Mark your Calendars.

It’s that time of year again.  The time when school kids flock to their institutions?  Not what I was thinking of.  The time when the leaves change color and begin to fall?  And how do you mark that on your calendar?  Apple-picking time?  Yes, but no.  Instead I am thinking of the time of year when a ‘select group’ of Europeans get together to decide who’s the best and brightest in a number of fields.  Yes, that’s right, it’s Nobel Prize time.

The first prize, the one for medicine, has already been awarded.  This year’s want to a German for work on HPV and two French people for work on HIV.  Other prizes will be awarded throughout the coming week, ending with Economics on Monday, October 13.

I’m not sure why many people would care about the Nobel Prizes, but I do.  I guess because it’s fun to win something?  Or maybe it has to do with all the great people I know doing great things that deserve prizes?  Or maybe it’s about prizes that are well-known to just about everybody.  I’m not really sure – it’s almost like the Olympics.  I don’t really watch them, there’s always lots of controversy around decisions that are made, and yet, there’s still a certain appeal.  Perhaps it’s a prize that seems a little timeless, coming as it does from the era of that earlier ‘turn of the century’.  Perhaps it’s something that is attractive precisely because it is resistant to change, despite accusations of stodginess.  Something about it still makes me ready to anticipate.

Let’s just give people money…

Ok, Google is pretty cool.  And, they have a sense of humor (unlike Kia).  But the recently announced Project 10^100th is beyond awesome.  Have a good idea?  Lack the technical expertise to implement it?  We’ll give you money to get the job done and hook you up with the appropriate know-how (we are, after all, a search engine).

I, for one, have about a thousand ideas I need to dust off, spruce up, and submit.  I’m not going to list them all here, because then you’d steal them and win the prizes for yourself.  But, that being said, the spirit of this whole competition is about doing good stuff for the world.  So, if you have your own ideas, please submit them here.  The due date for project submission is October 20th, so get cracking.  And if you do end up working on a project of ultimate coolness as a result, remember the humble blogger who sent you on your way to funding.  Heck, I’d even volunteer for a project of ultimate coolness…