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Quotes of the Day for 4 January 2004 – Blindness

Louis Braille was born at Coupvray, France on this day in 1809. The son of a leather worker, he punctured his eye with a sharp awl while playing in his father's shop at age three, and lost sight in both eyes. He started school with others his age, but was frustrated at what he was missing because he could not read. At ten he received a scholarship to the Royal Institution for Blind Youth in Paris. Books for the blind were made from embossed pages of large letters, bulky and very expensive, so the school only had a total of fourteen volumes in their library. Braille heard of a system developed by the French army to send messages in total darkness to the front lines where a light would attract incoming fire but found the pattern of raised dots and dashes far too cumbersome. His next summer vacation was devoted to developing his system of raised dots in a grid, ironically created with a blunted awl from his father's shop, a system used with only minor variations today.

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The quotes:

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.
     - Albert Einstein, 1879 - 1955

In faith there is enough light for those who want to believe and enough shadows to blind those who don't.
     - Blaise Pascal, 1623 - 1662

In the country of the blind the one-eyed man is king.
     - Desiderius Erasmus, 1466 - 1536

An eye for an eye and the whole world is blind.
     - Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, 1869 - 1948

Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind;
And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.
     - William Shakespeare, A Midsummer-Night's Dream

It is the eye of other people that ruin us. If I were blind I would want, neither fine clothes, fine houses, or fine furniture.
     - Benjamin Franklin, 1706 - 1790


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