This year we celebrate two anniversaries related to Charles Darwin. He was born on 12th February 1809, which makes this his bicentennial year and On the origin of species was published on 24th November 1859 which makes this year its 150th Anniversary.
A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
The rain it raineth on the just
And also on the unjust fella;
But chiefly on the just, because
The unjust steals the just’s umbrella.
- Charles Synge Christopher Bowen (1835–1894).
Of those who say nothing, few are silent.
- Thomas Neill
“Have it compose a poem–a poem about a haircut! But lofty, noble, tragic, timeless, full of love, treachery, retribution, quiet heroism and in the face of certain doom! Six lines, cleverly rhymed, and every word beginning with the letter s!!”
“And why not throw in a full exposition of the general theory of nonlinear automata while you’re at it?” growled Trurl. “You can’t give it such idiotic–”
But he didn’t finish. A melodious voice filled the hall with the following:
Seduced, shaggy Samson snored.
She scissored short. Sorely shorn,
Soon shackled slave, Samson sighed.
Some savage, spectacular suicide.
- from The Cyberiad by Stanisław Lem, originally written in Polish and translated by Michael Kandel into English
Breathe deep in the gathering gloom
Watch lights fade from every room
Bedsitter people look back and lament
Another day’s useless energy’s spent
Impassioned lovers wrestle as one
Lonely man cries for love and has none
New mother picks up and suckles her son
Senior citizens wish they were young
Cold-hearted orb that rules the night
Removes the colors from our sight
Red is gray and yellow white
And we decide which is right
And which is an illusion?