Test Card F

The BBC’s “Test Card F“, featuring an eight-year-old Carole Hersee and her stuffed clown Bubbles.  The card was used between July 2, 1967 and sometime in 1998.  Most interesting is the card aired for more than 70,000 hours, or nearly 8 years; trapped in this stasis of tribal abstraction and in absolute stillness, Carole and her toy both seem like a paralyzed person, capable of rapid and inquisitive thought but physically unable to move or communicate the fruit of their long meditation.

Via: Wikipedia

Law & Order Geometry

Still from Law & Order (season 6, episode 18, 11:14).  As an aside, doesn’t the intro to Beck’s “Where It’s At” sound a lot like the Law & Order theme?

Random Walk: Square Root of Two

Following yesterday’s experiments with the Random Pi Walk (hat tip Alex Bellos), I’ve upped the ante.  The above image is the decimal expansion of the square root of two, following the first one million digits.  The data is thanks to Stan Kerr via Project Gutenberg.  Each decimal digit 0-9 results in a change of direction of 36 degrees and, in this case, travels 3 pixels in that direction.

The resulting image is MUCH larger than the previous visualizations – click here for the full resolution version.

Algorithms for Self-Assembly

An interesting article on finding algorithms for self-assembling, nano-scale polyhedra.  Related to some things I’m thinking about in the studio at the moment, the process seems quite interesting/complicated.  Researchers “determined the best 2-D arrangements, called planar nets, to create self-folding polyhedra with dimensions of a few hundred microns, the size of a small dust particle. The strength of the analysis lies in the combination of theory and experiment… There have been some successes with simple 3-D shapes such as cubes, but the list of possible starting points that could yield the ideal self-assembly for more complex geometric configurations gets long fast. For example, while there are 11 2-D arrangements for a cube, there are 43,380 for a dodecahedron (12 equal pentagonal faces). Creating a truncated octahedron (14 total faces — six squares and eight hexagons) has 2.3 million possibilities.”

Also of interest is the ideation process for this work, where “…the students got acquainted with their assignment by playing with a set of children’s toys in various geometric shapes. They progressed quickly into more serious analysis”.

Via: Science Daily (via: Philip Torrone on Make Blog)

The Cutting Line Propels the Equation

From Deleuze and Guattari’s A Thousand Plateaus:

His journeyman, the monk-mason Garin de Troyes, speaks of an operative logic of movement enabling the “initiate” to draw, then hew the volumes “in penetration space,” to make it so that “the cutting line propels the equation”.  One does not represent, one engenders and traverses.  This science is characterized less by the absence of equations rather than the very different role they play: instead of being good forms absolutely that organize matter, they are “generated” as “forces of thrust” by the material, in a qualitative calculus of the optimum.

From page 402 of Reiser + Unemoto’s Atlas of Novel Techtonics