The Relative merits of smoking and drinking

Nearly everyone knows that Albert Einstein, who died on April 18, 1955, was famous for his theory of relativity and for his work on quantum mechanics. But austere photos of the genius, such as the one accompanying this blog, don’t do him justice. He was not some uptight science geek who thought only of physics.

The young Einstein enjoyed partying and drinking quite a bit. He belonged to a Swiss drinking – and-debating club called the Olympia Academy, which he said had a great effect on his career. He also wrote at one time that he and his then wife, Milevea Maric, both ended up “alEinsteinas, dead drunk, under the table” at the club.

Einstein also long resisted his doctor’s advice that he give up smoking his pipe. Smoking the pipe, Einstein said, helped him quiet his mind and think better. Even when he finally quit smoking, he continued to use the pipe, propping it in his mouth and chewing on the stem.

I’m not advocating smoking and drinking here. I’m only noting that one of the world’s smartest men indulged in those activities.