European Union (2012), and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2007).

6. Up to three individuals can win each Nobel Prize.

For teams larger than three, the committee will choose who gets left out. If two people win, the prize money is split equally. If three people win, the awarding committee chooses how to divide the prize.

7. People don't know when they've been nominated.

Nobel Prize nomination records are kept sealed for 50 years after the award is given. Winners don't know they're nominated until they win. So go ahead, assume you almost won the Nobel Prize.

8. There are no posthumous Nobel Prize nominations.

Eleanor Roosevelt, James Joyce, Mahatma Gandhi, and many others will never be able to bask in the Nobel spotlight. Gandhi was this close to winning: he'd been nominated a number of times and had just been nominated a third time days before his 1948 assassination. Geir Lundestad, a former director of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, called Gandhi's absence from the list of Nobel laureates "the greatest omission" in the prize's history. If you're awarded the Nobel Prize but die before the December 10 ceremony, however, you're still a winner.

9. Alfred Nobel originally intended to give awards for work from the preceding year.

That criteria occasionally meant honoring ideas in the sciences that weren't sufficiently tested or investigated. Case in point: Johannes Fibiger's 1926 discovery that parasitic worms allegedly caused cancer in rats. (They don't.) Now most scientific discoveries and innovations are honored after they've stood the test of time.

10. Evening wear is a must for Nobel laureates.

Nobel laureates are required to give a public lecture within six months of accepting their award. Most of them fulfill the obligation during Nobel Week in Stockholm. Then, at the end of the week, they get to party. The Nobel banquet includes live music, a three-course dinner, dancing, and a strict dress code. Men must wear white tie, consisting of "a black tailcoat with silk facings, sharply cut away at the front; black trousers with two rows of braid down each leg, white stiff-fronted shirt, white stiff wing collar attached to the shirt with collar studs, white bow tie, white low-cut waistcoat, black dress socks and black formal shoes." Women have it a little easier, with no restrictions on the color or design of their evening gowns. Long gloves and a shawl are optional.

Swear Off Toilet Paper With This Bidet Toilet Seat That's Easy to Install and Costs Less Than $100

Tushy
Tushy

The recent coronavirus-related toilet paper shortage has put the spotlight on the TP-less alternative that Americans have yet to truly embrace: the bidet.

It's not exactly a secret that toilet paper is wasteful—it's estimated to cost 437 billion gallons of water and 15 million trees to produce our yearly supply of the stuff. But while the numbers are plain to see, bidets still aren't common in the United States.

Well, if price was ever the biggest barrier standing in the way of swearing off toilet paper for good, there's now a cost-effective way to make the switch. Right now, you can get the space-saving Tushy bidet for less than $100. And you'll be able to install it yourself in just 10 minutes.

What is a Bidet?

Before we go any further, let’s just go ahead and get the awkward technical details out of the way. Instead of using toilet paper after going to the bathroom, bidets get you clean by using a stream of concentrated water that comes out of a faucet or nozzle. Traditional bidets look like weird toilets without tanks or lids, and while they’re pretty uncommon in the United States, you’ve definitely seen one if you’ve ever been to Europe or Asia.

That said, bidets aren’t just good for your butt. When you reduce toilet paper usage, you also reduce the amount of chemicals and emissions required to produce it, which is good for the environment. At the same time, you’re also saving money. So this is a huge win-win.

Unfortunately, traditional bidets are not an option for most Americans because they take up a lot of bathroom space and require extra plumbing. That’s where Tushy comes in.

The Tushy Classic Bidet Toilet Seat.

Unlike traditional bidets, the Tushy bidet doesn’t take up any extra space in your bathroom. It’s an attachment for your existing toilet that places an adjustable self-cleaning nozzle at the back of the bowl, just underneath the seat. But it doesn’t require any additional plumbing or electricity. All you have to do is remove the seat from your toilet, connect the Tushy to the clean water supply behind the toilet, and replace the seat on top of the Tushy attachment.

The Tushy has a control panel that lets you adjust the angle and pressure of the water stream for a perfect custom clean. The nozzle lowers when the Tushy is activated and retracts into its housing when not in use, keeping it clean and sanitary.

Like all bidets, the Tushy system takes a little getting used to. But once you get the hang of it, you’ll never want to use toilet paper again. In fact, Tushy is so sure you’ll love their product, they offer customers a 60-day risk-free guarantee. If you don’t love your Tushy, you can send it back for a full refund, minus shipping and handling.

Normally, the Tushy Classic retails for $109, but right now you can get the Tushy Classic for just $89. So if you’ve been thinking about going TP-free, now is definitely the time to do it.

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The World's 10 Richest Cities

New York City.
New York City.
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

When a city has vibrant culture, a booming economy, and appealing real estate, it attracts a lot of high-profile residents. To see which world-class cities have the largest populations of wealthy individuals, check out this list of the richest cities in the world.

As CNBC reports, the United States is home to several wealthy cities, accounting for six of the urban centers in the top 10. New York takes the top slot, with 120,605 of the people living there boasting a net worth of $5 million or more. That's more than 4 percent of the global wealth population.

It's followed by Tokyo, where 81,645 residents have a net worth totaling at least $5 million. Hong Kong ranks third with 73,430 wealthy citizens. Other U.S. cities on the list include Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and Dallas. The other two cities in the top 10—London and Paris—are Europe's only representation.

The information used to compile the list comes from the data firm Wealth-X, which looked at global wealth statistics from the past decade. Cities that attract wealthy residents tend to have a high cost of living, but the richest cities in the world aren't always the most expensive to live in. After reading the list below, compare it to the 10 most expensive cities in the world.

  1. New York City, U.S.
  1. Tokyo, Japan
  1. Hong Kong
  1. Los Angeles, U.S.
  1. London, UK
  1. Paris, France
  1. Chicago, U.S.
  1. San Francisco, U.S.
  1. Washington, D.C., U.S.
  1. Dallas, U.S.

[h/t CNBC]