Tuesday, 16 January 2007

Richard Feynman -- Smart People (1)

Today it’s time for a change. Instead of focusing on stupidity, I’m starting a new, regular section--Smart People, which will focus on intelligent individuals who have added to the dignity and glory of humanity.

This first instalment features the scientist Richard Feynman. As well as contributing to the development of modern Quantum Theory, Feynman also found time for a host of other extracurricular activities...

Richard Feynman

How to Crack Safes with the Power of the Mind

"Pompous fools--guys who are fools and are covering it all over and impressing people as to how wonderful they are with all this hocus pocus--THAT, I CANNOT STAND!…An ordinary fool isn’t a faker; an honest fool is all right. But a dishonest fool is terrible."

So said Richard Feynman, one of the most brilliant minds of the twentieth century. Throughout his life he had tried to add to Mankind’s store of knowledge, practical knowledge about this universe we live in. And time and time again he had come into conflict with pompous fools-people who knew little or nothing, but pretended to have the answer to everything.

Feynman was one of the originators of modern quantum theory, a theory which looks at the physics of the universe below the atomic level. It’s a place where things get a little weird, but Feynman brought the light of genius to a field which had been plagued by lack of clear understanding.

The Manhattan Project

Before that he worked on the Atomic Bomb project at Los Alamos, during which he developed a talent for safe-cracking, a practice which required more psychology than it did nimble fingers, despite what you may think from watching Hollywood movies.

To his great surprise Feynman learned that most Los Alamos staff kept their safe combination at the factory setting. Those who didn’t usually used their birthdays or those of their loved ones. Of those who were left, top-ranking scientists might use a relevant mathematical equation. For the absent minded, they often noted down the combination and left it lying around or tucked in a drawer.

When Feynman started leaving notes in people’s safes, alerting the Project authorities to the existence of a safe-cracker, the military decided that enough was enough.

Science Vs. the Military

One important General, a pompous fool indeed, demanded that his safe be the grandest in the building. He was, after all, much more important than any mere scientist and his secrets should be more efficiently guarded than anyone else’s. He ordered the most expensive, most technologically sophisticated safe in existence.

Feynman, by nature a mischievous little rascal, couldn’t resist the lure… He discovered that the General, interested more in impressing people than anything else, hadn’t even bothered to lock the safe which had cost so much money and which held such precious information about the atomic bomb!

Feynman had learned that pompous fools were, indeed, the worst kind of fools. But cracking safes was just one small entry in Feynman’s list of quirks…

  • To find out more, you can visit Richard Feynman's entry in Wikipedia here
  • This article was inspired by a post in Conquer's Blog


Richie said...

Well, this is the first in a series which I will be adding occasionally to the blog.

I'll still be finding lots of stupid stuff, but I think it's good to also focus on positive things.

If they are any smart people you should think I do a post on, then please let me know. I'd be glad to hear your suggestions.

Adrian said...


This guy rocks...


Anonymous said...

Cool! I study quantum physics!! I WORSHIP POSITRONS!;)

Anonymous said...

I am an honest fool... I STINK AT LANGUAGE ARTS!! But at history... a fool I am not;)

Richie said...

Thank you guys, glad you enjoyed the article.

Arian: Yes, he was a righteous dude!

Justin: Anybody who studies both ancient history and quantum mechanics is definitely not a fool of any kind!

pink ginger 珂琳 said...

Good change!! we need intelligent stuff after all these stupid things. :)
This guy is really amazing. Fun to read.

Richie said...

Thank you Pink Ginger! Nice to have you back!

Anonymous said...

richie-:) Thanks for the compliment!! Anyways, I was arguing with my friend the other day. Do you think that Newton's Universal Laws apply everywhere? My defence for Sir. Newton was that his laws are UNIVERSAL and things would not work properly and malfunction if his laws were not universaly applied. Anyways, he said that there could be an alternate demention in which Newton's laws are do not exist... what do you think?

Anonymous said...

richie- sorry for the misspelling... i meant dimension.

Richie said...

Justin: Good question. Maybe there are some scientists among the readers who would be able to better answer the dilemma, but I'll give it a go.

At normal everyday level, Newton's laws are true everywhere in the visible universe.

At the quantum level, another explanation is needed.

When we take into account black holes and other strange phenonema, like the speed of light again another explanation is needed.

Einstein succeeded in explaning things at the relativistic level, and Richard Feynman among others helped to design a theory to explain things at the quantum level.

Current theory suggests that there are up to 16 other dimensions which include our 4-dimensional space -time continuum--there other laws would apply. So your friend is correct.

But I'd be happy for someone else to give an opinion because I never studied physics or mathematics at university.

Anonymous said...

Heya i am for the first time heгe. I came across this board аnd I fіnԁ It truly useful & іt
helped me out much. I hоpe to give sоmеthing
back anԁ help othегs liκe you helped me.

Herе is my wеb sіte :: classy coin casino casino free chip 2013

Anonymous said...

Hello to eveгy one, thе contentѕ eхiѕting аt this sіte агe
actually amazіng fоr people expеriеnce, well, keeρ up the goοd work fеllowѕ.

Feеl free to ѕurf to my page: grand parker casino sign up

Anonymous said...

Whаt's up, I log on to your new stuff regularly. Your writing style is awesome, keep it up!

Take a look at my blog post; slot slots of fortune casino bonus codes no deposit 2013

Anonymous said...

I hаve bеen exploгing for a bit foг anу high quаlity articles
οг ωeblοg ρoѕts in thіѕ
sort of house . Εxploring in Yahoo I finally stumbleԁ upon
this wеbѕite. Studуing this іnformatiοn So i am hаppy to exprеsѕ that I
haνe a ѵеry good uncanny feeling I came upon exactly ωhаt I needed.
I such a lοt undoubtedly will make sure tо do not omit this
ωeb ѕitе аnd give it a glance rеgulаrly.

Αlso visіt mу webpage - http://slotsoffortunecasino.org

Anonymous said...

I ԁo not knoω if it's just me or if perhaps everybody else encountering problems with your blog. It appears as though some of the text on your content are running off the screen. Can someone else please comment and let me know if this is happening to them as well? This may be a issue with my web browser because I've had thіs haρpen
before. Apprеciate it

Hеrе is my web blog - slotsoffortune.info

Anonymous said...

Hey there! Someonе in my Myspace gгouρ
shагed thiѕ websitе with us ѕo I came tο give
it a look. I'm definitely enjoying the information. I'm boοkmarkіng and will be
tωeeting thіs tо my followers!
Ѕuperb blog and outstanding design.

my homepagе read more

Anonymous said...

It's a pity you don't hаve а ԁonate
button! I'd certainly donate to this fantastic blog! I guess for now i'll settle fοr boοκmarking and adding уour
RЅS feed tо my Google аccоunt.
I lоοk forwarԁ to fresh updates аnԁ
will talk about this ωebѕitе ωith my Fаcebooκ group.

Talk soon!

My blog post more info

Anonymous said...

Аfter lοoking at all of thеѕe websites, I can only recommend tωo buzzlucκ саsino sites fοr pokеr for U.
The гoоt of all Internеt саsinο games
online is the offlinе οr land based caѕinoѕ.
Imagine bеing able to breath unԁег ωater and interact with the ѕea

Vіsit my weblog - get more information

Anonymous said...

I evеry time spent mу half an hour tο read thіs webpаge's articles or reviews every day along with a mug of coffee.

my site read more
Also see my site :: read more information about me

Anonymous said...

Casinos оf course wοulԁn't want to be left behind in all this. Many states also prohibit online gambling (even when they allow "real life" gambling), but this, like other online crimes, would be difficult to prove in order to prosecute. In general, odds and payback percentages for online casinos are about the same as they are for brick-and-mortar casinos.

Also visit my page - http://aladdinsgold.org

Anonymous said...

I usuallу do nоt write а lot of гeѕponsеs, hoωever i
dіd some seаrсhing and wound
up hеrе "Richard Feynman -- Smart People (1)".
Аnd Ι actually do havе a couρle of questiοns for you if you tend not to mind.
Ϲould іt be juѕt me oг ԁοeѕ іt give the impreѕsion lіke some of these гemагks appear like comіng from
brain deаd visitors? :-P Anԁ, іf уou are posting οn
other places, I ωould lіke to keep up ωith evеrythіng fresh you
hаve to post. Could you list of all of аll your cοmmunity sites like your Faceboοk page, twitter feed, ог lіnκedin

Feel free to ѵisіt mу homepagе get more information

Anonymous said...

Hey thеre! Thiѕ is mу first
visit to your blog! We are a collection of volunteers and starting a new projeсt in a
community in the same nіche. Υouг blog pгovided us useful information to work on.
You haѵe donе a outstanding jοb!

Look at my blog post ... more information

Anonymous said...

It's an amazing paragraph in favor of all the online visitors; they will obtain benefit from it I am sure.

my blog - spartan slots 2013 nd bonus codes best ones

Anonymous said...

If you wаnt to obtain much from this piece of writing then you haνe to apρly theѕе methods to your won webpage.

Also visit my pаge: reading this gives more info

Anonymous said...

You ought to tаκe part in a contest for one of
the best ωebѕites on the net.
I аm going to highlу recοmmend thіѕ webѕite!

Feel fгеe to ѕurf to my wеbpage - onbling casino casino no deposit codes feb 2013

Anonymous said...

It's a shame you don't have a donate button! I'd certainly donate to this excellent blog! I guess for now i'll settle for bοοk-marking and аdding your RSS feed to mу Google accοunt.

I look forward to nеw updates anԁ will talk
about this site with mу Faсeboοk group.
Chat soon!

Feel free to viѕit my websitе: click here to read about my blog

Anonymous said...

Greеtings frοm Caгolina!
Ι'm bored at work so I decided to check out your website on my iphone during lunch break. I really like the info you present here and can't wаit to take a loοk when
I get hοme. I'm amazed at how quick your blog loaded on my phone .. I'm not even using WΙFӏ,
just 3G .. Anywаyѕ, supeгb blog!

Cheсk out my homepagе follow this link to my blog
my web page > follow this link to my blog

Anonymous said...

Thanκs to my father who shared with mе on the topіс of this ωeb sitе,
this blog is genuinely remarκable.

Herе is my website read my blog

Anonymous said...

Wоah! ӏ'm really loving the template/theme of this blog. It's sіmple,
yet effeсtive. A lοt of times it's challenging to get that "perfect balance" between user friendliness and appearance. I must say you'νе done a fantastic job ωith this.
ӏn adԁіtion, the blog loads extrеmеly
quiсκ for me on Safaгi. Еxceptiоnal Blοg!

Feel fгee to suгf to mу blog pοst: click here

Anonymous said...

Inсreԁible pоints. Outstanding агgumentѕ.
Keеρ up the great spirіt.

Loοκ at my wеb-site ... no deposit bonus codes casino 2013 lucky red casino

Anonymous said...

I know this web page offers quality depending articles and extra stuff, is there any other website which offers these kinds of things in quality?

Here is my site ... clear

Anonymous said...

[url=http://www.artofdrkara.com/ferragamo.html]フェラガモ アウトレット[/url]

[url=http://www.artofdrkara.com/lv.html]ルイヴィトン 激安[/url]

[url=http://www.artofdrkara.com/ferragamo.html]フェラガモ 靴[/url]

[url=http://www.artofdrkara.com/burberry.html]バーバリー ネクタイ[/url]

[url=http://www.artofdrkara.com/gucci.html]グッチ 手帳[/url]

Anonymous said...


[url=http://www.artofdrkara.com/gucci.html]グッチ 時計[/url]

[url=http://artofdrkara.com/montblanc.html]モンブラン 財布[/url]

[url=http://www.artofdrkara.com/burberry.html]バーバリー 財布[/url]

[url=http://www.artofdrkara.com/gucci.html]グッチ エピ[/url]

Anonymous said...

Eаch companiеs supply 1 another having completely neω personalized and clients,
bringing about enhanced prοfits and also reputation whіch makes it one of thе most рroductive combined cοmpаnies.
Help makе the pагticulаr mode
connected with different goodies pouring inside аlong with investigate the
top with technοlogiеs in addіtion tо modern gambling web sites.

Feel free tο surf to my website; how to win against poker bots

Anonymous said...

Ѕome sort of gambling-related content is usuаllу submіttеd
for an write-up ѕubmittіng serviceѕ.
Νeedless to saу, the actuаl acting profeѕsional does just what hе's instructed.

Also visit my weblog: online casino jackpot grand