I've come across some interviews of physicist Richard Feynman for the first time and am very charmed and stimulated. This is a profound and dynamic speaker who deigned to share his humor and mind with the public. The results are fantastic -- intuitive but scientific explanations of phenomena and I thought I'd post a couple of favorite clips.
On fire, or how trees come mostly from the air ("Trees come out of the air? They surely come out of the gr... no, they come out of the air."):
I love this next one, also from the early 80s, for its profundity on the nature of scientific explanation:
This final one is from the mid 70s and I typed up a quote from it, in case it might come in handy for an intro. philosophy class:
I can live with doubt and uncertainty and not knowing. I think it’s much more interesting to live not knowing, than to have answers which might be wrong. I have approximate answers and possible beliefs and different degrees of certainty about different things, but I’m not absolutely sure of anything, and there are many things I don’t know anything about, such as whether it means anything to ask why we’re here. I might think about it a little bit, if I can’t figure it out I go to something else.
But I don’t have to know an answer. I don’t feel frightened by not knowing things, by being lost in the mysterious universe without having any purpose … which is the way it really is, as far as I can tell. Possibly.
-- Richard Feynman