Banter Bites

A Peace Prize With An Explosive History

A serious guilt trip resulted in the Nobel Peace Prize?!

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: You’d think Red, a straight-A student and lover of history, would know all about Nobel Prize Day, but it’s Black that points out the irony that a “peace” prize was created by someone who made his fortune due to war.

If you’re anything like Red, when you hear “Nobel Prize,” you may only think about the Nobel Peace Prize since that’s the “biggie” (as Red would say). After all, it gets the most attention, and each year people try to guess who the winner will be. Although Red admits that until recently, she didn’t know there were six different Nobel Prizes (besides Peace, the categories are Chemistry, Physics, Literature, Physiology or Medicine, and Economics, and here’s a list of this year’s winners) or many of the other details,

OK, I now know that the winners are announced in October, but the award ceremony isn’t held until December 10. And I’d never expect it to be like the Academy Awards, where the nominees anxiously await, with cameras focused on them, for the winners to be announced. But I do find it strange that the Peace Prize ceremony is in Norway, while the other five are presented in Sweden.

Logistics aside, Black’s fascinated that the prizes were established by Alfred Nobel's will to acknowledge "those who, during the preceding year, shall have conferred the greatest benefit on mankind,” as she knows that leaves much up for interpretation. And it may explain why there have been some controversial winners. But, then again, even the will was controversial,

The creation of the awards, including the Nobel Peace Prize, seemed to have been to offset Nobel’s vast wealth – earned from being a merchant of war as he was the inventor of dynamite and made other munitions and explosives. Talk about a powerful way to be remembered.

Two years ago, on MLK Day, Red learned the power and inspiration of the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. And the power of dreams. And as long as there's social unrest and social injustice in the United States (stop and think about the first word … as we’re supposed to be united), the more we can learn from him … as not only did he fight for equality for all, but his approach is proof of the power of peaceful protests.

For most of us, writing and delivering one powerful and/or inspiring thing would be a very difficult task. To be remembered for hundreds is truly amazing.

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: There's so much one can say about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who led the civil rights movement from the mid-1950s until his assassination in 1968, and whose leadership was fundamental to the ending of legal segregation in many parts of the United States. But regardless of your position on segregation, it's almost impossible not to acknowledge, yet alone appreciate, how incredibly powerful and inspiring his words were and the impact they continue to have on the civil rights movement. But don't believe us. This goodreads post provides more than just a good read, it's a seemingly endless list of inspirational quotes while a great "refresher" course on Dr. King is available at

We grew up in New York, where bagels are almost sacred, but even though they may have started as a Jewish food in Europe, they’re now enjoyed by everyone everywhere (including Red and Black, but in very different ways) – why else would there be a National Bagel Day?

National holidays aren’t the time to count calories.

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: We both agree that happiness has a hole in it, although one of us may only eat one bagel a year while the other tries to keep it to only one bagel when she does indulge.

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Another year and another National Clean Your Desk Day (yes, that’s actually a thing). So, is Red’s desk any better than the “disaster” it was last year? Well, believe it or not, it may not be perfect, but it’s significantly better. Is it because she finally listened to Black’s advice (see below) or somehow found a “secret” of her own? As it turns out, it was a combination of the two as Red discovered, even if the rest of her life isn’t “nice and neat” (that’ll never happen), she loves walking into her workroom in the morning and starting the day in a (somewhat) organized space, which provides the best motivation for keeping it that way. (Luckily, Black never brought up the science of messy desks.)

A day to clean up your desk?! It will take way more than a day …

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: No one is immune from piles of paper, not even Black, the master of organization, but there’s a huge difference between a desk with a few small piles and some scattered papers (although her laptop’s keyboard needs serious cleaning) and Red’s “workroom” that usually looks like a tornado hit it.

Which is why Red rolled her eyes when Black mentioned today’s National Clean Your Desk Day, as it’d take her significantly more than a day to “clean up this mess,” but then she remembered Black’s advice on how to keep her piles (and piles) of paper under control and felt inspired. Red admits often feeling like she’s drowning in paper, but that’s because she lets the piles get out of control before reminding herself of Black’s very easy, straightforward approach to turning her mountains of paper into small manageable hills. And, significantly reducing stress along the way, because as Black points out,

Sometimes, it is more important to know what you are ignoring than it is to deal with everything in the piles.