F is for Feynman

Last November I started a 26 letters in 26 days. I never got past the letter “E” but I figure it is worth picking it up again and see how far through the alphabet I can get again.

F is for Feynman, Richard Feynman. If you don’t know who Richard Feynman was check out his wikipedia page. Feynman was more than a brilliant physicist. He was a teacher, bongo player, safe-cracker and whatever else he put his mind to. I discovered Feynman back in late 2007 when I was taking a physics class at the University and enjoyed it much more than I thought I ever would enjoy a physics class.

For Christmas I asked for a book of his and my brother bought me The Meaning of it All. Feynman’s book, which is actually a publication of a lecture series he gave, examines meta questions of science and of life and the joys of uncertainty. He deeply understood that learning was more than remembering a series of equations and that being able to apply knowledge to new and unknown situations was what what deep knowledge was about. Feynman is both insightful and humorous and the wisdom he shares has helped shape my own journey as a learner and someone that wants to better appreciate the value of science. It is not enough to read Feynman though, you need to see the man in action. He is the type of guy whose enthusiasm for learning is so great he literally cannot sit still when he talks about ideas. Go to YouTube, there are plenty of Feynman videos there, but here is one on atoms:

I adore Feynman for his honesty, brilliance and wit. I am thankful for people like Richard Feynman who have inspired me in many ways and who have pushed my thinking. Lastly I’d like to share what Feynman said about Nature through the examination of wine:

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