Thursday, January 31, 2013

Richard Feynman's Ode to a Flower

I'm not sure which came first, Feynman's take or Richard Dawkins' Unweaving the Rainbow (or perhaps they are complementary but independent), but this is a beautiful illustration of a perspective that's always resonated with me.

Monday, January 28, 2013

TftD #10

Thought for the Day:

A deep, unwavering belief is a sure sign you're missing something.

-- Unknown

Friday, January 25, 2013

TftD #9

Thought for the Day:

When I went to school I did not learn anything much which I now remember, except for this hidden message:

Every major problem in life has already been solved; because I'm a kid, I don't yet know the answers; the answers are in the teacher's head, or in the textbook; the aim of education is to transfer the answers from the teacher to me.

That hidden message from my school, I eventually realized, was not only crippling, it was wrong.

The world is not an unsolved puzzle, waiting for the occasional genius to unlock its secrets. The world is an empty space waiting to be filled. That realization changed my life. I did not have to wait and watch for the puzzles to be solved, I could jump into the space myself.

It is more exciting to know that you are creating a world than to feel you are merely replicating it.

Our Pale Blue Dot (CSagan)

It's home.  The only one we (currently) have.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

TftD #8

Thought for the Day:

A smooth sea never made a skilled mariner.

-- English Proverb

Sunday, January 20, 2013

TftD #7

Thought for the Day:

Q: What does love mean?

A: When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You know that your name is safe in their mouth.

-- Billy, age 4

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

TftD #6

Thought for the Day:

It's because people share the vision.  That the power of computing should be available and accessible to everyone.  That with the right tools, ordinary people can achieve the extraordinary.  That changing the world is indeed possible.

-- Apple Advertisement

Exponential Growth and Paper Folding

Here is a very cool (and surprising.... bordering on the unbelievable) video on the power of exponential growth demonstrated through a simple idea: paper folding.

A great example of how to make difficult to comprehend concepts understandable.  Nice work...


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

TftD #5

Thought for the Day:

There are a million parts in this spacecraft and if any part fails, I can be in deep trouble. Of course I am nervous, especially knowing that each one of these parts were procured from the lowest bidder.

-- American Astronaut preparing to blast off when asked by a reporter if he was nervous

Monday, January 14, 2013

TftD #4

Thought for the Day:


1. Hang a banana from a room's ceiling and put some steps underneath so that it is possible to reach the banana. Make sure there is no other way to reach it.

2. Install a system that makes freezing water fall from the ceiling every time a monkey tries to climb the steps.

3. Put twenty monkeys inside the room and lock it.

4. Note how the monkeys quickly learn that it is not possible to climb the steps while avoiding the freezing water.

5. Stop the mechanism and replace one of the twenty monkeys with a new one. Note how he will immediately try to climb the steps and reach the banana. Without understanding why, he will be severely punished by the others.

6. Replace a second monkey with a new one. He will be punished too. The monkey entering the room immediately before him will be the most severe punisher.

7. Go on with this process until new monkeys have replaced all twenty of the original monkeys.

8. Now, none of the monkeys will climb the steps. If any monkey even thinks about it, he will be severely punished by the others. Worst of all, none of the monkeys will have the faintest clue of why they are doing it. 

This is how the culture of an organization is born.

-- Adaptation from "El Pensador Sistémico"

Sunday, January 13, 2013

TftD #3

Thought for the Day:

When was the last time you did something for the first time?

-- Emirates commercial

Friday, January 11, 2013

TftD #2

Thought for the Day:

An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made in a very narrow field.

-- Niels Bohr

Thursday, January 10, 2013

TftD #1

Thought for the Day:

Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.

-- Douglas Adams, Last Chance to See