Remember, It's supposed to be fun

Gregory Alan Bolcer gbolcer at
Wed Sep 24 09:11:47 PDT 2003

Sitting on a plane yesterday, my seat neighbor
was reading a newly signed copy of Feynman's Rainbow. 
Not Feynman, Leonard Mlodinow who recalls his 1981
encounters with Feynman at his first year at
Caltech.  He taped many of their conversations and
has included every weirdness and wittyness in
his titular book. Mlodinow is a scientist turned
hollywood screen writer.  

Richard P. Feynman is a physicist with flair made famous by
a December 29th, 159 talk at the annual meeting of the
American Physical Society at Caltech.   [1]   The
talk and subject are not as interesting as how people
reacted to it--a classic physics quandry, how to figure
out which is the subject and which is the object of
any experiment without interfering with either.  He
had a rainbow of degrees from MIT, Princeton, and a litany
of academic positions at Cornell and Caltech. He
held the Albert Einstein award and a 1965 Nobel.  Unlike
other popular appeal physicists, he was known for his curiosity,
wit, and playful temperament.  

Rainbows on the other hand are a bizarre lot too.  They
are supposed to be indicative of something truly valuable
at the end, but also somewhat uncapturable or unachievable. 
Rainbow 6, a never ending tale of fictional terrorist
capturing.  Gravity's Rainbow, a never finishable book
of highest fiction.   Ocean's Eleven, a titular play on 
a rainbow of complementary thievery.  Finian's Rainbow,
a "Chicago" of it's time that was nothing more than a flash
in the pan who's lyricist wrote Over the Rainbow before
being identified as the red influence in the spectrum of 
colors.  Rainbow's End is both an old Hawaiian lore and
political intrigue piece.  

The title comes from the array of insights, stories, thoughts,
platitudes that are encompassed into the book.  Publisher's
Weekly on the B&N sight says that Feynman is at his best when
talking about physics, but seems to initimate that when they
talk about other subjects, there's something missing.  

The read said that being stuck in the airport, he read it in
a day.  Seeing no forthcoming strandings, I'd say my chances of
picking this one up and reading are pretty slim.  



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