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For Andrzej Bialas's 70th birthday celebrations (confidential until June 1) PowerPoint Presentation
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For Andrzej Bialas's 70th birthday celebrations (confidential until June 1)

For Andrzej Bialas's 70th birthday celebrations (confidential until June 1)

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For Andrzej Bialas's 70th birthday celebrations (confidential until June 1)

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  1. For Andrzej Bialas's 70th birthday celebrations (confidential until June 1) Alan Martin (Durham)

  2. Occasionally you meet someone who is so charismatic that you remember everything about your first meeting. It happened to me at the 4th conference on "Multiparticle Hadrodynamics" in 1973, which that year was held in Pavia.  It was the excursion afternoon and the participants visited a local vineyard, where on a large table were assembled a pile of bottles of wine, each enclosed in a box marked in red letters with the name of the conference; one box to be given to each participant. 

  3. The person I met was Andrzej Bialas.  He had an abundance of charm and humour, a strong personality, enormous pride in his native country and a strong desire to build up particle physics in his home town, Krakow.  Well, as is clear to everyone, he has more than succeded.

  4. The Zakopane School had (and perhaps still has) two unexpected ordeals for the foreign guests-both due to Andrzej. The first, is the evening lessons in pronoucing simple Polish words to the gathered participants-I was always worst at this, despite my love of Poland and its people, and despite many visits.  The second ordeal was even worse.   Andrzej would request that, at short notice, you tell a humorous story.   Today, I am thankfully excused the first Andrzej ordeal- so instead, with much more notice, may I contribute  3 (true) stories

  5. The first story: There was once a young man who, in his youth, professed his desire to become a great writer. When asked to define "great" he said, "I want to write stuff that the whole world will read, stuff that people will react to on a truly emotional level, stuff that will make them scream, cry, howl in pain and anger!

  6. The first story: There was once a young man who, in his youth, professed his desire to become a great writer. When asked to define "great" he said, "I want to write stuff that the whole world will read, stuff that people will react to on a truly emotional level, stuff that will make them scream, cry, howl in pain and anger!He now works for Microsoft, writing error messages.

  7. The second story: When NASA first started sending up astronauts, they quickly discovered that ballpoint pens would not work in zero gravity. To combat the problem, NASA scientists spent a decade and $12 billion to develop a pen that writes in zero gravity, upside down, underwater, on almost any surface including glass and at temperatures ranging from below freezing to 300 C.

  8. The second story: When NASA first started sending up astronauts, they quickly discovered that ballpoint pens would not work in zero gravity. To combat the problem, NASA scientists spent a decade and $12 billion to develop a pen that writes in zero gravity, upside down, underwater, on almost any surface including glass and at temperatures ranging from below freezing to 300 C. The Russians used a pencil.

  9. The final story: In Russia there is, I am afraid, a road where the traffic police are corrupt-they pocket the fines they arbitrarily impose on passing motorists. One day a policeman emerged from their roadside hut and flagged down a motorist whom he claimed was exceeding the speed limit and requested 10,000 roubles. Now the motorist was a Polish Mathematical Physics professor from the Jagellonian University in Krakow.  Though poor, he was very clever.  He said to the policeman I am so sorry, but I am rather forgetful as I have a nagging problem which continues to worry me.    You see the problem is this:  2 times 2 equals 4,  and also 2 added to 2 equals 4.  So this implies addition is equal to multiplication.  This so puzzled the policeman that he let the professor go free, raised his cap and stratched his head, and went back into the hut to explain the problem to his boss.

  10. The final story: In Russia there is, I am afraid, a road where the traffic police are corrupt-they pocket the fines they arbitrarily impose on passing motorists. One day a policeman emerged from their roadside hut and flagged down a motorist whom he claimed was exceeding the speed limit and requested 10,000 roubles. Now the motorist was a Polish Mathematical Physics professor from the Jagellonian University in Krakow.  Though poor, he was very clever.  He said to the policeman I am so sorry, but I am rather forgetful as I have a nagging problem which continues to worry me.    You see the problem is this:  2 times 2 equals 4,  and also 2 added to 2 equals 4.  So this implies addition is equal to multiplication.  This so puzzled the policeman that he let the professor go free, raised his cap and stratched his head, and went back into the hut to explain the problem to his boss. His boss shouted "You idiot, you are not concerned with addition and multiplication, but with subtraction and division."

  11. Well, Andrzej, I am so sorry not to be with you all in Zakopaneon this very special occasion- - but I am with you in spirit. I wish you many, many more Happy Birthdays  in the years to come. All the very best Alan