Unexpected treasures found this week:
- A giant steak that I dumpster-dived from the Balthazar garbage, medium-rare, black pepper, 1 inch thick, too big to even finish. I had only gone looking for bread and instead got about 1400 calories of high quality animal protein to eat with one hand while I steered the bike with the other hand, true convenience from the old fashioned version of a power bar.
- A climbable tree in a neighborhood garden on 4th Street near Avenue C.This is an end to a five year hiatus on tree climbing. And what a tree: the trunk and branches are all so enormous that it screams unclimbable and yet, the bark texture and crotch geometry miraculously makes straight the paths to the crown.
- Surely you’re joking: sitting in the record bin at 34th Street SBL-NYPL: a boxed set of Richard Feynman quantum mechanics CDs, ten hours of Feynman the teacher, waiting to be loaned to some lucky fool. This is the rock star box set that captures the semester in 1963 when Feynman, the stratospheric Nobel Laureate, famously accepted the offer of teaching freshman physics to a class of thrilled but overwhelmed 18 year olds at Cal Tech. The results were mixed fort the kids but we teachers have been cribbing his style ever since. f you read the Feynman lecture notes and then look at whatever book you used in high school physics, the Feynman analogies and pedagogical organization are obviously ubiquitous in any modern introductory physics class. For example the analogy of machine guns firing through holes in a wall to explain wave-particle duality in electron beams – that’s pure Feynman.