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Nobel Celebrations

An elegant turn with science's elite

10:52am, January 18, 2005

I was halfway through my appetizer when the lights went dim in the Blue Hall—an ornate and cavernous room in the Stockholm City Hall. A spotlight scanned the elegant brick space and its 1,300 well-dressed guests, then came to rest on two opera singers. They stood on a grand stairway. Behind them was the sparkling Golden Hall, with its 18 million mosaic pieces of glass and gold. The performance that followed, "Homage to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart," included an operatic rendition of a refrain from the Simon and Garfunkel song "The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feeling Groovy)." When the singing ended, the lights came back on. We all picked up our forks and resumed eating.

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