Helen Friel - “Here’s Looking at Euclid” (paper sculptures of mathematician Oliver Byrne’s illustrations of Euclid’s Elements, 2012)
Byrne’s illustrated Euclid is one of my favorite vintage science reads (you can leaf through it online for free!) and the fact that the Mondrain-esque artwork has been made into paper sculptures makes me happier than I can verbalize.
What if the Autobots recruited a new bot called a Fourier Transformer and he was several smaller bots that came together into a much more powerful bot that was the sum of the lesser bots’ powers, but was, like, really assymmetrical and fell over a lot and none of the other bots could ever quite figure him out?
Aatish Bhatia on the math trick behind MP3s, JPEGs, and Homer Simpson’s face … AKA Fourier Transforms.
You’re probably thinking “there’s no way that could be interesting”, but you’re wrong.
Previously we saw this trick (is it a trick?) in action to draw famous faces using only mathematical functions.
At Slate, Ben Blatt has analyzed Waldo’s location in each puzzle of the seven main Where’s Waldo books, applied some statistical analysis and … unlocked a pattern to where Waldo usually is. I’m not going to spoil it, but I think he’s on to something.
It’s the finest use of data analysis that I’ve seen in recent memory. Of course, I don’t have a very good memory, but I’m pretty sure I’m right.
Waldo books aren’t the largest and most airtight data set, but they were put together by a human being, and it’s not unlikely that there’s an unconscious pattern at play in the striped wanderer’s usual hiding place. I suspect these might not be gold-medal winning statistics, but it’s a really fun analysis all the same. Go check out the full rundown, and get ready to impress your friends with your Sherlockesque powers of perception!
Now if only he could give me some tips for those magic eye puzzles …
A plague on both the axes!!
As Strogatz says, the ebb and flow of love and passions truly redefines the “many-body problem”.