Albert Einstein On The Formula For Success In Life

One day, someone asked Albert Einstein whether he knows the mathematical formula for success in life. “If a is ‘success in life’, then the formula is, a equals x plus y plus z, where x represents ‘work’ and y represents ‘play’,” Einstein said. “But what about z?” he was asked. “z,” he replied, “is keeping your mouth […]

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Not Lost In Translation: A Curious Language Anecdote

Vladimir Nabokov Vladimir Nabokov, in his 1962 novel Pale Fire, related a remarkable, albeit probably apocryphal, Russian language anecdote. The story went that a newspaper which covered the coronation ceremony of a Tsar “accidentally” misprinted “корона” (korona) (crown) as “ворона” (vorona) (crow). The following day, the newspaper apologized for the error and promptly “corrected” it. However, the word […]

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Isn’t It Strange?

On one occasion, a young man approached John Wilkes (1725-1797) and remarked, “Isn’t it strange that I was born on the first of January?” He said it as if it was some sort of grand occurrence. “Not strange at all,” Wilkes replied. “You could only have been conceived on the first of April.”

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Inconsistent Propositions

It was said that when mathematician and philosopher Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) was at a dinner party, he stated that “it is useless talking about inconsistent things, from an inconsistent proposition you can prove anything you like.” This can be illustrated using mathematical methodologies as simple as algebra. However, Russell was too good for just using […]

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Gleanings From the Past #43

Appearance The deepest knowledge will not always command respect, without some attention to personal appearance. Hermannus Buschius, a celebrated teacher of languages in the sixteenth century, was bitterly irritated at finding that the very persons who had neglected to salute him when shabbily apparelled, paid him every possible respect when he had good clothes on. […]

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A Description Of Bad Handwriting

Image: 9gag The following is from a letter of John Twedell to Dr. Samuel Parr written in November 1792. Tweddell expressed his irritation regarding the penmanship of Dr. Parr’s assistant:

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Gleanings From The Past #38

Irish Speak An Irishman, being ask’d if he understood French? Reply’d, “Yes, Joy, I understand French perfectly well, provided it’s spoken in Irish.” — Xavier Méfret, French and English Self-taught, 1882

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Gleanings From The Past #37

Published A disappointed literary aspirant, weary of having his articles declined with thanks, and doubtful of his critics’ infallibility, copied out ‘Samson Agonistes,’ which he rechristened ‘Like a Giant Refreshed,’ and the manuscript, as an original work of his own, went the rounds of publishers and editors. It was declined on various pleas, and the […]

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Gleanings From The Past #32

An Excellent Dog One of the carriers of a New York paper, called the Advocate, having become indisposed, his son took his place; but not knowing the subscribers he was to supply, he took for his guide a dog which had usually attended his father. The animal trotted on ahead of the boy, and stopped […]

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Gleanings From The Past #16

Taxing Air Voltaire related to Mr. Sherlock an anecdote of Swift. Lady Carteret, wife of the lord lieutenant, said to Swift, “The air of Ireland is very excellent and healthy.” “Madam,” said Swift, “don’t say so in England; for if you do, they will certainly tax it.” — Vademecum Für Junge Freunde Des Englischen, 1840

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