Brain Pickings

Posts Tagged ‘film’

05 APRIL, 2012

The Pleasure of the Inconceivable Nature of Nature: A Feynman Remix Featuring Joan Feynman

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What the science of auroras has to do with the art of romance.

After his fantastic Sagan Series and the first installment in the Feynman Series, mashup maestro Reid Gower is back with a second Feynman Series installment, featuring Joan Feynman. At about the two-minute mark begins my second favorite love story in science. (Here is my favorite.)

It’s all really there. That’s what really gets you. But you gotta stop and think about it to really get the pleasure about the complexity, the inconceivable nature of nature.”

Much of the raw material comes from the Feynman films of documentarian Christopher Sykes, who is largely responsible for elevating Feynman from a successful scientist to a cultural hero worthy of being nicknamed The Great Explainer.

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02 APRIL, 2012

Vowels: A Cinematic Homage to the Beauty of Language and Life

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A, E, I, O, U.

Language is beautiful. Vowels — not to be confused with the Ken Burns parody of the same name — is an exquisite reminder of that from filmmaker and visual storyteller Temujin Doran, who has previously delighted us with his thoughtful meditations on democracy and the art of protest, a bittersweet short film about his day job in a dying occupation, and some damn good advice. The film is based on a 1945 Linguaphone instructional recording.

Listen with headphones, watch in full screen.

For a related treat, see Radiolab’s Words.

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28 MARCH, 2012

The Last Journey of a Genius: Richard Feynman’s Quest to Visit the Remote Lost Land of Tuva

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“I’m an explorer, okay? I get curious about everything, and I want to investigate all kinds of stuff.”

Richard Feynman — Nobel-winning physics icon, curiosity champion, graphic novel hero, no ordinary genius. In the last years of his life, Feynman — an explorer above all else — set out visit the remote lost land of Tannu Tuva, a satellite state of the former USSR. But Cold War bureaucracy got in the way and fate played a cruel joke — the day after Feynman died, a letter finally arrived from the Soviet government, authorizing him to travel to Tuva. The Last Journey of a Genius, originally aired in 1988 mere months after Feynman’s death, captures his dedicated and, in the process, delves into various aspects of Feynman’s character and life, including his conflicted relationship with the Nobel Prize, his problem-solving patterns, his passion for stamps and bongo drums, his philosophy on the heart of science, and a wealth more.

I’m an explorer, okay? I get curious about everything, and I want to investigate all kinds of stuff.

Feynman’s enthusiastic quest gave rise to the phrase “Tuva or Bust,” which later became the title of a book documenting his tireless efforts to reach Tuva.

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