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The 6 Most Baffling Nobel Prizes Ever Awarded

#3.
Scientist Wins the Nobel Prize in Douchebaggery

Don't think scientists can be dicks? Think again.

Italian physicist Carlo Rubbia wanted nothing more than to win a Nobel Prize. He crafted his career around it, ignoring certain projects and working only on experiments that he deemed big enough to put him in contention for the prize. In 1961, he went to work for our good friends at CERN, focusing his attention on the nuclear weak force. What does that do? Well, according to Google, it makes shit turn up on itself and Paul Simon to appear out of thin air.


Pictured: What the nuclear weak force does.

What Happened?

In 1983, Rubbia took control of a team of physicists tasked with finding and isolating two theoretical particles called the W and Z bosons. Finding them would prove the Electroweak Theory, which had given its authors the Nobel Physics prize four years prior. Carlo Rubbia could just taste his Nobel, and the sweet, sweet prize money that came with it.


That medal better be solid gold, Norway, or it's going straight to eBay.

There was just one problem: Another, smaller team in another laboratory was also looking for the bosons, and both teams found the W bozon at the same time. Worried for his precious Nobel, Rubbia told the other team that they had to compare and review their results before publishing. He then went behind their backs and submitted his own.

A little while later, the second team found the Z bozon first. They were prepared for Rubbia's dickery this time: They had already written their results paper, and just had to fill in the blanks with their measurements. But when Rubbia's team found the Z boson a day later, he ran to the director of CERN, who went straight to the press and announced that CERN had made the astounding discovery.

A year later, Rubbia and his colleague won the Nobel Prize for their extraordinary discoveries, and their successful repression of the competition. The other team wasn't even mentioned.

Ain't science a bitch?

#2.
Al Gore Wins Oscar for PowerPoint Presentation, Gets Nobel Prize.

"What!" you exclaim as you munch on organically-grown arugula and look up prices on used Priuses. "How dare you mock Al Gore, the man who has done so much to alert the world about climate change? He's the hero of our time! He's the Martin Luther King, Jr. of the environment!"

Al Gore won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2008 for helping spread the word about man-made climate change, which helps world peace because shut up, that's why. Whether or not you agree with him is your business. But it looks like he might not agree with himself.

What Happened?

Al Gore's house in Nashville uses over 12 times the amount of energy that a normal American house uses. "It's OK!" you say. "It's green energy!" But Gore didn't make the switch to green energy until after he started getting criticized. Then there's the pesky little fact that he owns over a quarter million dollars worth of stock in Occidental Petroleum, a big and evil oil company started by his father's buddy Arm and Hammer.

Then there's his personal jet, which he claims to make up for by buying renewable energy credits. Though a lot of those green kilowatts are actually produced in coal power plants. And not so-called "clean coal" either, because Al Gore is making sure that dream doesn't come true.

But maybe worse than that is who got shafted out of the prize so Gore could win. Namely Irene Sendler, a Polish nurse who saved (as in, carried on her back) over 2,500 Jewish children in the Warsaw ghetto, got captured by the fucking Gestapo and refused to reveal their names even after being severely tortured. After escaping with two broken legs, she said "motherfuck this shit," went back to the ghetto, and saved more Jewish children.

Oh, and, guess what? She died in 2008, making her ineligible to win in the future.

#1.
Nobel Prize for Carving Out People's Souls

You know what's just great? Cutting people's brains out.

What, you don't agree? Then you're also disagreeing with the Nobel Prize Committee, who awarded the 1949 Nobel Prize in Medicine to Dr. Antonio Moniz, the brilliant man behind a little procedure called the lobotomy.

When not forming political parties in his native Portugal, Moniz spent his free time pursuing his hobby of independent medical experimentation. That's right, he pretty much just performed tests on dead bodies in his basement for fun.

By the 1930s he was one of the most famous men in Portugal, which is about the equivalent of being one of the best basketball players in the state of Idaho. In 1935, he performed the first successful lobotomy, which involved drilling holes in the patient's skull and killing brain tissue by injecting it with alcohol. But don't worry, the surgeon general's warning on that ninth Smirnoff bottle is really just a suggestion.

What Happened?

Well, naturally, old-timey Europe was just delighted at the idea. Husbands started using lobotomies to silence their wives, and parents relied on it to control unruly children. Moniz won the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1949, dying a few years later after getting shot up by one of his patients.

However, it wasn't long before people started wondering how cool these emotionless lobotomized patients were with the fact that their souls had been ripped out. The Soviet Union banned the procedure in 1950, calling it "contrary to the principles of humanity." Which is kind of like the Emperor telling you that you're acting like a dick.


"Seriously, dude, lighten up a bit."

Nonetheless, lobotomies continued to be performed across the world, most notably in Scandinavia. It wasn't until the 70s when they became pretty much taboo in the Western world, though there are a few still being done today.

Meanwhile, you know who never won a Nobel Prize? Robert fucking Jarvik, the guy who invented the artificial heart.

Really, Nobel? Really?

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For more questionable choices made back in the day, check out 8 Terrifying Instruments Old-Time Doctors Used on Your Junk. Or find out about some more lucky scientists, in 5 Accidental Inventions That Changed The World.

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