Saturday, December 8, 2007

Le Preux Chevalier

Who says chivalry is dead? Yesterday, as I was exiting one of the university buildings, a man opened a door for me. I smiled my acknowledgement to him, and he quietly said, "Thank you, Miss." To my amazement, he wasn't going through those doors at all - he walked down a second flight of stairs a couple of paces ahead of me. "Ah!" I thought, "He is leaving the building, just as I am". Reaching the outer doors before me, he swung them open for me. As I passed him, I paused, smiled, and thanked him. A second time, he smiled and said, "Thank you, Miss." Stepping out into the cold air, I half-turned to nod my goodbye to him, but watched in astonishment as he smiled and turned back into the building. I blushed. He had opened two doors for me though he had to go through neither. In being so chivalrous and calling me "Miss", he had made me feel incredibly young and girly. And all evening, the thought of him made me smile and blush again.

I haven't been doing anything that even borders on fun lately. I have finished reading the Kenneth Williams Diaries, and have been feverishly working on my manuscript. My thesis dominates my life now. But I happened to come across an interesting item that I thought I would like to share here. It is about George de Hevesy who won the 1943 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for developing the tracer method. "When Germany invaded Denmark during the second World War, he dissolved the gold Nobel Prizes of Max von Laue and James Franck into aqua regia to prevent the Nazis from stealing them. He placed the resulting solution on a shelf in his laboratory at the Niels Bohr Institute. It was subsequently ignored by the invading Nazis who thought the jar — one of perhaps hundreds on the shelving — contained common chemicals. After the war, de Hevesy returned to find the solution undisturbed and precipitated the gold out of the acid, and returned it to the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. The Nobel Society then recast the two Nobel Prizes using the original gold."

4 comments:

Beautiful Mind said...
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Beautiful Mind said...
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Asha Stephen said...

:( I forgot to take off Alfred Molina's pic... have updated it now. :)

horemhebanubis said...

chivalry is indeed a rare thing. but the sad part is, sometimes chivalry is seen as chauvinism and indeed the line is thin sometimes. but the sneering attitude towards chivalry on the part of some militant feminists cause the extincting breed of chivalrous men to become cold hearted like everyone else.