At some stage during our education, we all get to hear and learn about Albert Einstein. After all, he was the great German-born theoretical physicist who developed the theory of relativity, and the formula “E = mc2” which states that matter can be converted into energy. What may strike you initially, however, is that his appearance can only be described as how one might imagine a mad scientist to look.
Despite this, and even after his death in 1955 at the age of 76, images of Einstein are frequently to be seen, and generally, they have nothing to do with physics assignments 🙂 His face is often to be found on motivational illustrations or amusing satirical cartoons; but why is this?
There are probably several reasons why Einstein’s image is used so often. He is famous, and the work that he carried out was both intellectual and serious. However, his appearance can be seen as quite odd or amusing. When describing himself he once said, “Let me tell you what I look like a pale face, long hair, and a tiny beginning of a paunch. In addition, an awkward gait, and a cigar in the mouth …”
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Einstein was also renowned for making profound statements and observations on life, and these are still frequently quoted even today. However, there are many fake quotes in circulation that have been attributed to Einstein. Some are meant to sound like something which Einstein might have said. Others are deliberately ridiculous or satirical, and by putting an oddball image of him next to the text enhances the amusement of the statement.
Despite his brilliance, Einstein lived quite an eccentric life. For example, Einstein never learned how to drive a car, preferring to either ride a bicycle or to walk. He was a heavy smoker, a life member of the Montreal Pipe Smokers Club, and is said to have picked up cigarette butts off the street to get tobacco for his pipe. He was married twice, the second time to his own first cousin.
Putting his eccentricity aside, Einstein was also noted as having a sense of humor. This may also be why his image is so often used when a satirical comment is published.
Below are just some of the amusing quotes which have been attributed to him:
“When I was young I found out that the big toe always ends up making a hole in a sock. So I stopped wearing socks.”
“When you are courting a nice girl an hour seems like a second. When you sit on a red-hot cinder a second seems like an hour. That’s relativity.”
“The devil has put a penalty on all things we enjoy in life. Either we suffer in health or we suffer in soul or we get fat.”
“Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.”
“Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen.”
“In order to form an immaculate member of a flock of sheep one must, above all, be a sheep.”
“If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?”
“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
“The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax.”
Other than his inspirational quotes and profound statements, there is one particular life hack that we can all learn from Einstein and his life, which is to never judge anything from appearance alone. We are all very different people and act and behave differently. We each have our own skill set and abilities, and to judge someone or something by appearance alone is something that should be avoided.
If you were to see a disheveled figure in the street picking up cigarette butts, you would probably form an immediate opinion of that person, and I doubt that it would be that the person is a genius!