Toni Morrison: “when you get a bad leader a whole lot of people are embarrassed”

Is America in danger with Trump as President?

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Toni Morrison: Yes.  It’s a kind of corruption; and corrupt without embarrassment.  Normally when you get a bad leader a whole lot of people are embarrassed.  Some people are embarrassed about Donald Trump, but not enough.  He lies every minute; everything he says.  He is so ignorant, so vile, so shallow, so self-centred, egocentric, vengeful.  Donald Trump is an old man, he’s 72, and he should stop being president.  When I read Bob Woodward’s book Fear I said: “O God, it’s worse than I thought.”  And I thought bad things.

Source : http://www.alainelkanninterviews.com/toni-morrison/

 

 

Rita Levi-Montalcini “What you do you should do well”

Q: So I am also wondering what advice would you give young people now. Many young people are not interested in science, and it’s a very exciting time, as you mentioned.

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Levi-Montalcini: I’d say, as I always say, that nothing is beautiful as to work on something scientific or social, to be very invested in what you do. I mean, not [to] be afraid, but knowing that you never will go ahead if you don’t do it very seriously and then, as you say, the important [thing] is to be very engaged. What you do you should do well. I will say that it is not as important as scientific or social [work] because I’m also working on social problems, as you know, in Africa. So it is important to know what it is important in life, not just only very simple and stupid things, like being beautiful and successful, this is nonsense.

I always say so, and I have many followers you know. I work here, and I am delighted because excellent people work here, Antonino Cattaneo, Pietro Calissano, I mean, many people, not too many, but some people still understand the importance of being invested in important problems, not in futility.

Source :

https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/full/10.1146/annurev-physiol-021909-135857

Rita Levi-Montalcini won the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1986 with Stanley Cohen, decades after her groundbreaking work in Italy and the United States. The theory she developed was quite elegant and simple. Competition of nerve cells early in development for limited amounts of growth factors produces winners and losers. The winners are nerve cells that made the correct connections with their targets, and the losers undergo death, which explains the massive amount of programmed cell death that occurs in the peripheral nervous system.

Kailash Satyarthi:”Just have confidence in children and you will see the way they progress in life.’

Q: We keep seeing that parents push their kids a lot these days, especially in academics. Does that worry you?

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KS: (Laughs) Well, I am not a priest and I am not sure I am a good preacher either. But yes, if I was a child, I’d expect parents to be like friends and will tell them – ‘Don’t pamper us too much and don’t do charity. Just have confidence in us and you will see the way we progress in life.’

Source : https://www.parentcircle.com/article/children-should-become-their-own-voices/

Kip Thorne:”You need to love work or you should be doing something else”

Q:There’s a 300-year legacy of understanding gravity. What advice would you give to us young LIGO scientists to carry this legacy forward for at least another half century?
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Thorne: [Laughs] I don’t think I have any one piece of advice. I have a general piece of advice: that to have a big impact on science requires a lot of intense work. You need to love work or you should be doing something else. It’s been a great joy to be involved in this quest but it’s not so much a joy of the ultimate success, which we have thanks to your generation, but it is the joy of the process.
To be successful both in science and in life, I think, in the modern era where technology is as advanced as it is, daily life is as comfortable as it is (for at least most people in the US), I think one should be doing something one is enthusiastic about but that also has some significant impact on others.
“Kip Thorne is one of the Winners of 2017 Physics Nobel prize.”
source : https://thewire.in/34072/its-your-generation-of-experimenters-that-makes-me-look-good-an-interview-with-kip-thorne/

Svetlana Alexievich :”the official version has little to do with how ordinary people see things.”

AL: How different is the story that you heard from the people from the official version and the one in the media?
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SA: The stories are completely different. We’ve always had this situation in Belorussia, and partly in Russia too, that the official version has little to do with how ordinary people see things. What is the main aim of the authorities? They always try hard to protect themselves. The totalitarian authorities of those days demonstrated it vividly: they were afraid of panic, they were afraid of the truth. Most people had little understanding of what was going on. In their attempts at self-preservation the authorities deceived the population. They assured the people that everything was under control, that there was no danger. Children were playing football in the yard, they ate ice cream in the street, toddlers played in sand boxes, and many people even sunbathed on the beach. Today hundreds of thousands of those children are invalids and many of them have died. Faced with the nuclear disaster at the time, people found themselves alone with the problem. People saw that the truth was hidden from them, that no one could help, neither scientists nor doctors. That situation was completely new for them. Take for example the firemen—they had themselves become like little reactors. Doctors undressed and examined them manually. Those doctors caught lethal radiation doses from them. Many of the firemen and doctors died later. The firemen did not even have special protection suits. They simply did not exist at the time. They arrived as if it were a usual fire. No one was prepared for this sort of thing. My interviewees told me real-life stories. For instance, in the few multistory houses in the town of Pripyat, before the evacuation started, people stood on their balconies watching the fire. They recall what a splendid sight it was, all crimson fluorescence. “It was the sight of death. But we never thought that death could look so beautiful.” They even called their children to admire the sight: “Come have a look. You’ll remember it to the end of your life.” They admired the sight of their own death. Those people were teachers and engineers from the nuclear station. People I talked to provided many such details about the scene of the disaster.
I remember two years later one helicopter pilot phoned me: “Please come and see me as soon as you can. I have little time left. I want to tell you what I know.” He was a doomed man when he was telling me his story. He said: “I’m glad you’ve come. I can talk to you about it. Please write it all down. We did not quite understand what was going on, and even today they still don’t understand.” I lived with the feeling that I must write it all down. Maybe people still don’t quite understand what happened then and that’s why it’s so important to record the actual evidence, the real history of Chernobyl, a history that hasn’t quite sunk in to this day.
Svetlana Alexandrovna Alexievich:-  (born 31 May 1948) is a Belarusian investigative journalist and non-fiction prose writer who writes in Russian. She was awarded the 2015 Nobel Prize in Literature “for her polyphonic writings, a monument to suffering and courage in our time” She is the first writer from Belarus to receive the award.

Doris Lessing : “my husband couldn’t afford a wife who had [radical ideas].

Q: Were you surprised at the criticism you received after writing, in your first book, about leaving the kids from your first marriage behind you?

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image source : internet

Doris : Of course I wasn’t surprised. The thing was that this was a terrible thing to do, but I had to do it because I have no doubt whatsoever if I had not done it, I would have become an alcoholic or ended in the loony bin. I couldn’t stand that life. I just couldn’t bear it. It’s this business of giving all the time, day and night, trying to conform to something you hate. Nobody can do it without going crazy. My husband was a civil servant who became increasingly high in the ranks. He couldn’t afford a wife who had [radical ideas]. I wouldn’t have lasted. I became friends with the kids later, and the grandkids, and so on. I’m not pretending that anything terrible didn’t happen.

Source : http://www.salon.com/1997/11/11/lessing/

 

Czeslaw Milosz : I approached Einstein with enormous reverence

INTERVIEWER

You once wrote a poem dedicated to Einstein.

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IMAGE source : internet

 

MILOSZ : I knew Einstein. In fact, I worshipped him. My cousin Oscar Milosz believed that his theory of relativity had opened a new era of mankind—an era of harmony, reconciliation between science, religion, and art. The positive consequence of Einstein’s discoveries was the elimination of Newtonian time and space as infinite and the introduction of the relativity of time and space that underlies our cosmology and its concept of the big bang. I approached Einstein with enormous reverence. So I wrote a poem about him. At the time he was convinced that the world was moving toward destruction because of atomic weapons, and that the only solution was to create a world government to control the weapons. In 1948, he wrote a paper in that spirit and sent it to the World Congress for Intellectuals in Wroclaw, Poland. The congress was just a front for Stalin’s armaments policy, and the Russians opposed reading that memo. Around that time I asked Einstein whether I should go back to Poland or stay abroad. He thought I should return and was very frank about it.

Source : https://www.theparisreview.org/interviews/1721/czeslaw-milosz-the-art-of-poetry-no-70-czeslaw-milosz