Memtropy Signals from the Noise

June 27, 2008

Painting with Light

Filed under: Arts — Tomek @ 11:55 pm

This stunning effect is made with battery powered flash lights, bike lamps, sparklers, cold cathode lights, anything bright. Here are some basics:

To get the best results you need a tripod. The exposure should be around 10-30 sec. or longer if needed. Stay in front of the camera and do your writing.
To not overexpose set the camera to about ISO 100, and close your aperture as much as possible. If there is still too much light you might have to use a neutral density filter.

If you stack enough similar pictures, you get something like this:



June 24, 2008

George Carlin – Life is Worth Losing

Filed under: Interesting,Video — Tomek @ 1:16 am

Famous for his extremely black humour, American comedian George Carlin died Sunday, aged 71. Here is what he thought of death, and more.

Go to Mashables for some shorter best-of clips.

June 20, 2008

First ten digits of Pi encoded in crop circle

Filed under: Interesting,Pictures — Tomek @ 1:34 pm

This 50 meter wide crop circle has recently been spotted in a barley field near Barbury Castle, Wiltshire, UK. It depicts the mathematical constant Pi to ten significant figures.

Images courtesy of Lucy Pringle.


June 19, 2008

Still Life

Filed under: Interesting,Video — Tomek @ 11:36 pm

A blear eyed driver takes an unexpected detour through a small town. When he searches for help in this strange and desolate place, he finds the inhabitants somehow unmoved by his appearance.

This is a brilliantly surreal shortfilm by Canadian director Jon Knautz. Funny Videos | Funny Cartoons | Comedy Central

June 18, 2008

The Paradox of Choice – Why More Is Less

Filed under: The Human Mind,Video — Tomek @ 1:22 am

In this one hour Google TechTalk, psychologist Barry Schwartz takes aim at one of the central dogmas in our modern civilisation: freedom of choice. He argues that, contrary to intuition, more choice does not make you freer but more paralysed, more choice does not make you happier but actually more dissatisfied.

If you liked his talk, read his book The Paradox of Choice – Why More Is Less.

June 17, 2008

360° Light Field Display

Filed under: Artificial Evolution,Video — Tomek @ 1:27 am

The Graphics Lab at the University of Southern California has designed a convincing, low-cost 3D display system. The display is

  • autostereoscopic – requires no special viewing glasses
  • omnidirectional – generates simultaneous views accommodating large numbers of viewers
  • interactive – can update content at 200Hz

The system works by projecting high-speed video onto a rapidly spinning mirror. As the mirror turns, it reflects a different and accurate image to each potential viewer.

  • Spin rate: 15-20 Hz
  • Images/revolution: 288
  • Degrees/view zone: 1.25°
  • Projected frames/second: 4320-5760 fps
  • Image resolution: 768 x 768
  • Image bit depth: Binary
  • Displayed volume:13cm3

June 16, 2008

DNA Molecular Animation

Filed under: Life Science,Video — Tomek @ 10:40 pm

This 8 minute animation realistically shows the major parts of the molecular machinery within cells: DNA coiling, replication, transcription, translation. Made by Drew Berry of The Walter And Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne, Australia.

June 14, 2008


Filed under: The Human Mind,Video — Tomek @ 11:27 pm

Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman is an Israeli-American psychologist who is renowned for his work in behavioral economics and hedonic psychology.

Intuition: Marvels and Flaws

In this one hour lecture he gave at UC Berkeley in August 2007, he explores the idea of intuition. He distinguishes two modes of thinking, what he calls System 1 and System 2.

    System 1: Intuition
    eg. reading a facial expression
  • Fast
  • Automatic
  • Slow-learning
  • Effortless
  • Associative
    System 2: Reasoning
    eg. calculating 17 x 24 is 408
  • Slow
  • Controlled
  • Flexible
  • Effortful
  • Rule-governed


June 13, 2008

The Tenth Dimension

Filed under: Interesting,Thoughts — Tomek @ 3:42 am

From: Imagining the Tenth Dimension by Rob Bryaton

Although this view of ten dimensions is not the like the 10-(or even 26-)dimensional spacetime is viewed in string theory, this video nicely shows the concept of higher-dimensionality, understandable to even the non-scientifically inclined.

Speaking of the still not proven string theory, the space probe Planck, due to launch in October this year, might even see a shadow of extra dimensions.

June 12, 2008

Would an anti-apple hit your head or fly off into space?

Filed under: Physical Universe — Tomek @ 1:18 am

Scientists still think that an apple made of anti-matter would hit your head (never mind the consequences), but they are not certain, so they plan an experiment called AEGIS (Antimatter Experiment: Gravity, Interferometry, Spectroscopy) at CERN to test, which way a beam of anti-hydrogen atoms would be deflected by gravity.

This is not an easy task. Every anti-atom must be made in a particle accelerator, making it probably the most expensive substance one could buy (estimated $300 billion per milligram). But the real problem is containing the neutral (non-charged) antimatter, since as soon as matter hits antimatter, they annihilate each other and turn into energy. Using charged anti-protons for this would solve the container problem, but since the electromagnetic force is many times stronger than gravity, the effects of gravity on the antimatter would not be observable.

If antimatter were to behave opposite to matter regarding gravity, that could explain the missing antimatter in our universe, since it would not be attracted but repelled by the observable matter.

Read more at the physics arXiv blog.

The crazy bit

Applying Maxwell’s equations in four dimensions, one cannot distinguish an anti-proton from a proton moving backwards in time. So you could say that the creation of an anti-particle in an accelerator, from the anti-particle’s perspective it’s its destruction, and the seeming annihilation with a particle was its creation.

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