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30 July 2007 @ 09:30 am
Sentimental about Einstein and Plumbers  
Oh, the things I get sentimental and teary-eyed about...

Einstein believed that there was something dishonest about making money by teaching physics. He argued that it was far better for a physicist to support himself by some other simple and honest labor, and do physics in his spare time. When making a similar remark many years later in America, Eistein mused that he would have liked to be a plumber, and was promptly awarded honorary membership in the plumbers' union.

p.26 Broca's Brain Carl Sagan
indie: big eyesindiefic on July 30th, 2007 07:56 pm (UTC)
I get sentimental about that kind of stuff too. I ran across a similar outlook when reading about the life of Nikola Tesla. He too seemed to share a viewpoint that was so beautifully anti-capitalist american that it really stopped me and made me re-evaluate the ideals I take for granted.
Dancing Until My Last Breath: Morpheus Helmetbatboymaxx on July 31st, 2007 07:55 am (UTC)
So. Awesome.

I heart Einstein so much.
Varnvarn_ix on July 31st, 2007 12:45 pm (UTC)
There was this poor professor of physics, barely making ends meet. One day, he needed to have his plumbing repaired, so he called a plumber. The bill for twenty minutes' work was $30 plus materials.

"Cor!" the professor said. "That's a mighty sum for such a short time! I want to be a plumber, too."

The plumber replied, "Alright, but know that the company will never have you if they find out how much education you've had. It's safest to say you've finished five grades of elementary school."

The professor did so and lived in lush opulence thenceforth.

One day, the company decided the education levels among their employees were staggeringly low. So they arranged for some evening courses to enlighten their workforce. Not wanting to blow his cover, the professor attended them as well.

The first lesson was maths. The pretty young teacher called for a volunteer to compute the cross-section of a pipe with a known diameter.

"Hah," thought the professor, "easy." He walked to the blackboard and gripped the chalk, but came under a sudden attack of stage fright, given his long absence from teaching and the relative proximity of the young teacher. Unable to remember the formula for the area of a circle, he squared his shoulders and quickly derived the formula through an integral. He got minus pi r squared. He was in cold sweat, knowing something went wrong, double checked the integal, the transformation of coordinates, the jacobian, everything. Still wrong. Suddenly, he realized the whole class was saying, in stage whisper, "Switch the limits!"