Monday, May 11, 2009

Mothers Day

Contrary to popular belief, Mother's Day was not conceived and fine-tuned in the boardroom of Hallmark. The earliest tributes to mothers date back to the annual spring festival the Greeks dedicated to Rhea, the mother of many deities, and to the offerings ancient Romans made to their Great Mother of Gods, Cybele. Christians celebrated this festival on the fourth Sunday in Lent in honor of Mary, mother of Christ. In England this holiday was expanded to include all mothers and was called Mothering Sunday.

The second Sunday in May is observed as Mother's Day in most countries of world. But it was not always so. Not very long ago, a festival called 'Mothering Sunday' or 'Mid-Lent Sunday' was celebrated in England on the fourth Sunday in Lent. The celebrations were surprisingly similar to the modern way of celebrating Mother's Day.

The Mother's Day International Association was created, on December 12, 1912, to spread the concept and practice of observing Mother's Day. The very next year, in May 1913, the House of Representatives of the US government adopted a resolution requesting the President, his Cabinet, members of Congress, and all officials of the federal government to wear a white carnation on Mother's Day.

And finally, on May 8, 1914, the Congress passed a Joint Resolution designating the second Sunday in May as Mother's Day.

M... is for the million things she gave me,O... means only that she's growing old,

T... is for the tears she shed to save me,H... is for her heart of purest gold;

E... is for her eyes, with love-light shining,R... means right, and right she'll always be.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Nobel Prize

Since 1901, the Nobel Prize has been honoring men and women from all corners of the globe for outstanding achievements in physics, chemistry, medicine, literature, and for work in peace. The foundations for the prize were laid in 1895 when Alfred Nobel wrote his last will, leaving much of his wealth to the establishment of the Nobel Prize.

Alfred found, through his experiments, that mixing nitroglycerine with a fine sand called kieselguhr would turn the liquid into paste which could be shaped into rods. These rods could then be inserted into drilling holes. The invention was made in 1866. Alfred got a patent or legal right of ownership on this material the next year. He named it "dynamite." He also invented a detonator or blasting cap which could be set off by lighting a fuse.These inventions were made at a time when the diamond drilling crown and pneumatic drill came into general use. Together, these inventions helped reduce the cost of many construction work like drilling tunnels, blasting rocks, building bridges, etc.Then he constructed many factories to prepare Dynamite. In his last will and testament, he wrote that much of his fortune was to be used to give prizes to those who have done their best for humanity in the field of physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature and peace. Articles, photographs, a slide show and poetry written by Nobel himself are presented here to give a glimpse of a man whose varied interests are reflected in the prize he established. Meet Alfred Nobel - scientist, inventor, entrepreneur, author and pacifist.

The Nobel Prize is an international award administered by the Nobel Foundation in Stockholm, Sweden. In 1968, Sveriges Riksbank established The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, founder of the Nobel Prize. Each prize consists of a medal, personal diploma, and a cash award.

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.