View Full Version : Norman Borlaug - Badass of the Month - September 2009

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9/16/2009 2:24pm,
http://www.bullshido.net/images/ba/norman-borlaug-wrestling.jpgPop Quiz: Name the most noteworthy accomplishment of the man in the picture to the left. Come on now, don't cheat by looking him up on Google. If you know what this man did then you've earned yourself 1,000 Awesome Points. If you don't, don't worry: almost nobody else does either.

And that's a crying goddamn shame because he is the greatest human being ever to walk the face of the planet. No hyperbole, no exaggeration, no artistic license whatsoever applied to that statement: in the realm of people who could ever be considered "Badasses", our recipient this month managed to eclipse them all up to this point in history.

On some level, everyone who trains a Martial Art would like to have used their skills to protect someone, or save a life. Extrapolating from Heinlein, who wrote that the concept of morality was based upon actions which contribute to survival and/or preserve life, this man's accomplishments serve as the supreme example of what constitutes the highest level of moral behavior. So those in our audience who have achieved this level of moral action, and even those who aspire to do so (the selfless acts of using one's skills and strength to protect loved ones, friends, or even ideals), should be capable of fully grasping the significance of this man's accomplishments.

And now it's time to lay our cards on the table for those of you who aren't aware of Norman Borlaug (or didn't run to look him up for our initial "quiz"). Despite the picture we've included of him as a young wrestler, this man was not a Martial Artist. This man did not achieve his status as a "Badass", much less as the greatest human being who ever lived through his fighting skill or prowess, as one might assume based on past awardees in this section.

The battle Norman Borlaug fought, and won, was over hunger and starvation. You see, what qualifies him for any and all accolades he could ever receive, is the simple fact that Mr. Borlaug was directly responsible for saving over 1 Billion lives.

Yes, that's "Billion" with a "B".

Let's have this explained by Penn and Teller:

YouTube - Dr. Norman Borlaug (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPosEhkx5vI)

Norman died this past Saturday night, at the age of 95. Unfortunately, in the light of recent 'celebrity' deaths, his death went largely unheralded. And that's a goddamn shame. He didn't seek out fame or fortune for his efforts during his life. But we'll be damned if we don't do our part to let everyone know about this man and what he's done for the human race.

And hopefully, you will too.

Because it's a sad statement that almost nobody will remember his name unless we do.

9/16/2009 2:39pm,
Nobel fucking prize.

The whole notion that he is some kind of unappreciated genius is...

wait for it...


He is one seriously impactful dude tho.

9/16/2009 2:50pm,
I think Phrost's point is that the death of Oxyclean-man went more noticed by more people than the guy who actually had an impact on so many lives.

9/16/2009 2:53pm,
Who won the Nobel Peace prize in 1973?

You don't know that off the top of your head do you? (And if you did, would you hold the award in as high esteem to begin with?)

The point is that the man deserves as much recognition as humanly possible. Hell, if there were any justice in the world we'd have Norman Borlaug lunch boxes and Trapper Keepers, 1500 Norman Borlaug Jr. High schools, and Norman Borlaug History Month.

The Nobel Peace Prize is hardly enough reward for his accomplishments. Perhaps if he was awarded it in perpetuity...

9/16/2009 2:56pm,
He got basically every prize that it is possible for a scientist to receive.

He isn't even the most impactful nobel laureate biologist out there.

(That would pretty much have to be Watson and Crick)

He accomplished amazing stuff, and if saving lives makes you a badass, then he is the badass of the decade. But the unsung hero thing is crap. He is as celebrated as any scientist in recent memory.

He was also a partisan is some messy debates about development, which is the agenda behind P&T making a stink about him on Bullshit.

9/16/2009 2:57pm,
If any person deserved a statue to preserve their memory it is Dr. Borlaug. Thankfully I'm not the only one that thinks that:

IA congressman wants Borlaug statue in US Capitol

DES MOINES, Iowa - U.S. Rep. Tom Latham has started an effort to memorialize Norman Borlaug with a bronze statue in the U.S. Capitol.

The Iowa Republican on Monday asked the state's six other members of Congress to join him in asking Gov. Chet Culver and the Legislature to pass a resolution designating Borlaug.

Known as the father of the "green revolution," Borlaug won the Nobel Peace Prize for his role in combating world hunger. The native of Cresco died on Saturday in Texas. He was 95.

One hurdle in trying to get a Borlaug statue in the Capitol's Statuary Hall would be deciding which of the two statues already representing Iowa would be removed. The choices are two 19th-century political figures -- Samuel Kirkwood and James Harlan.


Link. (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-ap-ia-borlaug-statue,0,5945496.story)

Link to longer article at desmoinesregister.com. (http://www.desmoinesregister.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2009909150359)

A great man, may he rest in peace even though we still owe him so much...

9/16/2009 2:58pm,
He is as celebrated as any scientist in recent memory.

And that's the problem you're failing to grasp.

9/16/2009 3:00pm,
And that's the problem you're failing to grasp.

So if I go back to 2004, I'll find Francis Crick is Badass of the month?

9/16/2009 3:02pm,
We weren't doing this column in 2004.

9/16/2009 3:03pm,
Oooooooooooh, Phrost, you just got SERVED!

I've always fancied theoretical physicists, myself. Not too much life-saving in there. Especially around dubya-dubya-two.

9/16/2009 3:09pm,
When scientists responsible for our continued survival as a species get as much recognition and public acclaim as a drugged- out, bleached kiddy diddler, then maybe your contrariety will have some merit, HoG.

Until then, yeah, we're putting him up on a pedestal. One with which, if you continue to assail the legacy of this man, I will personally lift from the ground and bludgeon you.

9/16/2009 3:12pm,
I don't wanna take away from the guy, cause he is truly great, and truly deserving of every accolade gets.

But Phrost, you put him up here because you ride Penn&Teller's nuts. And P&T invented this whole "great genius not appreciated because the evil environmentalists are keeping him down" schtick as part of their unbelievably shitty episode on genetic engineering (which he didn't even do).

So I'll leave it there. Bludgeon away.

Edit: Actually Phrost, if you want to trollshido my stuff, that's fine. I just really wish you hadn't put the P&T vid there.

9/16/2009 3:13pm,
The problem is the lives and accomplishments of scientists that do a lot for the world are celebrated almost exclusively in scientific circles with little herald outside, where as if you sell a bunch of cheap crap on TV you're going to get world recognition when you kick the bucket even though you really didn't do anything to aid mankind. Yes he was celebrated as much as any scientist, but scientists that accomplish amazing things are generally not celebrated enough by the rest of the world.

9/16/2009 3:17pm,
I'll be the first to admit that I wouldn't have heard of him if it hadn't been for P&T. However, that's not remotely germane to offsetting the injustice of having this man's name fade into obscurity.

To my knowledge he isn't even mentioned in any primary school text books.

9/16/2009 3:18pm,
Of course scientists aren't celebrated. Haven't you guys read the theories of Intelligent Design? SCIENCE IS NOW DEBATABLE AS A WHOLE!

<Kills self, and hangs out with MJ and Dr. Borlaug>

9/16/2009 3:25pm,
On the topic of dead scientists, the UK government finally made an official apology for driving Alan Turing to suicide (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8249792.stm)