(I am retired and no longer have an office -- so these inhabit a "virtual" office door!)
The boy stood on the
back, come back," he cried in grief,
I a soldier of the cross
banks and braes o' bonny Doon
Across the sands o' Dee,
Can you forget that night in June -
My country, 'tis of thee!
Of all sad words of
tongue or pen,
the tombs a doleful sound,
Anonymous (N. Y. Times)
Even as geometry rises from certain slight and readily understood foundations to the highest and most difficult demonstrations, whereby the most ingenious minds ascends above the ether: so does our magnetic doctrine and science in due order first show certain facts of less rare occurence; from these proceed facts of a more extraordinary kind; at length, in a sort of series, are revealed things most secret and privy in the earth, and the causes are recognized of things that, in the ignorance of those of old or through the heedlessness of things moderns, were unnoticed or disregarded.
William Gilbert, De Magnete
The velocity, violence, magnitude, and horrible noise of the [steam] engine give universal satisfaction to all beholders, believers or not.
Ode to Optimal Codes (on the
occasion of the conference in
|Best of all codes! - We
honor your clan,
Urgently seeking to measure its stock;
Looking with hope for a general plan,
Griesmer our guide and Belov our rock!
Ambient spaces become finite fields,
Residues step to the floor;
Induction as ever its potency wields,
And MacWilliams' sums tally the score!
The Roman Road
Roman road runs straight and bare
As the pale parting line in hair
Across the heath. And thoughtful men
Contrast its days of Now and Then
And delve, and measure, and compare;
Visioning on the vacant air
no tall brass-helmed legionaire
Haunts it for me. Uprises there
A mother's form upon my ken,
Guiding my infant steps, as when
We walked that ancient thoroughfare,
The Roman Road.
The Pennine Way
|The Pennine Way winds to
As would the wind-swept drifts of snow
Across the moors. And guidebooks all
Paint vivid landscapes to enthrall
And tempt us walkers with their show;
mind how sketches flow
no accountant (long ago)
Hermit hoar, in solemn cell,
Wearing out life's evening gray,
Smite thy bosom, sage, and tell,
Where is bliss? and which the way?
Thus I spoke; and speaking sigh'd;
Scarce repress'd the starting tear;-
When the smiling sage reply'd-
Come, my lad, and drink some beer.
It rained and it rained and rained and rained,
The average fall was well maintained;
And when the tracks were simply bogs,
It started raining cats and dogs.
After a drought of half an hour,
We had a most refreshing shower;
And then the most curious thing of all
A gentle rain began to fall.
Next day was also fairly dry,
Save for the deluge from the sky,
Which wetted the party to the skin;
And after that the rain set in!
Postcard from the Lake District
I understand that you are writing poetry as well as working at physics. I do not see how you can do both. In science one tries to say something that no one knew before in a way that everyone can understand. Whereas in poetry . . . .
Paul Dirac, chiding Robert Oppenheimer
I had a feeling about Mathematics - that I saw it all. Depth beyond Depth was revealed to me - the Byss and the Abyss. I saw - as one might see the transit of Venus or even the Lord Mayor's Show - a quantity passing through infinity and changing its sign from plus to minus. I saw exactly how it happened and why the tergiversation was inevitable - but it was after dinner and I let it go.
Take away number in all things, and all things perish. Take calculation from the world and all is enveloped in dark ignorance, nor can one who does not know the way to reckon be distinguished from the rest of the animals.
St. Isidore of Seville
The leading idea which is present in all our researches, and which accompanies every fresh observation, the sound which to the ears of the student of Nature seems continually echoed from every part of her works, is - Time! - Time! - Time!
George Poulett Scrope
Heaven: Region of the atmosphere in which clouds float, winds blow, and birds fly.
Concise OED, early editions
Disk jockey: "And now, for the twelve-inch pizza, what is the true nature of reality? I'll take the ninth correct caller . . ." (cartoon)
Kirk (Christian Century)
Although all the atoms are in motion, their totality appears to stand totally motionless.... Indeed, even visible objects, when set at a distance, often disguise their movements. Often on a hillside fleecy sheep, as they crop their lush pasture, creep slowly onward, lured this way or that by grass that sparkles with fresh dew, while the full-fed lambs gaily frisk and butt. And yet, when we gaze from a distance, we see only a blur - a white patch stationary on the green hillside.
Lucretius, De Rerum Natura
I told him it was law logic - an artificial system of reasoning, exclusively used in courts of justice, but good for nothing anywhere else.
John Quincy Adams, to John Marshall
An ominous feature is that the notes and bibliography are not in the book, but on a website but for how long, Lord, how long??
David Singmaster (Mathematical Reviews)
I used to go there alone to watch the sunset and contemplate suicide. I did not, however, commit suicide, because I wished to know more about mathematics.
Train from UK Heritage Railways. Welsh flag from The Castles of Wales.
Last modified January 14, 2014