Einstein’s Brain Travels Across Nation in Buick

Did Al Take A Final Ride in a Buick Skylark?

Did Al Take A Final Ride in a Buick Skylark?

On This Date in History:

Albert Einstein was born on this date in 1879. Now, just about everyone knows about Einstein and the theory of relativity. I had to derive E=MC(squared) for a physics final. But, there are many many more interesting aspects to Einstein than most people know. It wasn’t until recently that the private papers of the physicist were made available. Walter Isaacson has written a very detailed biography(Einstein: His Life and Universe) and it reveals quite a bit.   For instance, young Einstein couldn’t get a teaching job! The photo

Take That Media!

Take That Media!

above is from when he was a clerk at a patent office. His personality was apparently really grating on many academicians and so he found it hard to get work at any of the universities. If I recall correctly, I think he even couldn’t get a job teaching high school. But I’m not sure. Isaacson co-wrote a book we used in graduate school called The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made and it was quite detailed and revealing about a group of men who largely shaped US post war policy. Well, Isaacson is quite detailed again with his 2007 biography. Einstein’s personal life is also very odd, if not interesting. However, I’d recommend not reading it if you want to think of Einstein as the brilliant man with the funny hair. Reality sometimes spoils the image.  But, if you do read it, then you will find that even those whom some would like to emulate have their faults.  He was far from perfect and in some ways he was sorely lacking in many areas, in my view, compared with a great number of people that I know, and I suspect, those whom I don’t really know like Eric from Indiana.


Something Special in Al's Noggin?

I’m not going to give it all away but I will tell you that Einstein’s brain has had almost as interesting a story after he was done using it as it did when still in use in Einstein’s skull.  Here is a detailed account of the travel of his brain(Postcards from the Brain Museum).  It is similar to Isaacson’s account with a few differences.  For instance, Brian Burrell makes it sound like Albert’s son, Hans Albert, gave his permission to Thomas Harvey to remove Einstein’s brain after he died.  Isaacson is a bit more detailed in that he reports that Harvey broke Princeton rules and simply removed the brain on his own.  No one knew about it…or maybe one other person did.  But, the next day in a 5th grade class, a teacher asked the students what had happened in the news.  One girls raised her hand and said that Albert Einstein had died.  Then a little boy raised his hand and trumped her when he said that his dad had the brain.  So…the cat was out of the bag.  Hans Albert, according to Isaacson, calls to complain and Harvey convinces him that the brain is of great scientific value and it was then, after the brain had already been removed, that Isaacson said that Hans Albert “reluctantly” went along with the scheme. 

The brain ends up getting put in cookie jars, cut into pieces, moved from place to place as Harvey loses jobs, gets divorced, gets remarried a few times and takes the brain on the road as it traveled across the country in the trunk of Harvey’s Buick.  This type of thing goes on for several decades.  It is both funny and amazing.  Isaacson cites the few studies that have actually been done on the brain tissue and concludes that all of the research is really inconclusive and opines that the secret is not the brain, but learning how Einstein’s mind worked.  I suppose, after Harvey got done with him though, one might say that Albert did, indeed, lose his mind.

NWS Louisville Analysis of Snow From Thursday

NWS Louisville Analysis of Snow From Thursday

Weather Bottom Line: Friday was a nice day and we took advantage of it by running out to feed our freinds at Henry’s Ark.  Twas a shade cool but not too bad in the sun.  Thursday was a pretty tough call on the snow but I think I had leaned that snow would be most likely south.  Well, it sure wasn’t too far south…Bardstown got over 3 inches while Louisville saw nothing.  That is tight. 

Otherwise, the song basically stays the same.  The low to our south appears to be tracking a bit closer to us so by Saturday afternoon, so rain chances will crescendo.  They stick around into the first part of Sunday.  The clouds and rain on Saturday will hold us in the mid 40’s but with some sunshine on Sunday afternoon, we could add ten degrees.   Monday low 60’s.  Upper 60’s Tuesday, low to mid 70’s on Wednesday before a front comes through and brings rain Wednesday night followed by cooler air.  Tis the season for the roller coaster.


2 Responses

  1. I read that book “Driving Mr. Albert” and loved it.

    Happy Birthday!

  2. It’s a wild story

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