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At the age of sixteen, while in Aarau, Albert [Einstein] asked himself what a light wave would look like to someone keeping pace with it.
Compared with the other incident, this one seems inconsequential. It appears to be no achievement at all but merely an unanswered question. But this question that Albert asked himself at the age of sixteen haunted him for years. It strikingly reveals his ability to go to the heart of a problem. For the question contains the germ of the theory of relativity, and at the time no one in the world could have given a satisfactory answer. Einstein found an answer himself, but it took him ten years.
Banesh Hoffmann, Einstein (1973)
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Pleasant to me is the glittering of the sun today upon these margins, because it flickers so.
Three scientists sit inside a fire lit bat cave in Panama, August 1915.
Photograph by George Shiras, National Geographic
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I like the town on rainy nights
When everything is wet—
When all the town has magic lights
And streets of shining jet!
When all the rain about the town
Is like a looking-glass,
And all the lights are upside-down
Below me as I pass.
In all the pools are velvet skies,
And down the dazzling street
A fairy city gleams and lies
In beauty at my feet.
Irene Thompson, ‘Rainy Nights’