The spectacle of grown men and women competing for and/or gushing over prizes never fails to fill me with profound disgust for the human race.

The only prizes worth paying any attention to, I think, are the kind that draw attention to otherwise scorned or neglected efforts.

LITERATURE: The Internet entrepreneurs of Nigeria, for creating and then using e-mail to distribute a bold series of short stories, thus introducing millions of readers to a cast of rich characters – General Sani Abacha, Mrs. Mariam Sanni Abacha, Barrister Jon A Mbeki Esq., and others – each of whom requires just a small amount of expense money so as to obtain access to the great wealth to which they are entitled and which they would like to share with the kind person who assists them.

PEACE: Claire Rind and Peter Simmons of Newcastle University, in the U.K., for electrically monitoring the activity of a brain cell in a locust while that locust was watching selected highlights from the movie “Star Wars.”

Name me any other major awards ceremony the news of which must prompt tens of thousands of people all around the world to jump up and do a little jig of pure happiness. Truly ennobling.

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