Letter from Mahatma Gandhi to Adolf Hitler

•September 21, 2014 • Leave a Comment

As at Wardha, C. P., INDIA,

July 23, 1939

DEAR FRIEND,

Friends have been urging me to write to you for the sake of humanity. But I have resisted their request, because of the feeling that any letter from me would be an impertinence. Something tells me that I must not calculate and that I must make my appeal for whatever it may be worth.

It is quite clear that you are today the one person in the world who can prevent a war which may reduce humanity to a savage state. Must you pay that price for an object however worthy it may appear to you to be? Will you listen to the appeal of one who has deliberately shunned the method of war not without considerable success? Any way I anticipate your forgiveness, if I have erred in writing to you.

I remain,
Your sincere friend,
M. K. Gandhi

HERR HITLER,
BERLIN,
GERMANY

via Bombay Sarvodaya Mandal

**I wonder what the world would look like today if Hitler had heeded Gandhi’s words.

We Originated in the Belly of a Star

•September 14, 2014 • Leave a Comment

“Consider that you can see less than 1% of the electromagnetic spectrum and hear less than 1% of the acoustic spectrum. As you read this, you are traveling at 220 km/sec across the galaxy. 90% of the cells in your body carry their own microbial DNA and are not “you.” The atoms in your body are 99.9999999999999999% empty space and none of them are the ones you were born with, but they all originated in the belly of a star. Human beings have 46 chromosomes, 2 less than the common potato. The existence of the rainbow depends on the conical photoreceptors in your eyes; to animals without cones, the rainbow does not exist. So you don’t just look at a rainbow, you create it. This is pretty amazing, especially considering that all the beautiful colors you see represent less than 1% of the electromagnetic spectrum.” –Sergio Toporek

via NASA and Fractal Ferocity

Quote seen on the wall of East Side Gallery in Berlin, Germany

•July 13, 2014 • Leave a Comment

"Many small people who in many small places do many small things that can alter the face of the world"

** What can you do today, however tiny?  Because whatever you do has ripple effects far into the future.

“Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night” by Dylan Thomas

•July 6, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

 

**It’s particularly touching for me since he wrote this poem while his father, whom he adored, was dying of a terminal illness.

Quote from the book “The Hobbit” by JRR Tolkien

•June 29, 2014 • Leave a Comment

"If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. But, sad or merry, I must leave it now. Farewell." ~Thorin Oakenshield

“You Want A Physicist To Speak at your Funeral” by Aaron Freeman

•June 22, 2014 • Leave a Comment

You want a physicist to speak at your funeral. You want the physicist to talk to your grieving family about the conservation of energy, so they will understand that your energy has not died. You want the physicist to remind your sobbing mother about the first law of thermodynamics; that no energy gets created in the universe, and none is destroyed. You want your mother to know that all your energy, every vibration, every Btu of heat, every wave of every particle that was her beloved child remains with her in this world. You want the physicist to tell your weeping father that amid energies of the cosmos, you gave as good as you got.

And at one point you’d hope that the physicist would step down from the pulpit and walk to your brokenhearted spouse there in the pew and tell him that all the photons that ever bounced off your face, all the particles whose paths were interrupted by your smile, by the touch of your hair, hundreds of trillions of particles, have raced off like children, their ways forever changed by you. And as your widow rocks in the arms of a loving family, may the physicist let her know that all the photons that bounced from you were gathered in the particle detectors that are her eyes, that those photons created within her constellations of electromagnetically charged neurons whose energy will go on forever.

And the physicist will remind the congregation of how much of all our energy is given off as heat. There may be a few fanning themselves with their programs as he says it. And he will tell them that the warmth that flowed through you in life is still here, still part of all that we are, even as we who mourn continue the heat of our own lives.

And you’ll want the physicist to explain to those who loved you that they need not have faith; indeed, they should not have faith. Let them know that they can measure, that scientists have measured precisely the conservation of energy and found it accurate, verifiable and consistent across space and time. You can hope your family will examine the evidence and satisfy themselves that the science is sound and that they’ll be comforted to know your energy’s still around. According to the law of the conservation of energy, not a bit of you is gone; you’re just less orderly. Amen.

“God Explains Space To His Angels” by Sid Gomez Hildawa

•June 15, 2014 • 1 Comment

You’ll have to slow down.
I mean, very, very slow, like travelling
an inch and a half (they call
it distance) in eight hundred
million years (they call
it time). You’ll have
to distinguish between here
and there – yes, yes,
we all know there’s only
the here and now,
but you’ll have to see
it their way – with everything
reduced to three dimensions.
It comes with being
exiled in a mortal
body, you see, which is not
entirely a curse, I assure
you. Space is the disposable
furniture of a mind
enmeshed in its own
metaphors, brandishing
a meter stick under
our immeasurable sky.
You’ll need wings.

 
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