Friday, June 23, 2017By:
“Give me a place to stand and with a lever I will move the whole world.”
I have always been fascinated for how physics and philosophy entangle in certain ways, and this quote by Archimedes is not the exception. What easily explains a physical phenomenon, such as the use of the lever, can take a deeper meaning when we change the frame of reference. This specific idea goes very well with the fact that sometimes we need a lever in our life to make a change in the world. And that lever is not always as physical as we imagine it.
The project has been developing well throughout the week. I am close to finish writing the content for half of the deck. So far, I have covered many national laboratories and instruments of physics. I must admit that I consider this category of cards (the laboratories) to be a tricky one as most of the material involves historical facts and specific events during their construction. Fun fact: During the construction of the Large Hadron Collider, Gallo-Roman ruins where found. They were digging the cave for the CMS experiment and the ruins where on their way. What are the chances? It eventually delayed the construction of the LHC for six months as it was necessary for archeologists to study the place.
Moving forward with another part of the project, I got an idea of the kind of art style I would like the cards to have. Also, I had the opportunity to meet with Leanne Poteet, Graphics Design Manager for the APS. We discussed the ideas and concepts for the artwork that we had so far and she will help me design the correct artwork needed. This time taking everything in consideration such as characters per line, card size, and the fact that we need the font size to be readable. We are also trying to include some other physics related aspects to the way points are earned. Overall the project is moving along perfectly and it looks like things are going to work out as planned. I couldn’t have a better team.
Right after my last post, I explored the city a little. I had the opportunity to visit the National Air and Space Museum. It is interesting how a single place can take you through the whole history in the evolution of aeronautics. As you go through the exhibitions, you can imagine how things have changed trough time as well as the different obstacles that people overcame to reach for more. I must say I was impressed by the Wright Brothers exhibition. It is amazing to see the first plane to take flight in the world. It is an incredible history of success, innovation and true courage. At the end of the day, it is one of the biggest examples of how passion drives for innovation.
Later during the week, I had a chance to stop for a sunset under the shadow of the Lincoln Memorial. One of the most famous monuments in the world, which makes a perfect fit for one of its greatest leaders. Lincoln lived his life to the fullest and took all the opportunities he had to reach for what he believed in. He once visited the battlefront when confederate troops attacked, an incredible way to show how much he trusted his own people. Abraham Lincoln, someone whose name and history is worth knowing.
I like to think of these stories as a great example of how the quote mentioned above takes place philosophically. In the case of the Wright brothers, they were on the right place for the plane testing. I am not referring to the fact that during the first flights most of the conditions where ideal. Once you think about it, they stood on the right idea and perseverated on what they believed. They held their ground against all the scenarios and finally accomplished for something greater than expected. And they were not only in the right mindset, they had the right lever to move the world and they had it all throughout their lives. If you ever wondered how they got the funding to create the first plane in history, then you’ll be glad to know that they did it through a family business. Both brothers owned a bicycle shop and repair center. What I am trying to say here is that they acted as each other’s lever all their lives. With a four-year difference, the Wright brothers worked together and incented each other’s curiosity and passion daily. When the time was right to take the first flight, they threw a coin to settle who was going to ride it first. None of them stepped in front of the other as they saw themselves as a team, people helping people, brothers helping brothers.
As to Abraham Lincoln, he found an idea to stand on and lately found the way to move the world. To do it, he still needed a lever. After years of living to his word and proving that he was capable and trustworthy, he inspired others to follow his beliefs. His people turned into that lever that allowed him to change the world. But even then, when he held a position of power, he fought for all of them to be treated equally. He considered everyone as a human being, even those who stood against him. The fact that others where the mean to reach for change never made him think of them as tools. It is interesting how that visit to his memorial made me feel that no matter how small, a change can still be part of something greater. Even out of his time line, he could touch so more than just politics.
With this reflection, I want to thank all of those who somehow have touched my life…
Those who guided me to a right place to stand…
Those who helped me stand my ground for what I believed in as I grew up…
Those who acted as my lever to go through the obstacles in my life when the times where rough…
I want you to know... We can still move the whole world.
Francisco Ayala Rodriguez