It Can’t Be Done

These might be old stories, but they are all worth repeating because they speak to a common theme.

(For added enjoyment, follow the hyperlinks embedded in this post.)

***

The year was 1954.  In athletics there was a sense that a human could not physically run faster than a four minute mile.  “It’s impossible,” many said.  Athlete after athlete trained and tried – and all fell short.  The four minute mile seemed to be an impassible barrier.

And then, on May 6, 1954, Roger Bannister did it.  Bannister ran a sub-four minute mile!  He did something no human being had ever done before.  The impossible had occurred – like catching lightning in a bottle.  Many thought that Bannister’s feat was fluke, a one-in-a-million occurrence.

Six weeks later, an Australian, John Landy, bested Roger Bannister’s time.

Continue reading “It Can’t Be Done”

Newton, Autographs, and the Teacher

My son sent me an e-mail from Williams College the other day. In the message, he shared that he went to the Rare Books Library on campus and took out a copy of Philosophae Naturalis Principia Mathematica written by Sir Isaac Newton. This is the text in which Newton came up with his laws of motion and gravity, the orbits of the planets, and so much more. This edition was from the 1700’s. My son was amazed to have this famous work in his hands. It may have been an original copy. I imagine he was awe-struck .

I would have been.

Continue reading “Newton, Autographs, and the Teacher”