“Since her death in 1979, the woman who discovered what the universe is made of has not so much as received a memorial plaque. Her newspaper obituaries do not mention her greatest discovery. […] Every high school student knows that Isaac Newton discovered gravity, that Charles Darwin discovered evolution, and that Albert Einstein discovered the relativity of time. But when it comes to the composition of our universe, the textbooks simply say that the most abundant atom in the universe is hydrogen. And no one ever wonders how we know.”—
Jeremy Knowles, discussing the complete lack of recognition Cecilia Payne gets, even today, for her revolutionary discovery. (via alliterate)
OH WAIT LEMME TELL YOU ABOUT CECILIA PAYNE.
Cecilia Payne’s mother refused to spend money on her college education, so she won a scholarship to Cambridge.
Cecilia Payne completed her studies, but Cambridge wouldn’t give her a degree because she was a woman, so she said fuck that and moved to the United States to work at Harvard.
Cecilia Payne was the first person ever to earn a Ph.D. in astronomy from Radcliffe College, with what Otto Strauve called “the most brilliant Ph.D. thesis ever written in astronomy.”
Not only did Cecilia Payne discover what the universe is made of, she also discovered what the sun is made of (Henry Norris Russell, a fellow astronomer, is usually given credit for discovering that the sun’s composition is different from the Earth’s, but he came to his conclusions four years later than Payne—after telling her not to publish).
Cecilia Payne is the reason we know basically anything about variable stars (stars whose brightness as seen from earth fluctuates). Literally every other study on variable stars is based on her work.
Cecilia Payne was the first woman to be promoted to full professor from within Harvard, and is often credited with breaking the glass ceiling for women in the Harvard science department and in astronomy, as well as inspiring entire generations of women to take up science.
Cecilia Payne is awesome and everyone should know her.
“Wanna know the fucking truth? Nobody is fucking happy. Nobody has skin made from oil paint and sunlight. Nobody fucking understands this world. Fuck, nobody probably understands math as much as they claim. You’re here one day and the next you’re not. God? Religion? I’ve learned a lot more about the world by eating acid and swallowing pills. Tell me what your church has done for you? Tell me if you have holes in your mouth from speaking lies? Wanna know the fucking truth? Pity is just another word for pathetic. Drink beer and watch the sunrise from every rooftop. Take photographs naked. Take photographs kissing. Take photographs having sex. Stop making everything about sexuality. Wanna know the fucking truth? Nobody really gives a damn if you lost your virginity at fourteen or if you were the president in high school. Wanna know the fucking truth? There is no such thing as the right person. People leave. They change like ocean currents, they leave you with bruises in your calves. And you wanna know the fucking truth? You get better. You learn to love. You find God in between the cracks of a wall when you’re puking your limbs out. You wanna know the fucking truth? Go find it.”—something someone should have told me when i was eighteen (via irynka)
“Did you know, you can quit your job, you can leave university? You aren’t legally required to have a degree, it’s a social pressure and expectation, not the law, and no one is holding a gun to your head. You can sell your house, you can give up your apartment, you can even sell your vehicle, and your things that are mostly unnecessary. You can see the world on a minimum wage salary, despite the persisting myth, you do not need a high paying job. You can leave your friends (if they’re true friends they’ll forgive you, and you’ll still be friends) and make new ones on the road. You can leave your family. You can depart from your hometown, your country, your culture, and everything you know. You can sacrifice. You can give up your $5.00 a cup morning coffee, you can give up air conditioning, frequent consumption of new products. You can give up eating out at restaurants and prepare affordable meals at home, and eat the leftovers too, instead of throwing them away. You can give up cable TV, Internet even. This list is endless. You can sacrifice climbing up in the hierarchy of careers. You can buck tradition and others’ expectations of you. You can triumph over your fears, by conquering your mind. You can take risks. And most of all, you can travel. You just don’t want it enough. You want a degree or a well-paying job or to stay in your comfort zone more. This is fine, if it’s what your heart desires most, but please don’t envy me and tell me you can’t travel. You’re not in a famine, in a desert, in a third world country, with five malnourished children to feed. You probably live in a first world country. You have a roof over your head, and food on your plate. You probably own luxuries like a cellphone and a computer. You can afford the $3.00 a night guest houses of India, the $0.10 fresh baked breakfasts of Morocco, because if you can afford to live in a first world country, you can certainly afford to travel in third world countries, you can probably even afford to travel in a first world country. So please say to me, “I want to travel, but other things are more important to me and I’m putting them first”, not, “I’m dying to travel, but I can’t”, because I have yet to have someone say they can’t, who truly can’t. You can, however, only live once, and for me, the enrichment of the soul that comes from seeing the world is worth more than a degree that could bring me in a bigger paycheck, or material wealth, or pleasing society. Of course, you must choose for yourself, follow your heart’s truest desires, but know that you can travel, you’re only making excuses for why you can’t. And if it makes any difference, I have never met anyone who has quit their job, left school, given up their life at home, to see the world, and regretted it. None. Only people who have grown old and regretted never traveling, who have regretted focusing too much on money and superficial success, who have realized too late that there is so much more to living than this.”—Wunderkammer: Did You Know (via monikatischer)
“You are the sum total of everything you’ve ever seen, heard, eaten, smelled, been told, forgot - it’s all there. Everything influences each of us, and because of that I try to make sure that my experiences are positive.”—Maya Angelou (via creatingaquietmind)
oh man the best is when a dude is like "you’re not wife material." fucking good. i want to be totalitarian dictator material; blood sucking life ruiner material; fucking bulletproof immortal drug lord material. not your fucking wife you gross asshole.
“If you look at the fact that you have a roof over your head, food to eat, that you are young and beautiful and live in a peaceful land, then no, you have nothing to be sad about. But the fact is, we are not only a physical body, we have souls too, and sometimes our souls get sick. If you break a leg you don’t just say ‘I have no reason to have a broken leg’ and ignore it; you seek help. It’s the same when your soul gets hurt. Don’t apologize for being sad.”—My doctor when I told her I had no reason to be sad (via hrive-ithiliel)
i remember once i was walking to class near this group of guys and one of them saw his girlfriend and one of his friends was like “c’mon man bros before hoes” and the guy looked him dead in the eye and said “she’s the bro and y’all bitches are the hoes” before going to talk to his girlfriend and i have never seen a group of guys in sagging jeans and ridiculous shoes look so offended