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Chapter and Verse

Correspondence on not-so-famous lost words

May-June 2015

Patrick Powers would like to learn the name of the physicist who allegedly declared, “This is not nuts, this is supernuts,” on viewing the launch of the prototype of a space ship powered by nuclear explosions. The pronouncement appears in the book Who Got Einstein’s Office? by Ed Regis.

Julian Kitay seeks a source for the following assertion: “You cannot convince a man of his error when his error is himself” (possibly phrased instead as “A man cannot be convinced of his error…”). Kitay adds that his “recollection (not reliable) is that one of the ancient Greek philosophers may have been the author.”

Luis Harss hopes someone can identify a poem, vaguely remembered and possibly Arabic, that describes how “The bird of sleep / came down to nest in your eyes / but seeing your lashes /thought they were nets / and took flight” (or possibly “fright”).

Send inquiries and answers to “Chapter and Verse,” Harvard Magazine, 7 Ware Street, Cambridge 02138, or via e-mail to chapterandverse@harvardmag.com.

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