Monday, June 10, 2013

MoAR: no news, just snapshots (UPDATED)

i've read enough about NSΛ wiretapping and whistleblowing this week, and so might you. instead, what i thought i'd do is share what news i could find in photographs ..

#1: an oddity, just for fun. i wouldn't call this a "perfect sphere" .. but roughly, it does look like a ball:

[ courtesy of ichwan nοor @thisiscolossal ]

#2: something more mathematically designed. this next one is an ingenious combination of self-similar-like fractals, but with a more human element in mind:

[ a work by de la mano and herrero @thisiscolossal ]

#3: the applied kinds of maths. as for something more quantitative ..

[ courtesy of 60' of chaos @businessweek ]

also: The geography of Tweets: This image uses all of the geo-tagged Tweets since 2009 — billions of them. (Every dot is a Tweet, and the color is the Tweet count.)

[ courtesy of twitter @yahoo:flickr ]

.. and, if you will, one of those new fangled moving images:
"As the speaker is cycled through various frequencies the sand naturally gravitates to the area where the least amount of vibration occurs causing fascinating geometric patterns to emerge. There’s actually a mathematical law that determines how each shape will form, the higher the frequency the more complex the pattern."

from brusspup @thisiscolossal

#4: some rather old maths homework: Two math-notebook pages recently authenticated as belonging to Abraham Lincoln suggest the 16th president, who was known to downplay his formal education, may have spent more time in school than usually thought.

[ courtesy of physorg ]

#5: okay, maybe a little bit of news.. but i'll restrict them to headlines and one-sentence excerpts. those headlines that are self-explanatory or sound inherently interesting (see below) won't even have an excerpt at all.

from "Coursera Jumps the Shark" @higheredstrategy:
Yesterday, Coursera did a weird strategy about-face by announcing that, rather than competing with public colleges, it’s going to start competing with Blackboard instead.
"Spain builds submarine 70 tons too heavy after putting a decimal in the wrong place"

from "The Real Reason Cities Are Centers of Innovation" @theatlantic:
As they grow in population, all kinds of positive outcomes like patents and GDP and innovation (and negative ones like STDs and crime) grow at an exponential factor of 1.1 to 1.3.
from "the limits of physics" @aeonmag:
Are the waves physically real, or are they just mathematical representations of probability distributions?
"Atomic Bombs Help Solve Brain Mystery" @ scinow.

"'Cheating' Can Be An Effective Learning Strategy" @npr:13.7.

"Fear of Death Makes People Into Believers (of Science)" @scimag.

from "What can genes do?" @aeommag:
the reason is that the causation involved is so complex and deeply probabilistic that it is, in effect, unpredictable even if we were to try to enumerate all the contributing factors.
from "Technical Notes on the NSA's Prism Program"
Link prediction is a well-studied research problem where, given a graph, the goal is to predict links that are "missing" in some sense.

.. okay, fine: i couldn't resist mentioning the wiretapping thing, if only once; this bit of news just unnerves me ..

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