Monday, June 17, 2019

The Mandelbrot Set: a secret of life buried in the complex variable plane

I’ve not talked about the Mandelbrot set here before. So here is “The Mandelbrot Set: How It Works and Why It Is Amazing”, by Jimi.

It is a set of numbers c on the complex variable plane for which f-c(z) = z**2 + c does not diverge when starting at z-0.  It is a fractal of self-similarity, which generates amazing shapes with cardioid edges that seem to grow like plants.

This mathematical beauty seems to point to how life would evolve in an organic soup. It’s very existence seems fundamental almost to consciousness and reproduction.

This is a relative short video, but there are much longer ones on YouTube which we can come back to later.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

"What If 'IT' Was Gay": new horror short from Eduardo Sanchez-Ubanell, making fun of, well, a current social media mess, perhaps

Eduardo Sanchez-Ubanell offers the satirical short, “What if ‘IT’ Was Gay”, with Max Emerson, Michael Henry, Tony Directs and Ruba Wilson.

The short film is a satirical skit based on the Clarabelle-looking character from Stephen King’s 1986 novel, made into a miniseries in 1990 and a film in 2017.

If you listen to the dialogue (like “IT’s” lines at around 1:05) you wonder if there is some satire of the Maza-Crowder-gate and Voxadpocalypse.  Ubanell’s films and videos seem non-political (usually about cis male gay life), until you look at the jabs behind the lines (he made fun of Buzzfeed in an earlier film by posing as a prize-fighter).  This little film seems to want to poke fun at how silly everyone has been recently.

I’m also reminded of baseball player Bryce Harper’s meme “clown questions”.

Friday, June 14, 2019

"Titan Revealed": Maybe the best ever documentary on Saturn's moon which may have life on the surface

TexFilms offers maybe the best film about Titan, the largest moon of Saturn, yet, “Titan Revealed” (2018, 35 minutes).

The film gives the most comprehensive picture of the geography of Titan than I have seen, with descriptions and simulated scenery of the large lakes near the north pole as it emerges from Titanium winter.

The film is in even sections, the last two of which deal with what like would be like.  It would involve hydrogen as fuel, acetylene, and methane as a by-product, like carbon dioxide of animal respiration on earth.  Would the methane become a fuel for “plants”?  There has been other speculation that life on Titan might consists of sheets in its lakes that are colonial like slime molds on Earth.
I’ve seen animated designs of the proposed submarine to explore the lakes before.

See also “Titan: A Place Like Home”, TV blog, Sept. 20, 2013, BBC.
By NASA/JSC - uppper photo; NASA/JPL - lower photo - File:Titan dunes.jpg, Public Domain, Link

Thursday, June 13, 2019

"Interstellar Highway System": why black holes will draw the development of space capital cities

Cool Worlds imagines an “Interstellar Highway System” (31 min).

Is this like the Interstate highway system as Ike imagined it?

In conjunction with the Halo Drive, the speaker imagines a slingshot propulsion system where the traveler “steals” energy from a binary or circular black hole system.

Just as with the US railroad system, interstellar civilization “cities” would develop near the black holes.

Then constant acceleration and time dilation would allow “superman” to traverse the universe in his own lifetime.
You would have to accept the idea that people age at different rates.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

"The Big Bang Wasn't an Explosion" (Thaller); the Universe is super round

The Big Bang Wasn’t an Explosion”.  Michelle Thaller says “Visualize It Like This”.
A good way to visualize this is to imagine you are living on the surface of a Baby Trump baby balloon, and it is constantly expanding. There is no edge to the surface you are living on.  You are living on the surface of a sphere and there is no edge. Sorry, flat earth people.
Likewise, the Universe has no boundary in 3-dimensional space.  That is because it is part of a 4-dimensional (or more) manifold. The way this gets experienced as time dilation as your velocity approaches that of light. Think of time dilation as taking a short cut through the interior of the Trump balloon, without making it pop.
It’s theoretically possible for a teenage Clark Kent to travel through the universe at relativistic speeds and visit many places, and he might return to where he started from in a normal lifetime. In a sense, the universe is round.

Sunday, June 09, 2019

"Stonewall Forever": what it was like in 1969

Stonewall Forever: A Documentary about the Past, Present and Future of Pride”, from the LGBTCenterNYC. 

A young man starts by saying that teaching the history of Pride is important for future generations.
A homelessness advocate talks about undercover gay life in Washington Square Park around 1962, near the chessboard tables (which are still there).

The documentary talks about the strict ordnances against cross-dressing.

Also, it was against the law to exhibit “homosexual behavior in public” (like Russia now). The film says “we were not a protected class” but that isn’t the reason by itself;  it was also a “due process” problem.

There was a culture of safety in numbers.

The Stonewall rebellion was completely spontaneous.

The Atlantic has an article on how Stonewall was reported back in 1969, by Garance-Franka-Ruka. 

Solidarity and “becoming a people” was important then in a way that it is not now, as individualism has broken it up. In the early days, transgender people, although important in the rebellion, tended to be excluded from the "people". 

There is talk about a "non-binary body" in a binary world, as if it were special relativity in physics. 

Saturday, June 08, 2019

"Higher Dimensions Get Really Weird": mathematics for science fiction movies ("My boyfriend is an alien!")

“MajorPrep”, a video channel for math, physics, and CS students largely, offers “Higher Dimensions Get Really Weird: The Mathematics of What We Can and Cannot Imagine

In the beginning he talks about platonic solids (dice), and Euler’s number – and soon migrates to Mobius strips and unknotting numbers. A seaman’s knot in the Navy is based on this kind of topology.

His central object is the Klein Bottle, which has a “hole” in three dimensional space because we don’t live in more than than 3.

I hadn’t realized that academic mathematicians have studied manifolds of up to 256 dimensions.  
String theory supposes that there are eleven. 

My screenplay "Epiphany" imagines a Mobius strip (almost, it fractures at one spot) as a subway on a space station, and interesting things can happen if you ride it.   

If your perfect boyfriend at Pride can disappear and reappear at will like Clark Kent, then he lives in four dimensions (and shrinks and expands and contracts when he comes for a visit to your dimension). That's how your boyfriend can be an alien (and get around Trump's travel bans).  This could be how the Ascension happened, too. (But not the birth.)