Then, of course, there are the facts of science that are virtually incontestable, yet so strange that they boggle the mind.

Case in point: The whereabouts of Einstein's brain, which was studied by medical science after his death in 1955 and declared to be quite like anyone else's.

A few chunks of the physicist's gray matter are to be found in a masses jar packed in a cardboard box marked "COSTA CIDER" in an office in Wichita, Kans. - an office inhabited by Thomas Harvey, the pathologist at the Princeton (N.J.) hospital where Einstein died. Harvey was assigned the task of analyzing the brain, and after sections of it were distributed to various specialists, he packed the rest in the jar of formaldehyde and stored it under a beer cooler in his office.

Here's what this close encounter of the cerebral kind was like for reporter Steven Levy, who chronicles his quest for the great mind in the August New Jersey Monthly:

"I had risen up to look into the jar, but now I was sunk into my chair, speechless. My eyes were fixed upon that jar as I tried to comprehend that these pieces of gunk bobbing up and down had caused a revolution in physics and quite possibly changed the course of civilization. There it was "