Miscellany and Trivia

Anecdotes about Pablo Picasso – Five

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During World War II Picasso suffered some harassment from the Gestapo in Nazi-occupied Paris. An inquisitive German officer, coming into his apartment, noticed a photograph of Guernica lying on a table. “Did you do that?” he asked Picasso. “No, you did,” said Picasso.

Anecdotes about Albert Einstein (1)

MTr. Anecdotes 2 Albert Einstein

“When I was young I found out that the big toe always ends up making a hole in a sock, “Einstein once recalled. “So I stopped wearing socks.”

Anecdotes about Albert Einstein (2)

MTr. Anecdotes 3 Albert-Einstein-

Speaking at the Sorbonne during the 1930s, Einstein said, “If my relativity theory is verified, Germany will proclaim me a German and France will call me a citizen of the world. But if my theory is proved false, France will emphasize that I am a German and Germany will say that I am a Jew.”

Anecdotes about Albert Einstein (3)

MTr. Anecdotes 4 Alberrt Einstein

Einstein went to look at a kibbutz while on a visit to Palestine in 1921. He asked many questions of the 22-year-old girl who was head of the young community. One question was, “What is the relationship here of men to women?”

Thinking that he was one of the many visitors, who thought that women were common property in the kibbutz, she stammered, very embarrassed, “But, Herr Professor, each man here has one woman.”

Einstein's eyes twinkled. He took the girl's hand and said, “Don't be alarmed at my question – by “relationship” we physicists understand something rather simple, namely how many men are there and how many women.”

Anecdotes about Albert Einstein (4)

MTr. Anecdotes 5 Albert-Einstein and Charlie Chaplin

In 1931 Charlie Chaplin invited Albert Einstein, who was visiting Hollywood, to a private screening of his new film City Lights. As the two men drove into town together, passersby waved and cheered. Chaplin turned to his guest and explained:

“The people are applauding you because none of them understands you and applauding me because everybody understands me.”

Anecdotes about Albert Einstein (5)

MTr. Anecdotes 6 Albert Einstein
Sir William Rothenstein was in Berlin doing a portrait of Einstein. The mathematician was always accompanied to the studio by a solemn, academic looking individual who sat in a corner throughout the sittings. Einstein, not wishing to waste any time, was putting forth certain tentative theories, to which the silent companion replied only by an occasional nod or shake of the head. When the work was concluded, Rothenstein, who was curious, asked Einstein who his companion was.

“That's my mathematician,” said Einstein, “who examines problems which I put before him and checks their validity. You see, I am not myself a good mathematician . . .”

Anecdotes about Mozart (1)

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Mozart as a child

Part of the service used in the Pope's chapel at Rome is sacredly guarded and kept with great care in the archives of the chapel. Any singer found tampering with this “Miserere” of Allegri, or giving a note of it to an outsider, would be visited by excommunication. Only three copies of this service have ever been sent out. One was for the Emperor Leopold, another to the King of Portugal, and the third to the celebrated musician, Padre Martini.

But there was one copy that was made without the Pope's orders, and not by a member of the choir either. When Mozart was taken to Rome in his youth, by his father, he went to the service at St. Peter's and heard the service in all its impressiveness. Mozart, senior, could hardly arouse the lad from his fascination with the music, when the time came to leave the cathedral. That night after they had retired and the father slept, the boy stealthily arose and by the bright light of the Italian moon, wrote out the whole of that sacredly guarded “Miserere” The Pope's locks, bars, and excommunications gave no safety against a memory like Mozart's.

Anecdotes about Mozart (2)

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Mozart was once approached by a young man who was interested in Mozart's advice on how to compose a symphony. Since he was still very young, Mozart recommended that he start by composing ballads. Surprised, the young man responded, “But you wrote symphonies when you were only ten years old.” “But I didn't have to ask how,” countered Mozart.

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