April 28th, 2009

Big White Beard

Modern Times

"I won't dis you on the Internet
Because my Momma didn't raise me like that"

those words or nearly those words, heard in a rap number on HD radio on my way back from lunch. And I thought, well, yo momma sure must be young to know about nettiquette, and then I remembered flame wars...
  • Current Mood
    amused amused


The Pacific Science Center's calendar twitter says today is Henri Poincare's 155th birthday. I first heard about this mathematician/physicist in 1965 or 1966 when the parental units took us to the Pacific Science Center (bought us annual passes, too), and there was a little plaque in the area where they had a huge machine which dropped balls through a grid of rubber bumpers, showing the concept of random distribution and the bell-shaped curve. The plaque was one of several cards with quotes on it, and this one, which made me LOL, was from Poincare, and it said:

"You ask me to predict for you the phenomena about to happen. If, unluckily, I knew the laws of these phenomena I could make the prediction only by inextricable calculations and would have to renounce attempting to answer you; but as I have the good fortune not to know them, I will answer you at once. And what is most surprising, my answer will be right."