PW Question #5 ~ Quotes, Quotes and more Quotes!

by Michio Kaku

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PW Question #5 ~ Quotes, Quotes and more Quotes!

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Fri Feb 27, 2009 8:49 am

Each chapter starts out with some wonderful quotes. There are also some entertaining anecdotes within the chapters. Did any of them stand out when you read them? Which ones and why?
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -
Wow! What a ride!

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Re: PW Question #5 ~ Quotes, Quotes and more Quotes!

Unread postby IngridN » Fri Feb 27, 2009 12:17 pm

Chapter 6. Richard Feynman:

"I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics"

Now he won the Nobel Prize for Physics, worked on the atom bomb and
was considered the greatest physicist of the post war era! :lol:
"We are always the same age inside." Gertrude Stein

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Re: PW Question #5 ~ Quotes, Quotes and more Quotes!

Unread postby Theresa » Fri Feb 27, 2009 12:29 pm

Page 160...

[...]Bohr had emerged victorious. Einstein was defeated.

When Einstein later complained that "God does not play dice with the world," Bohr reportedly fired back, "Stop telling God what to do."


I actually burst out laughing when I read this. I can just see two old men having an argument over this!

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Re: PW Question #5 ~ Quotes, Quotes and more Quotes!

Unread postby Liz » Fri Feb 27, 2009 1:09 pm

Good ones, so far! :applause2:

Here's one I thought was cute. It's a limerick by George Gamow. Apparently he was famous for sending them to his friends; but "most are unprintable".
:-O

There was a young fellow from Trinity
Who took the square root of infinity
But the number of digits
Gave him the fidgits;
He dropped Math and took up Divinity.
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

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Re: PW Question #5 ~ Quotes, Quotes and more Quotes!

Unread postby gemini » Fri Feb 27, 2009 8:41 pm

I rather like Lord Jeffrey's sense of humor.
Damn the solar system. Bad light; planets too distant; pestered with comets; feeble contrivance; could make a better [universe] myself.
He makes a lot of sense to me. It sure is a confusing place out there.
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." Will Rogers

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Re: PW Question #5 ~ Quotes, Quotes and more Quotes!

Unread postby Theresa » Fri Feb 27, 2009 9:35 pm

Page 350 -- I liked this one.

[...]led Ronnie Knox to pen the following poem about an encounter between a skeptic and God, pondering if a tree exists in the courtyard when there is no one there to observe it:

    There once was a man who said, "God
    Must think it exceedingly odd
    If he finds that this tree
    Continues to be
    When there's no one about in the Quad."

An anonymous wag then penned the following reply:

    Dear sir, Your astonishment's odd
    I am always about in the Quad
    And that's why the tree
    Will continue to be,
    Since observed by Yours faithfully--God.

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Re: PW Question #5 ~ Quotes, Quotes and more Quotes!

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Fri Feb 27, 2009 10:22 pm

It's been a long day here in the 3rd dimension. I'm hoping that somewhere in the 5th or maybe the 8th I had a better day. :mort3:

There were two quotes that stood out for me. The first is one I have long admired by Einstein:

The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. Whosoever does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer marvel, is as good as dead, and his eyes are dimmed. ~ Albert Einstein

The second is by Carl Sagan because I love his coinage of a new word - to me anyway - elsewhen - and also his reference to Through the Looking Glass:

Black holes may be apertures to elsewhen. Were we to plunge down a black hole, we would re-emerge, it is conjectured, in a different part of the universe and in another epoch in time...Black holes may be entrances to Wonderlands. But are there Alices or white rabbits? ~ Carl Sagan
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -

Wow! What a ride!

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Re: PW Question #5 ~ Quotes, Quotes and more Quotes!

Unread postby nebraska » Sat Feb 28, 2009 1:26 pm

This was not a book where I marked beautiful passage after inspiring quote with post it notes! But going back to my book I found a few lines that struck me, mostly humorous ones, because at times comedy was the only answer for my complete confusion.

page 156 Stanislaw Ulam "Madness is the ability to make fine distinctions on different kinds of nonsense."

page 187 Bohr in response to a talk by Wolfgang Pauli "We in the back are convinced that your theory is crazy. But what divides us is whether your theory is crazy enough."

page 227 Lisa Randall "seems out of place in the fiercely competitive, testosterone-driven, intensely male profession of theoretical physics". (my interpretation, theoretical physics is on a parr with bull riding and arm wrestling? :grin: )

page 256 Ken Croswell: "Other universes can get intoxicating; you can say anything you want about them and never be proven wrong, as long as astronomers never see them."

and last, an interesting bit of trivia on page 236 "This colossal number, 1 followed by 100 zeros, is called a google". And I thought Google was a verb! :lol:

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Re: PW Question #5 ~ Quotes, Quotes and more Quotes!

Unread postby Theresa » Sat Feb 28, 2009 1:36 pm

nebraska wrote:and last, an interesting bit of trivia on page 236 "This colossal number, 1 followed by 100 zeros, is called a google". And I thought Google was a verb! :lol:

And you know what's really funny about that reference? It's not the right word! :ohno: The number 1 followed by 100 zeros is a googol, not google. Google is the internet search engine. :grin:

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Re: PW Question #5 ~ Quotes, Quotes and more Quotes!

Unread postby nebraska » Sat Feb 28, 2009 1:45 pm

Theresa wrote:
nebraska wrote:and last, an interesting bit of trivia on page 236 "This colossal number, 1 followed by 100 zeros, is called a google". And I thought Google was a verb! :lol:

And you know what's really funny about that reference? It's not the right word! :ohno: The number 1 followed by 100 zeros is a googol, not google. Google is the internet search engine. :grin:


A brief bit of research proves you are right! :bouquet: How do you know these things? I wonder if an editor somewhere "fixed" Dr. Kaku's manuscript, I can't imagine he made that error himself.

I think I need an aspirin and a nap!

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Re: PW Question #5 ~ Quotes, Quotes and more Quotes!

Unread postby gemini » Sat Feb 28, 2009 3:24 pm

I dont think he did make the error. The fellows at google did.(Or rather they both did, because it was a typo) Here is an article that explains google is indeed named for googol but mispelled when looking to see if the doman name was taken.

The word googol was thought up by a child, the namers nephew.
Last edited by gemini on Sat Feb 28, 2009 7:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." Will Rogers



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Re: PW Question #5 ~ Quotes, Quotes and more Quotes!

Unread postby Liz » Sat Feb 28, 2009 7:43 pm

Well, I just had another TZ moment. I was going to mention something about Google under the "shocked" thread and I see youse guys are talking about it over here in a "parallel" thread. :lol:

And you all put me to shame. You are great investigators. I took Kaku at his word (or spelling thereof) and didn't look further. In fact, I thought to myself, am I the only one who doesn't know what Google was named after? Of course, it's a perfect name, even though it is misspelled. But I am not surprised, as I know some engineer types who don't know how to spell. And this is not the only word that Dr. Kaku (or his editor) spelled wrong. He misspelled Jordell Bank Observatory in 2 different places. It is actually Jodrell. Kaku should have Googled it. :grin:
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

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Re: PW Question #5 ~ Quotes, Quotes and more Quotes!

Unread postby Theresa » Sat Feb 28, 2009 10:47 pm

Here's a quote that I thought was interesting...it's on page 33.

In fact, as you approached the speed of light, time would slow down to a stop, distances would contract to nothing, and your mass would become infinite, which are all absurd.

On page 33, he's saying this is absurd...but the next 350 pages aren't?? I know there need to be people who think up these theories so science has goals to reach for -- I know that's how discoveries are made -- but it still sounds absurd!

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Re: PW Question #5 ~ Quotes, Quotes and more Quotes!

Unread postby Liz » Sun Mar 01, 2009 12:28 am

Theresa wrote:Here's a quote that I thought was interesting...it's on page 33.

In fact, as you approached the speed of light, time would slow down to a stop, distances would contract to nothing, and your mass would become infinite, which are all absurd.

On page 33, he's saying this is absurd...but the next 350 pages aren't?? I know there need to be people who think up these theories so science has goals to reach for -- I know that's how discoveries are made -- but it still sounds absurd!

I think that is why it is so hard to comprehend--well, one of the reasons :dunce: .
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

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Re: PW Question #5 ~ Quotes, Quotes and more Quotes!

Unread postby suec » Sun Mar 01, 2009 7:09 pm

The poet only asks to get his head into the heavens. It is the logician who seeks to get the heavens into his head. And it is is head that splits.
GK Chesterton.
Very appropriate opener.


The evolution of the world can be compared to a display of fireworks that has just ended: some few red wwisps, ashes and smoke. Standing on a well-chilled cinder, we see the slow fading of the suns, and we try to recall the vanished brilliance of the origin of the worlds.
George Lemaitre.
Very poetic. And moving.

Literally, our bodies are made of stardust, from stars that died billions of years ago.

Love this. It is one of the few things I did know already, but I am still staggered by it.
"Luck... inspiration... both only really happen to you when you empty your heart of ambition, purpose, and plan; when you give yourself, completely, to the golden, fate-filled moment."


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