As I sit on the upper level of Starbucks in Harvard Square (my favorite spot in Cambridge during winter), I have decided I will attempt to read a new book every other week that is not related to my work/research in any way. I hope to add to this list with titles and brief comments throughout the year. The first book I picked up is Feyman's Rainbow by Leonard Mlodinow. I gladly accept recommendations!

Week 1: Feynman's Rainbow | Leonard Mlodinow

I have chosen this book for a couple of reasons:

  1. Feynman is my favorite...period
  2. I really enjoyed a couple of previous books by Mlodinow (Drunkard's Walk, The Grand Design )

Favorite Quotes

  • on unified field theory:

    I don't want anything! Nature has nothing to do with what I want!

  • Feynman describing (in his opinion) why Descartes was interested in rainbows:

    I would say his inspiration was that he thought rainbows were beautiful.

  • A conversation between Feynman and Mlodinow as Mlodinow struggles with his research:

    Feynman: When you were a kid, did you love science? Was it your passion?

    Mlodinow: As long as I can remember.

    Feynman: Me, too. Remember, it's supposed to be fun.

  • Mlodinow still struggling with research:

    Feynman: Go look at an electron microscope photograph of an atom, okay? Don't just glance at it. It is very important that you examine it very closely. Think about what it means. And then answer this question. Does it make your heart flutter?

  • Feynman reflecting on his first wife's (Arlene) death:

    So for instance, science has an effect on my attitude, say, to death. I didn't get mad when Arlene died. Who was there to be mad at? I couldn't get mad at God because I don't believe in God. And you can't get mad at some bacteria, can you? So I had no resentment and I didn't have to look for revenge. And I had no remorse because there was nothing I could have done about it.

Week 2: Einstein on Race and Racism | Fred Jerome