Albert Einstein's Head - Monday, August 10, 2015

The American Treasure Tour could be called a repository for everything fun from the United States.  It could be called a lot of things, we suppose, but we're sticking with this moniker for now.  New additions are brought into the collection on a regular basis, and we at the blog rarely learn about them in advance of their arrival.  Our Albert Einstein's Head is no exception.  When it showed up two weeks ago, we were pretty surprised, to put it mildly.  Of course, we were also very excited.  There seemed to be an inexplicable absence here, and now we know that's because, until the end of July, we didn't have a giant head of Albert Einstein.  So, let's talk about the great man - and his head.

Albert Einstein was born in the Ulm region of Germany in 1879, to move to Munich at a very young age, where he received his early education.  Einstein had a natural inclination towards physics, which helped him after he completed his own education get work in Zurich, Switzerland. Since he is so closely associated with the Manhattan Project (the program that would eventually harness the power of the atom for the atomic bomb) and for his time living in Princeton, New Jersey and working for the Institute for Advanced Study, it may be surprising to learn that he was 54 years old when he moved to the United States.  He renounced his German citizenship in 1933 when he learned that, as a Jewish-born scientist, his country not only rejected him but all of his accomplishments with the rise of Nazism.  He had already become an international celebrity for his scientific theories, having won the Nobel Prize in 1921, and was quite possibly the most famous scientist in the world.  Einstein lived the last twenty-two years of his life at Princeton, dying in 1955 from an aneurysm.  He has definitely become a permanent fixture in American culture.  Most of us know his theory of relativity, but few of us know exactly what it means.  But who can judge us?  We're not all Einsteins, you know!
QUESTION:  What does the "c" stand for in E = mc2?
A)  Energy
B)  Mass
C)  Carbon
D)  Speed of Light

SMITH'S BABY.  On this day in 1846, a very important organization was chartered in Washington, D.C., one that would do wonders to add an educational credibility to the young United States in the eyes of other nations around the world. Congress accepted the $500,000 willed by a man named James Smithson to establish a place of learning in the Nation's Capital, developed "for the increase and diffusion of learning. That would, of course, become the Smithsonian Institution, one of the most significant museum complexes in the world.  It now consists of nineteen museums, nine research facilities, a zoo, and 168 affiliates across the country and even overseas.  Thank you James!

ROSANNA!  Turning 58 today is older sister to David and Patricia (and Alexis and Richmond), Patricia Arquette has made an impact both in front of and behind the camera in movies since the 1980s.  Her breakout roll was in Desperately Seeking Susan in 1985 led to her choice of films, but she became disillusioned with acting, doing it more for a paycheck than anything else.  She began directing, specifically documentaries including 2002's Searching for Debra Winger.  Happy birthday, Patricia.  Is it time, do you think, for Amazon Women on the Moon, Part 2?

QUOTE:  If you can't explain it soimply, you don't understand it well enough. - Albert Einstein

ANSWER:  D)  Speed of Light.  Yeah, we don't know why, either.