[Puzzleblogger Kevan Choset, January 19, 2006 at 11:24am] Trackbacks
Another Thing in Common:

What do these people, and only these people, have in common?

  • Marie Curie

  • Pierre Curie

  • Woodrow Wilson

  • Eugene O'Neill

  • John Nash

Andrew Yen:
They all won a Nobel Prize?
1.19.2006 12:30pm
Kieran (mail) (www):
The are all on the list you just gave us.
1.19.2006 12:32pm
Anderson (mail) (www):
Kieran's logic is irrefutable. Looking forward to the "other" explanation, however.
1.19.2006 12:34pm
All have won nobel prizes and all had a parent who was a teacher?
1.19.2006 12:40pm
legitprop1 (mail):
They have each won a Nobel Prize on more than one occasion, or they have each won a Nobel Prize in more than one category?
1.19.2006 12:43pm
Their spouse was involved in their work for the Nobel Prize?
1.19.2006 12:44pm
Alan_CT (mail) (www):
If you Google, the answer will appear. (And in deference to those who might actually figure this out on their own, I'll refrain from posting the answer.)
1.19.2006 12:45pm
treefroggy (mail):
All Nobel Prize winners
All Catholic
1.19.2006 12:48pm
Noah Klein (mail):

They are the only Princeton alumni to win Nobel Prizes.

1.19.2006 12:48pm

I stand corrected.
1.19.2006 12:50pm
The above "Oh." is a link.
1.19.2006 12:50pm
Noah Klein (mail):
OK. Kevan that's a good one.

1.19.2006 12:52pm
Great answer, Ben.
1.19.2006 1:58pm
Guessed the correct answer - I couldn't place who would have played Wilson, but Nash and O'Neill lept out at me as Nobelists featured in films loved by the Oscars.
1.19.2006 2:24pm
arbitraryaardvark (mail) (www):
This page lists both nobel prize winners and academy award nominees.
At this point we have a hypothesis that the names on the list won nobel prizes, and actors were nominated for Oscars for portraying them. But are these the only such people? I have not done the brute force proof, only pointed to the data sets.
Other suggested factors are princeton alums, catholic children of teachers. Kieran's tautology holds that these names on the list are the names on the list.
I am still soliciting bids from law professors for my nobel prize nomination. I don't know who will play me in the movie.
1.19.2006 2:46pm
Thales (mail) (www):
I think legitprop's suggestion is incorrect b/c Linus Pauling won in both the Chemistry and Peace categories and Nash only won in Economics, right?
1.19.2006 3:00pm
I don't know if this is the answer you're looking for, but all of them won Nobel Prizes during March/April/May El Nino years.
1.19.2006 4:16pm
urijah (mail):
John Nash did not win a Nobel Prize; the economics prize is actually "The Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel" as opposed to the rest, which are just "Nobel Prizes."
1.19.2006 4:20pm
tangent man (mail):
Nice work, Ben. As for the suggestion that this group was Catholic -- I don't know about the rest, but Wilson was definitely NOT Catholic (JFK was the only Cath. Prez). In fact, Wilson was quite anti-Catholic, according to some. (Further down a tangent, some say that his anti-Catholicism slanted his Versailles efforts, in which he helped to do more to bust up the Catholic-oriented Austro-Hungarian state than to punish Germany. That, in turn, gave Hitler (and Stalin) a freer hand to gobble up the little successor states where A-H had been. Ah, the tragedy.)
1.19.2006 5:33pm
Mac (mail):
Tangent man. Re: Wilson, this is the first I heard this. I understood that Wilson did not want Germany punished, but caved into the demands of Clemenceau (a man defined by more than one historian as, "Brilliant in his shortsightednes") so he would sign on to the League of Nations. Wilson, one might say unfortunately, could not get the US Congress to sign on to it. I say that one might call it unfortunate as the UN has been but a shadow of it's promise. The punishment of Germany certainly led to creating the conditions for WWII. It's hard to imagine that the League of Nations would ever have been worth it even if we had joined in. Where did you hear about the Catholic connection?
1.19.2006 6:39pm
In the recent book about the Spanish Influenza pandemic, the authors speculate that Wilson's case of the flu caused some neurological damage such that "he wasn't himself" when at the Versailles negotiations and so, caved.

Marie Curie won Nobels in Chemistry and Physics.
1.20.2006 2:03am
Smithy (mail):
Eugene O'Neill was a communist? I didn't know that.
1.20.2006 8:37am
gene berman (mail):

I'm curious as to what "punishment" of Germany (after WWI) "led to creating the conditions for WWII."

The deliberate humiliation of the German reps (at Versailles) might certainly have rankled many. But the most widespread allegation that I've heard mentioned over my lifetime (70 years and "reading stuff" for 60+) was that the German people were impoverished and driven to desperation by onerous reparations.

If the reparations burden is that to which you refer, it's simply untrue--a sort of "urban legend" whose roots were likely in the opinions and activities of (Germany's) sympathizers (among the U.S. population) originally and then, later, (under Hitler) spread more widely by concerted, highly professional public relations efforts.

The facts not generally recognized are that:

1. In no year during which reparations were paid did
they amount to more than about 2% of GDP;
2. In every year during which reparation payment
was made, Germany received substantially larger
net inflows of investment capital, especially from
the U.S., England, and France;
3. In several of the years concerned, the net inflows
were so far in excess of both reparations payments
and the German economy's ability to absorb that
excess that these "overflows" were re-invested
abroad at profitably higher rates: Germany was
a creditor, rather than a debtor, nation;

4. The payments were never completed but were, rather,
unilaterally suspended sometime in the early '30s.

The sad fact in all of this is that, in a more rational
world (economically speaking), neither war would have made any sense. Germany would have been in its natural place near the "top of the heap" in prosperity and advancement by virtue of its outstanding industrial and scientific achievements coupled with the industriousness of its citizens. In an international regime relatively free of trade restriction, even the appeal for "lebensraum" would have had little resonance.
1.22.2006 8:11am