Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Collected Quotes from Albert Einstein

Found a partial quote in the New York Times, and a quick Google gave this site: Well worth the read, and as I have suspected for some time, Albert Einstein had a wicked sense of humour as well. Add to this his knowledge about many different things, and the realisation of how one of his greatest inventions was used first to destroy life, not to help life, and you have a his view on the world, with a strong dislike of anything to do with war and the military.

My favourites:

"Imagination is more important than knowledge."

"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler."

"A person starts to live when he can live outside himself."

"You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat."

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Another day in bed

Saturday I reactivated an old lower back injury. The pain was so intense, I could not move. So I spent the rest of the weekend in bed, and started my physio on Monday. Having moved since the last injury, I tried a local physiotherapist, and was quite impressed. He knew what he was talking about, and respected my educated opinion on my own body.

Today was not as productive for me, because my daughter was at home. So the morning I had no opportunity to do work. The afternoon went much better, but still I had to lie down all the time, or stand up. I created a small workspace so I can comfortably type whilst standing up, and I am still wondering how I can achieve the same level of comfort at work tomorrow.

Yes, I have to go back some time.

The real question is, will I be fit to fly to Japan on Friday night? I have to make a final decision tomorrow, and let everyone know. If I do go, it will only be for the weekend, though. I don't think it is a good idea to travel all over the country by train, carrying my luggage over long distances. Funny thing in Japanese towns, the closest hotel is within walking distance of the train station, but too close to catch a cab.

Anyway, back to today. I did manage to catch up on some work, and even managed a few songs on my bass guitar.

Monday, November 28, 2005

A smile a day

My daughter will turn four in January. I have known for some time now that she has inherited my sense of humour, but today just took the cake.

We were playing dominoes, which involved taking them out of the box first, I won three games in a row, and then we continued to throw the dominoes all over the room. Now bored with this game, we decided to play with the two toy dogs in the living room.

But I insisted that she pack away all the dominoes first. In fact, my exact words were: "Pack away into the box, please, before we go to the living room. I will start picking up the dominoes."

So there I was, picking up the dominoes, and I turned around to look at her. There she was, her one doll carefully laid on top of the domino box. Which was perfectly correct. I never specified what she should pack away into the domino box...

So we both burst out laughing.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Astronomy, an all-round experience

I have been looking for something my daughter and I can do together at night, which does not involve television or playing indoors. Well, two weeks ago we bought a 114mm diameter mirror reflective telescope.

And suddenly, the heavens opened up to me. Looking into a piece of black sky, no visible stars, and then looking through the eyepiece, and all you can see is a myriad of dots. How truly privileged we are to be a part of this creation. And which bright dot is Mars, or Venus, or Jupiter?

Well, if you do not have access to a starmap, just look at all the bright spots through the telescope at high magnification. They are not round, as they are lit by the sun only on one side! And Mars is truly red. Even to the naked eye it has a yellow/orange tinge to it, while Venus is a bright, pure white.

I have yet to spot Jupiter, which currently is about halfway between Mars and Venus when viewed from Earth. But who knows, one of these days.

I have always had a theory that the great minds of olden times, like Aristotle, were able to synthesise great thoughts because they were dabbling in many things. Biology, religion, science, math, philosophy, and astronomy.

And thus it is a profound privilege for me to have this telescope, to imagine what they must have thought, looking at the sky night after night, plotting and tracking dots in the sky, on paper, or just in their head, like I do. And the opportunity to teach my daughter the same. Something I never had until a few weeks ago.

By the way, visit for starmaps. And the author also deals with many other interesting subjects.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Why another blog?

Good question. Am I that important, or are my thoughts that unique that it deserves posting? Most likely not. But none the less, perhaps some of my thoughts on some subjects will be useful to someone in the world.