life

#life

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The Hubble Constant & The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
"Scientists in Cambridge spent three years calculating one of the fundamental keys to the universe—The Hubble Constant [the velocity at which a typical galaxy is receding from Earth divided by its distance from Earth] that determines the age of the universe. This process mirrored a passage in [Douglas Adams's] cult science fiction novel and radio series The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy in which an alien race programs a computer called Deep Thought to provide the ultimate answer to understanding life and the universe. "In the novel, seven and a half million years later Deep Thought comes back with the result, 42. "In an extraordinary coincidence when the Cambridge scientists finally calculated the Hubble Constant they found the answer was ...
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Cher's Topsy-Turvy Life
Cher's career, like her love life, was a topsy-turvy affair. "I've been up and down so many times," she once remarked, "that I feel as if I'm in a revolving door."
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Rene Descartes & Queen Christina discuss philosophy
While visiting Sweden's Queen Christina in Stockholm in 1649, Rene Descartes attempted to explain his mechanistic philosophy—that all animals (humans included) are merely complex clock-like mechanisms. The queen respectfully disagreed. She had never observed a watch, she explained, giving birth to baby watches.
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Universal Notion?
Albert Einstein once attended a scientific conference at which an eminent astronomer declared that "to an astronomer, man is nothing more than an insignificant dot in an infinite universe." "I have often felt that," Einstein replied. "But then I realize that the insignificant dot who is man is also the astronomer."
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Frank Lloyd Wright - Footprints in the Snow
One wintry day when Frank Lloyd Wright was nine years old, the future architect went for a walk with a reserved, no-nonsense uncle. As they reached the end of a snow-covered field, his uncle stopped him. "Notice how your tracks wander aimlessly from the fence to the cattle to the woods and back again," he said. "And see how my tracks aim directly to my goal. There is an important lesson in that." Years later Wright remarked that this experience had had a profound influence on his philosophy of life. "I determined right then," he explained with a twinkle in his eye, "not to miss most things in life, as my uncle had!"
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Precious Irony
One day during his tenure as mayor of New York, Ed Koch sought to clarify his position on the thorny issue of capital punishment:"Life is indeed precious," he declared, "and I believe the death penalty helps to affirm this fact."
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J. B. S. Haldane: An Inference On The Nature Of God
The great geneticist J. B. S. Haldane once found himself embroiled in a philosophical discussion with an eminent theologian. "What inference," the theologian asked, "might one draw about the nature of God from a study of his works?" Haldane's reply? "An inordinate fondness for beetles." [Though estimates vary, beetles are thought to account for some 40% of insect species and 25% of all known plant and animal species on Earth.]
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Fiction and Reality
Tom Clancy was once asked how he thought fiction differed from reality. "The difference between fiction and reality?" he mused. "Fiction has to make sense!"[For many years, Tom Clancy wrote each day from 8:00 a.m. to noon at a computer in his personal library, a room which contained 3,000 books—and 200 military hats. Remarkably, given the intricacy of his plots, Clancy did not generally write from an outline.]
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Why Chris Rock Loves Music
Chris Rock was once asked whether he liked music. "I love music!" he exclaimed. "Music is the soundtrack to the crappy movie that is my life."
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Orrin Hatch & Capital Punishment
On May 16, 1988, Senator Orrin Hatch reaffirmed his support for the death penalty. "Capital punishment," he declared, "is our society's recognition of the sanctity of human life."[Hatch, among the world's hipper politicians, was also an amateur musician.]