Saturday, July 18, 2015

John Kerry: Desperate For A Nobel Peace Prize?

With the Iran Nuclear Deal almost becoming his personal crusade, is US Secretary of State John Kerry really desperate to win the Nobel Peace Prize?

By: Ringo Bones 

Ever since being appointed as the 68th State Secretary of the United States, it seems that John Kerry’s failed bid for the US presidency back in 2004 no longer registers on the consciousness of the general public. But as of late, the Iran Nuclear Deal seems to become John Kerry’s cause célèbre / stepping stone to winning the Nobel Peace Prize by setting it into overdrive during the last few months. With the US Republican Party’s foreign policy forever based on that Orson Wells Nostradamus documentary only saw the current Iran Nuclear Deal as “disastrous” for the future of the United States. 

Three deadlines have already passed yet Kerry is not giving up given that the sanctions issues are what is primarily holding up the deal. Despite the state of Israel’s (or is it the Netanyahu administration’s?) assessment that Iran is only 3 months away from building its own nuclear device, it seems that the rest of the world is on John Kerry’s side when it comes to formulating the latest Iran Nuclear Deal. 

Is a potential nuclear deal a bitter pill for Iran’s supreme leader or should Iran’s mullahs maintain separation of their religious ideology with the pragmatic nature of the deal? Well, if the latest deal comes to pass – which it just recently did a few days ago – Iran will gain access to billions of dollars worth of trade deals which it was currently denied due to sanctions. Hours after the approval of the deal, global crude oil prices dropped in anticipation of a greater access to Iranian crude. According to US President Barack Obama, the recently approved deal has already cut-off Iran’s pathway to acquire a nuclear device for military use. As a safeguard, sanctions will automatically be reinstated whenever proofs of violations are found by the International Atomic Energy Agency. Maybe John Kerry will win his Nobel Peace Prize after all.     

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Farewell Dr. John Nash....

As the world mourns of his recent tragic car crash, will the world be a sadder place without mathematician Dr. John Nash?

By: Ringo Bones

He’s probably more famous to the world at large via the 2001 movie A Beautiful Mind as he’s portrayed by actor Russell Crowe than by his works on game theory during the height of the Cold War and his being a 1994 Nobel Economics Prize laureate, but back in Saturday, May 23, 2015, mathematician Dr. John Nash together with his wife Alicia tragically dies in a car crash in the New Jersey Turnpike. The whole world – and not just the mathematicians’ corner – will be a sadder place without him. 

His work on noncooperative games, published in 1950 and known as the Nash equilibrium is considered as his most influential work of the 20th Century. It provided a conceptually simple but powerful mathematical tool for analyzing a wide range of competitive situations, from cooperative rivalries to legislative decision making. His theories are used in economics, computing, evolutionary biology, artificial intelligence, accounting, politics and military theory. Dr. Nash also made contributions to pure mathematics that many mathematicians view as more significant than his Nobel-winning work on game theory, including solving an intractable problem in differential geometry derived from the work of the 19th century mathematician G.F.B. Riemann. His achievements were more remarkable, colleagues say, for being contained in a small handful of papers published before he was 30.  

Given his lifelong struggle with depression and paranoid schizophrenia, it is quite remarkable feat indeed that Dr. Nash managed to communicate his mathematical brilliance to the whole world and managed to get recognition for it – the 1994 Nobel Economics Prize and a fitting multi-Academy Award winning biopic, A Beautiful Mind, back in 2001. Looks like Russell Crowe’s Tweet back in Sunday, May 24, 2015 is indeed both a touching and fitting tribute of Dr. Nash’s mathematical legacy.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Should There Be A Nobel Prize For Teachers?

Given that the Nobel Prize has been awarded to those who had done very well tin the field of science, literature, peace and economics – should there be one for teachers?

By: Ringo Bones

A wise person once said that without teachers, scientists, literary geniuses, peace negotiators and economists would be in very, very short supply – it is quite a shame that the Nobel Committee doesn’t honor the contribution of teachers to the betterment of mankind. Though we might blame Alfred Nobel for that given he didn’t mention awards for teachers in his will. Given the circumstance, should there be an equivalent of a “Nobel Prize for teachers”?

Luckily there is and it is called the “Global Teacher Prize”. The Varkey Foundation launched the Global Teacher Prize back in March 2014 to celebrate the best teachers around the world, those who inspire students and the communities around them. The Global Teacher Prize seeks to do for education what the Nobel Prize has done for the sciences, literature, peace and economics. The focus is to uplift the valuable contributions that teachers make everyday to establish a flourishing global society.

This 2015, the winner is Nancy Atwell from the U.S. state of Maine receiving her Global Teacher Prize award from Sunny Varkey of the Varkey Foundation. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai and the former U.S. President Bill Clinton.

Applications will be judged by the Global Teacher Prize Academy and the winner will be chosen by the prominent Global Teacher Prize Academy made up of head-teachers, educational experts, commentators, journalists, public officials, tech entrepreneurs, company directors and scientists from around the world. Even though only a fortunate few would win, all of which could mean recognition for the hard work done every day by teachers the world over.