I have a lot of sympathy for young people because I realize how disturbed I was. How would I deal with life in the future? What would I do for a living?
Young man, I am afraid you are wasting your time. If there were any more planets they would have been found long before this.
Unfortunately, a lot of the concepts in the Bible are based on ancient mythology that doesn't fit the findings of science.
I guess they just took it for granted that that was what I was interested in and let nature take its course.
I think there's a supreme power behind the whole thing, an intelligence. Look at all of the instincts of nature, both animals and plants, the very ingenious ways they survive. If you cut yourself, you don't have to think about it.
The planets are never the same twice, they're always different, so they could compare the markings I had drawn with their current photographs and they knew that I was drawing what I was really seeing and it wasn't copied from somewhere.
I used to believe there were people on Mars, and of course now we know there aren't. Mars held particular interest. I was curious what kind of beings they would look like.
To me, the noise of a threshing machine is better music than a lot of music I hear nowadays. I took a man's place in the threshing crew when I was only 14 years old.
A person that much interested in science is going to neglect his social life somewhat, but not completely, because that isn't healthy either. So one has to work it out according to one's own inclinations, how one wants to proportion these things.
I think the driving thing was curiosity about the universe. That fascinated me. I didn't think anything about being famous or anything like that, I was just interested in the concepts involved.
Can you imagine young people nowadays making a study of trigonometry for the fun of it? Well I did.
I was always looking ahead. I used to do all kinds of things for entertainment. When I was young, we had no radio, no TV. We were 30 miles from the public library, out in the sticks in Western Kansas, and so I'd do arithmetic exercises.
It was depressing, ... I worried about how I would make a living. I didn't want to stay on the farm. It didn't offer the challenge I wanted and yet, without a college education, I felt that I was really out of luck.
How does a pansy, for example, select the ingredients from soil to get the right colors for the flower? Now there's a great miracle. I think there's a supreme power behind all of this. I see it in nature.
I realized that I would have some very tough sledding, and I was very discouraged because I didn't see much hope of getting into the field I wanted to get into with no college education.
I was interested in telescopes and the way they worked because I had an intense desire to see what things looked like, so I learned how to use telescopes and find things in the sky.
When I was in the fourth grade, I became intensely interested in geography and I learned it well.
I used to think about how nice it would be to visit the planets. Of course, I didn't expect to see in my lifetime what has happened. I knew it would happen some day, but it came along faster than I at first thought.
You have to compete with others in the field. Sometimes the competition gets pretty fierce because you're competing for funds or grants to do your work, the financial work.
I doubt that the phenomenon was any terrestrial reflection, because... nothing of the kind has ever appeared before or since... I was so unprepared for such a strange sight that I was really petrified with astonishment.
You have to have hope. Otherwise, I don't think you could handle it. Of course, you have to have both luck and pluck to make it.
I guess the two things I was most interested in were telescopes and steam engines. My father was an engineer on a threshing rig steam engine and I loved the machinery.
By the time I was in sixth grade I could bound every country in the world from memory.
That's the way I got along in life. I don't ever remember being particularly jealous of anybody, because I figured if I can't do it myself, I don't deserve to get it.
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