Saturday, December 12, 2009

All This Because Some Rich Dude Felt Guilty About Inventing Dynamite

Huffington Post and the Associated Press dropped some stunning stats the other day, regarding President Obama's trip to Norway to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.

But first, a bit of interesting info you probably do not know about Alfred Nobel, courtesy of wikipedia:
The erroneous publication in 1888 of a premature obituary of Nobel by a French newspaper, condemning him for his invention of dynamite, is said to have brought about his decision to leave a better legacy after his death. The obituary stated Le marchand de la mort est mort ("The merchant of death is dead") and went on to say, "Dr. Alfred Nobel, who became rich by finding ways to kill more people faster than ever before, died yesterday." On 27 November 1895, at the Swedish-Norwegian Club in Paris, Nobel signed his last will and testament and set aside the bulk of his estate to establish the Nobel Prizes, to be awarded annually without distinction of nationality. He died of a stroke on 10 December 1896 at Sanremo, Italy. After taxes and bequests to individuals, Nobel's will gave 31,225,000 Swedish kronor (equivalent to about 1.8 billion kronor or 250 million US dollars in 2008) to fund the prizes.

Huh. Fascinatin'. And now, the larch*:
Despite his being there for only 24 hours, Norway is spending $16 million for security during Obama's visit. The chief of staff of Oslo's police force, John Fredriksen told the AP that the event was "the biggest - and most demanding - security operation in Norway's history."
From the AP:
With all the attention Obama's visit has generated, about 2,500 police officers from all over the Nordic country have deployed to Oslo. The Norwegian military has also contributed support in the form of helicopters and sharpshooters.

Last week, city maintenance crews welded shut over 400 manholes in downtown Oslo, and police said they will remove all downtown trash cans on Wednesday afternoon to eliminate potential hiding places for bombs.[...]

Police and city work crews spent much of this week erecting barricades around Oslo's compact downtown to help control the crowds expected to surge into the capital when Obama arrives.

On Wednesday morning, Norwegian police armed with machine guns guarded the Grand Hotel as hotel workers installed bulletproof glass to protect the president during Thursday evening's procession.

Reminds me of my last state visit in 2003, although I believe I stayed at the Continental. They welded 400 manhole covers shut? I hope the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles weren't down there--or if they were, let's hope they at least had a stockpile of anchovy pizzas to wait out the surprise imprisonment...

*a Monty Python joke I hope at least three of you understood...


Karl said...

I hope they haven't neglected the coasts. I'd hate for our President to accidentally go down in a random Viking raid.

Goodtime Charlie said...

Luckily, the Vikings were out raping and pillaging the towns of northern Wisconsin, on direct orders from Brett Favre.