What to do after General Convention adjourns today?

Science / Web/Tech

Warning: This post is not on the topic of what the Episcopal Church should do, or what the Anglican Communion should do, it’s what *I* personally intend to do on Monday and Tuesday…

When I returned home from Convention in Columbus, I was emotionally drained. The intensity and the anguish felt by so many over the last few days of that Convention took a massive toll. When I got home, besides sleeping for a day or two, I just sort of sat and stared out the window. I ended up digging out my director versions of the Lord of Rings movies and spent a few days watching the whole series sequentially. Sort of like going to Bayreuth for a full Ring cycle.

I’m not as drained this Convention. The bishops have made the big decisions already (and there’s little or no question about where the House of Deputies is standing on this during this particular Convention) and the budget discussions yesterday were mostly a waste of time in terms of accomplishing anything. So given that I’m not exhausted, I’m thinking I need to find a nice mental challenge for a couple of days of vacation.

I think I’ve found it:

“Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates believes that if he had been able to watch physicist Richard Feynman lecture on physics in 1964 his life might have played out differently.

Mr. Gates, of course, is legendary as a Harvard University dropout who went on to create the world’s most successful software firm. He has told associates that if had watched the lectures earlier in his life he might have become a physicist instead of a software entrepreneur.

However, Mr. Gates, who is also well known for his sharp and varied intellectual interests and his philanthropic commitment to education, said this week that he had purchased the rights to videos of seven lectures that Dr. Feynman gave at Cornell University called “The Character of Physical Law,” in an effort to make them broadly available via the Internet.”

Read the full article here.

My advisor back when I was working in the area of General Relativity was Ed Kerner. Kerner was famous around the school as having been Feynman’s first grad student. Dr. Kerner (I never ever called him by his first name, not even behind his back) was said to have had much of the same lecture style as his advisor had. Kerner, while certainly one of the finest mathematical minds I’ve ever known, never ever lost sight of the physics behind the equations. He told me that he’d learned that skill from *his* advisor.

I’ve read the Feynman lectures a couple of times now, but I always wished I could have seen Dr. Feynman actually deliver them. Now I can apparently.

I think I’m going to do just that for my aperitif in the coming week.

The Author

Episcopal bishop, dad, astronomer, erstwhile dancer...

1 Comment

  1. Matt says

    My wife’s dental hygenist was Feynman’s neighbor in Los Alamos. She said he was a nice guy who made the kids laugh. She had no idea he (and everyone else on the Manhattan Project) was so smart.

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