You want a physicist to speak at your funeral. You want the physicist to talk to your grieving family about the conservation of energy, so they will understand that your energy has not died. You want the physicist to remind your sobbing mother about the first law of thermodynamics; that no energy gets created in the universe, and none is destroyed. You want your mother to know that all your energy, every vibration, every Btu of heat, every wave of every particle that was her beloved child remains with her in this world. You want the physicist to tell your weeping father that amid energies of the cosmos, you gave as good as you got.
And at one point you’d hope that the physicist would step down from the pulpit and walk to your brokenhearted spouse there in the pew and tell him that all the photons that ever bounced off your face, all the particles whose paths were interrupted by your smile, by the touch of your hair, hundreds of trillions of particles, have raced off like children, their ways forever changed by you. And as your widow rocks in the arms of a loving family, may the physicist let her know that all the photons that bounced from you were gathered in the particle detectors that are her eyes, that those photons created within her constellations of electromagnetically charged neurons whose energy will go on forever.
And the physicist will remind the congregation of how much of all our energy is given off as heat. There may be a few fanning themselves with their programs as he says it. And he will tell them that the warmth that flowed through you in life is still here, still part of all that we are, even as we who mourn continue the heat of our own lives.
And you’ll want the physicist to explain to those who loved you that they need not have faith; indeed, they should not have faith. Let them know that they can measure, that scientists have measured precisely the conservation of energy and found it accurate, verifiable and consistent across space and time. You can hope your family will examine the evidence and satisfy themselves that the science is sound and that they’ll be comforted to know your energy’s still around. According to the law of the conservation of energy, not a bit of you is gone; you’re just less orderly. Amen.
The businessman was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The businessman complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them. The Mexican replied only a little while.
The businessman then asked why he didn’t stay out longer and catch more fish? The Mexican said he had enough to support his family’s immediate needs. The businessman then asked, but what do you do with the rest of your time? The Mexican fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take a siesta with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos; I have a full and busy life, señor.”
The businessman scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and I could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds buy a bigger boat. With the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats; eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman, you would sell directly to the processor and eventually open your own cannery. You would control the product, processing and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually New York City where you would run your expanding enterprise.”
The Mexican fisherman asked, “But señor, how long will this all take?” To which the businessman replied, “15-20 years.” “But what then, señor?” The businessman laughed and said, “That’s the best part! When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich. You would make millions.” “Millions, señor? Then what?” The businessman said, “Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take a siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.”
The fisherman, still smiling, looked up and said, “Isn’t that what I’m doing right now?”
Machiavelli:So that its subjects will view it with admiration, as a chicken which has the daring and courage to boldly cross the road, but also with fear, for whom among them has the strength to contend with such a paragon of avian virtue? In such a manner is the princely chicken's dominion maintained.
Hippocrates:Because of an excess of light pink gooey stuff in its pancreas.
Jacques Derrida:Any number of contending discourses may be discovered within the act of the chicken crossing the road, and each interpretation is equally valid as the authorial intent can never be discerned, because structuralism is DEAD, DAMMIT, DEAD!
Thomas de Torquemada:Give me ten minutes with the chicken and I'll find out.
Timothy Leary:Because that's the only kind of trip the Establishment would let it take.
Nietzsche:Because if you gaze too long across the Road, the Road gazes also across you.
Oliver North:National Security was at stake.
B.F. Skinner:Because the external influences which had pervaded its sensorium from birth had caused it to develop in such a fashion that it would tend to cross roads, even while believing these actions to be of its own free will.
Carl Jung:The confluence of events in the cultural gestalt necessitated that individual chickens cross roads at this historical juncture, and therefore synchronicitously brought such occurrences into being.
Jean-Paul Sartre:In order to act in good faith and be true to itself, the chicken found it necessary to cross the road.
Ludwig Wittgenstein:The possibility of "crossing" was encoded into the objects "chicken" and "road", and circumstances came into being which caused the actualization of this potential occurrence.
Albert Einstein:Whether the chicken crossed the road or the road crossed the chicken depends upon your frame of reference.
Aristotle:To actualize its potential.
Buddha:If you ask this question, you deny your own chicken-nature.
Howard Cosell:It may very well have been one of the most astonishing events to grace the annals of history. An historic, unprecedented avian biped with the temerity to attempt such an herculean achievement formerly relegated to homo sapien pedestrians is truly a remarkable occurence.
Salvador Dali:The Fish.
Darwin:It was the logical next step after coming down from the trees.
Emily Dickinson:Because it could not stop for death.
Ralph Waldo Emerson:It didn't cross the road; it transcended it.
Johann von Goethe:The eternal hen-principle made it do it.
Ernest Hemingway:To die. In the rain.
Werner Heisenberg:We are not sure which side of the road the chicken was on, but it was moving very fast.
David Hume:Out of custom and habit.
Jack Nicholson:'Cause it [censored] wanted to. That's the [censored] reason.
Pyrrho the Skeptic:What road?
Ronald Reagan:I forget.
John Sununu:The Air Force was only too happy to provide the transportation, so quite understandably the chicken availed himself of the opportunity.
The Sphinx:You tell me.
Mr. T.:If you saw me coming you'd cross the road too!
Henry David Thoreau:To live deliberately ... and suck all the marrow out of life.
Mark Twain:The news of its crossing has been greatly exaggerated.
Molly Yard:It was a hen!
Zeno of Elea:To prove it could never reach the other side.
Chaucer:So priketh hem nature in hir corages.
Wordsworth:To wander lonely as a cloud.
The Godfather:I didn't want its mother to see it like that.
Keats:Philosophy will clip a chicken's wings.
Blake:To see heaven in a wild fowl.
Dr. Johnson:Sir, had you known the Chicken for as long as I have, you would not so readily enquire, but feel rather the Need to resist such a public Display of your own lamentable and incorrigible Ignorance.
Mrs. Thatcher:This chicken's not for turning.
Supreme Soviet:There has never been a chicken in this photograph.
Oscar Wilde:Why, indeed? One's social engagements whilst in town ought never expose one to such barbarous inconvenience - although, perhaps, if one must cross a road, one may do far worse than to cross it as the chicken in question.
Kafka:Hardly the most urgent enquiry to make of a low-grade insurance clerk who woke up that morning as a hen.
Swift:It is, of course, inevitable that such a loathsome, filth-ridden and degraded creature as Man should assume to question the actions of one in all respects his superior.
Macbeth:To have turned back were as tedious as to go o'er.
Whitehead:Clearly, having fallen victim to the fallacy of misplaced concreteness.
Freud:An die andere Seite zu kommen. (Much laughter.)
Hamlet:That is not the question.
Donne:It crosseth for thee.
Pope:It was mimicking my Lord Hervey.
Constable:To get a better view.
Yeats:She was following the Faeries that sang to her to come away with them from the dull, bucolic comfort of the farmyard to the waters and the wild.
Shelley:'Tis a metaphor for the pursuits of man: though 'twas deemed an extraordinary occurrence at the time, still it brought little to bear on the great scheme of time and history, and was ultimately fruitless and forgotten.
Tolkien:Chickens are respectable folk, and well thought of. They never go on any adventures or do anything unexpected. One fine spring day, as the chicken wandered contentedly around the farmyard, clucking and pecking and enjoying herself immensely, there appeared a Wizard and thirteen Dwarves who were in need of a chicken to share in their adventure. Reluctantly she joined their party, and with them crossed the road into the great Unknown, muttering about how rude the Dwarves were to take her away on such short notice, without even giving her time to brush her feathers or fetch her hat.
I think I’ve pointed out before how little respect I have for my mother, but it really doesn’t help that she’s a creationist. I am acutely aware that if my dad wasn’t so adamantly opposed to my christening, I could quite easily have turned out like her - closed-minded and unreasonable, defying all logical thought in an attempt to protect the faith she was brought up with.
And that scares me, because to decry evolution as a pack of lies spread by malevolent, misguided or just plain stupid scientists is to defy, in essence, the field of biology itself.
Tabula Rasa Tabula Rasa in Latin means ‘the clean slate’, the state of being where personality is built through what happens to a person inside, in parallel with what happens to them outside. This is a collection of poems that cover the abstract landscapes of humanity. Employing varying ways to…
I have a fascination with the phoenix. I don’t know any culture specific stories or explanations behind them aside from the general concept that they are periodically reborn from their ashes, leaving behind their past lives for a second, and third, and fourth, and so on and so forth. I’ve always…
“Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book. And then there are books which you can’t tell people about, books so special and rare and yours that advertising your affection feels like a betrayal.”—John Green, The Fault in Our Stars (via anditslove)