Blake de Vos | True, Fun + Interesting: On Einstein's Stolen Brain, The Quietest Room, Luck
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True, Fun + Interesting: On Einstein’s Stolen Brain, The Quietest Room, Luck

Edition#2 on True, Fun + Interesting. Providing you with general knowledge and insights right on time for the weekend.

True: Albert Einsten’s brain was stolen

Albert Einstein laid down the scientific foundations of relativity, which brought the world an understanding of space, time, gravity and the universe. On April 18 1955, Thomas Harvey, a pathologist at Princeton Hospital, had the mission to perform an autopsy on Einstein.

After the operation, Harvey extracted Einstein’s brain and kept parts of it for himself. According to Einstein’s family, they had asked for his body to be cremated and ensure no one studied it. Without authorization, Harvey used the physician’s brain and examined it, the opposite of what the family had requested.

Einstein’s family were quite upset once they found out, where Harvey would be persistent and convincing, where he got a reluctant blessing from Einstein’s son, Hans Albert to continue studying. The only condition family had, were that the findings be published in scientific journals of high regard.

Harvey had soon lost his job at Princeton hospital and would then travel the world, carrying parts of Einstein’s brain everywhere he went. In 1985, Harvey published his first study on Einstein’s brain. The findings: Einstein’s brain had a vast number of non-neuronal cells.

Follow up research and examinations found that before Harvey cut it into pieces, Einstein’s brain showed an abnormal folding pattern in parts of his parietal lobe- the part of the brain responsible for mathematical ability cognitive thinking. Something that leads researchers to believe the reason behind Einstein’s way of thinking and pure genius.

Harvey died in 2007, and in his will, he donated the remaining brain samples to the local hospital in Princeton- the same hospital where he stole Einstein’s brain.

Fun Fact: The Worlds Most Quietest Room

The worlds quietest room is located at Microsoft’s headquarters in Washington. The room has an onion-like structure that isolates the rest of the building from the outside world. It measures a background noise of -20.35 decibels, 20 decibels below the threshold of human hearing.

To put it into perspective, listening to someone breath calmly clocks in at 10dB. The room has been used by companies as a place to test how loud their products are, also NASA has sent their astronauts to the room so they get a feel for silence in space.

Interesting: On Luck

“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity” – Seneca