Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!: Adventures of a Curious Character

Registered by wingkirjakkowing of Helsinki, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on 7/23/2012
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2 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingkirjakkowing from Helsinki, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on Monday, July 23, 2012
Finally I've read this book with which I've tagged glade1 about a month ago. It's odd that you've had it on your wishlist since 2005 as I've come across it so often in sh-bookshops in Britain, surely it must be "everywhere" in the US, too? Well, I often looked at this at the shops, but I think the Nobel Price Winner must have put me off, I probably thought it would be something over my head.
I saved this copy from the library of a deceased Finnish embassador whose daughters were about to throw away some six meters of perfectly good books, some of them really beautiful state gifts. I won't go into details but I saved and re-homed them all...
Thought I would have a go with this, but it was just sitting in my shelf as I've been busy reading tag-books since last fall (terrible, isn't it, but when you are hooked you are hooked!). I'm glad I tagged glade1 with this, because the book was very interesting. Mr. Feynman was very interesting - odd, but interesting. Probably an Asperger personality, so keen on science and less keen on diplomacy... He was curious of life and very open-minded. The book is very honest, sometimes he seems even a bit naive with his honesty, but you can't help liking him. Don't know if his family life is something he wanted to keep out of the book or perhaps he didn't value it that much as he spoke more about woing girls than about his three wives and two kids altogether.
When he set his mind to something, he really tried his best to learn it, be it Brazilian Samba, drawing or Mayan maths. People are often mathematically or linguistically (?)gifted, but although his orientation and true love was physics, he learned Portugese in just a few months so well that he lectured in Portugese while in Brazil.
The most boring bit was the making of the atom bomb, which I didn't understand much of and couldn't make anything of the then modern computers either. What were all those cards with different colours?? And the death of his first wife in the middle of all it was rather gloomy, also his reaction to it. But he was honest also in that, saying he didn't feel what he thought people would feel in such a situation. It also felt a bit bad that only one person of the "crew" realized and felt sad about the monster they've created when they had the trial. As he said, it was just a job mission, a puzzle to solve, for the rest of them. And later in the book he happily visited Japan and liked Japanese things and customs, so there was nothing personal in any of the bomb-making.
I loved the part when he was interviewed and rejected by "Uncle Sam", I could so well picture the whole interview. And again, he was just being honest and very particular.
It was quite shocking to read about the school books, but I think I've also read physics, maths and chemistry like the Brazilians or the modern Americans - not connecting the science with real life at all. Laws of gravity and mass and what not; empty words they are to me.
It was odd that he stopped drinking and didn't dare to try LSD because he valued the clarity of his mind, but then he mentioned briefly and not making anything of it of smoking marihuana. It is still classified as a drug here and I've understood that it does not exactly make you any smarter...
All in all, very exceptional person whose mind works so differently from mine. Fame hasn't risen to his head and he didn't seem to have cared for the fortunes either, so he stayed likeable all along. I hope you'll enjoy this adventure, too, glade1.

Journal Entry 2 by wingkirjakkowing at McLeansville, North Carolina USA on Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Released 9 yrs ago (7/25/2012 UTC) at McLeansville, North Carolina USA


Tag book off to glade1. Have already forgotten the town as it is a few hours ago I posted the envelope, but this sounded familiar. So did Clinton, but for a different reason...
Last time I tried to guess a town I had sent a book a day earlier I chose even a wrong country!!!

Journal Entry 3 by glade1 at McLeansville, North Carolina USA on Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Received in the mail yesterday. Thank you, kirjakko, for the kind RABCK in the Wish List Tag game! This one has been on my wish list for quite a while - I look forward to reading it. (I've never seen it in any of the used book stores or thrift shops I've haunted - maybe I've been looking in the wrong places?)

Journal Entry 4 by glade1 at McLeansville, North Carolina USA on Wednesday, August 25, 2021
What a fun book! This guy was certainly an interesting character and I love his joie de vivre! He does not mind trying new things, talking to anyone, going anywhere, etc. This book is much less about science than about experiencing the entire world (except, as kirjakko said, his family). I particularly enjoyed the last essay, which was about science but which still rings true today, more than 30 years after publication. We need to use the scientific method and be aware of how easily we can be fooled and fool other people!

Journal Entry 5 by glade1 at Cone Health Moses Cone Hospital in Greensboro, North Carolina USA on Thursday, November 18, 2021

Released 2 wks ago (11/17/2021 UTC) at Cone Health Moses Cone Hospital in Greensboro, North Carolina USA


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