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Lightning AA

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Leo Szilard

Died 30 May 1964 at age 66 (born 11 Feb 1898). Hungarian-American physicist who, with Enrico Fermi, designed the first nuclear reactor that sustained nuclear chain reaction (2 Dec 1942). In 1933, Szilard had left Nazi Germany for England. The same year he conceived the neutron chain reaction. Moving to N.Y. City in 1938, he conducted fission experiments at Columbia University. Aware of the danger of nuclear fission in the hands of the German government, he persuaded Albert Einstein to write to President Roosevelt, urging him to commission American development of atomic weapons. In 1943, Major General Leslie Groves, leader of the Manhattan Project designing the atomic bomb, forced Szilard to sell his atomic energy patent rights to the U.S. government.

Double negative

A linguistics professor was lecturing to his class one day. "In English," he said, "a double negative forms a positive. In some languages though, such as Russian, a double negative is still a negative."

"However," he pointed out, "there is no language wherein a double positive can form a negative."

A voice from the back of the room piped up, "Yeah. Right."

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