Having lived through two world wars, Einstein had seen humanity at its worst, yet remained hopeful and buoyed by "his fundamental belief in the nobility of spirit." He spent a great deal of his life 'widening our circles of compassion' and advocating for the conditions that nurture this nobility. He wrote letters on this subject to African-American socialist and civil-rights leader W.E.B. Du Bois, as well as letters to Gandhi "about peace and the antidote to violence." He encouraged women to pursue science at a time women were predominately home-bound. "Einstein suggests that the power to speak out against injustice need not be reserved for those professionally devoted to human rights work, nor manifested in grand deeds of activism." He believed it was everyone's duty...not just for a select few.
Here are a few other interesting and fun facts about Albert Einstein that you might enjoy knowing, whether you're a science geek, or not.
1. Einstein was only an average student in math.
2. He failed his university entrance exam.
3. He aided in the development of nuclear weapons, but not in the way you might think. He wrote a letter to President Roosevelt encouraging him to create the atomic bomb. Although Einstein was a dedicated pacifist, he was convinced that America needed this weapon before the Nazis.
4. He was a great musician. He started playing the violin at age 5 and became accomplished enough to have worked as a musician.
5. Einstein was offered the job as President of Israel, but declined.
6. He married his cousin.
7. He promised his Nobel Prize money to his wife in their divorce...before he'd actually won it.
8. He had a daughter out of wedlock. He rarely mentioned her and her fate is unknown.
9. One of his two sons was institutionalized for schizophrenia.
10. He loved to sail.
11. Einstein didn't like socks and rarely wore them.
12. He was born with an alarming large head - His mother feared he was deformed.
13. His speech development, during childhood, was significantly delayed.
14. His brain was actually physically different than the rest of humans.
15. The weight of his brain, however, was the same as an average person's.
16. After his death, his brain was stolen. It was removed after his autopsy and taken without permission. It was returned to the family 40 years later in 1998.
17. His eyeballs were also taken and remain in a safe deposit box in New York to this day.
18. Einstein rarely visited a lab.
19. He developed his most important discoveries while working a tedious "day job."
20. He was under FBI surveillance for a long time, fearing that this left-wing pacifist could be some kind of threat to the establishment...or even a Soviet spy!
If you'd like to know more about Albert Einstein and his counterforce against injustice, I suggest you pick up a copy of Ideas and Opinions by Albert Einstein. I haven't finished it yet, but I'm finding it very enlightening!
After staying up too late reading, it's time for me to hop off and take a quick snooze.
See you all back here tomorrow!