Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Spotted: Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman (Adventures of a Curious Character) by Richard Feynman

Where: Q-train
Who was reading: A thin man, probably in his early thirties, wearing a gray t-shirt and slacks that billowed around him like the robes of an ancient Greek scholar or one of the characters from Harry Potter.
Opposites a-track-t (like a train track, get it? (ugh)): The reader and his girlfriend made an interesting tableau as their outward appearances stood in sharp contrast, yet the two were practically inseparable. Rather than gray swaddling, she was dressed head to toe in clingy garments the color of summer fruits and had eyes like a Disney Princess—wide, saucerous orbs that gazed at him with unveiled affection. His right index finger was constrained by a cast, but its neighboring digits slid up and down her forearm in a caress that lasted from Astoria to Midtown Manhattan, while higher up, her right thumb was occupied in rubbing his bicep. Occasionally they would break apart to point and chuckle over something in the text, but inevitably they were drawn back together like two Simpsonian aliens exchanging long protein strands. Cute.
Another odd pairing: theoretical physics + “engagingly eccentric” and “entertaining” writing.
But allegedly, this anecdotal autobiography of Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman has both. Indeed, it “proves once again that it is possible to laugh out loud and scratch your head at the same time (NYTBR).”

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