Be like a train; go in the rain,

go in the sun, go in the storm,

go in the dark tunnels!

Be like a train;

concentrate on your road

and go with no hesitation!
~Mehmet Murat ildan


Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.

It turns what we have into enough...

.........and more.

It turns denial into acceptance,
chaos to order, confusion to clarity.

It can turn a meal into a feast,

a house into a home,

a stranger into a friend.

~Melody Beattie


Don't be satisfied with stories,

how things have gone with others.

***Unfold your own myth.***
~Rumi


I hope you will go out and let stories,

that is life, happen to you, and that

you will work with these stories . . .

water them with your blood &

tears & your laughter till they bloom,

till you yourself burst into bloom.

~Clarissa Pinkola Estes

Monday, 14 March 2016

Einstein's Blackboard

Albert Einstein, born today in 1879.
"Try not to become a man of success,
but rather try to become a man of value."
~Albert Einstein


Because they've become like old friends, there are so many places and things in Oxford that I like to go back to and see over and over again.  One of these is Einstein's blackboard in Oxford's History of Science Museum on Broad Street. After a lecture Einstein gave at Oxford in 1931, other blackboards he had used were wiped clean, but one clear-headed person made sure this one was kept and preserved .




I found the blackboard when I was wandering through the museum, one rainy afternoon many years ago--which is probably the reason I love it so much; I just stumbled upon it one day.




The History of Science Museum holds an impressive collection of early scientific instruments--astrolabes that are works of art, sundials, early microscopes, telescopes, cameras, and so much more. I made my way through the museum and down to the displays in the basement, and there it was, up on a wall in the corner.  I walked up to the blackboard interested, but not realizing at first that it was Einstein's equation. I also didn't understanding a single letter or number written on it, and certainly didn't know that it was an equation for the age of the Universe. I later discovered that the last three lines of the equation give some 'minor' details--only the density, radius and age of our Universe.

As I gazed up at it though, it hit me like a wave of light.  For one very brief second I suddenly felt and understood the expanse and genius of Einstein's mind--and I mean expanse.  It lasted hardly longer than a breath, but in that moment I could feel how far out into the Universe and back again his mind had travelled.  It took my breath away and then it was gone.

So, even though I still don't understand one line of the equation, every once in awhile I pop into the museum and pay my respects to the famous blackboard, and the man who left his mark on it and our world.

The History of Science Museum itself is impressive, the world's oldest surviving purpose-built museum.  It sits on Broad Street, next to the Sheldonian Theatre and across from Blackwell's bookstore.  Admission is free and it's open Tuesday to Sunday, 12 to 5pm.  There's also an introductory tour of the museum every Thursday, 2:15-3pm.  When you visit, be sure to find the simple, little, wooden blackboard that holds some of the very keys to our understanding of the Universe.

"If you want your children to be
intelligent, read them fairy tales.
If you want them to be more intelligent,
read them more fairy tales."

"In matters of truth and justice, there is
no difference between large and small
problems, for issues concerning the 
treatment of people are all the same."

~Albert Einstein