Thursday, April 23, 2015

Math and the Simpsons

What could be further apart than high math and The Simpsons? LOTS of things, as this article explains; there are several high-math big brains on the Simpsons writing team. (And more yet on the Futurama team.)

For example, "Colonel Homer" (1992) features the first appearance of the local movie theatre, and eagle-eyed viewers would have glimpsed that it is called the Springfield Googolplex. In order to appreciate this reference, it is necessary to go back to 1938, when the American mathematician Edward Kasner was in conversation with his nephew Milton Sirotta. Kasner casually mentioned that it would be useful to have a label to describe the number 10100 (or 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, 000,000,000,000, 000,000,000,000, 000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000). The nine-year-old Milton suggested the word googol. 
 In his book Mathematics and the Imagination, Kasner recalled how the conversation with his nephew continued: "At the same time that he suggested 'googol', he gave a name for a still larger number: 'googolplex'. A googolplex is much larger than a googol, but is still finite, as the inventor of the name was quick to point out. It was first suggested that a googolplex should be 1, followed by writing zeros until you get tired." 
 The uncle rightly felt that the googolplex would then be a somewhat arbitrary and subjective number, so he redefined the googolplex as 10googol. This represents a number that is 1 followed by a googol zeros, which is far more zeros that you could fit on a piece of paper the size of the observable universe, even if you used the smallest font imaginable.

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Thursday, April 23, 2015   1 comments links to this post

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Joyce Chu, I'm true Malaysian, not Korean

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Wednesday, April 22, 2015   3 comments links to this post

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Tremastet beton, by Gasolin, translated. "Sailing through Concrete"

I was astonished and disappointed when I could not find any translation of Gasolin's classic song. So I translated it myself. It's quite poetic in style, so the translation had to be quite conceptual at places. The text was written by Mogens Mogensen, an old poet the band had befriended. He wrote the lyrics to several of their songs, and was "a sailor like Captain Haddock". - Eolake

Lyrics in Danish and English

Tremastet Beton

Du søger solnedgangens stille hygge,
der er myg
du drages mod havet der ser du mor'ild
gennem skovene's mørke sale

Sailing through Concrete

You seek the quiet coziness of dusk
mites in the air
You are drawn towards the sea
where you see phosphorescence
through the dark cathedrals of the forests

over marker, marker med kornmodsglans
da søger du hjem i din stue
ensomheden, skæret, skæret fra de fyrre watt
du smider dig i dækstolen
dine øjne er lukkede, men du ser.

Over fields, fields with the glow of ripe harvest
You seek your home and your room
Loneliness, the glow, the glow of forty watts
you throw yourself down on your deck chair
Your eyes are closed. But you see.

Du ser drenge der søger mod havet
de kommer inde fra, langt inde fra landet
legende langs kajerne med store kraner
de kommer langvejs fra
havnepigernes fnisen på dækket
et stød i fløjten,
du skal hjem, åh hold kæft

You see boys seeking the sea
They come from inland, far far inland
they play along the habor with its great cranes
They come from far away
The girls of the habor giggling on the deck
the whistle blows
You gotta go home now. Aw, shut up

hoppen skal, den skal den du vil
sømanden gør det sgu'
lukkede øjne, sømand fjorten somre.
Store have, ensomheden og drengen
solen, bølgerne, mågerne og stjernerne
krigen, pigerne og havnene, og myggene
og feberen, feberen og pigerne, piger i mange farver

The mare must, it must, what you know
The sailor does it, I'll be damned
Closed eyes. Sailor. Fourteen summers.
Great seas, loneliness and the boy
The sun, the waves, the gulls, the stars
the war, the girls and the ports, and the mites
The fever, the fever, the girls. Girls in many colors.

navne på havne, piger derfra er der ingen
sus-dus og rotter, delfiner og marsvin og lus
kanontorden, skibe der brænder, signalflag
havene ta'r dem, de sorte sejlere
lukkede øjne der stadigvæk ser
sømand, pensionist søger mage.

Names of ports, girls, none are from there
The wild life, rats, dolphins. Lice.
The thunder of cannons, burning ships, signal flags
The seas take them away, those black sailors
Closed eyes, but seeing still
Sailor, retired, seeking soul mate

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Tuesday, April 21, 2015   1 comments links to this post

Monday, April 20, 2015

The Ingenious Design of the Aluminum Beverage Can

I'm sure some are not interested in this, but I find it much interesting. without engineering, we would still be in the dark ages, and I find it highly interesting to find out about all the ideas which make it work.

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Monday, April 20, 2015   0 comments links to this post

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Girocopter girl

Girocopter Girl, a video combining the pleasure of small-craft flight with the pleasure of a pretty woman in the buff.

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Sunday, April 19, 2015   5 comments links to this post

Friday, April 17, 2015

Quell, a pain relief wearable

I find this highly interesting: Quell, a pain relief wearable.
It's already used by prescription in the US, but it is now release for over-the-counter sales.

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Friday, April 17, 2015   0 comments links to this post

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Michelle Jenneke rocks (and sways)

I'm not a sports fan, but I'm a fan of Michelle Jenneke! What fitness, what grace and beauty, what joi de vivre!

Michelle professes confusion as to why her usual warmup routine would cause millions of people to tune in on youtoob to see her. But I'm not, she is simply attractive as hell, and attractiveness, well, attracts people!

It makes so much more sexy and interesting that she is not trying to be sexy or interesting.  The latter makes anybody seem a degree of scheming and self absorbed. 

And she's good too, winning everything. And it's easy to see how she takes the hurdles with such an effortlessness.

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Thursday, April 16, 2015   4 comments links to this post

The Pilot's blonde

Does anybody know who this model/actress is/was? She is so excessively stunning that I think she just has to be famous.

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Thursday, April 16, 2015   2 comments links to this post

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

It is the time for big robots after all

Looks good full screen.

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Wednesday, April 15, 2015   0 comments links to this post

Even Russia has moral battles

My friend Igor in Russia, who has been an invaluable help during the years when I regularly did business with Russians whose English was limited to a Windoze translator app, sent me this, but I think I'd have heard about it sooner or later anyway, for it's going like a wildfire. It is an amateur video of a custumed group dance of young ladies who have taken the advice "shake your booty" literally.
If you are disturbed by seeing teens moving suggestively, don't wath the video here.
As usual, while I can understand the concerns (getting pregnant at 14 is no great fate, and if intimacy is forced it can be quite traumatic), I am a bit amazed at the sheer level of rabid hysteria which raises its head at anything mixing sensuality with anything under a specific arbitrary age, currently usually set at 18 in most countries.

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Wednesday, April 15, 2015   1 comments links to this post

Monday, April 13, 2015

The Artiphon instrument One

I'be been singing since I was a kid. Later I got praise from highly trained people, and sang briefly in a band.
But I never learned to play an instrument. I don't have any discipline.

But the Artiphon Instrument 1 is a drastically different instrument from anything I've seen before, I think if I could ever use an instrument, that would be it.

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Monday, April 13, 2015   0 comments links to this post

Friday, April 10, 2015

HDD and Floppy Music: Nirvana - Smell Like Teen Spirit

Actually not a bad rendition at all!

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Friday, April 10, 2015   0 comments links to this post

The Cranberries - Zombie. 4 Non Blondes, What's Up

And from the same period:

It nice when a person is so beautiful that they can dress basically in rags and still look great.

A good interview from later with Linda Perry.

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Friday, April 10, 2015   5 comments links to this post

Sunday, April 05, 2015

"Shtuff People Say to Photographers"

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Sunday, April 05, 2015   2 comments links to this post


Yet another different side to Miley Cyrus.

Same song, thanks to Russ, in a duet with the writer of it, Dolly Parton.

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Sunday, April 05, 2015   8 comments links to this post

Friday, April 03, 2015

Small Red Horse In The Rain

I was looking on YouTube on the slim chance that somebody might have uploaded a favorite song from my childhood, The Horse Is Green In Rainy Weather (Hesten Er Grøn I Regnvejr). No such luck, sadly. But instead I found this little artistic gem. ("Det regner" means "it rains".)
Wow. And somebody said there are no great artists anymore...

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Friday, April 03, 2015   1 comments links to this post

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Gorgeous ceramics

This video shows the making of the most spectacular and beautiful ceramics vases I've ever seen. I just cannot believe the skill and the patience it must take to make these. Don't miss it. 
[The video will not play in Safari on my Mac or iPad. It does play in Chrome, though.]

As you can see in the next picture, the patterns are *not* painted in the glaze, they are made by *inlaying* different shades of clay! How the glaze enhances that, I have no clue. 

The artisan is scraping off the superflous colored clay to reveal the clay he has put into the grooves which makes the patterns. A delicate task, ending with a brush. 

I'm fascinated by this one, I wonder how it's made. 

Funny enough, at the same time as my huge admiration for this, I get a tiny bit of empty feeling about the idea of owning one of them. I think because while it's amazing craft, it is not actually art. Every single pattern is simple in its basics and is passed on from master to apprentice. While it has great depth of care and quality, it does not have the depth of creation and beauty that art has.
(Don't get me wrong, craft is awesome, and I have vases, bowls, and old cameras on display which give me pleasure.)

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Wednesday, April 01, 2015   1 comments links to this post

Original muppets mana-mana song

I didn't even know there was an earlier one:

And here is the justifiably famous one (in my opinion, it's a few things like this which made the show so great):

And not to miss anything, they made one with the world's most beautiful comedienne, Sandra Bullock. (I don't know why they renamed it "Phenomena" though.)

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Wednesday, April 01, 2015   1 comments links to this post

Monday, March 30, 2015

Support drones stopping elephant poachers

Drones to stop elephant and rhino poachers, campaign.

40,000 elephants killed every year by poachers, this is insane.
This is one of the instances where drones are a great tool: cheap, quiet, can monitor large areas.

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Monday, March 30, 2015   0 comments links to this post

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Diamonds Are Bullshit

Diamonds Are Bullshit, article.
"American males enter adulthood through a peculiar rite of passage - they spend most of their savings on a shiny piece of rock. They could invest the money in assets that will compound over time and someday provide a nest egg. Instead, they trade that money for a diamond ring, which isn’t much of an asset at all. As soon as you leave the jeweler with a diamond, it loses over 50% of its value. Americans exchange diamond rings as part of the engagement process, because in 1938 De Beers decided that they would like us to. Prior to a stunningly successful marketing campaign 1938, Americans occasionally exchanged engagement rings, but wasn’t a pervasive occurrence. Not only is the demand for diamonds a marketing invention, but diamonds aren’t actually that rare. Only by carefully restricting the supply has De Beers kept the price of a diamond high."

Ivor Tymchak said:
A great article, however, he forgot to mention the recent development of manufactured diamonds that makes the situation even crazier. I wrote about it years ago.

A thought experiment gives us a clue: Say we made diamond rings from factories, which nobody could tell from the slavery-produced ones, and told people what they were, and sold them at 20% of the price? Would anybody buy them? Nooo! And most of them would not stop buying the "real" ones either.
Which tells us: they know they are only buying status. And 2: they will rather buy very expensive status symbols than they will have food on the table. 

Being able to kick sand in their neighbor's face is more important to people than an easy life. 

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Wednesday, March 25, 2015   13 comments links to this post

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