Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Deep Point

Frank Wilczek, a Nobel Prize winner, physicist, related that when he was about to begin teaching in Princeton, he consulted a friend and mentor who showed him a “ well-worn paperback manual" that was allegedly used to teach "navy recruits to set up and use radio communications.” His mentor told him to look at the first chapter, titled “Ohm’s Three Laws”. Frank Wilczek said that he was “familiar with one Ohm’s law, the famous relation V=IR
that connects voltage(V) , current (I), and resistance ( R ) in an electric circuit.” That was Ohm's first law. He was curious to find the other 2 laws and he turned over the pages and discovered that the second law is I=V/R and of course the third law is R=V/I.
Obviously the “three laws are all equivalent to each other and the story becomes a joke.” What’s the point? There is a deep point to this story. There is a shallow point which he said his mentor wants him to absorb-“When teaching beginners, you should try to say the same things several times in slightly different ways. “Connections that experts understand easily may not be obvious to beginners. What’s the deeper point? “The deep point connects with a statement made by the great theoretical physicist Paul Dirac. When asked how he discovered the new laws of nature, Dirac responded, ‘I play with equations.’ The deep point is that different ways of writing the same equation can suggest very different things, even if they are logically equivalent.”( taken from the book, The Lightness of Being by Frank Wilczek)

I am student of photography and I'm trying to learn from the expert photographer the art and science of taking beautiful pictures. Angles and perspectives of the same objects or composition- a matter of repetition, analysis and reflection-my ways of learning.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Just Work Harder

More quotations from The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch
He wrote: "Too many people go through life complaining about their problems.I've always believed thatif you took one tenth the energy youput into complaining and applied it into solving the problem, you'd be surprised by how well things will work out...Complaining does not work as a strategy. We all have finite time and energy. Any time we spend whining is unlikely to help us achieve our goal. And it won't make us happier."

When the top snow ball falls and breaks make another one and put it on the top. Persistence helps you reach your goal. One by one the snow ball on top of each other will reach the sky.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Dream Big

I borrowed the book, The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch, from the library a few days ago. I saw the video of his talk before also of the same title but the book is more complete. His parting advice on dreaming big..."I'm a scientist who sees inspirationas the ultimate tool for doing good...Give yourself permission to dream. Fuel your kids' dreams too.Once in a while, that might mean letting them stay up past their bedtimes."

Even at my age I get inspired by other people.I have new dreams too and spend time to realize them. o, yes, I stay up past my bedtime sometimes because of it.

Sunday, March 8, 2009


Cheri surprised me last Friday by taking me to Fort Mason in San Francisco to see the Pacific Orchid Exhibition.

The orchids come in a variety of species and colors- the cattleya, sophorinitis,phlaenopsis,dendrobiums,cymbidiums,masdevallia,miltoniopsis,paphiopedilium, vanda relatives and the hybrids.

I was swimming in a sea of colors and beauty- a relaxing, exciting experience reliving my memories of my mother watering her orchids around the house and the hikes I had when I was in my teens and finding the orchids that hung from the tree branches.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

2 days ago I walked from our condo to Kennedy Park-a walk over the bridge to the path towards the river.
On top of the bridge I took this photo of Napa River at high tide.
The tides are from the pull of the moon and its distance from the sun. It is one of the splendid simple physical laws-effect of gravity.
Throughout Lent I am renewing or learning the discipline of listening and reflection.