Never mind the Holy Grail. First 250 million-year-old peace award goes to cyberspace and airpond knight errant.
The 2005 Peace Wheel has gone to Brett White of Newcastle in Oz, Nepal and other places. He won it for the vast amount of free advice and help he has offered all and sundry across the planet, on light-vehicle electric hubmotors. Our accredited herald, Sir Google, will explain the boring bits. He knows Brett well, having had him at the very top of his "hubmotor" lists, against strong paying and non-paying competition from commercial companies. If you have been one of the countless billions who have received helpful email replies, you may have noticed the time given as 3.48 am or something similar. A very fine effort.
The Peace Wheel is a bit smaller than the usual international award, being roughly 1 cm in diameter. It is also less hideous than the average award by two orders of magnitude. The dimensions are stated as "roughly," because we have not found two quite the same. The wheel is a section of a crinoid stem, almost exactly 250 million years old. Happy birthday, little crinoid stem. It is one of a very small collection that has been held in trust for many years by the committee. They were the gift of a part-Aboriginal, part -Afghan, part-Irish cattle duffer (a cattle rustler, to those of you who stand upside down or sideways), George Latham. George left the army in WW2 to go back to his work, and built a charcoal burner for his old ute so that he could. He left because someone shouted at him, that he had to close one eye when firing his rifle. To a dogger, that was absurd. How can you see which way the dingo is turning if you close your other eye? The dingoes have forgiven George and many Japanese and German families perhaps got their sons back intact from that festival of pleasantries, because George declined to attend.
The Peace Wheel has lain peacefully for rather a long time. But, as the Permian coal swamps and the tar sands next to whom it lived are at present being evicted from their beds and burned, it has decided to speak out in its own way. It is concerned for its fellow fossils, so many of whom are now facing extinction and expulsion via tailpipes.
The awards committee consists of two old men and a three-legged dingo-dog called Fish who, since he represents the rest of the biosphere, chairs the committee, has two votes and also has the one in the case of a deadlock. All award winners will have the right to one vote in future selections. The committee is dedicated to being as biased as possible in its judgements. It will do its best to skew the awards towards ordinary folk who do whatever it is for free and to the everlasting detriment of the growth economy and of all who sail in her on the upper decks. The Peace Wheel award committee is also openly volunteerist. All members are known to have been card-carrying members of voluntary organisations, or at least, to have once owned bus tickets. No member of the committee has ever owned a dynamite factory. One did come close to being forwarded to a higher sphere by Mr Nobel's gift to the planet, but on careful deliberation, that was not considered sufficient grounds for exclusion.
The winners for the 2006 Peace Wheel have been selected and will shortly be informed of their nonfortune, but nominations are open now for 2007 and will remain open till the end of 2006. All sentient life forms are eligible. Nominations for non-sentient or ex-sentient beings, local, astral or inter-galactic, will be considered on their merits, provided they can prove prior ownership of a bus ticket. If you yourself are sentient, you may nominate yourself and welcome. If you know someone or something or some group that you think ought to get the next Peace Wheel, feel free to nominate her, him, herhim, it or them. Send your application fee in whatever currency you like but preferably in solar nanomoney, to anywhere other than here. We do not want your money even if it has been organically sterilized by chacma baboons.
There is one vacancy on the awards committee. A bunya tree has applied, but if you are a starfish, a sky god, a lady seal or meerkat, or failing that any sort of lady, the bunya tree has graciously offered to withdraw its application, to accommodate you..
Happy Birthday to crinoids everywhere. Keep the faith. Your time will come again. Woof to all the rest of you also and well done, Hubmotorman
for The Peace Wheel Award Committee, and the rest of the biosphere.