My wife is back and everything has returned to normal. The cats are no longer freaked out and have returned to their standard duties, standing down from DEFCON 1.
She had a good trip, and I was envious. Dr Pauling was a scientist and he was a big science fiction and fantasy fan. He never discarded anything so in addition to his correspondence with Presidents, and other heads of state and government officials, his donated papers include all those marvelous old pulp science fiction magazines from the golden era.
When my wife saw them, she thought of me and asked her guide if Dr Pauling ever corresponded with science fiction writers. She considered it a natural connection.
The guide wasn't sure. He's not a science fiction fan...but if she could name some. So she suggested the late, great, fantastic Doctor Isaac Asimov.
The guide recognized the name. "Oh, yes, I know that name." Further discussion and exploration followed, and it turned out that when Dr Asimov was writing science fiction, he sometimes wrote Linus Pauling to confirm a scientific point and ask his opinion. Too cool.
She also was able to hold Dr Pauling's Nobel Prize medals. With the price of gold being what it is, she wondered...how much do they weigh? They felt heavy.
The guide laughed. "Funny, but a lot of people are asking that recently." He continued, "But they have a much greater value than what they're worth as gold."
That prompted my wife to think of "Antiques Road Show". It's the provenance that many times give a greater value. She suggested they take the medals to "Antique Road Show" and see what value they would place on them at auction.
About.com tells me that the Nobel Prize medals before 1980 were 23 karat gold, and the medals after that are 18 karat gold plated with 24 karat gold. Wikipedia.org confirmed that, adding that each medal's weight is slightly different. The weight averages 175 grams, about 6.17 ounces.
It's certainly more gold than I've ever handled but if I had my choice, I'd want to read those letters.
Or maybe those old magazines.
Causes Michael Seidel Supports
Kiva, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Propublica.org, Doctors Without Borders, GreaterGood.com