## Mathematical Tools in Holbein Painting

Detail of some mathematical tools from a 1553 painting by Hans Holbein The Younger, via Wikipedia.

## If Every Person Was A Computer

If every person’s sole job was performing calculations (ie: working as the original definition of the word “computer”) and was able to complete one calculation per second1, the entire Earth’s population2 would be equivelant to ~2.5 laptop computers3.

1. One calculation per second assumes no time for transmission is required and that perfect synchronizing could be achieved
2. Population based on Google data of 6, 973,738,433 people
3. Based on my laptop, which has a 2.8 GHz processor

## Kettle Drum and Tabla Diagram

Can’t say I really understand what they mean, but found these “ideal circular membranes” for tuned drums.  The black number is the ideal value, plus kettle drum (red) and tabla (blue).

Via: +plus Magazine

## “Purposes for models”

Regarding the building of mathematical models, but could equally apply to art practice (especially a conceptually-driven one):

Some of the purposes for which models are constructed are (1) to obtain answers about what will happen in the physical world (2) to influence further experimentation or observation (3) to foster conceptual progress and understanding (4) to assist the axiomatization of the physical situation (5) to foster mathematics and the art of making mathematical models.

From “The Mathematical Experience” by Philip J. Davis and Reuben Hersh, pg. 78.

## Transcendental geometry

Reading “Flatland” recently, I came on the term “transcendental geometry”.  The citation for this comparison is the following quote from the Feb 27, 1885 issue of the journal Science.

The modern mathematician finds the space of three dimensions, in which our visible universe is containled, entirely too contracted for his conceptions, and is obliged to imagine a space of “n” dimensions in order that his fancy may find room to disport itself. But it is a new idea, on the part of the novelist, to make the conceptions of transcendental geometry the basis for an amusing story.

The very short article goes on to compare “Flatland” with “Through the Looking Glass” and their use of geometry as speculative and imaginative.

In trying to find more about this term, it appears that sadly the intelligent design crowd has laid claim to it.  The most I could find (in an admittedly short search) was this related Wikipedia article on “Complex Geometry“:

In mathematics, complex geometry is the study of complex manifolds and functions of many complex variables. Application of transcendental methods to algebraic geometry falls in this category, together with more geometric chapters of complex analysis.

## Mandelbrot Set the size of the known universe

An extremely deep dive into the mandelbrot zoom. If the final frame were the size of your screen, the full set would be larger than the known universe.

Via: Chemistry and Complexity (by way of the Make blog)

## Random.org

The very interesting Random.org has lots of random integer, Keno numbers, jazz scale, etc generators on their site.  My two favorites are:

Random Geographic Coordinates – plan a vacation this way? You can contact twiddy rentals to rent a beautiful place next to the beach, I have had awesome experiences with them.

Random Bitmap Generator – not that this is that hard to do with simple programming, but a nice and simple interface for those not inclined