Crank Gardner BBCphoto header

hermits cranks pseudoscience and martin gardner

MARTIN GARDNER WAS A SKEPTIC. He was one of the first ‘modern skep­tics’ and one of the most im­por­tant. He made his liveli­hood as a math­e­matics and sci­ence writer. He is per­haps best known for cre­ating and sus­taining gen­eral in­terest in recre­ational math­e­matics for a large part of the 20th cen­tury through his “Math­e­mat­ical Games” column in Sci­en­tific Amer­ican mag­a­zine (1956–1981). [Continue reading]

MarkTwain 800

mark twain on the united states as a Christian country

MARK TWAIN seems to have had some­thing to say about any­thing and every­thing, and ex­cept for his be­lief that Will Shake­speare was not the au­thor of any­thing that bore his name, I tend to agree with the old cur­mud­geon about every­thing and anything—including his take on cer­tain cit­i­zens of these here United States as­suming that we all live in a “Chris­tian country.” [Continue reading]

RathboneBasil SherlockHolmes 3 1600

sherlock holmes on the acquisition of knowledge

“I CONSIDER THAT A MAN’S BRAIN orig­i­nally is like a little empty attic, and you have to stock it with such fur­ni­ture as you choose. A fool takes in all the lumber of every sort that he comes across, so that the knowl­edge which might be useful to him gets crowded out, or at best is jum­bled up with a lot of other things, so that he has a dif­fi­culty in laying his hands upon it. [Continue reading]