Boko Haram is the group in northern Nigeria that kidnapped over 200 high school girls earlier this year. Half of those 200 students had returned to the boarding school, which had been closed because of previous attacks, to take a physics exam. Those girls have not been found, and the Boko Haram perpetrators now report that the teenagers are 'married off' and, in a few cases, killed.
The Vienna-born Erwin Schrodinger had sent papers on many topics from the trenches during his sevice as an artillery officer in WW1 – as mentioned in my essay of 2 weeks ago. By the mid-1920s he had been an important contributor to the new and revolutionary world of the quantum – along with Einstein and others.
When Schrodinger was a student in Vienna, Adolf Hitler, “twice rejected as an art student [ref.1, p.5], [and] having pawned his overcoat to buy bread and milk, was prowling about the snowy streets ... trying to sell... pictures of Viennese churches...” [Ref.1, p.5]
When Julius Caesar marauded his way across Europe and England, with his legions and wooden boats, shields and swords and arrows, he later wrote much of these adventures down, either on papyrus scrolls or wax, but although the mighty Roman Empire was formed from barbaric warfare and killing, there were many Romans constructing bridges and aqueducts, poems and books. Much of this is still in evidence today – for example, the aqueducts feeding Rome, and the writings of the likes of Ovid and Catullus and Pliny.
When Julius Caesar attacked England he described the Brits as (quote) “...barbarians... with long hair … who shave their bodies except for head and lip … paint themselves with (dark blue) woad... and groups of 10 or 12 share their wives... offspring being held to be the children of him to whom the maiden was brought first...” [ref.1, pp.153-154].
“Little the life each lives,” wrote Marcus Aurelius, “little the corner of the earth he lives in, little even the longest fame hereafter, and even that dependent on a succession of poor mortals, who will very soon be dead, and have not learnt to know themselves much less the man who was dead long years ago...” [Ref.1, p.599.]
Josiah Willard Gibbs was a contemporary of Mark Twain, and while Walt Whitman was enjoying the popularity of “Leaves of Grass”, and Dickens' final and unfinished novel “Edwin Drood” had just been published, J.Willard Gibbs was quietly working single-handedly at Yale on subjects that benefit mankind even today. This complex work, however, is not commonly known to a large segment of the reading public.