Mister Eclectic (howeird) wrote,
Mister Eclectic


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."

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