an apple…or something

I’ll blog more about SHARP 2004 when I’m back in KC. Right now there are too many fun things to do over here. Suffice it to say that the conference was great. I’m back in London, now, where the weather is mercifully cooler.

As I was leaving the British Library yesterday, I passed three Americans looking at the enormous statue of Isaac Newton in the library’s courtyard.

Man with strong southern (American) accent: Issac Newton. Now what was he famous for?
Young Woman, looking at the compass Newton is using: Drawing a circle?
Other Young Woman: The laws of gravity.
Me: He invented calculus.*
Man: Yeah, or an apple fell on his head or somethin’.
Me: [blank stare]

*This is not entirely correct, it turns out. According to the Wikipedia entry “Newton … shares credit with Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz for the development of differential calculus.”

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5 thoughts on “an apple…or something

  1. George, you are missing some great weather here! It was 61F about noon yesterday. Was raining, but still. My computer shows the high at my house was 65F about 6PM. Today it is sunny and cool – not a cloud in the sky. At 9:30 AM it is 61!
    Anyway, you need to go to visit the meridian! And you should go to Bletchley Park too! And while you are at Bletchley, you can stop at the Jaguar F1 team in Milton Keynes and then head on over to Silverstone and peek in the windows at Jordan F1. Heck, ya might just run into Johnny Rotten….
    Anyway, that’s what I would do if I went to England…

  2. Now if you were reading Neal Stephenson’s Quicksilver, as I am, you would have been able to stun them into submission with a torrent of explanation (the fiction mixed up with the historical).

  3. Matt, no, I just backed away slowly.
    Randy, well, I ended up going on a city-wide pub crawl with two of my friends (one old and one new), drinking in the places various authors and historical figures did back in the day. It was great.
    Miriam, I need to check that book out; it sounds like a fun read.

  4. The last time I was in London, I was standing across the street from Parliament (on the clocktower/”big ben” side) and I heard an American (our accent is so NASAL!) exclaim to his wife “Well look here, honey! It’s the tower of London! I had no idea is was so close to Parliament!”
    I wanted to scream, but instead we just laughed loudly.

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