16 January 2005
each of us is the capacity for a full measure of healing and
renewal. For this process to be engaged, it is only necessary that we avoid
the narcotics and distractions that are the primary addictions of our age.
support and nourishment from our friends, we step out of numbness and
addiction, into the bloom of our joyous, creative selves.
- Josh Mitteldorf
15 January 2005
Martin Luther King was one of
the most inspiring orators in the history of the English language. He
didn't have a speech-writer. Many quotes have found their way into our common heritage. Here are a few
of my favorites:
means avoiding not only external physical violence of
actions but also internal violence of spirit. You not only refuse to shoot a
man, but you refuse to hate him."
asks the question, 'Is it safe?' Expediency asks the
question, 'Is it politic?' But conscience asks the question, 'Is it right?'
And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe,
nor politic, nor popular but because conscience tells one it is right."
in life there are those moments of unutterable
fulfillment which cannot be completely explained by those symbols called
words. Their meanings can only be articulated by the inaudible language of
means we use must be as pure as the ends we seek."
14 January 2005
||A self-taught Indian mathematician of the early 20th
had the uncanny ability to do computations instantaneously without
writing anything down. He could tell you the square root of any
number, or the sine of any angle to many decimal places.
"During an illness in England, Hardy visited Ramanujan in the
hospital. When Hardy remarked that he had taken taxi number 1729, a
singularly unexceptional number, Ramanujan immediately responded that
this number was actually quite remarkable: it is the smallest integer
that can be represented in two ways by the sum of two cubes: 1729=13+123
In a just-published book, Malcolm
Gladwell proclaims that we all have a similar ability to process a great
volume of data in the Blink
of an eye. Itís how we can catch a ball, or run through the forest and
know where to place each footstep. On first meeting, we may size up a personís
character, often quite accurately, from gestures and expressions perceived
subliminally...or we may be deceived by cultural prejudices into misjudging
"The power of knowing, in that first two seconds, is not a gift
magically given to a fortunate few," he writes. "It is an ability
we can all build for ourselves."
CS Monitor Review
13 January 2005
The ravening clouds shall not long be victorious,
They shall not long possess the sky, they devour the stars only in apparition,
Jupiter shall emerge, be patient, watch again another night, the Pleiades shall emerge,
They are immortal, all those stars both silvery and golden shall shine out again,
The great stars and the little ones shall shine out again, they endure,
The vast immortal suns and the long-enduring pensive moons shall again shine.
12 January 2005
By 1919, Einstein had devised two Relativity theories: Special
Relativity for electromagnetic phenomena and General Relativity for
gravitation. He had already begun what was to be a lifelong quest for a
Unified Theory combining the two. In that year, he received Theodore Kaluzaís
suggestion: Maxwellís electromagnetic equations and
Einsteinís gravitational equations could be derived from one abstract
mathematical form, if the equation was written in a 4-dimensional space (+
time = 5 dimensions).
Why, then, do we perceive the world as having only 3
dimensions (+ time=4)? It remained for Oskar Klein to answer that question a
few years later: perhaps the extra dimension exists only as a tightly-bound
circle, too small to be observed, even under laboratory conditions. Just as
a rope isnít really a one-dimensional object, but a cylinder so
small that we often forget about its circumference; so space is really
4-dimensional, but 3 of the dimensions go off to infinity while the fourth
closes in on itself in a tiny circle.
In the present-day frontiers of physics, Kaluza-Klein theory is just a
beginning. "String theorists" work in a world where space-time is
an 10-dimensional manifold, with 6 curled-up dimensions so that only our
familiar 3 hang free.
Concerning the power of theoretical reasoning, a story
is told: "Kaluza seems to be one of those
theorists with a profound faith in the power of pure thought. According to
his son, Kaluza senior learned to swim from a textbook. After practicing
strokes on the living room couch, he walked to the nearest pool and swam
across." - Michael
11 January 2005
Venturi's two great rules
of life. (1). Never tell everything at once.
10 January 2005
Joy, O child of heaven, bright spark of the gods -
Transported in flame, we enter thy sanctuary.
Thy magic re-unites all whom human ways have parted -
Beggars become royal brothers beneath thy guardian wing.
- Friedrich Schiller