July 20 is a summer day. While my hometown Ağrı, a northeastern remote town of Turkey, is not one of the warmest places on earth, it is still a relatively warm but also quite dusty place in July. I was only 12 then, just finished elementary school, heading to the Jr. High, or as they say in Turkey, the Middle School. There was no TV in Ağrı at that time; it was an invention that had yet not arrived my home. The newspapers came daily, but usually a day late due to the time it takes to bring them from Istanbul by bus. Everyday, I visited my father’s hardware store and some other places, reading yesterday’s papers and following one of the greatest stories: The landing of man on the moon. Quickly, it became my job to inform my relatives about this story. I was the only person in town who knew what was going on. I knew the names of everyone involved in the story, from the President JFK, members of his cabinet, the director of NASA, top scientists, engineers, to the astronauts who were locked in that uncomfortably small capsule and was sent off of the earth. As much as a 12-year can claim authority on the subject, I became the source of information for my family, my relatives, our neighbors and anyone else who wanted to know. For many, this was an event to which they paid intermittent attention, and quickly forgot afterward. For me, however, it was an event that shaped the rest of my life. I decided that I wanted to become a scientist or engineer who can be involved in projects like this; the moon may have been captured, but many celestial objects are yet to be reached: Mars, Venus, maybe even Pluto. After 40 years, humanity still did not figure out an efficient way to send manned spaceships beyond the moon, but the dream remains and our robot machines are already digging the surface of the Mars or heading beyond the solar system. As for me, due to what was available or feasible, I studied first electrical engineering and then computer science, but I am still a constant admirer and avid reader of space exploration.
I am grateful to those who dreamed of and finally made the landing on the moon possible; without their implicit encouragement, an unpretentious boy from a remote northeastern town of Turkey would have never received a doctorate in computer science from the University of California.
– Do you believe in God?
– If you ask me if there is a God, perhaps I can answer that.
– Is there a God?
– If there is, he erased all possible traces, making it impossible to construct a proof. I don’t know why he did that. He must know better.
On 22 March 1954 Einstein received a letter from J. Dispentiere, an Italian immigrant who had worked as an experimental machinist in New Jersey. Dispentiere had declared himself an atheist and was disappointed by a news report which had cast Einstein as conventionally religious. Einstein replied on 24 March 1954:
It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it.
Einstein generally spoke and wrote in German, definitely in his earlier years but even after he moved to the US and worked at IAS in Princeton. However, this comment was indeed in English. Page 43 in Albert Einstein, The Human Side: New Glimpses From His Archives, Edited by Banesh Hoffman and Helen Dukas, ISBN: 9780691023687.
Brezhnev is showing his humble mother around his historic office, his magnificent collection of foreign luxury cars and his palatial dacha with its superb meals, and asking for her impressions — to which she replies: “It’s wonderful, Leonid, but what happens if the Bolsheviks come back?”
Man is fallible and full of fear.
Hirsch suggested (with large error bars) that, for physicists, a value for h of about 12 might be typical for advancement to tenure (associate professor) at major research universities. A value of about 18 could mean a full professorship, 15–20 could mean a fellowship in the American Physical Society, and 45 or higher could mean membership in the United States National Academy of Sciences
i-10 index: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I10-index
The I10-index indicates the number of academic papers an author has written that have at least ten citations from others. It was introduced in July 2011 by Google as part of their work on Google Scholar, a search engine dedicated to academic and related papers.