Earlier we mentioned that most of you could probably name more Oscar winners than Nobel Peace Prize winners. That's the comparison that always gets made because, well, the Nobel Peace Prize is the most prestigious award in the world. The other prizes - in Physics, Chemistry, etc. -- go to the brightest members of the species, but the Peace Prize? Hell, that goes to the heroes who are literally saving the world from brutal violence.
They're basically a geriatric Justice League.
There's no way the criteria for this prize is a bunch of bullshit. Let's just end this article right now.
In order to get a Nobel Peace Prize, you must first be nominated by a politician, judge, university professor, Nobel prize winner or member of the Nobel committee, who are appointed by the Norwegian parliament. So there's a theme to the nominators, and the theme is "people who've probably never tasted Doritos Locos Tacos." And yes, it's true that the Nobel committee makes the Academy Awards crew look diverse:
The Nobel Peace Prize
But the problem is that in Mr. Nobel's charter for the award, he specifically called for honoring people who are doing the most to promote peace between nations. Present tense. Sounds nice, right? There's one thing missing: time. That is, the time needed to figure out if what the person was doing was successful at all.
Contrast that with the winners of the Nobel Prizes for Physics and Chemistry, whose contributions are specifically required to have "stood the test of time." Which means Dr. Man Who Finally Got Alchemy Down is going have to wait a few decades to get his Chemistry Nobel. Same thing, creator of Quantum Leap. But that guy who came up with the Kony 2012 campaign? Totally eligible for a Peace Prize right now.
"I'd like to thank the people of San Diego for providing constant inspiration."
And this is why we've had some Peace Prize winners over the years who have been just baffling in retrospect. In 1973, for example, the prize was awarded to Henry Kissinger and Le Duc Tho for trying to end the Vietnam War. There was just one small problem: The war was still raging. Cordell Hull got one even though he sent hundreds of Jews to their deaths during the Holocaust because they didn't have correct paperwork. Menachem Begin got one even though he was eventually implicated in a plot to assassinate a German chancellor. And then there's President Obama, whose nomination was turned in 12 days into his presidency -- and he won.
On the other end of the scale we have Gandhi, the guy who liberated an entire nation from oppression without ever lifting a finger in violence. He never won, despite being nominated five separate years. Then he died in 1948, which made him ineligible, because unlike the science awards, a dead person can't win the Peace Prize (you can't be currently doing anything to promote world peace after death, unless you're haunting some dictator's palace). The committee apologized to the human race by awarding the prize to no one that year. Though they may have simply been trying to distract everyone from the fact that Gandhi's black belt was probably bullshit.
He had one mean bastard of a roundhouse, though.
James also has a Tumblr, on which he discusses the finer points of social networking, meat-eating and nose-picking.
For more things that aren't that impressive, check out 6 Geniuses Who Saw Their Inventions Go Terribly Wrong. Or discover the The 14 Most Unintentionally Terrifying Statues in the World.
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