Albert Einstein is one of my favorite people in the universe

Albert Einstein is one of my favorite people in the universe.

einstein

No, I didn’t meet him personally; no matter my current age I was way beyond his time. When I first had an awareness of him I was in high school, or maybe junior high, and he was gone.  I’d heard about him, studied him and his theories, dreamed of making that next great discovery. And taken in his thoughts about how the universe was ordered.

A long-time friend of mine knew him intimately in Princeton. So one time over dinner, I asked him, “What was Albert Einstein like?” He told me he was just like his pictures. He had long untamed hair, walked around town with shorts and sandals, and was socially aloof. When invited to dinner or social invitations but usually turned them down, preferring the quiet solitude of his own home. Yet he had causes that he cared deeply about and would get out on a limb to support things he felt were justified.  My friend felt that if Einstein were more socially engaged it would have helped his causes. My friend told me the story, which I’d read about before, of the time that Einstein was out walking near a soy field. The person he was walking with asked him what the plant was that was growing. Einstein replied, “I can’t know everything.” Einstein wasn’t particularly religious. He had an underlying belief in a creator of the universe but wasn’t too worried about religion as a matter of daily thought or practice. Yet he was so thick in his science that he did things and discovered things that were amazing. He was all about innovation. He was a genius.

Maybe it was lack of social consciousness that gave him the courage to try and make mistakes and try again. He just didn’t care about what others thought of him or what he wore or the looks of his hair. At least towards the end of his life.

Maybe it was his native brilliance.

Maybe it was his ability to look at failure as one piece of the process of discovery.

Some of my favorite Einstein quotes:[1]

  • “Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” Quoted in interview by G.S. Viereck , October 26,1929.
  • “I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.” —Albert Einstein to Carl Seelig – March 11, 1952.
  • “Wisdom is not a product of schooling but of the lifelong attempt to acquire it.” —Albert Einstein  to J. Dispentiere – March 24, 1954.
  • “It is not a lack of real affection that scares me away again and again from marriage. Is it a fear of the comfortable life, of nice furniture, of dishonor that I burden myself with, or even the fear of becoming a contented bourgeois.” —Albert Einstein to Elsa Löwenthal, after August 3, 1914.

And one more, though I have no idea where it came from nor where it’s headed:

  • “The only thing you absolutely have to know is the location of the library.”  -Albert Einstein.

In many ways, Einstein reminds me of my dad.

[1] http://einstein.biz/quotes.php

Springville Library Open House

I went to the Springville Public library open house last Friday night. Pam Vaughn, the

Springville Library Open House

Library Director, spoke, as did the mayor. There was a live band, the highlight of the evening for me. People were able to mingle, tour the new building, and celebrate the day. There is a stream running on one side of the property and from upstairs, one can look down and see the stream and the trees.  Some of the highlights of the building:

  • The entry is breathtaking
  • Lots of vibrant colors throughout
  • Computer area with large screens
  • Colorful children’s area with huge mobiles overhead
  • Comfortable space for storytime/ events
  • Teen area with lots of books and resources, right by the computer area
  • Huge reception area upstairs, with room to grow for the library
  • Very comfortable and cool staff area

My biggest takeaway: This is a beautiful library that will be an important community asset for many years to come. It shows that Springville City is committed to an informed, educated citizenry.

Federal Recovery Grant Money for Library Broadband

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, Public Law No. 111-5, will be providing $4.7 billion establishing the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program. This program will fund eligible entities to develop and expand broadband services to rural and underserved areas and to improve access to broadband by public safety agencies.

At least $200 million of this funding will be available in grants for upgrading broadband at public computing centers including community college libraries and public libraries.

Get the details about these broadband grants at:

http://www.ntia.doc.gov/broadbandgrants/

Books are my drug of choice

Herriman» Last Thursday, I attended an open house. There were no refreshments, no wine or cheese. Not even root beer and Fritos for that matter. It was in the Herriman City Library.

The Herriman library is actually only a library in the sense that it has books, a few shelves, and is run by women who seem nice enough but are probably capable of violence if you make too much noise. .

Currently, our book repository is just a couple of rooms in a strip mall behind a Jiffy Lube. It’s not bad as small libraries go, but frankly I have more books in my basement. We deserve a better one. Not only has Herriman grown, plenty of us can even read.

The good news is that a new bigger and better library is on the way. The open house was to show off the artist’s renderings and give the public a chance to talk to the architects, county officials and workers without having to whisper.

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