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Quote and image of the month 09.2015

Quote of the month

Limited as we are in every faculty, our powers are to be found in the mean between two extremes. Our senses cannot perceive extremes: too much sound deafens us; too much light dazzles us; too great a distance or too close a proximity obstructs our view. Both too great a length or too great a brevity of discourse obscures meaning; too much truth shocks.

[Bornés en tout genre, cet état qui tient le milieu entre deux extrêmes se trouve en toutes nos puissances. Nos sens n’aperçoivent rien d’extrême, trop de bruit nous assourdit, trop de lumière éblouit, trop de distance et trop de proximité empêche la vue. Trop de longueur et trop de brièveté de discours l’obscurcit, trop de vérité nous étonne.]

Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), Pensées sur la religion et sur quelques autres sujets, Transition XV, 199-72 H, Disproportion de l'homme, 9. - Voilà où nous mènent les connaissances naturelles. Les Pensées de Blaise Pascal

Image of the month

Too great a distance or too close a proximity obstructs our view

'Too great a distance or too close a proximity obstructs our view'. The 'Pillars of Creation' a famous Hubble image of the Eagle Nebula. The pillars are about 5 light-years tall, bathed in the blistering ultraviolet light from a group of young, massive stars located off the top of the image. Stars are being born deep inside the pillars, which are made of cold hydrogen gas laced with dust.