Random nuggets that crossed the threshold of my browser recently:
- The complete text of Feynman’s Lectures on Physics is now online, with a snazzy web ui. Which reminds me, in days before the ubiquitous comprehensive internet it was easier for there to be people of whom color photographs exist but which you haven’t seen. I just realized I’ve never seen a color photo of Feyman when he was relatively young:
- The friendship paradox is interesting: most people have fewer friends than their friends have, on average.
- I think iterated inversions of circles are one the least widely known but most beautiful kind of mathematical images. Could find very little of the kind of material I am talking about on the internet except for this guy’s images:
- Also, on the above, so I think I first learned about inversive geometry from an old computer graphics books from the 1980s, Robert Dixon’s Mathographics. I like this genre of book, basically books about computer graphics from before computer graphics decided what it wanted to be when it grew up. “Computer graphics” now has become synonymous with 3D rendering. In the 70s and 80s, 3D was just one little sub-discipline; graphics as a field was more all over the place. Artist and Computer is another interesting work like this that I have in my library, which turns out to be online in its entirety.
- Looking up Robert Dixon, it turns out he sued Damian Hirst for ripping off images from Mathographics. In particular Hirst made a collage of valium pills in a double logarithmic spiral that Dixon says Hirst lifted from Dixon’s “True Sunflower”. Don’t know whose side I am on on that one. I can see Dixon’s point when he says he “conceived, calculated, formulated and programmed the [spiral drawing]”. But on the other hand, I have personally been on the receiving end of a cease and desist letter from the person who claims to own the look-and-feel of the photomosaic, so I have some sympathy for the idea that in the digital era some of our notions about intellectual property are becoming old-fahioned.
- János Bolyai of non-Euclidean geometry fame was super good at sword fighting.
- This is really funny.