During the Manhattan Project, General Grove had the job of running herd on a gang of scientists; as unmilitary a gaggle of civilians as can be imagined. Prime amongst them was Richard Feynman, physicist and wiseacre extraordinaire.
The General was the proud possessor of documents and blueprints telling how to build an atomic bomb. He kept these ‘crown jewel’ documents in a special safe in his office.
Richard Feynman visited that office. Not only did he crack that safe – for safecracking was one of his hobbies – and not only did he open it, but before he closed that safe again, he left a note.
I pity the poor General when he opened that safe and saw that note. Perhaps he contemplated shooting Feynman. Perhaps he contemplated giving Feynman a medal. Perhaps he even got the joke that Feynman was making, but I doubt he laughed; for the butt of the joke was his whole way of thinking.
I see in this incident a case of research meeting teaching. Certainly General Grove learned an unforgettable lesson. It was also a culture clash, like now with NSA and its geeks.