Behind the ‘flight of stairs’

You may not know the term “nouns of assemblage” by name, but you definitely know it in practice. Nouns of assemblage are everyone’s favorite trivia question, and they’re practically never-ending: What’s a group of owls called? A parliament. Hippopotamuses? That would be a bloat.

Everyone loves a murder of crows, and we reference flights of stairs without even thinking twice about how that’s kind of a weird term for them. Though collective nouns exist in other languages, English is particularly full of these colorful, largely nonsensical linguistic specimens. In fact, many may have originated as a means to show off obscure, cultured, and self-consciously amusing vocabulary.

Who decided that certain objects and animals require specialized terms when they congregate, and why? Great question. Let’s gather to discuss.

I have had the exact same questions in the past, but did not have the patience or the time to dive deep into the etymology of these terms. This was an interesting terse read.

Source: Quartz Obsession, January 4, 2019

Edison

I was reading some daily news about the financial market and how GE has suffered to hold any growth value this past year. Reading more about GE, ended up eventually with a Wikipedia article on Edison. This is ripe full of historic trivia, links and facts and certainly looks well curated. Though I think Tesla was a genius, Edison holds his place as a fantastic businessman of his age. The link below certainly provides more details that I was not aware previously. I am sure you will learn a thing or two as well today.

Source: Thomas Edison – Wikipedia

How Einstein Reconciled Religion to Science

Nice.

“I believe in Spinoza’s God, who reveals himself in the lawful harmony of the world,” he told him, “not in a God who concerns himself with the fate and the doings of mankind.”

Source: How Einstein Reconciled Religion to Science

On a similar note, I also like this thought that resonates with my own.

After twenty years

Used to be one of my favorite short stories and have long since forgotten. I guess when one grows and tries to gather meaning from books and shows, this somehow subtly stood apart. Written in plain words with no complex plots. A story that reminds one of long lost friends and responsibilities with an exquisite undertone of genius. Rather hard to explain now but was distinctly powerful in conveying morality to a little kid once. Enough talk, here you go.

http://www.classicreader.com/book/1745/1/

Quotes – 19

It always bothers me that, according to the laws as we understand them today, it takes a computing machine an infinite number of logical operations to figure out what goes on in no matter how tiny a region of space, and no matter how tiny a region of time. How can all that be going on in that tiny space? Why should it take an infinite amount of logic to figure out what one tiny piece of space/time is going to do? So I have often made the hypothesis that ultimately physics will not require a mathematical statement, that in the end the machinery will be revealed, and the laws will turn out to be simple, like the chequer board with all its apparent complexities.

– R. P. Feynman, Character of Physical Law, November 1964 Cornell Lectures, broadcast and published in 1965 by BBC, pp. 57-8.