Celebrating 18 Years on the Web
TODAY IN SCIENCE HISTORY ®
Find science on or your birthday

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, ... finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell ... whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index B > Category: Block

Block Quotes (12 quotes)

Question: If you were to pour a pound of molten lead and a pound of molten iron, each at the temperature of its melting point, upon two blocks of ice, which would melt the most ice, and why?
Answer: This question relates to diathermancy. Iron is said to be a diathermanous body (from dia, through, and thermo, I heat), meaning that it gets heated through and through, and accordingly contains a large quantity of real heat. Lead is said to be an athermanous body (from a, privative, and thermo, I heat), meaning that it gets heated secretly or in a latent manner. Hence the answer to this question depends on which will get the best of it, the real heat of the iron or the latent heat of the lead. Probably the iron will smite furthest into the ice, as molten iron is white and glowing, while melted lead is dull.
Genuine student answer* to an Acoustics, Light and Heat paper (1880), Science and Art Department, South Kensington, London, collected by Prof. Oliver Lodge. Quoted in Henry B. Wheatley, Literary Blunders (1893), 180-1, Question 14. (*From a collection in which Answers are not given verbatim et literatim, and some instances may combine several students' blunders.)
Science quotes on:  |  Answer (249)  |  Best (172)  |  Body (243)  |  Dependence (37)  |  Dull (31)  |  Examination (65)  |  Heat (100)  |  Howler (15)  |  Ice (33)  |  Iron (65)  |  Latent (12)  |  Lead (158)  |  Manner (57)  |  Melting Point (2)  |  Molten (2)  |  Pound (13)  |  Pour (10)  |  Question (404)  |  Secret (130)  |  Smite (4)  |  Temperature (46)  |  White (56)

For a stone, when it is examined, will be found a mountain in miniature. The fineness of Nature’s work is so great, that, into a single block, a foot or two in diameter, she can compress as many changes of form and structure, on a small scale, as she needs for her mountains on a large one; and, taking moss for forests, and grains of crystal for crags, the surface of a stone, in by far the plurality of instances, is more interesting than the surface of an ordinary hill; more fantastic in form and incomparably richer in colour—the last quality being, in fact, so noble in most stones of good birth (that is to say, fallen from the crystalline mountain ranges).
Modern Painters, 4, Containing part 5 of Mountain Beauty (1860), 311.
Science quotes on:  |  Change (363)  |  Color (99)  |  Compression (4)  |  Crag (4)  |  Crystal (53)  |  Fantastic (11)  |  Forest (107)  |  Form (308)  |  Grain (27)  |  Hill (20)  |  Instance (32)  |  Interest (235)  |  Large (130)  |  Miniature (5)  |  Moss (10)  |  Mountain (145)  |  Nature (1211)  |  Noble (51)  |  Ordinary (71)  |  Plurality (5)  |  Quality (93)  |  Range (57)  |  Richness (14)  |  Scale (62)  |  Small (161)  |  Stone (76)  |  Structure (221)  |  Surface (101)

Once you have learned to fly your plane, it is far less fatiguing to fly than it is to drive a car. You don’t have to watch every second for cats, dogs, children, lights, road signs, ladies with baby carriages and citizens who drive out in the middle of the block against the lights... Nobody who has not been up in the sky on a glorious morning can possibly imagine the way a pilot feels in free heaven.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Baby (20)  |  Car (27)  |  Carriage (10)  |  Cat (36)  |  Child (245)  |  Citizen (30)  |  Dog (44)  |  Drive (55)  |  Far (154)  |  Fatigue (8)  |  Feel (165)  |  Fly (99)  |  Free (90)  |  Glorious (23)  |  Heaven (151)  |  Imagine (74)  |  Lady (11)  |  Learn (281)  |  Less (102)  |  Light (345)  |  Middle (15)  |  Morning (43)  |  Nobody (49)  |  Pilot (13)  |  Plane (17)  |  Possibly (19)  |  Road (63)  |  Second (59)  |  Sign (56)  |  Sky (124)  |  Watch (64)

Research serves to make building stones out of stumbling blocks.
Quoted in Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Technology Review (1932), 34, 4.
Science quotes on:  |  Building (52)  |  Quip (80)  |  Research (589)  |  Stumbling Block (4)

South America must have lain alongside Africa and formed a unified block which was split in two in the Cretaceous; the two parts must then have become increasingly separated over a period of millions of years like pieces of a cracked ice floe in water.
In The Origins of Continents and Oceans (4th ed. 1929), trans. John Biram (1966), 17.
Science quotes on:  |  Africa (19)  |  America (87)  |  Become (172)  |  Floe (2)  |  Formed (5)  |  Ice (33)  |  Increasingly (4)  |  Million (111)  |  Part (220)  |  Period (64)  |  Piece (38)  |  Plate Tectonics (20)  |  Separate (69)  |  South (10)  |  Split (13)  |  Two (13)  |  Unified (9)  |  Water (292)  |  Year (299)

That small word “Force,” they make a barber's block,
Ready to put on
Meanings most strange and various, fit to shock
Pupils of Newton....
The phrases of last century in this
Linger to play tricks—
Vis viva and Vis Mortua and Vis Acceleratrix:
Those long-nebbed words that to our text books still
Cling by their titles,
And from them creep, as entozoa will,
Into our vitals.
But see! Tait writes in lucid symbols clear
One small equation;
And Force becomes of Energy a mere
Space-variation.
'Report on Tait's Lecture on Force:— B.A., 1876', reproduced in Bruce Clarke, Energy Forms: Allegory and Science in the Era of Classical Thermodynamics (2001), 19. Maxwell's verse was inspired by a paper delivered at the British Association (B.A.. He was satirizing a “considerable cofusion of nomenclature” at the time, and supported his friend Tait's desire to establish a redefinition of energy on a thermnodynamic basis.
Science quotes on:  |  Barber (5)  |  Clarity (41)  |  Clinging (3)  |  Creeping (4)  |  Energy (214)  |  Equation (93)  |  Force (249)  |  Lingering (2)  |  Lucidity (5)  |  Meaning (111)  |  Sir Isaac Newton (327)  |  Nomenclature (138)  |  Phrase (28)  |  Play (110)  |  Poem (91)  |  Pupil (31)  |  Shock (13)  |  Space (257)  |  Strange (94)  |  Symbol (65)  |  Peter Guthrie Tait (8)  |  Textbook (27)  |  Title (18)  |  Trick (24)  |  Variation (61)  |  Various (46)  |  Vital (38)  |  Word (299)

The book of Nature is the book of Fate. She turns the gigantic pages,—leaf after leaf,—never re-turning one. One leaf she lays down, a floor of granite; then a thousand ages, and a bed of slate; a thousand ages, and a measure of coal; a thousand ages, and a layer of marl and mud: vegetable forms appear; her first misshapen animals, zoophyte, trilobium, fish; then, saurians,—rude forms, in which she has only blocked her future statue, concealing under these unwieldy monsters the fine type of her coming king. The face of the planet cools and dries, the races meliorate, and man is born. But when a race has lived its term, it comes no more again.
From 'Fate', collected in The Complete Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Volume 6: The Conduct of Life (1860), 15. This paragraph is the prose version of his poem, 'Song of Nature'.
Science quotes on:  |  Age (174)  |  Animal (356)  |  Appearance (85)  |  Bed (22)  |  Birth (93)  |  Book (257)  |  Book Of Fate (2)  |  Book Of Nature (6)  |  Coal (45)  |  Coming (10)  |  Concealing (2)  |  Cool (13)  |  Dry (21)  |  Evolution (533)  |  Face (108)  |  Fate (46)  |  Fine (33)  |  First (313)  |  Fish (95)  |  Floor (20)  |  Form (308)  |  Future (284)  |  Gigantic (23)  |  Granite (7)  |  King (32)  |  Layer (22)  |  Leaf (49)  |  Life (1124)  |  Measure (102)  |  Monster (24)  |  Mud (15)  |  Nature (1211)  |  Page (27)  |  Planet (262)  |  Race (103)  |  Returning (2)  |  Rude (6)  |  Saurian (2)  |  Statue (11)  |  Term (120)  |  Thousand (152)  |  Trilobite (4)  |  Turn (118)  |  Type (51)  |  Unwieldy (2)  |  Vegetable (22)  |  Zoophyte (4)

The distributed architecture and its technique of packet switching were built around the problem of getting messages delivered despite blockages, holes and malfunctions. Imagine the poor censor faced with such a system. There is no central exchange to seize and hold; messages actively “seek out” alternative routes so that even if one path is blocked another may open up. Here is the civil libertarian’s dream.
As quoted in Richard Rogers, 'The Internet Treats Censorship as a Malfunction and Routes Around It? : A New Media Approach to the Study of State Internet Censorship', collected in Jussi Parikka and Tony D. Sampson (eds.), The Spam Book: On Viruses, Porn, and Other Anomalies from the Dark Side of Digital Culture (2009), 243.
Science quotes on:  |  Actively (3)  |  Alternative (29)  |  Architecture (43)  |  Censor (2)  |  Central (33)  |  Civil (6)  |  Delivery (6)  |  Distribute (9)  |  Dream (165)  |  Exchange (12)  |  Hold (92)  |  Malfunction (3)  |  Message (35)  |  Open (66)  |  Path (84)  |  Problem (490)  |  Route (15)  |  Seek (104)  |  Seize (14)  |  Technique (49)

The only truly secure system is one that is powered off, cast in a block of concrete and sealed in a lead-lined room with armed guards—and even then I have my doubts.
As quoted in epigraph to A.K. Dewdney, 'Computer Recreations: Of Worms, Viruses and Core War' by A. K. Dewdney in Scientific American (Mar 1989), 110. Also on the koth.org website.
Science quotes on:  |  Cast (25)  |  Concrete (31)  |  Doubt (159)  |  Guard (18)  |  Lead (158)  |  Power (358)  |  Room (38)  |  Secure (20)

The ultimate function of prophecy is not to tell the future, but to make it. Your successful past will block your visions of the future.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Function (128)  |  Future (284)  |  Past (150)  |  Prophecy (9)  |  Successful (39)  |  Tell (110)  |  Ultimate (84)  |  Vision (94)

There was no more grass, no flowers, not even any moss: dusty granite blocks covered the ice and an occasional grinding groan reminded us that we were on a slow-moving glacier.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Cover (37)  |  Dusty (8)  |  Flower (76)  |  Glacier (17)  |  Granite (7)  |  Grass (35)  |  Grind (11)  |  Groan (4)  |  Ice (33)  |  Moss (10)  |  Occasional (14)  |  Remind (13)

[To] mechanical progress there is apparently no end: for as in the past so in the future, each step in any direction will remove limits and bring in past barriers which have till then blocked the way in other directions; and so what for the time may appear to be a visible or practical limit will turn out to be but a bend in the road.
Opening address to the Mechanical Science Section, Meeting of the British Association, Manchester. In Nature (15 Sep 1887), 36, 475.
Science quotes on:  |  Apparent (39)  |  Appear (115)  |  Barrier (23)  |  Bend (12)  |  Bring (90)  |  Direction (74)  |  End (195)  |  Future (284)  |  Limit (123)  |  Mechanical (48)  |  Past (150)  |  Practical (129)  |  Progress (362)  |  Remove (26)  |  Road (63)  |  Step (109)


Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
Quotations by: • Albert Einstein • Isaac Newton • Lord Kelvin • Charles Darwin • Srinivasa Ramanujan • Carl Sagan • Florence Nightingale • Thomas Edison • Aristotle • Marie Curie • Benjamin Franklin • Winston Churchill • Galileo Galilei • Sigmund Freud • Robert Bunsen • Louis Pasteur • Theodore Roosevelt • Abraham Lincoln • Ronald Reagan • Leonardo DaVinci • Michio Kaku • Karl Popper • Johann Goethe • Robert Oppenheimer • Charles Kettering  ... (more people)

Quotations about: • Atomic  Bomb • Biology • Chemistry • Deforestation • Engineering • Anatomy • Astronomy • Bacteria • Biochemistry • Botany • Conservation • Dinosaur • Environment • Fractal • Genetics • Geology • History of Science • Invention • Jupiter • Knowledge • Love • Mathematics • Measurement • Medicine • Natural Resource • Organic Chemistry • Physics • Physician • Quantum Theory • Research • Science and Art • Teacher • Technology • Universe • Volcano • Virus • Wind Power • Women Scientists • X-Rays • Youth • Zoology  ... (more topics)
Sitewide search within all Today In Science History pages:
Visit our Science and Scientist Quotations index for more Science Quotes from archaeologists, biologists, chemists, geologists, inventors and inventions, mathematicians, physicists, pioneers in medicine, science events and technology.

Names index: | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |

Categories index: | 1 | 2 | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |

- 100 -
Sophie Germain
Gertrude Elion
Ernest Rutherford
James Chadwick
Marcel Proust
William Harvey
Johann Goethe
John Keynes
Carl Gauss
Paul Feyerabend
- 90 -
Antoine Lavoisier
Lise Meitner
Charles Babbage
Ibn Khaldun
Euclid
Ralph Emerson
Robert Bunsen
Frederick Banting
Andre Ampere
Winston Churchill
- 80 -
John Locke
Bronislaw Malinowski
Bible
Thomas Huxley
Alessandro Volta
Erwin Schrodinger
Wilhelm Roentgen
Louis Pasteur
Bertrand Russell
Jean Lamarck
- 70 -
Samuel Morse
John Wheeler
Nicolaus Copernicus
Robert Fulton
Pierre Laplace
Humphry Davy
Thomas Edison
Lord Kelvin
Theodore Roosevelt
Carolus Linnaeus
- 60 -
Francis Galton
Linus Pauling
Immanuel Kant
Martin Fischer
Robert Boyle
Karl Popper
Paul Dirac
Avicenna
James Watson
William Shakespeare
- 50 -
Stephen Hawking
Niels Bohr
Nikola Tesla
Rachel Carson
Max Planck
Henry Adams
Richard Dawkins
Werner Heisenberg
Alfred Wegener
John Dalton
- 40 -
Pierre Fermat
Edward Wilson
Johannes Kepler
Gustave Eiffel
Giordano Bruno
JJ Thomson
Thomas Kuhn
Leonardo DaVinci
Archimedes
David Hume
- 30 -
Andreas Vesalius
Rudolf Virchow
Richard Feynman
James Hutton
Alexander Fleming
Emile Durkheim
Benjamin Franklin
Robert Oppenheimer
Robert Hooke
Charles Kettering
- 20 -
Carl Sagan
James Maxwell
Marie Curie
Rene Descartes
Francis Crick
Hippocrates
Michael Faraday
Srinivasa Ramanujan
Francis Bacon
Galileo Galilei
- 10 -
Aristotle
John Watson
Rosalind Franklin
Michio Kaku
Isaac Asimov
Charles Darwin
Sigmund Freud
Albert Einstein
Florence Nightingale
Isaac Newton



who invites your feedback
Thank you for sharing.
Today in Science History
Sign up for Newsletter
with quiz, quotes and more.