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Freeman Dyson: Great Minds Around the Billiard Table

"In the end I won the game"

The Guardian’s obituary for the British-born mathematician, physicist, and general genius Freeman Dyson, who died on February 28, aged 96, says that:

Silvrback blog image“his happiest ever school holiday – from Winchester college – was spent working his way, from 6 am to 10 pm, through 700 problems in Piaggio’s Differential . . .

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March 05, 2020

Scenes from two weddings

England and India

Silvrback blog imageThe first wedding was in England, at an 18th-century country house, set in an estate of some hundreds of acres of parkland and farms. No, I hadn’t been invited there by that dignified nobleman the Duke of Omnium.  Many such places now run from a spreadsheet, restored and rented out by the day for middle-class weddings, anniversary . . .

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April 27, 2018

Writing well to get ahead in politics

Silvrback blog imageIn his biographical essay ‘Asquith,’ Winston Churchill describes how an ability to write well helped him win swift political advancement in the reforming British Liberal government headed by H.H. Asquith from 1908 to 1915. Churchill entered Asquith’s cabinet as President of the Board of Trade in 1908, at the age of 34; . . .

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January 11, 2018

Ain't you a cute little s__t!

"Mountain Towk", the speech of the Appalachian backcountry ... "Oh ah lived in Washington DC 'bout four and a half years, 'n I'd soon as be in hell with mah back broke as live thar"...  David Hackett Fisher says of the speech of the 'Scots-Irish', or, perhaps more accurately, the descendants of the Northern British border folk who . . .

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December 26, 2017

English Humor

In his book on Charles Dickens, G.K. Chesterton says that the figure of the cockney Sam Weller in ‘The Pickwick Papers’ introduces the great subject of all Dickens’ novels, the English people:

Silvrback blog image"Sam Weller is the great symbol in English literature of the populace peculiar to England. His incessant stream of sane nonsense . . .

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December 16, 2017

Archive

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