Fifty “Fifty” is a 2015 Nigerian romantic drama film released on December 18, 2015. Fifty captures few pivotal days of four women at the pinnacle of their careers. “FIFTY – The Movie” in New Zealand follows Mal Law’s bold attempt to run 50 mountain marathons over 50 peaks in just 50 days, all around New Zealand, in order to raise an enormous amount of money for the Mental Health Foundation. “FIFTY – The Movie will inspire the armchair athlete in all of us to think outside the box, push boundaries and think what if?” (I searched the internet and found these two movies with the name, “fifty”. I have not watched them. They sound interesting just by looking at the title.)
Coming back to my own fifty interpretation. This blog was first started on 2013/9/30. On 2016/4/30 I renamed this blog. In naming this blog fifty percent perspective I tried to focus the goal of this writing on giving voice to the less heard fifty percent of the human race, i.e. the woman. I consider that a healthy, practical, sustainable intimate relationship between a man and a woman only manifests where there is true equality. This means mutual acceptance and respect in words and in deeds. This calls for an acknowledgement of the validity of the other fifty percent and giving her/him an equal value in the equilibrium of life together. In particular, I place an importance on the right and manifestation of right to speak/communicate. I admit that in some situations it is the man who becomes the less heard fifty percent. So my goal is not confined to voicing for a woman. If a man considers himself a fifty percent which is not being given a voice he may be included in this blog’s fifty percent perspective too. To me, being human means being given the right to speak and the voice to be heard.
“Racial and gender prejudice are dramatic backdrops to our modern era. The dramatic splitting of the atom—“nuclear fission”—was a discovery which changed our world. Yet few know that it was a woman physicist who discovered the power of nuclear energy just after her dramatic escape from Nazi Germany. The irony of the story of Lise Meitner (1878 – 1968) is that her laboratory partner of thirty years, Otto Hahn, who remained in Berlin throughout the Third Reich, was awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1944. Meitner’s exclusion from sharing the Nobel Prize was thus integrally related to her escape from Nazi Germany to Sweden and the consequent social ‘marginalization’ of her important physics research and discoveries. Albert Einstein called the respected Viennese pioneer in nuclear physics “our Madame Curie.” (Above quoted from http://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/meitner-lise)
The brilliant Lise Meitner was the mother of nuclear power, but you’ve probably never heard of her! Her research contributed greatly to the discovery of nuclear fission. She was an Austrian physicist who worked on radioactivity and nuclear physics. Otto Hahn and Meitner led the small group of scientists who first discovered nuclear fission of uranium when it absorbed an extra neutron; the results were published in early 1939.
Lise Meitner was one of eight children. When she finished school at age 14, she was barred from higher education, as were all girls in Austria. When Lise showed an early propensity for mathematics, she was privately tutored, her father insisting that each of his daughters receive the same education as his sons. (Three of Lise’s sisters later also earned their Ph.D. degrees). Inspired by the discoveries of William Röntgen and Henri Becquerel, she was determined to study radioactivity. When she turned 21, women were finally allowed into Austrian universities. Two years of tutoring preceded her enrollment at the University of Vienna; there she excelled in math and physics and earned her doctorate in 1906. She wrote to Marie Curie, but there was no room for her in the Paris lab and so Meitner made her way to Berlin. There she collaborated with Otto Hahn on the study of radioactive elements, but as an Austrian Jewish woman (all three qualities were strikes against her), she was excluded from the main labs and lectures and allowed to work only in the basement. For several years she was not permitted access to the laboratories of the Berlin Institute for Chemistry where she worked as an unpaid research scientist (1907–1912)
In 1912, Hahn and Meitner moved to a new university and Meitner had better lab facilities. Meitner became an official University Lecturer in 1922, but even in liberalizing Berlin the press jokingly reported the topic of her inaugural speech as “Cosmetic Physics” instead of cosmic physics. She led several courses in quantum physics with her outstanding graduate students (such as Leo Szilard and Max Delbrueck) as assistants, until Adolf Hitler’s decrees in April, 1933 stripped Jewish academics of their professorial positions.
At first she was an unpaid “guest” under Hahn, but most people knew they were equals in their research team. From 1924 to 1934, the team gained international prestige and were nominated for the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for ten consecutive years. Though their partnership was split up physically when she was forced to flee Nazi Germany in 1938, Hahn and Meitner continued to collaborate.
Meitner continued her work in Sweden. After Hahn discovered that uranium atoms were split when bombarded with neutrons, Meitner and her nephew Frisch took a hike in the snowy Swedish woods, animatedly discussing the puzzling “bursting” process. Then they realized: if E=mc2, that mass could not be lost, but the nucleus would be “split in two.”. She calculated the energy released in the reaction and named the phenomenon “nuclear fission.” The discovery—which eventually led to the atomic bomb (“You must not blame scientists for the use to which war technicians have put our discoveries,” Meitner would say in 1945)—won Hahn the Nobel Prize in 1944. Meitner was left out by the Awarding Committee.
She carried on with her research and helped produce one of the first peacetime nuclear reactors. It wasn’t until 1966 that Meitner really received any attention. During her 60 years of work in the field of atomic physics she wrote 128 articles, and served on the United Nations Committee on atomic energy. In 1992 it was announced that she would have an element named after her, meitnerium. Meitner spent most of her 70s and 80s traveling, encouraging women students to “remember that science can bring both joy and satisfaction to your life.”
Lise’s parents were assimilated Viennese Jews, who did not practice Judaism. In 1908 on a visit to Vienna Lise formally withdrew from the Jewish community and was baptized at the Evangelical Congregation.
(The above biography is compiled from information/excerpts from Wikipedia and Jewish Women encyclopedia)
Reading the above makes me marvel at the courage and determination of this woman whose ability and worth as an individual overcame the male chauvinistic social and economic culture and racial prejudices of her time. She was a woman and a Jew. These went against her in that time. She was made to work and research without pay and under harsh physical condition. She was not given a recognition which she rightly deserved. She was threatened with her life. But all these did not stop her from becoming a woman of great worth, perhaps not in monetary terms, but in the history of mankind. She will not be forgotten. She became a model of overcomer.
“She is steadfast and confident, honest and reliable.A tower of strength for those she cares for and a rock to the family.
“We have a bright future outside the EU. In total 170 countries in the world are outside the EU. Most of them have sensible trading arrangements, including with Europe, and workable immigration policies. This is not some fantasy land. This is the normal operating basis of four-fifths of the globe. And we are in such a strong position to make the most of the opportunity. We are the fifth largest economy, with great natural advantages including our language, legal system, the great City of London, and our great trading history and creative and engineering talents. Nearly eighty per cent of the world’s GDP lies outside the EU and, in marked contrast to the EU, most of it is growing strongly. We need to embrace that opportunity to ensure our future prosperity.”
Andrea was born in Buckinghamshire and attended Tonbridge Girls Grammar School in Kent, followed by Warwick University. She holds a degree in Political Science.
After university Andrea began a career in the banking and finance industry that would last 25 years. Andrea’s career included 10 years in BZW and Barclays where she worked in swaps and treasury, project finance, structured projects and then moved to Barclays Head Office to become Financial Institutions Director. In 1995 she helped the then Governor of the Bank of England, Eddie George, over the weekend that Barings collapsed as he tried to reassure the markets and prevent a run on the banks. Andrea more recently held positions as Managing Director of a start up London based funds management company and then spent ten years as Head of Corporate Governance and Senior Investment Officer at Invesco Perpetual, one of the UK’s largest retail fund managers.
Alongside her business career, Andrea was a Trustee, and for 9 years Chairman, of a children’s charity, the Oxford Parent Infant Project (OXPIP), which helps families that are struggling to form a secure bond with their new babies. In 2011, Andrea established the Northamptonshire Parent Infant Partnership (NORPIP), as a sister charity to OXPIP, and in 2012 established PIP UK, a new charitable foundation, whose purpose will be to support the roll out of Parent Infant Partnerships around the country. PIP UK offers practical and financial support for the establishment of new PIPs.
Andrea has wanted to be an MP since she was 13 and has been a Conservative activist since University. She was elected as a Councillor on South Oxfordshire District Council between 2003 and 2007, and contested Knowsley South in the 2005 general election.
In May 2010, Andrea was elected as the first MP for South Northamptonshire with a majority of over 20,000.
Andrea was elected in 2010 to the Treasury Select Committee. She has also held posts as Chairman of the APPG on Sure Starts, and Chairman of the APPG on the 1001 Critical Days – conception to age two; she was founder and co-Chairman with a Labour MP of the APPG for European Reform and founded the Fresh Start Project in Parliament that works towards establishing a new relationship for Britain within the EU.
In April 2014, Andrea joined the Government as Economic Secretary to the Treasury, taking responsibility for Financial Services.
Andrea is married to Ben and has three children and in her free time enjoys cycling, walking in the Northamptonshire countryside and spending time with her family.
Andrea comes from the Latin meaning “Womanly” or “Beautiful Lady”. She is steadfast and confident, honest and reliable.A tower of strength for those she cares for and a rock to the family.
That girl is quite the andrea.
Andrea Leadsom, MP for South Northamptonshire. Wife, Mother. Leave campaigner. http://www.andrealeadsom.com/home/home
A few poems quoted at random from Spring Water (published 1923) by Bingxin (Chinese: “Pure in Heart”), a woman poet from China.
Water in spring,
It is another year,
And you are still running after the breeze.
May I have a look at
My reflection again?
Water replies gently with thanks:
I have never kept a reflection,
Not even yours.”
The four seasons slowly pass by-
Hundreds of flowers whisper to each other:
“We are the small and weak!
So, let our lives
Be full of dreams
And our drinking cups
For God has already arranged all these!”
You should be
As still and sober as mountains, if
You can’t float with winds,
The flowing wind-like career
Only belongs to the lives of poets.
Do not grieve nature.
The picture of “beauty”
Needs to be painted lightly.
In the slightly tiring
The pigeon whistles
Carried on the wind,
Pierce the air for poems.
Ice is as quiet as a mountain,
But a mountain is as vivid as flowing water.
How can the poet
Manipulate them like this?
Biography of Bing Xin (1900 – 1999)
Bing Xin was one of the most outstanding modern female writers in China. Originally named Xie Wanying; born in Changle, Fujian Province. Bing Xin was the pioneer of the canon of children’s literature in modern China. Her parents encouraged her to study and write. In 1919, when she was studying in a girl college in Beijing, the event May 4th Movement by the students in Beijing changed her life. and she was in charge of the publicity in the student union. She wrote many related poems, articles, and stories.
In 1919, she published her first piece Two Families under the pen name “Bing Xin”. In 1921, she joined the Literary Research Society. In 1923, she amazed the literary circle with her short poems when they were published in two separate collections, Myriad Stars and Spring Water. In the same year, She went to America to study literature and focused her attention on literary research. She recounted her travels and experiences of her stay abroad in a series of essays, and published them in newspapers in China. These essays caused a national sensation and were later collected and published under the title of Letters to My Little Readers.
In 1926, Bing returned to China after receiving her M.A. degree. She taught at Yanjing University, later at Tsinghua University, and Beijing Women’s College of Arts and Sciences. In 1946, she went to Japan with her husband Wu Wenzao and taught at Tokyo University. She went back to China in 1951. Upon her return, she published a collection of poems, Ode to Cherry Blossoms, and a collection of essays, The Second Batch of Letters to My Little Readers. Apart from writing, Bing Xin also translated a number of foreign literary works. With the reputation “the grandmother of the literary circle” earned through her longevity, she passed away in 1999 at the age of 99.
Her love story with Wu Wenzao, a famous sociologist and ethnologist, started in 1923 on a ship that sailed from Shanghai. The ship was bound for the United States, and Bing met Wu when she was searching for the brother of one of her classmates.
In 1929, the two got married while studying in the United States. Together, they became an internationally well-known couple in intellectual circles all over the world, mingling with other literary luminaries such as Virginia Woolf.
Their story was one of those love stories that have captured the hearts and imaginations of the Chinese public for decades. Many of them have been adapted for the big screen as well as for television. In a world where buildings fall, relationships end and economies collapse almost overnight, their tales remind us of the endurance of real love.
(the above are quoted and excerpted from various internet sources)
Schoolteacher, physician, and mother. Kidd Trout (April 21, 1841 – November 10, 1921) was the first woman in Canada legally to become a medical doctor, and was the only woman in Canada licensed to practice medicine until 1880, when Emily Stowe completed the official qualifications. The field of the 19th Century was dominated by men while women struggled for the right to practice.
Jenny was six when she immigrated with her family to Ellice Township, Upper Canada. They developed a thriving ten-acre farm and regularly worshipped at Knox Presbyterian Church in nearby Stratford. She attended school in the town and in 1860 was accepted as an adult member of the Free Church. One year later Miss Gowanlock finished her training at the Normal School in Toronto, in about half the usual time, and from 1861 to 1865 she taught public school in the Stratford area. There she met Edward Trout, who sold advertising for the Toronto Leader in the region. After an extended courtship they married and settled in Toronto.
A lengthy illness occupied the next six years of Jennie Trout’s life, but when she recovered, she decided to take up a career in medicine. Jennie’s plans were encouraged by her husband, as well as by her longtime friend and mentor, Emily Stowe, who had been practising medicine in Toronto since 1867 although she was not licensed by the Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons.
Entering a Man’s World
During most of the last century professional medical practice was exclusively a male domain. Hospitals were designed for the poor, since wealthy people could afford home treatment. In most hospitals, nursing care was provided by nursing sisters, or nuns. In cases where lay women acted as nurses, they were treated as little more than servants, with no professional respect. Florence Nightingale’s campaign to create a nursing profession only began to have an impact in Canada late in the nineteenth century.
In this climate, it is not surprising that the male medical establishment was hostile to the idea of educated and paid female doctors. When the Toronto School of Medicine reluctantly allowed Jennie Trout and Emily Stowe to attend lectures, it was on the condition that they “make no fuss, whatever happened.” Plenty happened. Trout and Stowe were the only women in a lecture hall filled with men. Led by the lecturers themselves, the male students jeered at the women. Obscene sketches had to be white-washed from the walls four times in the course of the lectures.
Finally, Trout went to the United States for her medical education. She returned to Canada in 1875 with a medical degree from the Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania.
Licensed to Practice
Back in Ontario, Jennie Trout passed an examination before the College of Physicians and Surgeons, who complimented Mr. Trout for having “such a talented wife.” Jennie Trout went on to practice medicine at Toronto’s Therapeutic and Electrical Institute until 1882, when poor health forced her to retire. Still, she did not abandon the work she had begun, and her next objective was to establish a college for the medical education of women in Canada. After a long campaign to gather support for the college, Trout had another fight to see that women could sit on the college’s board of governors. Finally, the Women’s Medical College at Kingston opened on October 2, 1883, partly supported by a large financial contribution from Trout herself. The heroic struggles of Jennie Kidd Trout – the quiet woman whose life’s aim transcended personal ambition – opened the door for the many Canadian women doctors who came after her.
After retiring, Jennie continued to build a place for women in the medical field. Her campaigning culminated in the opening of the Women’s Medical College at Kingston on October 2, 1883.
In retirement, her interest increased in Bible study and missions. Jennie was a strong advocate of temperance. She filled, with much acceptance, the offices of Vice President and President of the Women’s Temperance Union. Also, for a time, she was Vice President of the Association for the Advancement of Women. She brought up two adopted children, grandnephew Edward Huntsman and grandniece, Helen Huntsman, after their mother died at an early age. Edward Huntsman-Trout was later a noted landscape architect in Los Angeles, CA.
The Trouts wintered in Florida at their winter residence and returned to Toronto for the summers. Their family home was called Gowan Hall in Scarborough, Ontario. The family moved to Los Angeles in 1908 where she died in 1921 at 1640 N. Hobart Blvd., Los Angeles, California.
In the past several decades, Jennie Trout has been rediscovered by Canadians. Her struggle to become the country’s first licensed female physician has been documented by at least two historians. Many Canadian books include reference to her, including The Canadian Men and Women of Our Time by Henry James Morgan, Toronto, 1912 and The Life and Times of Jennie Kidd Trout, and The Indomitable Lady Doctors by Caroline Hacker.
(The above are excerpts from various online sources.)
She “led an army of voteless women in 1919 to pressure Congress to pass the constitutional amendment giving them the right to vote and convinced state legislatures to ratify it in 1920” and “was one of the best-known women in the United States in the first half of the twentieth century and was on all lists of famous American women.”
“Shall we play the coward, then,” she asked her 1916 audience, “and leave the hard knocks for our daughters, or shall we throw ourselves into the fray, bare our own shoulders to the blows, and thus bequeath to them a politically liberated womanhood?”
When we read history, we realize that the fifty percent of the voters in modern democratic election system have not been able to vote not long ago. The voting right has been fought and won by some brave hearts. Even in America, not long ago really.
As a child, Carrie was interested in science and wanted to become a doctor. After graduating from high school, she enrolled at Iowa State Agricultural College (now Iowa State University) in Ames, Iowa. Carrie’s father was initially reluctant to allow her to attend college, but he relented, contributing only a part of the costs.To make ends meet, Carrie worked as a dishwasher, in the school library, and as a teacher at rural schools during school breaks.Catt’s freshman class consisted of 27 students; six of whom were female. Carrie joined the Crescent Literary Society, a student organization aimed at advancing student learning skills and self-confidence. Because only men were allowed to speak in meetings, Carrie defied the rules and spoke up during a male debate. This started a discussion about women’s participation in the group, and ultimately led to women gaining the right to speak in meetings.After three years, Carrie graduated on November 10, 1880 with a Bachelor of Science degree. She was the valedictorianand only female in her graduating class. She worked as a law clerk after graduating then she became a teacher and then superintendent of schools in Mason City, Iowa in 1885. She was the first female superintendent of the district.In February 1885, Carrie married newspaper editor Leo Chapman, but he died in California in August 1886, soon after of typhoid fever. She remained in San Francisco where she worked as the city’s first female reporter. In 1890, she married George Catt, a wealthy engineer and Alumnus of Iowa State University. He encouraged her being involved in suffrage.After her husbands death in 1905, Carrie spent much of the following eight years as IWSA president promoting equal-suffrage rights worldwide.After she retired from NAWSA, she continued to help women around the world to gain the right to vote.
She believed that the political decisions being made should involve the views of the citizens rather than the views of politicians. This was the greatest challenge that Carrie had to face. Not only was it a struggle to get her own name in the public and for others to look at her as a leader or role model but it was a struggle to get majority of the male population on her side. Most males during this time stuck to their strong views on women and no one, especially a female, was going to change that.
Timeline of women’s suffrage in the United States: 1777: Women lose the right to vote in New York. 1920: The Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is ratified, stating, “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.
Carrie Chapman Catt (January 9, 1859 – March 9, 1947) was an Americanwomen’s suffrage leader who campaigned for the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which gave U.S. women the right to vote in 1920. Catt served as president of the National American Woman SuffrageAssociation and was the founder of the League of Women Voters and the InternationalAlliance of Women.
(The above excerpts are taken from various internet sources.)
Genesis 1:27 New Living Translation (NLT)
27 So God created human beings[a] in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
She was a writer, activist, and one of the first women in Japan to speak publicly about women’s rights. She began lecturing when she was just 20 years old! Who is she?
At the period of reform in the Meiji-Taisho, Japanese male nationalists argued that improving the status of women was essential if other technologically advanced nationals were to accept them. This opened the door for a small group of women who called for new rights and freedoms. The phrase “good wife, wise mother” was coined, meaning that in order to be good citizens, women had to become educated and take part in public affairs.
One of the first women speak out was Kishida Toshiko (岸田 俊子Kishida Toshiko, 14 January 1863 – 25 May 1901), afterwards Toshiko Nakajima (中島 俊子Nakajima Toshiko), born in Kyoto, Japan, in 1863, into a family of cloth merchants; died in 1901; married Nakajima Nobuyuki (a political activist), in 1884. She was one of the first Japanese feminists. She wrote under the name Shōen (湘煙).When she was a teenager, because she had excelled in her study of the Chinese and Japanese classics, Kishida Toshiko was the first commoner to serve as a lady-inwaiting to an empress, Empress Haruko , the consort of the Emperor Meiji. But she left after two years describing the court as “far from the real world” and a symbol of the concubine system which was an outrage to women. She also wanted parents to stop ruining their daughters by turning them into “maidens in boxes.” She claimed that with the present family system there was no way for a young woman to develop her potential. The only appropriate” box” for daughters, said Toshiko, should be one “as large and free as the world itself.”
Kishida set off on a speaking tour addressing huge crowds all over Japan. She was a powerful, dynamic speaker. She often was harassed by the police, and once was jailed. Her words, nonetheless, were heard by thousands of women who found in them encouragement to become politically involved.
One of Kishida’s most controversial speeches was her 1883 speech, “Daughters in Boxes”. After she delivered the speech, she was “arrested, tried, and fined for having made a political speech without a permit” which was necessary under Japanese law at the time.
Excerpts from Toshiko’s Speeches:
“In ancient times there were various evil teachings and customs in our country, things that would make the people of any free, civilized nation be terribly ashamed. Of these, the most reprehensible was the practice of ‘respecting men and despising women.’…We are trying, through a cooperative effort, to build a new society. That is why I speak of equality and equal rights. Yet in this country, as in the past, men continue to be respected as masters and husbands while women are held in contempt as maids or serving women. There can be no equality in such an environment…”
“Equality, independence, respect, and a monogamous relationship are the hall marks of relationships between men and women in a civilized society…Ah, you men of the world, you talk of reform, but not of revolution. When it comes to equality, you yearn for the old ways, and follow, unchanged, the customs of the past…”
“I hope in the future there will be some recognition of the fact that the first requirement for marriage is education. Today, we have come to feel that we have ‘managed’ if eight out of ten daughters who are married do not return home in divorce…One of the first requirements ought to be learning what it is to manage after marriage…Daughters must be taught basic economics and the skills that would permit them to manage on their own…”
“If it is true that men are better than women because they are stronger, why aren’t our sumo wrestlers in the government?”
The “Daughters in Boxes” speech discussed and criticized the family system in Japan and the problems it raised for young Japanese girls. Although the speech criticized the family system that was in place in Japan, it also acknowledged that the system was a cultural fixture and many parents did not understand the harm that they could have potentially been causing their daughters by restricting them. Kishida recognized that upper and middle class Japanese parents did not mean to restrict their daughters’ freedom. This ignorance existed because the parents were blinded by their overwhelming need to teach certain values in order to fit into Japanese culture and society.
In her speech, Kishida introduced the three “boxes” present in Japanese families. These boxes are not actual boxes but mental and emotional limitations. The boxes represented how Japanese daughters were locked into certain requirements. The first box is one in which parents hid their daughters, who not allowed to leave their room and any elements belonging to the outside world were blocked out. The second box demanded the obedience of the Japanese daughters. In this box, “parents refuse to recognize their responsibility to their daughters and teach her naught”.These daughters receive no love or affection and are expected to “obey their [parent’s] every word without complaint”.The final box presented by Kishida was one in which daughters were taught ancient knowledge.In this box, parents passed down an appreciation for knowledge to their daughters.Out of the three boxes, this final box was the one that Kishida valued the most. Because this box valued “the teaching of the wise and holy men of the past”, Kishida felt that its inclusion and focus on education empowered women.
Kishida also discussed her own version of a box. Her box would have no walls and be completely open and inspired by freedom. Kishida’s box “[allowed] its occupants to tread wherever their feet might lead and stretch their arms as wide as they wished”.Unlike the other boxes Kishida described, her wall-less box, like the reformist movement hoped, would allow Japanese daughters to be educated and become active members of society. The speech also suggested that the boxes created for Japanese daughters should not be created in haste. She explained that if a box that was hastily constructed, the daughters would resent being placed in that box. Kishida not only warned about the construction of the boxes but recognized that the daughters trapped inside the boxes would run away because of their restrictive foundation. “Daughters in Boxes” analyzed and critiqued Japanese society and its treatment of Japanese girls. The absence of women’s rights in Japan sparked the feminist and reformist movement which Kishida Toshiko was a major part of. Kishida’s speech challenged the cultural norms of Japanese society in general. The speech also cemented the place of women and women’s movement in Japan’s history.
“Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained.”
“I am one of those who think like Nobel, that humanity will draw more good than evil from new discoveries.”
“My husband and I were so closely united by our affection and our common work that we passed nearly all of our time together.”
“All my life through, the new sights of Nature made me rejoice like a child.”
“Humanity needs practical men, who get the most out of their work, and, without forgetting the general good, safeguard their own interests. But humanity also needs dreamers, for whom the disinterested development of an enterprise is so captivating that it becomes impossible for them to devote their care to their own material profit.”
“Have no fear of perfection; you’ll never reach it.”
“Nothing in life is to be feared; it is only to be understood.”
“Be less curious about people and more curious about ideas.”
“One never notices what has been done; one can only see what remains to be done.”
“I was taught that the way of progress was neither swift nor easy.”
“A scientist in his laboratory is not a mere technician: he is also a child confronting natural phenomena that impress him as though they were fairy tales.”
“There are sadistic scientists who hurry to hunt down errors instead of establishing the truth.”
Albert Einstein’s high esteem for Marie Curie: “Not only did she do outstanding work in her lifetime, and not only did she help humanity greatly by her work, but she invested all her work with the highest moral quality. All of this she accomplished with great strength, objectivity, and judgment. It is very rare to find all of these qualities in one individual.”
Marie Curie Biography
Marie Curie was a Polish scientist who won a Nobel Prize in both Chemistry and Physics. She was the first female professor of the University of Paris, and made ground-breaking work in the field of Radioactivity.
Marya Sklodovska was the youngest of 5 children, born in 1867, Warsaw Poland. She was brought up in a poor but well educated family, excelled in her studies and won many prizes. Unusually for women at that time, she took an interest in Chemistry and Biology. She aspired to teach fellow Polish woman who mostly lacked education opportunity. Since opportunities in Poland for further study was limited, she went to Paris, where after working as a governess she was able to study at the Sorbonne, Paris, to get a degree in Physics finish top and later got a degree in Mathematics, finishing second in her school year.
She met Pierre Curie, who was then chief of the laboratory at the school of Physics and Chemistry. He was a renowned Chemist, who fell in love with the young Marya and asked her to marry him. The two would later become inseparable, until Pierre’s untimely death.
Marie Curie work on Radioactivity
Marie pursued studies in radioactivity. In 1898, this led to the discovery of two new elements. One of which she named polonium after her home country.
There then followed 4 years of extensive study into the properties of radium. Radium was discovered to have remarkable impacts. Marie actually suffered burns from the rays. It was from this discovery of radium and its properties that the science of radiation was able to develop. The Curries agreed to give away their secret freely; they did not wish to patent such a valuable element. The element was soon in high demand and it began industrial scale production. For their discovery they were awarded the Davy Medal (Britain) and the Nobel Prize for physics in 1903.
In 1905, Pierre was killed in a road accident, leaving Marie to look after the laboratory and her 2 children. In 1911 Marie Curie was awarded a second Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the discovery of actinium and further studies on radium and polonium.
The success of this exceptionally outstanding woman, Marie Curie, brought an onslaught of male opposition: considerable hostility, criticism and suspicion and she suffered from the malicious rumors and accusations that flew around. But this persecution had not stopped Marie Curie to continue to focus on completing her self-less assignment-contribution on earth as a woman scientist.
The onset of World War I in 1914, led to Marie Curie dedicating her time to the installation of X ray machines in hospitals, to easily locate shrapnel, enabling better treatment for soldiers. By the end of the First World War, over a million soldiers had been examined by her X ray units. At the end of the First World War she returned to the Institute of Radium in Paris, and served the League of Nations. She also published a book – radioactivity which encompassed her great ideas on science.
Marie Curie died aged 66 on July 4, 1934, killed by aplastic anemia, a disease of the bone marrow. It is thought that the radioactivity she had been exposed to cause the disease. Scientists are now much more cautious in their handling of radioactive elements and X-rays.
Marie Curie pushed back many frontiers in science; and at the same time set a new bar for female academic and scientific achievement.
Meeting Pierre Curie (quoted from Marie Curie)
“As I entered the room, Pierre Curie was standing in the recess of a French window opening on a balcony. He seemed to me very young, though he was at that time thirty-five years old. I was struck by the open expression of his face and by the slight suggestion of detachment in his whole attitude. His speech, rather slow and deliberate, his simplicity, and his smile, at once grave and youthful, inspired confidence. We began a conversation which soon became friendly. It first concerned certain scientific matters about which I was very glad to be able to ask his opinion. Then we discussed certain social and humanitarian subjects which interested us both. There was, between his conceptions and mine, despite the difference between our native countries, a surprising kinship, no doubt attributable to a certain likeness in the moral atmosphere in which we were both raised by our families.”
“During the year 1894 Pierre Curie wrote me letters that seem to me admirable in their form. No one of them was very long, for he had the habit of concise expression, but all were written in a spirit of sincerity and with an evident anxiety to make the one he desired as a companion know him as he was…. It is appropriate to quote here a few lines which express how he looked on the possibility of our marriage:
“We have promised each other (is it not true?) to have, the one for the other, at least a great affection. Provided that you do not change your mind! For there are no promises which hold; these are things that do not admit of compulsion.
“It would, nevertheless, be a beautiful thing in which I hardly dare believe, to pass through life together hypnotized in our dreams: your dream for your country; our dream for humanity; our dream for science. Of all these dreams, I believe the last, alone, is legitimate. I mean to say by this that we are powerless to change the social order. Even if this were not true we should not know what to do…. From the point of view of science, on the contrary, we can pretend to accomplish something. The territory here is more solid and obvious, and however small it is, it is truly in our possession.””
Harper Lee was accepted into the university’s law school, but she soon decided that writing was her true calling. In 1949, a 23-year-old Lee arrived in New York City to start her writing career. Her first book was published in 1960, the famous classic for which she is now best known , the Pulitzer Prize-winning best-seller To Kill a Mockingbird (1960) and Go Set a Watchman (2015). A classic of American literature, To Kill a Mockingbird has been translated into more than 40 languages with more than a million copies sold each year. Lee’s second novel also broke pre-sale records for publishing house and was on target to become one of the fastest-selling literary works in history.
Random quotes from Harper Lee’s books. (The headings are added by me.)
WHAT IS A SIN
“Mockingbirds don’t do one thing except make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corn cribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.”
A WATCHMAN FOR ONE’S LIFE
“Every man’s island, Jean Louise, every man’s watchman, is his conscience. There is no such thing as a collective conscious.”
“As you grow up, always tell the truth, do no harm to others, and don’t think you are the most important being on earth. Rich or poor, you then can look anyone in the eye and say, ‘I’m probably no better than you, but I’m certainly your equal. ”
WHAT REAL COURAGE IS
“I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in” his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.”
“You just hold your head high and keep those fists down. No matter what anybody says to you, don’t you let ’em get your goat. Try fightin’ with your head for a change.”
“Simply because we were licked a hundred years before we started is no reason for us not to try to win.”
SEE BOTH THE BIG AND SMALL PICTURE AND YET REMAIN YOURSELF
“First of all,” he said, “if you can learn a simple trick, Scout, you’ll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view–until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”
“People generally see what they look for, and hear what they listen for.”
“They’re certainly entitled to think that, and they’re entitled to full respect for their opinions… but before I can live with other folks I’ve got to live with myself. The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.”
BE WISE. CHOOSE FAITH AND NOT PREJUDICE
“It’s not necessary to tell all you know. It’s not ladylike — in the second place, folks don’t like to have someone around knowin’ more than they do. It aggravates them. Your not gonna change any of them by talkin’ right, they’ve got to want to learn themselves, and when they don’t want to learn there’s nothing you can do but keep your mouth shut or talk their language.”
“People in their right minds never take pride in their talents.”
“Many receive advice, only the wise profit from it.”
“Prejudice, a dirty word, and faith, a clean one, have something in common: they both begin where reason ends.”
THE BOOK YOU READ MAKES YOU WHO YOU BECOME
“Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.”
“The book to read is not the one which thinks for you, but the one which makes you think. No book in the world equals the Bible for that.”
Writer Harper Lee was born on April 28, 1926, in Monroeville, Alabama. In 1959, she finished the manuscript for her Pulitzer Prize-winning best-seller To Kill a Mockingbird. Soon after, she helped fellow-writer and friend Truman Capote write an article for The New Yorker which would later evolve into his nonfiction masterpiece, In Cold Blood. In July 2015, Lee published her second novel Go Set a Watchman, which was written before To Kill a Mockingbird and portrays the later lives of the characters from her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel.
“God does not have problems. Only plans,” proclaimed Corrie ten Boom when a clerical error allowed her to be released from a Nazi concentration camp one week before all women prisoners her age were executed.
Corrie and her family helped Jews escape the Nazi Holocaust during World War II and, by all accounts, saved nearly 800 lives. Cornelia “Corrie” ten Boom was born in Haarlem, Netherlands, in 1892, and grew up in a devoutly Christian family. Family members were strict Calvinists in the Dutch Reformed Church. Faith inspired them to serve society, offering shelter, food and money to those in need. Generations of ten Booms held Christian prayer meetings for Israel for 100 years prior to World War II. In this tradition, the family held a deep respect for the Jewish community in Amsterdam, considering them “God’s ancient people.” During World War II, the Beje house became a refuge for Jews, students and intellectuals. The entire ten Boom family became active in the Dutch resistance, risking their lives harboring those hunted by the Gestapo. She and her family harbored hundreds of Jews to protect them from arrest by Nazi authorities. Betrayed by a fellow Dutch citizen, the entire family was imprisoned. All ten Boom family members were incarcerated, including Corrie’s 84-year-old father, who soon died. Corrie and her sister Betsie were remanded to the notorious Ravensbrück concentration camp, near Berlin. Betsie died there on December 16, 1944. Twelve days later, Corrie was released for reasons not completely known.
After the war, Ten Boom returned to The Netherlands to set up a rehabilitation center. The refugee houses consisted of concentration-camp survivors and sheltered the jobless Dutch who previously collaborated with Germans during the occupation. She returned to Germany in 1946, and traveled the world as a public speaker, appearing in more than 60 countries. She wrote many books during this time. Corrie started a worldwide ministry and later told her story in a book entitled The Hiding Place. In 1977, at age 85, Corrie ten Boom moved to Placentia, California. She died on her 91st birthday, April 15, 1983. Her passing on this date evokes the Jewish traditional belief that states that only specially blessed people are granted the privilege of dying on the date they were born.
Here are some quotes from the autobiographical book The Hiding Place.
“I had believed the Bible always, but reading it now had nothing to do with belief. It was simply a description of the way things were–of hell and heaven, of how men act and how God acts.”
“Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word. . . . Hold thou me up, and I shall be safe.”
“When He tells us to love our enemies He gives, along with the command, the love itself.”
“Love is larger than the walls which shut it in.”
“No pit is so deep that God is not deeper still”
“There are no ‘ifs’ in God’s Kingdom. His timing is perfect. His will is our hiding place. Lord Jesus, keep me in Your will! Don’t let me go mad by poking about outside it.”
“And for all these people alike, the key to healing turned out to be the same. Each had a hurt he had to forgive.”
“and here I felt a strange leaping of my heart-God did! My job was to simply follow His leading one step at a time, holding every decision up to him in prayer.”
“This is what the past is for! Every experience God gives us, every person He puts in our lives is the perfect preparation for the future that only He can see.”
“In darkness God’s truth shines most clear.”
“If God has shown us bad times ahead, it’s enough for me that He knows about them. That’s why He sometimes shows us things, you know – to tell us that this too is in His hands.”
“God’s viewpoint is sometimes different from ours – so different that we could not even guess at it unless He had given us a Book which tells us such things….In the Bible I learn that God values us not for our strength or our brains but simply because He has made us.”
“Whenever we cannot love in the old, human way . . . God can give us the perfect way.”
“Corrie, if people can be taught to hate, they can be taught to love! We must find the way, you and I, no matter how long it takes.”
“Happiness isn’t something that depends on our surroundings, Corrie. It’s something we make inside ourselves.”
ON LOSING HER FIRST LOVE
“…suddenly I was afraid of what Father would say. Afraid he would say, “There’ll be someone else soon,” and that forever afterward this untruth would lie between us. For in some deep part of me I knew already that there would not–soon or ever–be anyone else.
The sweet cigar-smell came into the room with Father. And of course he did not say the false, idle words.
“Corrie,” he began instead, “do you know what hurts so very much? It’s love. Love is the strongest force in the world, and when it is blocked that means pain.
“There are two things we can do when this happens. We can kill the love so that it stops hurting. But then of course part of us dies, too. Or, Corrie, we can ask God to open up another route for that love to travel.
“God loves Karel–even more than you do–and if you ask Him, He will give you His love for this man, a love nothing can prevent, nothing destroy. Whenever we cannot love in the old, human way, Corrie, God can give us his perfect way.”
I did not know, as I listened to Father’s footsteps winding back down the stairs, that he had given me more than the key to this hard moment. I did not know that he had put into my hands the secret that would open far darker rooms than this–places where there was not, on a human level, anything to love at all.”
ON THE JEWS
“One day as Father and I were returning from our walk we found the Grote Markt cordoned off by a double ring of police and soldiers. A truck was parked in front of the fish mart; into the back were climbing men, women, and children, all wearing the yellow star. . . .
“Father! Those poor people!” I cried. . . .
“Those poor people,” Father echoed. But to my surprise I saw that he was looking at the solders now forming into ranks to march away. “I pity the poor Germans, Corrie. They have touched the apple of God’s eye.”
“At last we heard Father’s footsteps winding up the stairs. It was the best moment in every day, when he came up to tuck us in. We never fell asleep until he had arranged the balnkets in his special way and laid his hand for a moment on each head. Then we tried not to move even a toe.
But that night as he stepped through the door I burst into tears. “I need you!” I sobbed. “You can’t die! You can’t!”
Father sat down on the edge of the narrow bed. “Corrie,” he began gently, “when you and I go to Amsterdam, when do I give you your ticket?” I sniffed a few times, considering this. “Why, just before we get on the train.”
“Exactly. And our wise Father in Heaven knows when we’re going to need things too. Don’t run out ahead of Him, Corrie. When the time comes that some of us will have to die, you will look into your heart and find the strength you need–just in time.”