How to grow a forest in your backyard, Shubhendu Sharma


Charles Elachi, director of JPL of Lebanese origins to retire in June 2016



On October 28, 2015, Charles Elachi, the director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) of Lebanese origins, announced his intent to retire by June 2016 to become a professor emeritus at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

The following video includes Elachi’s announcement as well as an amazing summary of 15 years worth ofachievements at JPL & NASA

Full story @ JPL NASA


During Elachi’s visit to Lebanon in May 2006.

Sugar is a toxin


In a previous post “Sugar: Hiding in Plain Sight” I shared a TEDed video that explains how sugar is everywhere. It is found where you never expect to find it but is hiding under other names.

In this post I attempt to summarize some key points from a talk (starting at 40:37) by Robert H. Lustig, Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology at University of California San Francisco titled “Sugar: The Bitter Truth”. I also add some extra points or links. You can watch the one hour and thirty minutes talk at the end of this post.

At 13:50 the professor explains to the audience that coke [and pepsi] contains salt, a lot of it but you cannot taste it because the sweet taste of sugar is hiding it. Why salt? It makes you thirsty! And this makes you “consume” more.

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How should I best teach them? – Richard Feynman


In “The Pleasure Of Finding Things Out” Richard Feynman is asked the question of how should you best teach them?

All those students are in the class: Now you ask me how should I best teach them? Should I teach them from the point of view of the history of science, from the applications? My theory is that the best way to teach is to have no philosophy, [it] is to be chaotic and [to] confuse it in the sense that you use every possible way of doing it. That’s the only way I can see to answer it, so as to catch this guy or that guy on different hooks as you go along, [so] that during the time when the fellow who’s interested in history’s being bored by the abstract mathematics, on the other hand the fellow who likes the abstractions is being bored another time by the history—if you can do it so you don’t bore them all, all the time, perhaps you’re better off. I really don’t know how to do it. I don’t know how to answer this question of different kinds of minds with different kinds of interests—what hooks them on, what makes them interested, how you direct them to become interested. One way is by a kind of force, you have to pass this course, you have to take this examination. It’s a very effective way. Many people go through schools that way and it may be a more effective way. I’m sorry, after many, many years of trying to teach and trying all different kinds of methods, I really don’t know how to do it.


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Richard Feynman: “high, real good physics” requires “solid lengths of time” and “concentration”


In an interview Richard Feynman says:

To do high, real good physics work you do need absolutely solid lengths of time, so that when you’re putting ideas together which are vague and hard to remember, it’s very much like building a house of cards and each of the cards is shaky, and if you forget one of them the whole thing collapses again. You don’t know how you got there and you have to build them up again, and if you’re interrupted and kind of forget half the idea of how the cards went together—your cards being different-type parts of the ideas, ideas of different kinds that have to go together to build up the idea—the main point is, you put the stuff together, it’s quite a tower and it’s easy [for it] to slip, it needs a lot of concentration—that is, solid time to think—and if you’ve got a job in administrating anything like that, then you don’t have the solid time. So I have invented another myth for myself—that I’m irresponsible. I tell everybody, I don’t do anything. If anybody asks me to be on a committee to take care of admissions, no, I’m irresponsible, I don’t give a damn about the students—of course I give a damn about the students but I know that somebody else’ll do it—and I take the view, “Let George do it,” a view which you’re not supposed to take, okay, because that’s not right to do, but I do that because I like to do physics and I want to see if I can still do it, and so I’m selfish, okay? I want to do my physics.

You can find this between 08:22 – 09:56 of part 4 or or 38:16 – 39:52 of the full interview:

The interview is known as “The Pleasure Of Finding Things Out”. Here is the interview divided into 5 parts.

And here’s the (original) full interview from The Science Foundation’s YouTube channel.

Quotes by Richard Feynman (Wikiquote)


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“the difference between knowing the name of something and knowing something.”


In this video, an extract from an interview, Richard P. Feynman speaks about the difference between knowing the name of something and actually knowing it.

“…no secrets to success…


“There are no secrets to success: don’t waste time looking for them. Success is the result of perfection, hard work, learning from failure, loyalty to those for whom you work, and persistence.” ~Colin Powell

You can do anything you put your mind into!