Summary and Info
There was an electron in gold
Who said, 'Shall I do as I'm told?
Shall I snuggle down tight
With a brief flash of light
Or be Auger outside in the cold?' (Arthur Snell, Fluorescent yield)
"This isn't right. This isn't even wrong." Wolfgang Pauli, on a paper of a physicist colleague
Tour of Delightful Science:
Such stimulating tour of witty and pleasing stories, memories, biographies, poetry, vocabulary and quotations with funny drawings and caricatures invoking fresh air for a mind eager for a relaxing massage of humor and a reassuring message whispering that clever scientists can be great fun!
The wonderful collection seems like a coffee table book of science delights, but for an experienced sampler, "When does jam becomes marmalade," goes beyond such differences of beer and lager to a culture gap which Kipling's statement on East and West could not console.
While philology is not closely related to natural sciences, the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts claims its original aims was to "care for the study of language and literature". A conference glossary informed me on the inner meaning of scientists' papers discussions. 'The physics terms made easy' cheered me up a lot, here are selected few:
Conic section: Funny paper, Cosine: The opposite of stop sign, flux: past participle of the verb 'to flex', Harmonic function: Concert, Hypotenuse: Animal like rhinoceros but with no horn on nose, normal solution: the wrong answer, statistical correlation: 36-22-35, and, Watt: will you please repeat that remark.
Promoting Academic Research:
Being critical of scientific research is understandable, but when it comes from researchers it is normally funny sarcasm, and this book was not short of issues; In defense of pure research, American Institute of Useless Research, What do physicist do?, Pneumatic experiment, How a theoretical physicist works, Researcher prayer, ...
In conclusion, a researcher's prayer:
May be the best way to persuade readers of science, with PhD and MS incumbents to read this lovely anthology comes from the proceedings of the chemical society records, pray!
"Grant, oh God, thy benedictions
On my theory's predictions
Lest the facts, when verified,
Show Thy servant to have lied.
May they make me B.Sc.,
A Ph.D. and then
A D.Sc., and F.R.S.,
A time Obit. Amen
My Book Review:
A quarter of a century after its publication, this collection is still brisk Like fresh air. As the researcher's prayer, the Fisherman's prayer, expresses it best for me, "God give me strength to catch a fish, So Large that even I, When telling of it afterward, May never need to lie." This book is that magical fish!
In Summa, a philosopher's observation:
"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving that they are purposeless are an interesting subject of study." Alfred N. Whitehead, The Function of Reason
More About the Author
Robert J. Weber (born April, 1947) is the Frederic E. Nemmers Distinguished Professor of Decision Sciences at the J.L.
Review and Comments
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