If you have to explain it...

...you may need to prepare to teach it. At least that's what some really smart people think. Nobel prize-winning Physicist Richard Feynman explained his method for learning like this: Feynman Learning Technique: Choose a concept you want to learn about Pretend you are teaching it to a student in grade 6 Identify gaps in your explanation. Go back to the source material, to better Review and simplify (optional) When you can explain complex ideas in a simple way, you’re inviting people in. We’ve all seen smart people who revel in locking people out by pretending the subject is too complicated for average folks to understand. Feynman believed just the opposite. A deep understanding creates the

The First Book I Ever Owned...

The first international paper airplane contest took place in the winter of 1966 and 1967. The whole endeavor was an effort to bring publicity to Scientific American magazine, which probably found itself battling for attention. The US was in the middle of a cold war with the Soviets, a hot war with Viet Nam, and a civil rights movement. It must’ve felt like the wheels had come off the vehicle of America. Fidel Castro had declared Martial Law in Cuba, and Walt Disney had just died during the making of Jungle Book. Out of this chaos came a book, documenting that first contest. It was published in 1967. It was to become the first book I remember owning—just me, not the usual communal property st

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