24 DEC 2013 by ideonexus

 Microbes Rule the World

Microbes make up 80 percent of all biomass, says microbiologist Carl Woese. In one-fifth of a teaspoon of seawater, there are a million bacteria (and 10 million viruses), Craig Venter says, adding, “If you don’t like bacteria, you’re on the wrong planet. This is the planet of the bacteria.” That means that most of the planet’s living metabolism is microbial. When James Lovelock was trying to figure out where the gases come from that make the Earth’s atmosphere such an artifact of ...
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Stewart Brand describes the state of our world, engineered by microbes and ourselves as the vehicles for their propagation in many cases.

11 JUN 2012 by ideonexus

 The Nobel Prizes

The capital ... shall form a fund, the interest of which shall be distributed annually as prizes to those persons who shall have rendered humanity the best services during the past year. ... One-fifth to the person having made the most important discovery or invention in the science of physics, one-fifth to the person who has made the most eminent discovery or improvement in chemistry, one-fifth to the one having made the most important discovery with regard to physiology or medicine, one-fif...
Folksonomies: nobel prize
Folksonomies: nobel prize
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As described by Alfred Bernhard Nobel in his will.

02 JAN 2012 by ideonexus

 Herschel's Sister was Cheaper than a Male Assistant

Herschel made no bones about the fact that a female assistant, even his sister, would cost half as much as a male. It is possible to be indignant about this, but contemporary standards must be taken into account. Female domestic servants were paid £10 per annum, while a highly trained governess like Mary Wollstonecraft was paid £40 per annum by Lord Kingsborough in 1787. In fact a £60 stipend would have been handsome, exactly one-fifth of that paid to the Astronomer Royal. In Europe women ...
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A short survey of other female scientists working at the time.