Monday, March 23, 2009

The Astonishing Life of Albert Einstein

By Russell Shortt

In 1905, a series of papers appeared in the German physics journal, Annalen der Physik written by a young bureaucrat named Albert Einstein. Bizarrely, Einstein was affiliated to no university, had no access to a laboratory and was limited to using the library of the National Patent Office in Bern, where he was employed as a technical assistant, his responsibility being to evaluate patent applications for electromagnetic devices.

These papers contributed substantially to the foundation of modern physics, changing the way that time, space and matter were viewed. One examined the photoelectric effect by means of Planck's new quantum theory, one focussed on the behaviour of small particles in suspension (Brownian motion) and one outlined a Special Theory of Relativity. The first explained the nature of light and won Einstein the Nobel Prize, the second definitively proved the existence of atoms and the third made sure nothing would ever be the same again. And what a curious piece of work it was - it contained almost no mathematics, cited no influences or precedents and provided no footnotes or citations.

Einstein had developed his theory by just thinking, just thinking it out himself - astonishing. It's famous equation - E = mc squared, stated that energy and mass had an equivalence (hitherto thought of as distinct concepts), that they are two forms of the same thing: energy is liberated matter, matter is energy waiting to happen. C squared (the speed of light times itself) is a massive number, this suggests that tiny amounts of matter could be converted into huge amounts of energy.

Russell Shortt is a travel consultant with Exploring Ireland, the leading specialists in customised, private escorted tours, escorted coach tours and independent self drive tours of Ireland. Article source Russell Shortt,

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Einstein and Eirugena

By Robert Baird

ALBERT EINSTEIN: - “I am satisfied with the Mysteries of life.”

"A human being is part of a whole, called by us the "Universe," a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest--a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty."

"The human mind is not capable of grasping the Universe. We are like a little child entering a huge library. The walls are covered to the ceilings with books in many different tongues. The child knows that someone must have written these books. It does not know who or how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. But the child notes a definite plan in the arrangement of the books---a mysterious order which it does not comprehend, but only dimly suspects."

"The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day. Never lose a holy curiosity."

"What I see in Nature is a magnificent structure that we can comprehend only very imperfectly, and that must fill a thinking person with a feeling of "humility." This is a genuinely religious feeling that has nothing to do with mysticism"

"The finest emotion of which we are capable is the mystic emotion. Herein lies the germ of all art and all true science. Anyone to whom this feeling is alien, who is no longer capable of wonderment and lives in a state of fear is a dead man. To know that what is impenetrable for us really exists and manifests itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty, whose gross forms alone are intelligible to our poor faculties -- this knowledge, this feeling ... that is the core of the true religious sentiment. In this sense, and in this sense alone, I rank myself among profoundly religious men."

Einstein saw there were people who sought to say he was religious in sense of being what they personally thought was God and he had to set them straight. Unfortunately many people have their memories tarnished by people succeeding in this propaganda that co-opts good people. He was a great man and fought most of his life for an end to standing armies. Despite the advances since his death he still makes sense in many areas of thinking including that for which he became most famous. I think this last simple quote by him says a lot.

"Two things inspire me to awe -- the starry heavens above and the moral universe within."

“Einstein died in 1955. He is best known for the theory of relativity, which states that time, mass and length all change according to velocity. Space and time are a unified continuum, which curves in the presence of mass.

The last three decades of his life were devoted to the search for a field theory which would unify gravitation and electro-magnetism.

Einstein always said that he was a deeply religious man, and his religion informed his science. He rejected the conventional image of God as a personal being, concerned about our individual lives, judging us when we die, intervening in the laws he himself had created to cause miracles, answer prayers and so on. Einstein did not believe in a soul separate from the body, nor in an afterlife of any kind.

But he was certainly a pantheist. He did regard the ordered cosmos with the same kind of feeling that believers have for their God. To some extent this was a simple awe at the impenetrable mystery of sheer being. Einstein also had an urge to lose individuality and to experience the universe as a whole.

But he was also struck by the radiant beauty, the harmony, the structure of the universe as it was accessible to reason and science. In describing these factors he sometimes uses the word God, and sometimes refers to a divine reason, spirit or intelligence. He never suggests that this reason or spirit transcends the world - so in that sense he is a clear pantheist and not a panentheist. However, this reason is to some extent anthropomorphic, and to some extent involves Einstein in a contradiction.

His religious thinking was not systematic, so he never ironed out this discrepancy. But it seems likely that he believed in a God who was identical to the universe - similar to the God of Spinoza. A God whose rational nature was expressed in the universe, or a God who was identified with the universe and its laws taken together. His own scientific search for the laws of this universe was a deeply religious quest.

Einstein's attachment to what he once called `the grandeur of reason incarnate' led him into the longest battle and the greatest failure of his life. He was implacably opposed to Niels Bohr's interpretation of quantum physics. Bohr believed that matter was fundamentally indeterminate, and our knowledge of it limited to probabilities.

Einstein's comment, "God does not play dice," became notorious. The phrase uses the present tense, not the past. This suggests that Einstein was probably not referring to the fact that a creator God would not in the beginning have created a universe in which chance reigned supreme. Rather he may have meant that as God or reason incarnate, the universe could not be governed by chance alone.” (1)

EIRUGENA: - John Scotius Eirugena (means Irish born) was a great philosopher in the late first millennium AD. Bertrand Russell seems not to know much about Irish culture when he expresses surprise to have to admit he is the greatest of minds in a very Dark Age. In fact he was just rephrasing Pelagius who was maintaining some of the remnants of Druidic thought as I see it. It annoys me to spend a day looking for a biography on a great man like this and find some fools have hundreds of links whereas he had nary a one.

Author of Diverse Druids

Columnist for The ES Press Magazine

Guest 'expert' at

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Stan Lee, Even the Comic Book Great Ones Have Problems

Stan Lee, in my mind, has to be one of the all time most recognizable individuals in the "Comic Book Industry". Most lovers of comic books have known his name all their
collecting lives. For those of you who don't know his name, I am sure you have heard of his creations. The X-Men, the Fantastic Four, the Incredible Hulk, Daredevil, and the very well known Spider-Man are all from the mind of Stan Lee. For the last forty years or more and as an employee of Marvel Comics, he has entertained us through the art of comic book imagination.

Well, by now you would think that an individual of this caliber would be taken seriously and treated with respect from his employers. Apparently not! In 2002 Stan Lee decided he had to file a lawsuit against the comic giant, Marvel. It appears the agreement between Lee and Marvel was that 10% of the income generated from TV and movies using Lee characters, was to be his. Seems Marvel didn't see it that way. Typical of conglomerates, isn't it? The boys in the suits seem to want to make all the rules. Stan at one time had even been a suit. Among other positions held at Marvel, Lee had even been president of the company for awhile.

Years ago when Stan Lee had created most of his characters, he had done it through a
write-for-hire agreement, so he doesn't own the characters. Stan was then, just a "meat and potatoes" kind of guy, trying to put meat and potatoes on the table. But over the years, he was very instrumental in putting Marvel Comics on the map.

When the 10% deal was formally put together, apparently most individuals involved
didn't realize the windfall that comic book character movies would become. Now is that any reason to hold back Stan's piece of the pie? I think not. Just corporate bigwigs trying to increase their lot in life. Now this is just my opinion so don't rant back at me as being unfair.

As luck would have it, a federal judge agreed and ruled in favor of Lee. How much
monetary compensation does this mean? Well to put it in perspective, the two Spider-
Man movies thus far, have reaped on the order of 800 million dollars apiece, in world wide ticket sales. This settlement could mean tens of millions of dollars for Lee, but the battle is not over. Marvel, will quite probably appeal the verdict and the case may be tied up in the courts for years.

Now don't go feeling too badly for Stan Lee. He is still pulling down a salary from
Marvel on the order of a million dollars. Still not to shabby in my mind. And Lee has mixed feelings because he has been loyal to Marvel for 60 years. To have his lifelong employer trying to, shall we say, stiff him, for being so loyal, I'm sure, does hurt. Had it not been for Lee, Marvel may not have been in the financial position they are today.

At 82, Stan Lee does have a comfortable and successful life. And if even his settlement is held up in the courts for years, Stan won the first round. He didn't bow down to the corporate hammer. Just another "Joe working class hero" yelling out, hey guys, let's play by the rules.

Dave Gieber, a former rocket engineer, has decided to take up residency on the Internet. He is the owner and editor of several websites, one of which was built around one of his childhood passions; . You can visit here to keep up to date on the world of comic books and comic book collecting. Feel free to sign up for my comic book ezine.

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Monday, March 2, 2009

Did Albert Einstein Ever Link Doom of Human Race to Bees?

By Ruth Tan

Probably, the most common bee controversy ever associated with Albert Einstein is if he had ever predicted this: "If the bee disappears from the surface of the earth, man would have no more than four years to live"?

Perhaps why this dispute created a huge buzz was because it was rather unimaginable for Albert Einstein, who was neither an entomologist nor a beekeeper, to speculate about bees.

Nevertheless, we all would miss the most important lesson in this hoo-ha if our minds are fixed on verifying the authenticity of the quote. The unnerving question is "How true is this statement?" Isn't it? We can brag relentlessly about our knowledge on the advancement of science and technology today, but how much do we really know about the world we live? Have we blatantly and foolishly taken nature for granted?

Sometime in 2007, the sudden, mysterious disappearance of honeybees in the United States, Europe and Brazil was a reminder of the quote attributed to Albert Einstein, and a wake-up call for mankind. Beekeepers lost a bulk of their hives and suffered significant losses in honey production, and up till now are still stumbling over the understanding of this so-called "colony collapse disorder" syndrome and its cause. No one could explain why the bees became disoriented and failed to return to their hives!

We are told that the honey bee is totally responsible for the pollination of over 90 fruit and vegetable crops worldwide, so it would be devastating if we were to lose a majority or all of our honey bee pollinators for these crops. The bee is a fragile part of our system and an important indicator of our out of balance world. Their weird disappearing act has far-reaching implications for our agricultural food supply and is definitely not an issue to be overseen.

Until now, some of the possible causes of this strange phenomenon postulated by scientists include:

• Global warming accelerates the growth rates of pathogens such as the mites, viruses and fungi that affect the health of bee colonies. The unusual hot-cold weather fluctuations wreak havoc on bee populations which are accustomed to consistent seasonal weather patterns.

• Increasing use of chemical pesticides and herbicides, which honeybees ingest during their daily pollination rounds have weakened or killed them.

• Increase in atmospheric electromagnetic radiation as a result of growing numbers of cell phones and wireless communication towers. Cell phone radiation interferes with bees' ability to navigate through the air.

Ultimately, whether Albert Einstein did ever discuss about the bees becomes an irrelevant concern in the light of a much graver question, "What should we do to encourage the return of the bees?"


R. Tan is the owner of the website which is a rich honey resource community specially built for all the honey lovers and fans in this world. She has packed this website with a wide range of quality contents on honey based on her knowledge and experience with honey, so as to promote its invaluable benefits which she believes could bring many positive spin-offs in everyone's daily life.

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