Today is March 14th, which means all around the world people in-the-know are celebrating Pi-Day. They might also be celebrating the anniversary of the birth of one Albert Einstein.
I recently picked up a book titled Dear Professor Einstein: Albert Einstein’s Letters To And From Children. I stumbled on it while meandering through Chapters. I wasn’t looking for anything in particular, I was just wandering to clear my head.
Serendipitously, I turned a corner and the book almost leapt off the shelf and into my hands. I randomly opened the book – to page 113 – and found the following translated letter from Einstein to his niece:
To Elisabeth Ley, Stuttgart (September 30, 1920)
Dear Miss Ley,
Elsa tells me that you are unhappy because you didn’t get to see your Uncle Einstein. Therefore I will tell you what I look like: pale face, long hair, and a modest paunch. In addition, an awkward gait, a cigar – if I happen to have one – in the mouth, and a pen in the pocket or hand. But this uncle doesn’t have bowed legs or warts, and is therefore quite handsome; and neither does he have hair on his hands, as ugly men often do. So indeed it is a pity that you didn’t get to see me.
With warm greetings from your Uncle Einstein
I couldn’t help but smile at Einstein’s sense of humour. I bought the book without a second thought.