Albert Einstein is one of my favorite characters. Brilliant, as most everyone knows, he was also rebellious, although most people thought of it as forgetfulness. For example, he would appear at formal university functions wearing dress shoes but no socks, which, according to history books, was specifically aimed at perturbing the hosts.
He was also a simple man. His theory of relativity seems complicated. However, he provided an uncomplicated explanation. To paraphrase it, “You sit on a hot stove for two minutes, and it feels like two hours; you sit with a pretty girl for two hours, and it seems like two minutes. That is relativity.”
Einstein provided a very simple explanation for how a radio operates. “You see, wire telegraph is kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York, and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. And a radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat.”
Although Einstein was able to provide simplified explanations of complicated processes and concepts, he was still in awe of the universe, from the vast to the minute. This is where I identify with Mr. Einstein. It still fascinates me to watch a robot or even a painter coat a metal or plastic part. It is even more thrilling to actually be able to stand in the booth and observe.
While I understand the principles of plating and how the metal is applied to the part, I can still stand rapt, watching a line operate or a plater moving a rack of parts through the tanks. I enjoy touring finishing facilities with magazine coworkers unfamiliar with the industry. That way I can point out all the cool stuff, and see their reaction when I show them the starting product and the end product. Mr. Einstein said, “The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed.”
One mystery I often contemplate, is why the alphabet is in that particular order. Is it because of that song? (ha, ha) It is a person’s sense of wonder that keeps him/her learning, holds his/her interest and piques his/her curiosity. Do you understand it all? Or is there still a bit of something about finishing that makes you wonder?