Go jump in a lake

(a personal blog)

Sat-Sep-2014
500 notes

sciencesourceimages:

How Mandelbrot’s Fractals Changed The World

by Jack Challoner/BBC News

During the 1980s, people became familiar with fractals through those weird, colorful patterns made by computers. But few realize how the idea of fractals has revolutionized our understanding of the world, and how many fractal-based systems we depend upon.

Unfortunately, there is no definition of fractals that is both simple and accurate. Like so many things in modern science and mathematics, discussions of “fractal geometry” can quickly go over the heads of the non-mathematically-minded. This is a real shame, because there is profound beauty and power in the idea of fractals.

The best way to get a feeling for what fractals are is to consider some examples. Clouds, mountains, coastlines, cauliflowers and ferns are all natural fractals. These shapes have something in common - something intuitive, accessible and aesthetic.

They are all complicated and irregular: the sort of shape that mathematicians used to shy away from in favor of regular ones, like spheres, which they could tame with equations.

Mandelbrot famously wrote: “Clouds are not spheres, mountains are not cones, coastlines are not circles, and bark is not smooth, nor does lightning travel in a straight line.”

The chaos and irregularity of the world - Mandelbrot referred to it as “roughness” - is something to be celebrated. It would be a shame if clouds really were spheres, and mountains cones.

Look closely at a fractal, and you will find that the complexity is still present at a smaller scale. A small cloud is strikingly similar to the whole thing. A pine tree is composed of branches that are composed of branches - which in turn are composed of branches.

Read the entire article

Fractal images © Laguna Design / Science Source

Mandelbrodt photo © Emilio Segrè / Science Source

(via visualizingmath)

Sat-Sep-2014
108 notes

lastrealindians:

Shriners Play Indian in ND Parade; Should Stick to Clowning

Autumn Fest: Bismarck, North Dakota (ND); Sept. 20, 2014.

As part of an annual parade we are told is organized by a man named Scott Johnson in the capitol city of the State of North Dakota, a float full of White guys all in Red Face, donning fake headdresses -in the present day- actually made it all the way through with out being booed, pelted with eggs or confronted to have their mock head-dresses removed. Seriously. This is 2014 and in this part of the USA, Native Americans and forward thinking, socially conscious people are subjected yearly to this annual Parade. The parade float was sponsored by the Bismarck Masons and the Bismarck-Mandan Shriners. The Shriners are known throughout the country as people who usually dress up as clowns and do good will wherever they are, but in North Dakota I guess they also think they can dress up as Indians, Orientals, and Arabs. They seem to have fit in perfectly with the annual racially charged themes in which White appropriation of non-White cultures and/or Peoples is encouraged and celebrated. The Mandan Indian Shriners (who apparently were on the float) have units in their organization with names such as the Arab Patrol, Oriental Band, and maybe other 1950s White privilege influenced unit names and practices of their El Zagal Shriner organization, founded in 1942 by A.B. Welch. From the links below it is clear that White people have been playing Indian in North Dakota since the early 1900s.

READ MORE HERE: http://lastrealindians.com/racist-display-by-north-dakota-shriners-and-masons/

Sat-Sep-2014
153,560 notes

desidere:

bellahugo:

ratchetmelancholy:

White privilege is your history being taught as a core class and mine being taught as an elective. 

please let them know.

white privilege is your history being taught as a core class, and mine being banned because it would promote "the overthrow of the U.S. government, foster racial resentment, and advocate ethnic solidarity."

(via iammyfather)

Sat-Sep-2014
514 notes
Sat-Sep-2014
248 notes
Fri-Sep-2014
141,446 notes
mermaidskey:

hemipelagicdredger:

mermaidskey:

mermaidskey:

oxidoreductase:

Lavoisier is having none of your shit.

Heeeey so fun fact: the woman in that painting is Lavoisier’s wife, Marie-Anne Pierrette Paulze, who not only acted as Lavoisier’s lab assistant but also translated English and Latin texts into French so he could read them. But she didn’t just translate, she pointed out errors in the chemistry in some of the texts. Her observations of these errors convinced Lavoisier to study combustion, which led to his discovery of oxygen. She was also critical to the publication of Lavoisier’s Elementary Treatise on Chemistry in 1789. She kept strict records of every experiment they conducted together and drew detailed diagrams of all their equipment. She also threw amazing parties and invited all the brightest minds in science so her husband could pick their brains. After Lavoisier was guillotined she secured all of his notebooks and equipment for posterity.
In short: NOBODY KICKS MADAME LAVOISIER OUT OF THE LAB.

Also, a side note: My historian husband-to-be pointed some things out to me about this painting. Notice that Madame Lavoisier is looking at the viewer, and all the light is on her, while Lavoisier himself is physically smaller than her, in shadow, and looking up to her in reverence. This isn’t a candid photograph- all of these choices are deliberate. The painting isn’t of Lavoisier- Madame Lavoisier is meant to be the central subject. 
I can just imagine Lavoisier telling all his colleagues that his wife is really the one with all the clever ideas, and them patting him on the back and telling him he’s sweet for saying so.

more like


I LOVE IT

mermaidskey:

hemipelagicdredger:

mermaidskey:

mermaidskey:

oxidoreductase:

Lavoisier is having none of your shit.

Heeeey so fun fact: the woman in that painting is Lavoisier’s wife, Marie-Anne Pierrette Paulze, who not only acted as Lavoisier’s lab assistant but also translated English and Latin texts into French so he could read them. But she didn’t just translate, she pointed out errors in the chemistry in some of the texts. Her observations of these errors convinced Lavoisier to study combustion, which led to his discovery of oxygen. She was also critical to the publication of Lavoisier’s Elementary Treatise on Chemistry in 1789. She kept strict records of every experiment they conducted together and drew detailed diagrams of all their equipment. She also threw amazing parties and invited all the brightest minds in science so her husband could pick their brains. After Lavoisier was guillotined she secured all of his notebooks and equipment for posterity.

In short: NOBODY KICKS MADAME LAVOISIER OUT OF THE LAB.

Also, a side note: My historian husband-to-be pointed some things out to me about this painting. Notice that Madame Lavoisier is looking at the viewer, and all the light is on her, while Lavoisier himself is physically smaller than her, in shadow, and looking up to her in reverence. This isn’t a candid photograph- all of these choices are deliberate. The painting isn’t of Lavoisier- Madame Lavoisier is meant to be the central subject. 

I can just imagine Lavoisier telling all his colleagues that his wife is really the one with all the clever ideas, and them patting him on the back and telling him he’s sweet for saying so.

more like

image

I LOVE IT

(via politicalsexkitten)

Fri-Sep-2014
6,270 notes

ttfkagb:

congalineofdurin:

okashiwatashi1:

elaichi-cha:

didi-is-spiffy:

White men need to be stopped for real

#StopWhiteMen5ever

No. Just stop ignorant men. Everyone gets so fucking butt hurt about racism but they always blame white people, it’s STILL racism. For example. If murderer is murdered, is it still murder? Yes, and the same basic principle applies to “reverse” racism.

I’m sorry you ever had to experience this but that doesn’t make it ok to be racist back

This is literally SPECIFICALLY ABOUT his whiteness. Because white people have this tendency to view themselves, and whiteness, as baseline, as default. All other races are “othered”, exotic, fetishized. It’s gross.

And seriously please don’t even start with ‘reverse racism’. It doesn’t exist. When white people do something racist, it’s destroying people at an individual level as well as a cultural one, it’s hurting people. When POC do something you perceive as “”“racist”“”, it’s attacking a system. Whiteness is the face of that oppressive system, and calling out the behavior learned by white people and taught by that oppressive and insidious system is part of that.

Everyone gets so fucking butt hurt about racism…”

IKR! It’s almost like racism kills people or something…

(via odinsblog)

Fri-Sep-2014
14 notes
stateofdrought:

Read more: What to Know About California’s New Groundwater Law
Fri-Sep-2014
2,356 notes
odinsblog:

#Bob McCulloch is the Ferguson prosecutor in charge of the grand jury “investigating” 😒 his new bff Darren Wilson
#This is what institutional racism, White privilege and a police cover up (all rolled into one) looks like in 2k14
Fri-Sep-2014
0 notes

Jakevdp wrote a really great tutorial on making animated plots with matplotlib, a free library for Python that is very much like MATLAB.

Thu-Sep-2014
99 notes

gokuma:

Not one student has been rescued

Even though they were reportedly located months ago

Also:

Nigeria’s government paid a Washington public relations firm more than $1.2 million to change the media narrative surrounding the schoolgirls’ abduction, according to a June report by The Hill. The country’s president, Goodluck Jonathan, recently faced severe backlash after a group campaigning for his reelection started using the hashtag #BringBackGoodluck2015, sparking outrage among groups still campaigning for the girls’ return.

(via thepoliticalfreakshow)

Thu-Sep-2014
2,694 notes

(Source: lastrealindians)

Thu-Sep-2014
6,546 notes

ghost-of-algren:

shitfuckingfuckshit:

Victorian Cliff House, San Francisco

rest in fucking pieces giant cliff house

(Source: , via ababyghost)

Wed-Sep-2014
959 notes
Exotic means there, not here. Them, not us. You, but definitely not me. Exotic is a word defined by the speaker’s perspective, which assumes dominance and normalcy over the person being called exotic.
— 

I’m not a parrot. So don’t call me exotic.

It’s a micro-aggression. It’s a backhanded compliment. And it’s simply inaccurate.

(via theweekmagazine)

(via pol102)

Tue-Sep-2014
4,094 notes
jessehimself:

culturalandhistoricalvibes:

Walter S. McAfee is the African American mathematician and physicist who first calculated the speed of the moon. McAfee participated in Project Diana in the 1940s - a U.S. Army program, created to determine whether a high frequency radio signal could penetrate the earth’s outer atmosphere. To test this, scientists wanted to bounce a radar signal off the moon and back to earth. But the moon was a swiftly moving target, impossible to hit without knowing its exact speed. McAfee made the necessary calculations, and on January 10, 1946, the team sent a radar pulse through a special 40-feet square antenna towards the moon. Two and a half seconds later, they received a faint signal, proving that transmissions from earth could cross the vast distances of outer space. Official news of this scientific breakthrough did not include McAfee’s name, nor was there any recognition of the essential role he played. But Americans could not have walked on the moon had it not been for Walter S. McAfee and his calculations.
Click to see source:


first like a muhf*cka.

jessehimself:

culturalandhistoricalvibes:

Walter S. McAfee is the African American mathematician and physicist who first calculated the speed of the moon. McAfee participated in Project Diana in the 1940s - a U.S. Army program, created to determine whether a high frequency radio signal could penetrate the earth’s outer atmosphere. To test this, scientists wanted to bounce a radar signal off the moon and back to earth. But the moon was a swiftly moving target, impossible to hit without knowing its exact speed. McAfee made the necessary calculations, and on January 10, 1946, the team sent a radar pulse through a special 40-feet square antenna towards the moon. Two and a half seconds later, they received a faint signal, proving that transmissions from earth could cross the vast distances of outer space. Official news of this scientific breakthrough did not include McAfee’s name, nor was there any recognition of the essential role he played. But Americans could not have walked on the moon had it not been for Walter S. McAfee and his calculations.

Click to see source:

first like a muhf*cka.

(via daftpunkforcutie)