The greatest invention of all time is the grid system created by Frenchman Rene Descartes. For a fellow who stayed in bed until lunchtime all his life, Rene didn't do too badly.
More Quotes from Johnny Ball:There isn't a single windmill owner in Holland who doesn't have a second job, for when there is no wind.
That difficult start drove me on to inspire children and let them know that it is never to late to repair a bad experience at school, and once you get your head down and start to read books, you can really achieve.
When children's minds are open to new ideas and concepts at the age of six, they could be taught the basics of molecular structure, how Oxygen and Hydrogen and Carbon join up to make ever-day substances. By the age of 14, their minds are already doubtful of new ideas which suggest something fundamentally different to what they know, and they can no longer be inspired into exploring science.
There are not the same factual shows anymore - children's TV has become much more trivial.
If mathematics is to be understood widely, we need to emphasise its elegance and its applications. Sometimes it seems that universities want to emphasise how difficult it is!
Discrimination due to age is one of the great tragedies of modern life. The desire to work and be useful is what makes life worth living, and to be told your efforts are not needed because you are the wrong age is a crime.
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Both French and Latin are involved with nationalistic and religious implications which could not be entirely shaken off, and so, while they seemed for a long time to have solved the international language problem up to a certain point, they did not really do so in spirit.
A friend is nothing but a known enemy.
The effort to blur the lines between Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib reflects a deep misunderstanding about the different legal regimes that apply to Iraq and the war against al Qaeda.