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What does the “B” in “Benoit B. Mandelbrot” stand for?

“Benoit B. Mandelbrot”

Via that giant Reddit thread: http://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/1h1cyg/whats_the_most_intellectual_joke_you_know/

(Whoa — according to Wikipedia, Mandelbrot “chose his own middle initial, but it doesn’t stand for anything”)

“Carol and Douglas Hofstadter in a mutual nose touching, forming a (metaphorical) “strange loop” in July of 1987 in the Wallowa Mountains in Eastern Oregon.”

Image credit: Peter Rimbey

Via: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1599720,00.html

(And I’m pretty sure it’s in I Am a Strange Looptoo.)

Image 1: B-factor plot for 1AV1 truncated human apolipoprotein A-I

Source: http://www.xray.utmb.edu/#BPATCH

Caption: “B-factor plot of 1AV1, refined at 4 Å using the PMB B-factor patch for isotropic B-factor restraints. Note that even the side-chain b-factors are well-behaved, and that the molecular motions are modeled more accurately by these individual B-factors than they could be by a series of group B-factors.”

What is a B-factor plot? I don’t know, but these folks say: “Blue means helix, red means strand and green means turns and random coil.”

Image 2: Another view of 1AV1 structure

Source and more info: http://www.rcsb.org/pdb/explore.do?structureId=1av1

What is apolipoprotein A1? According to Wikipedia, it’s “the major protein component of high density lipoprotein (HDL) in plasma” i.e. the good cholesterol. It helps clear fats! Good job, apo A-I!

Photo 1: “World’s Smallest Klein Bottle” by Kiva Ford: http://www.etsy.com/listing/66353455/worlds-smallest-klein-bottle?ref=listing_67322253  (also sold as earrings, necklaces, etc.)

Photo 2: Baby Klein bottle, by Acme Klein Bottles, “our universe’s foremost supplier of immersed, boundary-free, nonorientable, one-sided surfaces”:  http://www.kleinbottle.com/classicalklein.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Klein_bottle

Joanna Macy, Mutual Causality in Buddhism and General Systems Theory: The Dharma of Living Systems (SUNY Press, 1991)
http://books.google.com/books/about/Mutual_Causality_in_Buddhism_and_General.html?id=APvFjc1VmW4C

Joanna Macy on systems theory/Buddhist philosophy/deep ecology (from her website, not this particular book):

“The greatest revolution of our time is in the way we see the world. The mechanistic paradigm underlying the Industrial Growth Society gives way to the realization that we belong to a living, self-organizing cosmos. General systems theory, emerging from the life sciences, brings fresh evidence to confirm ancient, indigenous teachings: the Earth is alive, mind is pervasive, all beings are our relations. This realization changes everything. It changes our perceptions of who we are and what we need, and how we can trustfully act together for a decent, noble future.”

http://www.joannamacy.net/livingsystems.html

Awww but the combined one is sooo much better! http://r0m1n.minus.com/ly92QXzZkU2Wx … dang file-size limit

Glasses of Nerdicon, from Adventure Time episode “The Real You”

http://adventuretime.wikia.com/wiki/Glasses_of_Nerdicon

four-part gif via sugarlessponygum

(img source)

Lawrence Krauss, A Universe From Nothing: Why There is Something Rather than Nothing (2012)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawrence_M._Krauss

http://books.google.com/books/about/A_Universe_from_Nothing.html?id=nfGlsiDGbxkC

See also an excellent talk on the subject from 2009: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ImvlS8PLIo

So we, and everything we see, result out of quantum fluctuations in what is essentially nothingness near the beginning of time, namely during the inflationary expansion.

Quote in context: 

“This results in the second amazing implication of inflation: That small density fluctuations in empty space, due to the rules of quantum mechanics, will later be responsible for all the structure we observe in the universe today.   

So we, and everything we see, result out of quantum fluctuations in what is essentially nothingness near the beginning of time, namely during the inflationary expansion.    

After all the dust has settled, the generic configuration of the matter and radiation will be that of an essentially flat universe, one in which the average Newtonian gravitational energy of all objects will appear to be zero.”

— Lawrence Krauss, A Universe From Nothing: Why There is Something Rather than Nothing (2012)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawrence_M._Krauss

http://books.google.com/books/about/A_Universe_from_Nothing.html?id=nfGlsiDGbxkC

See also an excellent talk on the subject from 2009: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ImvlS8PLIo

Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist. It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going.

Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow, The Grand Design (2010)

I offer the modest proposal that our Universe is simply one of those things which happen from time to time.

Quote in context: “If it is true that our Universe has a zero net value for all conserved quantities, then it may simply be a fluctuation of the vacuum, the vacuum of some larger space in which our Universe is imbedded. In answer to the question of why it happened, I offer the modest proposal that our Universe is simply one of those things which happen from time to time.”  

– Tryon, E.P., 1973. Is the Universe a Vacuum Fluctuation? Nature, 246(5433), 396-397. doi:10.1038/246396a0

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v246/n5433/abs/246396a0.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vacuum_genesis

You are the big bang, the original force of the universe, coming on as whoever you are.

It’s like you took a bottle of ink and you threw it at a wall. Smash! And all that ink spread. And in the middle, it’s dense, isn’t it? And as it gets out on the edge, the little droplets get finer and finer and make more complicated patterns, see? 

[…] If you think that you are only inside your skin, you define yourself as one very complicated little curlique, way out on the edge of that explosion. Way out in space, and way out in time.

Billions of years ago, you were a big bang, but now you’re a complicated human being. And then we cut ourselves off, and don’t feel that we’re still the big bang. But you are. […] You are still the process.    

You are the big bang, the original force of the universe, coming on as whoever you are.”

– Alan Watts, The Nature of Consciousness

http://deoxy.org/w_nature.htm

“Figure 2. Manufactured prefractals with fractal dimension 1.58 compared with the size of 10 euro cents. From left to right and by columns: Delta-Wired Sierpinski monopoles (DWS); Y-Wired Sierpinski monopoles (YWS); Sierpinski Arrowhead monopoles (SA); and Koch-1 Sierpinski monopoles (K1S).”

http://www.tsc.upc.es/fractalcoms/t11.htm