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Subject: Which Scientist will win? rss

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J Boyes
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I just made 6 Scientist Microbages, I'm curious as to which one will be the first to be purchased, and which over time is the most popular with the geeks.

Will it be Newton, the father of calculus and physics?

Einstein, the Newton of the modern age.

Charles Darwin? An interesting choice for the flying spaghatti monster crowd.

Galileo, the original bad boy of science. (who later got back in line)

Stephen Hawking, everyones favorite wheelchair bound science celeb.

Or Richard Feynman, who wrote lots of great books and was pretty smart but not as important as any of the above.

My GG is on Feynman.

(yes this is blatant attempt to sell my microbadges goo )
 
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Kurt
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Fun ideas.

I may inadvertently push you into the netherworld of the politcal forums.... My guess is Darwin, as the Darwin crowd, were it not for the actual information and valid science they're basing their posts on, would be as pesky in pushing their point as the creationist crowd is.
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Olivier Lamontagne
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Einstein, because everyone knows about E=MC2, even if they don't know what it means.
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Victor Frankenstein or Doctor Faustus.
 
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William Boykin
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My choice would be Feynman. I've been of fan of his ever since High School physics.

True Feynman story.

Feynman, of course, worked on the Los Alamos project in WWII. He was pretty junior to most of the other researchers there, and was pretty notorious as a bit of goof.

So one day, he was walking around the compound and noticed a gap in the wire fence. So he walks through it, goes around the compound to the front gate, where he checks in with the gaurd.

"Hi Bob!"
"Hi Dr. Feynman. Doing some hiking?"
"Yep! See you later."

Then, Feynman, without checking OUT, goes back over to the gap in the fence, walks through it, and goes back to the front gate.

"Hi Bob!"
"Hey Dr. Feynman. Nice day for a walk?"
"Yep! See you around!"

And AGAIN, Feynman goes to the hole, and then hikes back to the security gate. He does SEVERAL times. The last time, a squad of MPS is waiting for him- wanting to know WHAT is he up to!!! HE then proceeds to show them where the hole in the wire fence is, and berates their patrols for not noticing it earlier.

However, I am not ABLE to buy your FINE Microbadge, however, due to my NOT HAVING any GG to pay for it!!! sobluesobluesoblue

I am unable to proclaim my adoration of one of the finest minds of the 20th Century!!!!soblue

(Think if I keep up the sob story, someone will chip in the GG for a microbadge??)

OH WOE IS ME!!!!!!!! *Great Wailing and Gnashing of TEETH!*

Darilian
I'm not proud.
 
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William Boykin
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broken clock wrote:
Victor Frankenstein or Doctor Faustus.


Now, THERE's a microbadge I would shill for.

A Blue Oyster Cult Imaginos Microbadge, celebrating the Siege and Investiture of the Castle of Baron von Frankenstein at Wissera.

Featuring the LIVE GUITAR ORCHESTRA!!!!!!

Ok, I'm a dork! pp

Darilian
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If Feynman was such a genius, why didn't he just say, "Hi, Bob. I just noticed there's a hole in the fence"?
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Steve Bernhardt
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I only had enough GG for one badge, so I went for Hawking. All those are very good!

If you make one for Stephen Jay Gould, I will eventually pick it up.
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William Boykin
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Gregarius wrote:
If Feynman was such a genius, why didn't he just say, "Hi, Bob. I just noticed there's a hole in the fence"?


Because he was an Anarchist at heart, but also believed in the necessity of security at Los Alamos.

He also liked to pick safes. He would do it, in order to show officials that their secrets WEREN'T secure. He always felt that people understand things better when you SHOW them. Otherwise, people just go 'yah, yah'....

Another of my personal favorite Feynman stories.

Did you realize that Feynman was part of the investigating committee that examined the Challenger explosion?

The group, which was made of former Astronauts, engineers, and other informed citizens, was being given a guided tour by the political officials of NASA. Feynman decided to just dump the group, and went and talked to the engineers at Boeing, McDonnell-Douglas and the other contractors. It was talking to them that he found out that the material that O-Rings (which were the seal that kept the booster engines together) would become extremely brittle when subjected to cold tempetures- and it was about 20 degrees on the morning that Challenger launched. He got a couple of samples from the engineers.

On the day of the committee hearings in Washington, Feynman asked for a glass of ice water from one of the aids. While the rest of the committee was going on with their official statement (essentially, that they weren't sure what the problem was, but they were sure that NASA could take care of it 'in house' and that it most certainly WASN'T the O-Rings), Feynman waited until he got the glass of water. He then dipped a sample of the rubber that made the O-rings into the water, let it sit for 5 minutes until it was quite cold.

He then stood up, and broke the rubber sample in half with his bare hands. "THIS is why the Challenger exploded!", and immediately established the faulty O-Rings as the design flaw that caused the disaster.

Needless to say, he wasn't very popular among the NASA bureaucrats afterward......

Darilian
 
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J Boyes
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Looks like Hawking is the winner!

I suggest reading the Feynman books, they are very much non-sciencey and very entertaining. He is an excellent posterchild for healthy thinking, I think.

He suggests thinking a problem through when learning it and keeping an open mind, vs the rote memorization. He also seems to say that anyone can do anything if they apply themselves to it. Like learning to drum, or drawing or whatnot.
 
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Darilian wrote:
He then stood up, and broke the rubber sample in half with his bare hands. "THIS is why the Challenger exploded!", and immediately established the faulty O-Rings as the design flaw that caused the disaster.

Needless to say, he wasn't very popular among the NASA bureaucrats afterward......

Darilian

I'm sorry to be such a nit-picker, but that isn't what happened.

Feynman wrote:
The model comes around to General Kutyna, and then to me. The clamp and pliers come out of my pocket, I take the model apart, I've got the O-ring pieces in my hand, but I still haven't got any ice water! I turn around again and signal the guy I've been bothering about it, and he signals back, "Don't worry, you'll get it!"...
So finally, when I get my ice water, I don't drink it! I squeeze the rubber in the C-clamp, and put them in the glass of ice water...
I press the button for my microphone, and I say, "I took this rubber from the model and put it in a clamp in ice water for a while."
I take the clamp out, hold it in the air, and loosen it as I talk: "I discovered that when you undo the clamp, the rubber doesn't spring back. In other words, for more than a few seconds, there is no resilience in this particular material when it is at a temperature of 32 degrees. I believe that has some significance for our problem."

Less dramatic in the telling, but still just as important.

It was a very effective presentation, but a very poor experiment. What was the control? From Tufte: "Did the O-ring lose resilience because it was clamped hard, because it was cold, or because it was wet?" Also, to address your conclusion, were the O-rings a design flaw, or was it a procedural flaw to launch when it was that cold outside?

Don't get me wrong: I love Feynman. I've read several books by and about him. This second story just bothered me because it has been exaggerated.
 
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William Boykin
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If its been exaggerated, then its MY FAULT.

I don't have the book in front of me. blush

So, sorry to upset you... Great link there though!!!!!

I love that story!

Darilian
 
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