Can you hear me now

The Nobel Prize in physics was awarded this week to astrophysicist George Smoot of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and his NASA colleague John Mather. When Mr. Smoot got the call notifing him of the award, he thought it was a joke, according to this article from MercuryNews.Com.

Smoot, 61, who has an unlisted cell phone number, suspected a hoax when a caller with a Swedish accent told him about 3 a.m. that he had won the most coveted award in science.

``I just said, `How did you get my phone number?' '' the physicist recounted giddily for colleagues Tuesday morning at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory. ``But the guy sounded really serious, so I thought I'd better take him seriously.''

Just to be certain, he checked the Nobel Prize Web site. And there it was: Smoot and Mather were being honored ``for their discovery of the blackbody form and anisotropy of the cosmic microwave background radiation.''

Uh, yeah. I know someone with a blackberry and a microwave, does that count? What's the lesson here? If you get a call at 3AM from someone with a Swedish accent, it may not be that annoying telemarketer. It may be the Nobel Foundation!