Hall of Fame
In Nirvana, there is a curious skyscraper, a hodge-podge of styles and wild invention. It appears a fanciful layer cake. Upon a hand-troweled foundation lay several stories of sturdy walls occasionally adorned with highly polished gems. Above them the rules of architecture were broken more than honored. One floor shrank to half its base while others have strange beams striking out on their own. After layers of dark craftsmanship came a layer of smoothed walls with regular surface. High above, barely visible through the ethereal atmosphere, lay peculiar stories which looped onto one another, all capped by an austere functionality.
Such is the final home of the greats of science and mathematics.
The basement is rough and approximate. The methodical wedges of Babylonian cuneiform cover the lower wall, while colorful Egyptian hieroglyphics decorate the upper portion.
The first floor, laid out with rigorous precision by Euclid and Eratosthenes, covers exactly one square block of celestial real estate. Its residents appreciate the freely entering light of the sunrooms. Archimedes surprises everyone with his temper whenever his light is blocked. The library floor, contributed by Diophantus with lighting by Diogenes, is replete with 700,000 manuscripts not seen on Earth since 638 A.D.
On the wings of a number of middle floors, spires and minarets cap the rooms of al-Khwarizmi and his clan. The null room is striking with no bench for contemplation.
But our aim here is not to detail the lower stories, but to bring your attention to the squabbling going on near the most recent construction.
Einstein rests on the top room’s veranda, comfortable in his gedanken chair. Only one thing disturbs the great man at this moment—a spike piercing through the side wall from the rambunctious rooms of some newer physicists.
Their temerity is claiming that the big bang started the universe.
Einstein shook his shoulders and pulled his wiry hair. His gedanken became ge-uneasy. Hadn’t he made it perfectly clear that there was no preferred coordinate system in the universe?
Yet, if there was truly a big bang, using its origin would give a preferable symmetry, a simplicity, to physical equations that would be undeniable.
Using the psychic phone, Einstein dialed for a few floors below the floor where he reclined in a lounge chair.
Resting after a busy life, he closed his eyes and gently stroked his eyelids, while waiting for the inventor of the clockwork universe to answer.
Finally, after a determinate wait, “Isaac Newton. Hello, help a new friend. How did you rest—when you discovered that absolute time and place were lost?”
Einstein listened a relative minute.
“You never believed me! What?” The words streamed out of the wire-haired scientist. “Why do I care now? The origin has been found again!”
Image: Tower of Babel. Pieter Brueghel the Elder, Public domain wikicommons