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|A mathematician is a device for turning coffee into theorems.
-- P. Erdos
|A mathematician, a doctor, and an engineer are walking on the beach and
observe a team of lifeguards pumping the stomach of a drowned woman. As
they watch, water, sand, snails and such come out of the pump.
The doctor watches for a while and says: "Keep pumping, men, you may
yet save her!!"
The mathematician does some calculations and says: "According to my
understanding of the size of that pump, you have already pumped more water
from her body than could be contained in a cylinder 4 feet in diameter and
6 feet high."
The engineer says: "I think she's sitting in a puddle."
|A method of solution is perfect if we can forsee from the start,
and even prove, that following that method we shall attain our aim.
|A pain in the ass of major dimensions.
-- C.A. Desoer, on the solution of non-linear circuits
|A physicist is an atom's way of knowing about atoms.
-- George Wald
|A rope lying over the top of a fence is the same length on each side. It
weighs one third of a pound per foot. On one end hangs a monkey holding a
banana, and on the other end a weight equal to the weight of the monkey.
The banana weighs two ounces per inch. The rope is as long (in feet) as
the age of the monkey (in years), and the weight of the monkey (in ounces)
is the same as the age of the monkey's mother. The combined age of the
monkey and its mother is thirty years. One half of the weight of the monkey,
plus the weight of the banana, is one forth as much as the weight of the
weight and the weight of the rope. The monkey's mother is half as old as
the monkey will be when it is three times as old as its mother was when she
she was half as old as the monkey will be when when it is as old as its mother
will be when she is four times as old as the monkey was when it was twice
as its mother was when she was one third as old as the monkey was when it
was old as is mother was when she was three times as old as the monkey was
when it was one fourth as old as it is now. How long is the banana?
|A scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and
making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually
die and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.
-- Max Planck
|A sense of desolation and uncertainty, of futility, of the baselessness
of aspirations, of the vanity of endeavor, and a thirst for a life giving
water which seems suddenly to have failed, are the signs in conciousness
of this necessary reorganization of our lives.
It is difficult to believe that this state of mind can be produced by the
recognition of such facts as that unsupported stones always fall to the
-- J.W.N. Sullivan
|A Severe Strain on the Credulity
As a method of sending a missile to the higher, and even to the
highest parts of the earth's atmospheric envelope, Professor Goddard's rocket
is a practicable and therefore promising device. It is when one considers the
multiple-charge rocket as a traveler to the moon that one begins to doubt...
for after the rocket quits our air and really starts on its journey, its
flight would be neither accelerated nor maintained by the explosion of the
charges it then might have left. Professor Goddard, with his "chair" in
Clark College and countenancing of the Smithsonian Institution, does not
know the relation of action to re-action, and of the need to have something
better than a vacuum against which to react... Of course he only seems to
lack the knowledge ladled out daily in high schools.
-- New York Times Editorial, 1920
|A sine curve goes off to infinity, or at least the end of the blackboard.
-- Prof. Steiner
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