Tag Archives: Martin Gardner

Marginalia, no.257

In recent years scientists have been shaken by the discovery that the universe is much lumpier than previously suspected.

~ Martin Gardner, ‘Fearful Symmetry’ (The Night is Large)

That this should leave us shaken is understandable. Among the first things we learn in the kitchen as children is that pancakes and cookies turn out better when the batter is lumpy. We always imagine ourselves the baker, never the treat.

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Marginalia, no.221

… as if to be caught happy in a world of misery was for an honest man the most despicable of crimes.

~ Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse

It may have been stolen from others but I can feel no guilt for my own happiness. Martin Gardner once wrote (in a sort of Chestertonian ecstasy) that “all the evils of the world are a small price to pay for the privilege of existing.” The phrase is perhaps miscalculated; Gardner can’t very well pay for evils suffered by others, even if he wanted to. Still, loot is for spending. An honest thief never thinks twice.

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