Feynman on Train Wheels

(Not literally on train wheels . . . talking about trains, and wheels, and curves.) I love Richard Feynman so much. We are so unlucky to have lost him before we could have him out to a Skeptics in the Pub, but astoundingly lucky that he was captured on film, which would eventually end up all over YouTube. For instance, this clip of him discussing how a train stays on its tracks:

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca is a writer, speaker, YouTube personality, and unrepentant science nerd. In addition to founding and continuing to run Skepchick, she hosts Quiz-o-Tron, a monthly science-themed quiz show and podcast that pits comedians against nerds. There is an asteroid named in her honor.

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  1. For anyone who wants to see a great explanation of how a car’s differential works, check out this video from the 1930s. The explanation starts at 1:50:

  2. It’s such a shame he didn’t live a little longer into the internet age. Not only was a brilliant scientist but he was also an excellent science communicator, if his various books are anything to go by.

    Unlike Carl Sagan, sadly he’s almost completely unheard of in the UK. The internet would have enabled him to reach many more people.

    AND he’s so damn funny!

  3. That was wonderful. Thank you. I so much wish — I know, wishes are a waste of enregy, nonetheless — that he and Sagan were still with us.


    That was fascinating, and in terms of its propoganda, rather funny.

  4. The answer to that question was actually surprising! I never expected something that seems simple to work this unintuitively. How old was he when he died? Cause it looks like from that video that he could have had a couple of more years ahead of him.

  5. @russellsugden: Really? I ‘m kind of surprised that he’s not. If that’s really the case, spread the love around over there, man!

    I read a lot about Feynmen as a kid, and I loved the cleverness and wit in which he was portrayed. It wasn’t until my thirties that I heard a recorded lecture from him. Between his different way of looking at things and his outspoken honesty, he really comes off as a truly unique mind.

    Check out this other video of him: Ways of thinking

    Maybe it because I’m a city boy, but his Queens accent always makes watching him like listening to one of my uncle’s explain something. Strangely comforting and easy to follow.

  6. Feynman rocks!
    He was an inspiration to my kids, showing that you could be smart, funny and not be a geek.

    And I miss him and Carl Sagan. Irreplacable.

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