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Nobel Prize Winner Got Free House and Free (as In Beer) Beer 118

Posted by timothy
from the fringe-benefits-include-slurred-speech dept.
slashchuck writes "Niels Bohr is one of the greatest scientists who ever lived and a favorite of his fellow Danes when he lived in Copenhagen. Apparently, after he won the Nobel Prize in 1922, the Carlsberg brewery gave him a gift – a house located next to the brewery. And the best perk of the house? It had a direct pipeline to the brewery so that Bohr had free beer on tap whenever he wanted."
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Nobel Prize Winner Got Free House and Free (as In Beer) Beer

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  • Niels Beer

    Pizza conveyer belt anyone?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 29, 2012 @02:16PM (#42133285)

    See how Denmark did this, world? Neils Bohr assembled a scientific network centered in Copenhagen that vastly increased the speed and dissemination of discoveries. Quantum mechanics and nuclear physics were all born in his backyard. Scientists came from all around the world to debate with him. Why? Because he had free beer.

    If you want flying cars and starships, perhaps we need to buy Stephen Hawkings a brewery. Scientists are still human, dammit!

    • Glad that works for Denmark. Here in USA we have come to realize that science is all lies straight from the pit of hell. Ergo, beer must be prohibited.

    • Yeah but the nobel prize and beer house was just propoganda from the german beer barons, we all know it was a Tasmanian [youtube.com] who discovered the formula for splitting beer atoms.
      • He invented Rock & Roll, and surfing, too. Pretty amazing guy!

        • Best Aussie movie since Smiley starring Chips Rafferty. Took my (under 10) kids and their 3 cousins to see it when it was released (school holidays). I thought it would be a silly kids movie and I could have a quiet nap, half way through and I was telling the kids to shut-up because they were distracting me, great soundtrack too (if you can still find it).
    • by Anonymous Coward

      See how Denmark did this, world? Neils Bohr assembled a scientific network centered in Copenhagen that vastly increased the speed and dissemination of discoveries. Quantum mechanics and nuclear physics were all born in his backyard. Scientists came from all around the world to debate with him. Why? Because he had free beer.

      That NERD is making more money than me! Quick! Find a way to kill his brain cells.

  • Blogspam (Score:5, Interesting)

    by The_mad_linguist (1019680) on Thursday November 29, 2012 @02:17PM (#42133309)

    So the blog cites as a source, another blog. If you look in the comments for that blog, the author says you should google it, and links to a reddit page. That, in turn, links to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okJnQIjELY4#t=2m55s [youtube.com]

    It's a nice story, but I'd like to actually hear it from someone who can actually supply details. Bohr's got a lot of cool stuff - like how his lab was used to hide smuggled Nobel medals from the Nazis (by dissolving them: http://www.archive.org/stream/adventuresinradi01heve#page/27/mode/1up [archive.org] ).

    I'm sure there's more to the story than just 'he had free beer on tap'.

    • Free beer, especially on tap - is a good story any day.

      And I've got a picture of Niels Bohr on my wall of scientists, where I drink my beer, so 3 times cheers for mr. beers ...Bohr!

    • Re:Blogspam (Score:4, Informative)

      by Derek Pomery (2028) on Thursday November 29, 2012 @02:38PM (#42133593)
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Author of story here. The mansion still exists. It's not open year round, but physics conferences are still held there, and when they are, the free beer doth flow.

      The Carlsberg Foundation still funds a ton of scientific research. (http://bit.ly/TtLvza), and it was the Foundation that gave Bohr the money to start the Danish Institute of Physics.

      • The above link is not spam

        Relevance to the story still undetermined but it does link to a Carlsberg group associated with both a brewery and scientific endeavors.
    • by houghi (78078)

      Free beer might be possible. However a direct line to the brewery is not something that is possible. Technically it will be, but even breweries themselves do not have them. They will use the kegs instead.

      If it is for a house, the beer consumption should be high enough to even warrant the use of a keg. A long line also needs to be cleaned and this will make the loss too high. And yes, I have talked to brewers. Small and large.

      I have also been to several places where people claimed that have a direct link to

      • Re:Blogspam (Score:4, Insightful)

        by mrsquid0 (1335303) on Thursday November 29, 2012 @03:43PM (#42134363) Homepage

        I tend to agree. In this case a direct line probably meant someone at the brewery had the job of delivering a new keg whenever Bohr sent his son over to say, "Må vi gerne ha' mere øl, tak." Beer is very important in Denmark.

        • by menkhaura (103150)

          Did I have too much beer or Slashdot all of a sudden start to support UTF-8? Lessee... "Não entendo patavina de dinamarquÃs, mas gostaria da traduÃão".

          Well, it's more than 10 years... UTF-8 should be mature enough by now. Bless ya!

      • Back in my Amiga computin days, (early 90's) there were a group of 4 college kids who claimed to be living in that house, and claimed the pipe was there but had been shut off at the brewery end next door. Being college kids, they would slip the nightwatch a few kronar and turn it on occasionally, but the next shift would note it and shut it off, so they always had a pint or 3 in the fridge.

        Whether they were BSing the troops or not I've no clue, but it did make for good reading when they'd throw a party

      • Should work for whiskey though, shouldn't it?

  • by tibit (1762298) on Thursday November 29, 2012 @02:19PM (#42133327)

    Europe: they give you a house next to the brewery, and fresh, free beer for life.
    The US: they give you an alias [wikipedia.org]. :/

    • Europe: they give you a house next to the brewery, and fresh, free beer for life. The US: they give you an alias [wikipedia.org]. :/

      In the UK (according to the wiki page you linked), you get the threat of incarceration:

      "It seems to me Bohr ought to be confined or at any rate made to see that he is very near the edge of mortal crimes."
      --Winston Churchill

  • So they took one of the greatest minds in a generation, and attempted to kill it with large amounts of alcohol. What were they worried about?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      So they took one of the greatest minds in a generation, and attempted to kill it with large amounts of alcohol. What were they worried about?

      Given the fact that this is Denmark we're talking about, you're making the rather large and stupid assumption that large amounts of beer did not directly contribute to creating one of the greatest minds in a generation.

      Some countries are proud of their beer and heritage, and respect it so, as do their drinkers.

      Others invent NASCAR in an attempt to make a heritage to pin to their shitty beer, and instead master the art of the DUI and hangover.

  • Engaging The tap at the Bohr house would produce exactly one pint. No more or no less could be produced at a time. And if you over imbibed, before drinkers could fall into unconsciousness they had to emit discreet amounts of vomit.

    • And no two beers could be in the same state at the same time.

      • And no two beers could be in the same state at the same time.

        Which begs the question, If i have an unopened 12 pack, are the bottles empty or full?

        I think it's about time to collapse some wave functions, cheers!

  • by K. S. Kyosuke (729550) on Thursday November 29, 2012 @02:36PM (#42133577)

    "Niels Bohr is one of the greatest scientists who ever lived"

    Indeed, and at almost seven feet of his stature, you would be ill-advised to argue with this great Dane. *ducks*

  • ..get one of the most awesome products of chemistry ever? I wonder what a chemist would get? Maybe the most awesome product of biology ever?
    • by sconeu (64226)

      Most awesome product of biology: Sophia Loren in her youth?

      • by gstoddart (321705)

        Most awesome product of biology: Sophia Loren in her youth?

        Can't speak to that, but the obvious answer is "Natalie Portman and hot grits" since this is Slashdot.

  • ...every time I'd have to let the tap run so that I could get to the cold fresh beer...

    • by bingoUV (1066850)

      It is Denmark. You would rather worry about frozen beer in tap.

  • In the Netherlands, scientists get respect. A house and free beer? How cool is that?

    Not like the US, where if you're too "smart" you're a "nerd", "geek", a social outcast.

    --PM

    • by sconeu (64226) on Thursday November 29, 2012 @03:13PM (#42133979) Homepage Journal

      Uh, Denmark, dude. Let's not set up the fight between the Dutch and the Danes like what happened in Springfield (Little Orphan Millie).

    • by mrsquid0 (1335303)

      The Dutch are not Danes, although they both have a great respect for beer.

    • the terms seemed to be used interchangably today.

      Back in the day(USA):

      geek - practicle intellegence. Generally sports a t-shirt, long hair, a beard and jeans. Works on things like computers, ham radios. The ubermensch form of a geek would be a hacker, or the elite skillwise of geek skills.

      nerd - book smart, generally never seen without a buttondown shirt and slacks.(never too classy or current).

      Hacker also has counter culture implications like punk rock, heavy metal, or outlaw biker does. Despite what anyon
    • by SirGarlon (845873)
      Being outcast from American society is definitely a perk. :-)
  • Any free/open source beers?

    • Homebrew... many recipes are free and the ingredients are widely available, or grow your own (sort of). Kind of like compiling your own kernel, so to speak.
  • by EmperorOfCanada (1332175) on Thursday November 29, 2012 @03:37PM (#42134281)
    This is how you promote science. Rewarding scientists who kick ass and make rock stars out of them. I can't name 5 Canadian scientists of the last 20 years yet I am willing to be that there are some seriously good ones. Who do we put on our money? Politicians and some woman who inherited her title. I am willing to bet that the counter argument from governmenty types would be that so and so was on a stamp. Stamps who the hell uses those anymore?

    Where are the genuine North American scientists like Einstein or Feynman? I am not talking about famous science journalists but famous scientists doing science in North America. I can tell you more about Tom Cruise's kid than I can about the state of Canadian science. I am looking forward to Jack Reacher but would trade in the entire movie industry for nuclear fusion or a huge leap in stem cell therapy.
    • . I can tell you more about Tom Cruise's kid than I can about the state of Canadian science.

      Then maybe you should get off your dead ass and read more science journalism and less tabloids.

      • I am referring to the fact that there is an anti intellectual bent in society and that the few people who I meet who consider themselves intellectual are usually on the arts side. Things like slashdot are a rarity in the vast sea of Lindsay Lohan and Tom Cruise information. If a kid plays football they are cool, if they win a robot competition they are ignored. My daughter's school (under 200 students) had the opportunity this year to get free robotics gear and join in on a local robotics competition; they
    • Einstein was a European. Feynman was a misogynist and womanizer. Neither of them should be idolized by Canadians, because they're not yours.
  • Unless slashdot is using a different definition of "news" than I am, something that happened 90 years ago isn't news.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Carlsberg used to give free beer for the workers too, and drinking during the work was allowed just as long you weren't excessively drunk.

    • by tehcyder (746570)

      Carlsberg used to give free beer for the workers too, and drinking during the work was allowed just as long you weren't excessively drunk.

      I've known several people who worked for breweries. They all drank, and frequently slept, during work hours.

  • by amorsen (7485) <benny+slashdot@amorsen.dk> on Thursday November 29, 2012 @06:03PM (#42135821)

    I am fairly sure that the pipeline is a myth. There certainly was no mention of it when I toured that particular Carlsberg factory (now almost dismantled).

    The house does, however, come with free beer, but not by pipeline. Instead the workers would deliver the beer every day. I was told that when Niels Bohr first moved in, a worker came to the house and asked how much he wanted each day. Apparently he said "12". However, Carlsberg workers never count in single beer bottles, they count crates... At least there was enough beer.

    Whether you believe THAT story is up to you.

  • Wonder how hard it would have been to divert the beer line directly into the plumbing. Beer from the faucets, shower, and toliet! Water the lawn? Beer! Its what plants crave!

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