I love flowers – love taking pictures of them and making prints of the ones that come out well. I mention this because a mild coincidence involving flowers occurred this afternoon.

I was just putting the finishing Photoshop touches on a ten-year-old photo of a magnificent dahlia when an email arrived from my friend, John. It contained a link to a post at Brain Pickings titled Ode to a Flower: Richard Feynman’s Famous Monologue on Knowledge and Mystery, Animated.

Do take a couple of minutes to read the brief introduction and watch this creative presentation of Feynman’s inspirational words from the 1981 BBC interview, The Pleasure of Finding Things Out.

. . . .

Now I love science even more than flowers, and most anything about physicist Richard Feynman piques my interest. He was certainly one of the great scientists of the twentieth century and a most colorful and interesting communicator of a broad range of scientific ideas. Also a Nobel laureate who often stepped out of the lab to engage in the world. I have to think the world is better for his efforts.

Many of Feynman’s quotes have been collected at various sites online. Google will get you to them. One of his most famous lines is about the personal qualities needed to do good science:

“The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool.”

Good science starts with honesty and integrity, as Feynman emphasized repeatedly. I would add that art can only benefit from those same qualities.

Here’s the photo I was working on. I named it Mandahlia, because it seemed like a kind of natural mandala. It’s one of more than 50 flowers on my website, including about a half-dozen dahlias. I’ll never look at this one again without thinking of Richard Feynman.