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Thursday, March 14, 2013

March 14: Celebrating Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein
March 14, 1879 – April 18, 1955

March 14, 2013 -- Theoretical physicist and Nobel Prize winner Albert Einstein, best known for his mass-energy equivalence formula, E = mc2 -- probably the world's most famous equation -- was born one hundred and thirty-four years ago today. Einstein is also recognized as the developer of the general theory of relativity, one of the two pillars of modern physics (alongside quantum mechanics).  In 1921, he  received the Nobel Prize in Physics "for his services to theoretical physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect," the latter pivotal in establishing quantum theory.  In 1999, forty-four years after his death, leading physicists voted Einstein the "greatest physicist ever."

This popular photo of the physicist was taken on Einstein's 72nd birthday on March 14, 1951. UPI photographer Arthur Sasse was trying to persuade Einstein to smile for the camera, but having smiled for photographers many times that day, Einstein stuck out his tongue instead. Einstein requested nine copies for personal use, one of which he signed for a reporter. On June 19, 2009, the original signed photograph was sold at auction for whopping $74,324, a record for an Einstein picture.

[Source: Wikipedia]


by Austin Alexis

When Albert Einstein stuck his tongue out
for the camera
was it clean?
And if he didn’t care,
why not?
What equation was he mucking-up,
what Inca cord math was he unknotting,
or what graph was he scribbling upon
by defiantly not washing his mouth?
What proof
was he trying to prove?
Did he always have a pronouncement?
Was he saying
with his lips gaping
like a Rocky Mountain cave
that the mysteries of X,
the nagging questions of existence
are too profound
for seriousness?

This poetry selection is from Austin Alexis's book, For Lincoln & Other Poems, published by Poets Wear Prada in 2010.

For Lincoln & Other Poems
by Austin Alexis
ISBN 978-0-9841844-3-9 
Perfect Bound, 34pp.
List Price: $10.00
Poet Wear Prada: March 2010
Available at Babbo's Books
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Brooklyn, NY 11215
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