Archive for March, 2015

Physicist or not a physicist?

In the film Amadeus, Salieri wonders what Mozart looks like.  He knows Mozart by reputation, but has never met the man.  He says:

“As I went through the salon, I played a game with myself. This man had written his first concerto at the age of four; his first symphony at seven; a full-scale opera at twelve. Did it show? Is talent like that written on the face?”

Good question. Decide for yourself:

Is this genius?

Which brings me to a game we can play: Physicist or not a physicist?

Look at the following portraits, and see if you can see the spark of genius in them.  Which ones are as smart as Einstein?  And which ones are merely composers, economists, or chess players?  [Answers follow at the end of the post.]

























[A quick note on the formatting of this post.  Yes, I know it sucks.  And it took me 2.5 hours to get to this level of suckiness.  Thanks, WordPress, for forcing the broken Beep Boop Boop editor on me, and disabling classic mode!  In the Beep Boop mode, not only is everything slower, but (1) you can’t center text in picture captions, (2) the visual editor doesn’t accurately display what’s in the HTML editor, (3) the visual editor doesn’t accurately display what’s in preview mode, (4) if text is left justified, then it wraps around automatically, even if you didn’t choose this option, (5) you can’t change font size of the text, or caption, (6) you can’t even change the fucking FONT, (7) tags are now buried under several levels of drop-down menus, slowing things down immensely, and (8) there’s an annoying pop-up asking me after every edit if Hey! Do I want to Preview?  No, I don’t want a preview, WordPress, and your removing the “switch to classic mode” button was frankly just malicious.]

Answers [highlight to reveal]: #1 Physicist Emmy Noether.  #2 Composer Bela Bartok.  #3 Chess champion Mikhail Tal.  #4 Economist John Maynard Keynes.  #5 Physicist Shirley Jackson.  #6 Physicist Lise Meitner. #7 President John Tyler.  #8 Physicist Chen Ning Yang.  #9 Physicist Michael Faraday.  #10 Physicist Emilie du Chatelet.  #11 Swordsman Miyamoto Musashi.  #12 Physicist Michael Binger.

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