Jan. 4, 2000
Smelling the Snow
Poem: "Smelling the Snow" by David Citino from Broken Symmetry published by Ohio State University Press.
On this day in 1960, French novelist and existential philosopher Albert Camus was killed in an automobile accident at Villeblerin, [veel-bluh-REHNH] France, at the age of 46. His novels include The Plague (1947), and The Fall (1957). In 1957 he received the Nobel Prize for Literature.
It's the birthday of English mathematician and physicist Sir Isaac Newton, born in Woolsthorpe, England (1643), inventor of Calculus. He solved many mysteries of physics involving light, optics, gravitation and motion. Newton himself always gave credit to his scientific predecessors for his achievements, and wrote in his journal, "If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants." When he was 50, Newton suffered a severe emotional disorder and turned from science, developing a passionate interest in alchemy, mysticism and theology subjects he wrote about until his death (1727).
It's the birthday of German scholar, philologist and author, Jakob (Ludwig Karl) Grimm, born in Hanau, Germany (1785). He studied linguistics and medieval literature as a young man, and developed a definitive German Grammar (1819). Jakob and his younger brother Wilhelm, a literary critic and librarian, were both extremely fond of traditional German folktales, and together they collected a comprehensive volume called Household Tales (1812). The collection was later expanded into the familiar Grimm's Fairy Tales (1857).
It's the birthday of musician and teacher of the blind, Louis Braille, born in Coupvray, France (1809). Braille was blinded in an accident at the age of three, attended the Institute for the Young Blind in Paris (where he loved science and excelled in music), and became a respected organist and violoncellist in Paris music circles. In 1828, Braille returned to the Institute as an instructor for the blind, and a year later conceived his idea for the Braille System of reading, writing and musical notation, a system of raised dots embossed in paper to indicate letters, numbers and punctuation.
Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®