344’2021 (2021-12-10) – Friday

Today, I learned about:

While we normally celebrate the birthday of a person who is no longer with us, be they famous or not, there are also some examples of when the day that person left us for good is also remembered. In Sweden, there are particularly two such events, November 6, 1632 when the Swedish king Gustavus Adolphus (Gustav II Adolf) was killed in a battle close to Lützen during the 30-year religious war in continental Europe. Since he had founded the city of Gothenburg (Göteborg) 11 years earlier, on this day every year there are special pastries with his portrait on them. See also references #1 and #2 below.

Another such event happened on December 10, 1895 when the Swedish inventor and entrepreneur Alfred Nobel died, after that he earlier had made a will to donate a large sum of money to fund a prize to be given yearly to famous scientists. And so, on every December 10, starting 1901, with few interruptions due to conflicts, there have been the traditional hand-out of the Nobel Prize in five different catagories, expanded to six in 1968. And during the last two years, the prize giving ceremony has been decentralized due to the ongoing pandemic. See also reference #3 below.

Nowadays, there are also many complementary activities to the Nobel Prize. One such is a lecture given by one of the Nobel laurates in a way so that also non-scholars can follow along and appreciate it. This year, on December 8, 2021, the Physics laureate in 2006, George Smoot, talked about the Future of Space travel, and in it were some really fresh examples (updated the very same day) of what has been going during 2021. Really interesting! I had hoped to be able to publish a link to the lecture, but unfortunately it seems that it is not available any more. I talked to the organizers and they informed me that they had to remove the link due to copyright issues. However, in reference #4 below is a link to another event held in Gothenburg yesterday, called The City of the Future, organized by the Nobel Week Dialogue 2021. Enjoy!

That’s what I learned in school today!


1: Gustavus Adolphus

2: Gustavus Adolphus pastry

3: Nobel Prize

4: The City of the Future: Nobel Week Dialogue 2021

*: What did you learn in school today ?