Wednesday, 31 August 2011

The AlloSphere

Jake Ross, a student in my electromagnetism course, alerted me to visualization in the AlloSphere. As I have an interest in quantum dots and the visualization of quantum mechanical systems, such as atomic orbitals, two of the demonstrations, described in more detail here, were of particular interest:
  • Multimodal Representation of Quantum Mechanics: The Hydrogen Atom
  • Generating Audible Tones from Coherent Electron Spin Precession in a Quantum Dot

Friday, 26 August 2011

Trinity Remembered

I watched Dr. Strangelove again last weekend, part of the Stanley Kubrick: Limited Edition Collection, and a timeless classic. It reminded me to:
A search for videos of nuclear explosions led me to a low-resolution but highly compelling rendering of the time and place of every nuclear detonation from 1945 to 1998 by Isao Hashimoto:

Pearson's eloquence

I find Noel Pearson's columns in The Weekend Australian to be an indispensable part of my weekend. On Pearson's eloquence Malcolm Dow writes:
His arguments are compelling but it's his skill as a writer that I wish to especially comment upon, as far as one may distinguish style from content.
The eloquence of Pearson's columns ... are timeless examples of the writer's art: matching language to ideas and sentiment in order to better illuminate all three.
Hear, hear!

Monday, 22 August 2011

Books in the age of the iPad

Craig Mod makes a number of very interesting points about Books in the age of the iPad. I will have to think how to translate his ideas to CDF documents.

I have a copy of Envisioning Information; I will have to have a look at his other recommended texts, especially A Dictionary Story.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

The Processing Exhibition

The Processing Exhibition, curated by Filip Visnjic of, is impressive, elegant, and interesting, including some fantastically cool stuff, such as:


For a nice example of typography see prototyp-0 by Yannick Mathey (byte-foundry), an experimental application designed for the drawing of typographical characters:

Font generator / processing : prototyp-0 from yannick mathey on Vimeo.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Under the tourist radar

An update to Steeples and StaplesUnder the tourist radar features more of London's best kept secrets:
  1. Disappearing Dining Club
  2. Sir John Soane's Museum
  3. Aubin Cinema
  4. Spitalfields and Brick Lane markets
  5. Inamo Restaurant
  6. Gordon's Wine Bar
  7. Harwood Arms
  8. Richmond Park
  9. Daunt Books
  10. King's Cross arts precinct: visit the Gagosian and Pangolin London.

Diagnostic Imaging Pathways

The Centre for Software Practice has developed a Diagnostic Imaging Pathways app for the iPad. I'll have to have a look at this ...

Erwin Schrödinger

Schrödinger is best known to physicists for his work on quantum mechanics—my PhD research was on solutions to the few-body Schrödinger equation—but his book What is Life?, based on a set of lectures he gave in Dublin in 1944, has been equally influential in biology. In a preface to a 1992 edition of the book, Paul Davies described Schrödinger as an
iconoclastic physicist [who] stood at the pivotal point of history when physics was the midwife to the new science of molecular biology. In this book he set down most of the great conceptual issues that confront the scientist who would attempt to unravel the mysteries of life.

π versus τ

Dump π, says maths circle pushing for the teaching of τ. According to Kevin Houston, of the School of Mathematics at the University of Leeds, ‘The proper number is 2π or τ’. According to the article,
A shift to τ, Dr Houston added, would make A-level maths considerably easier, and help to make mathematical concepts such as calculus more intelligible to many more people.
What complete and utter nonsense! Various combinations of π appear in many formulas (such as the surface area and volume of the sphere), and other expressions, such as Γ(1/2) would become more complicated. Replacing one constant by an integer multiple of itself will make no significant difference—and I am certain that such a change would not have any impact on making A-level maths easier. Indeed it would likely make things more confusing!

I hope that this was an April Fool's day joke by Houston.

Australian contemporary architecture

I'm a fan of contemporary architecture, so I enjoyed the Weekend Property article on modern marvels of design. Four houses were featured:
  1. The Kew House by Vibe Design Group certainly appeals to me.
  2. Passing a curve back through itself embodies the mathematical concept of the Klein Bottle. McBride Charles Ryan's Klein Bottle house in Rye attempts to realise this as an architectural form.
  3. The Stonehawke House located in Brisbane, designed by Base Architecture is both striking and elegant.
  4. Finally, Brian Meyerson Architects designed the impressive and interesting Bondi Beach house.
And locally, the recently completed Florida Beach House by iredale pedersen hook has been attracting international attention; some very nice photos by Peter Bennett can be found here. I walked past this house a couple of months ago when I was staying at nearby Melros Beach.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Inside North Korea

Some excellent photos from Inside North Korea. My favourite is the first one, with beautiful pastel colours. Immediately striking is the complete lack of advertising hoardings.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

The vice-chancellor with wings

From the vice-chancellor with wings
A radiographer by training, Bowman had the equivalent of a TAFE diploma and was teaching in a medical education centre in Britain when it merged with a university. Suddenly, he was officially an academic.

Higher education trades on status, reputation and old school tie networks. Where you studied and with whom you researched are the currency on which careers are forged. On Bowman's CV there is no prestigious sandstone. His masters in politics and government is from City Polytechnic, later known as London Guildhall University, his PhD comes from the British online education broker, Open Universities, and his MBA is from the University of the Sunshine Coast.
I would have thought that the quality of the work you do is always more important that where you studied and with whom you worked. Bowman's approach sounds like the ideal way to become a VC.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Einstein Rocks

It was a nice surprise to win Elsevier's EINSTEIN Quiz - Stage II. Only shame was that the prize was an iPad, not an iPad2 ...