Dr Watson: “Noble Scoble” To Win Nobel Prize

I spend some time each Sunday catching up with the gnews of the week by reading the “Times.” (Oops, sorry about that. Old habits die hard.)

I actually read two Times’s, the “Times, London Times,” and the “Times, New York Times,” both to follow the work of James Governor and to keep abreast of the latest developments of Dave Shields, who works on the other side of the pond. [1]

I leave Time magazine to Sherlock, as one needs a third, sleight hand to turn the pages of that rag without having the mind start reeling backwards.

As you may have guessed, Sherlock spends many of his weekdays managing world affairs in his role as the secret publisher of the Times’s, and issues a weekly progress report in the Sunday editions of the Times’s.

He has directed me to pay particular attention to the column of Mr. Frank Rich — “Rich, Frank Rich” — as Sherlock writes these posts anonymously using the name Rich.

From time to time I read of amazing events in the paper, and I was certain today was such an occasion, as I noted with great surprise that Mr. Albert Gore was a co-winner of the Nobel Peace Prize!

So I said to Holmes, “Good grief! I am flummoxed! Please explain?” [2]

Sherlock then responded, “Patience, my dear Watson. Can you guess why Mr. Gore might have received this award?”

I said, “No. Dave Shields once told me that, while listening to a news report many years ago on the radio, he learned that a Mr. Kissinger had won the Nobel Peace Prize. Not knowing anyone with that name active in public affairs who was worthy of that award, he left his office to talk to people who might have some insight. Had he got the name wrong? Was it Kisser, or Kissoff, or Pick-Up-and-Dropoff? [3] Was it another Kissinger? Huey, Duey, Looey?

To his amazement he learned after several minutes that the award had gone to Mr. Henry Kissinger, then a minor functionary in the administration of Richard Nixon, the same Nixon who defined the lower-water mark for the American Presidency thirty years ago, not knowing his record would soon be eclipsed by the current administration in its search to see “how low can you go?” [4]

Holmes then said he was well aware of this, and had so arranged for the co-recipient to decline that award, knowing that Mr. Kissinger would not refuse this lagniappe of admiration that had been sent his by the Nobel Committee, as surely as A.J. Liebling sent a lemon drop to Earl Long to win his heart. He then suggested I make a guess.

I said, “I have it! You arranged this award to gore President Bush’s ox!”

“Good guess, my dear Watson,” said Holmes. “But you forgot to ask who arranged the award.”

“Aha,” I said. “You mean this is the work of the PM? Professor Moriarty?”

“Well done, Watson,” said Holmes. “You see, Ballmer and Gates knew they would be late in producing what they hoped would be the most bug-infested piece of software ever written. So in order to give them more time, they arranged for George Bush to win the Presidency in 2000. Having hired all the best minds to work on Vista, they knew Bush would so have to use the worst minds, and — having the worst one of all — he had had more than met their expectations.”

“But they felt bad for former Vice-President Gore, and so brought him on the board as a silent partner. I think they also arranged for him to serve of the board of another computer company, though I forget the name.” [5]

“They then gave him an important mission. If he would use his fame –and be willing to “gore”-ge by eating at many of the world’s best restaurants at their expense — then they would send him on an extended, global tour, in order to demonstrate the power of PowerPoint. They then said that Prof. Moriarty had promised that Mr. Gore would receive a Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of his work.

Holmes went to explain that he and Prof. Moriarty had decided to share the naming of the winner of the Nobel Prize. Moriarty had out-twitted Holmes by arranging for Nobel to not create a Nobel Prize for Mathematics. [6]

They had then agreed to avoid escalation by creating the Peace Prize. Here are some of the winners so far chosen, and Holmes has suggested the following list as an example of a special Puzzler just for this blog, leaving it to you, the reader, to decide who named each winner:

  • Theodore Roosevelt:. The current Microsoft PR campaign takes its motto from TR, “Speak loudly and carry a big stick.”
  • Elihu Root: The most powerful Unix user has the username “root.”
  • Helman Branting: Steve Ballmer was baying and rarnting about patents.
  • Carlos Saavedra Lamas: The Linux mascot is Tux, a penguin, not a llama.
  • Lord Boyd Orr: C operators include, “and,” “exor,” and “or.”
  • Linus Carl Pauling: Linus Torvalds is named after Linus Pauling.
  • Desmond Mpilo Tutu: Ubuntu.
  • International Campaign to Ban Landmines: A group led by Bruce Schneier.
  • Albert Arnold (Al) Gore, Jr.: Go figure.

Holmes also volunteered that, in response to Prof. Moriarty’s founding of the Free Software Foundation and the naming of RMS as its first CEO, he had arranged for “U Nu” to become Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Holmes then went on to say that while Microsoft had hired Mr. Gore in order demonstrate PowerPoint, they had recently enlisted one of their former employees, a fearsome blogger named Robert Scoble –who goes by the nom-de-guerre “Scobleizer — to embark on a secret mission to completely overwhelm the blogosphere so that no one would take notice of Dave’s blog.

Holmes said he had seen this coming. He also had noticed that Dave, who has just starting using twitter, recently slipped up by becoming the 6,336th “follower” of Scoble at Twittter, and that Scoble must have sensed a threat, as he became the sixth “follower” of Dave in response.

Holmes continued by saying, “At the appropriate time, I am going to arrange for the Nobel Committee to create a new Prize — Blog Flogger — and have them name Mr. Scoble as its first recipient. I am confident that he will be so taken by being called “Noble Nobel Winner Scoble” that he will stop following Dave, so Dave can labor to complete his mission as obscurely as possible, as this was the ruse used by Maturin as he sailed with Aubrey, disguising his true profession of spy by pretending to be a physician.”

Sherlock concluded by saying, “We will soon depart to for New Haven, CT, where we will meet with Dave. He and I will tell you about a man who has achieved world-wide fame without knowing he is a Watson. I’m also going to tell Dave the happy news that he himself will receive a Nobel Prize, in Literature.”

“It’s a lead-pipe cinch, dear Watson,” said Holmes. I suggested to Dave that he create a new form of literature, suggesting that he take as theme Man’s Best Friend, the Nobel Dog. And, as a man’s best friend after his dog is often his brother-in-law, I have suggested to Dave that great good fortune may come his way if he writes a series of posts about Man and Dog, and Man and Dog and Brother-in-Law; all linked together by a new kind of Red-Headed League, in that the Man, a Man called Peter, is a member of the League of Men Who Name Their Dogs After Their Brothers-in-Law.

He has already written the first of a series of posts that, as yet unknown to him, will result in his receiving the Nobel Prize, and The Man Called Peter — and his dog and his brother-in-law — will each receive Pulitzer Prizes. See Finding The Way To A Man’s Heart and Hacking Craig’s List And The New York Times.

He then reported he heard the clip-clop of the carriage that would take us to our berth on H.M.S. Surprise. Holmes said he had booked our passage on a new ship called the Titanic, but feared that Prof. Moriarty had learned of his plan, and so had secretly made arrangements to travel with “Lucky Jack” Aubrey.


1. “Times, New York Times” and “Times, London Times,” but not the “Times, Warner Times,” that is put out by the idiots who were suckered into buying AOL, the company that bought the carcass of Netscape.)

2. Watson and Dave Shields are both fans of the comic strip Peanuts and the crime novels of Rex Stout. Both also listen to Leonard Lopate and his occasional “Please explain” segment.

3. Watson and Dave also listen to CarTalk each Saturday and attempt to solve the puzzler, which is of course always based on a suggestion sent in by Sherlock, without his assistance. Holmes submits simple puzzles, called Puzzlers, both for our sake and also so Tom (Holmes named golfer Tom in this Tom’s honor) and Ray can use their limited knowledge of the English language to explain it to the audience.

4. See Chubby Checked: Limbo Rock Lyrics.

5. I think it’s Apple, or Google, but don’t really care, nor should you.

6. Legend has it, at least in a story passed down from generation to generation of mathematicians, that Nobel did this in in act of retribution since his wife had been seduced by a mathematician. I think it was Lobachevsy, though I prefer to think it was “Couch-y.”


  1. Posted October 15, 2007 at 00:35 | Permalink | Reply


  2. Aubrey Watson
    Posted December 10, 2007 at 21:35 | Permalink | Reply

    if any of you have read the Chronicles of Sherlock Holmes you know that there is a character whos name is Aubrey Watson, right? Well guess what????? THAT IS MY NAME!!!!!!!!!!!

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