With today being the 56th anniversary of Albert Einstein’s passing I thought it might be nice to dedicate today’s Smirk to the man with the crazy hair.

I get that Al was one of the most, if not the most, brilliant mind in the 20th century, but for some reason whenever I think of him, the first place I go is the image of him sticking out his tongue at the camera.

I mean sure eventually I get to the E=MC2 persona, but it always takes a little time. I’ve even watched a documentary about the man and was surprised at how obsessed he became with his work. So much so that his health started to suffer as a result, which, in my opinion, lead to this little know mathematical gem of his:

W/E = (S) : ( + CH
Work over everything equals sickness, times a sad face, plus crazy hair.

Even though his scientist friends laughed at this new formula, he knew it was true. He had lived it after all. It was during this recovery that Al discovered the importance of balance in one’s life. Work is important, but for longevity and peace of mind you have to make sure to take time for yourself and take time to laugh with life. This new philosophy resulted in the invention of an entirely new system of math for the purpose of creating the following formula:

[~~OK~~] ([~~/\~~]) = xK\~~~~ + 1 : ) [~~/\~~]*
A man in water, times a shark in water equals a dead man under water, plus one happy face shark in water.
*A special thank you to my Facebook friend Paula Caddick for educating me on the basics behind this formula.

And even though those last two equations are not to be taken a factual statements, it does not change the importance on their message or the sure brilliance of the made up math involved. Still, apart from being a genius Al is still a source of many truly grand and Smirk inspiring quotes. Here are ten of my favorites:

  • “There are two ways to live your life – one is as though nothing is a miracle, the other is as though everything is a miracle.”
  • “The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources.”
  • “The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education.”
  • “The whole of science is nothing more than a refinement of everyday thinking.”
  • “If A is a success in life, then A equals x plus y plus z. Work is x; y is play; and z is keeping your mouth shut.”
  • “Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.”
  • “The life of the individual has meaning only insofar as it aids in making the life of every living thing nobler and more beautiful. Life is sacred, that is to say, it is the supreme value, to which all other values are subordinate.”
  • “People do not grow old no matter how long we live. We never cease to stand like curious children before the great Mystery into which we were born.”
  • “I am content in my later years. I have kept my good humor and take neither myself nor the next person seriously.”
  • “Time is what prevents everything from happening at once.”

There are a number of Einstein photos available on the net, so to finish off this ode to Al I thought I’d give my own personal interpretation for some of my favorite Einstein photos:

Little know fact, this photo of Einstein riding a bike was the inspiration for Queen’s hit single “Bicycle Race.”

This photo of Einstein pointing at what I assume is a reporter who has a question for him seems to perfectly capture the following made up quote, “One more intentionally misleading statement out of you Mr. Rupert Murdoch and someone is gonna get the hurt real bad.”

(I was going to go with a “full my finger quote”, but that’s just too easy.)

In this photo of Al giggling profusely, what the photographer failed to miss was the puppy licking Al’s bare toes.

So on this day of remembrance, let me just say thanks Al, not just for all that science stuff, but for keeping us laughing for the 56 years since you experienced life’s greatest mystery. Here’s to you, cheers!

Image Sources:
Google Images, keywords: Albert Einstein and puppy licking toes.

© Richard Timothy 2011