Saturday, January 27, 2007

ribosome dance celebration video

skip the first 3 minutes or so boring lecture and get right to the dance!

what fun! i wish we could do a whole cell. we could make a it like a religious holiday in awe and thanks for the molecular whirlwinds that we are and we could get together once a year and spend all day acting out a whole cell!

better than that dammed boring dead BODIES exhibit that's been touring. formaldehyde aint what makes us amazing live bodies, it's THIS stuff.

note that in actuality there would be 100s of those factors and tRNAs and amino transferases and 1000s of aminos and millions of water molecules etc.... flying around. and all bouncing around, what, 10^10 times a second? that way they don't need eyes to see where they are going, they'll eventually bounce into the right place.

now imagine all of nyc doing that dance in 3 dimensions and you get ONE bacterial cell. same number of moving parts.

dig it.

more info on the video:

Directed in 1971 by Robert Alan Weiss fo Directed in 1971 by Robert Alan Weiss for the Department of Chemistry of Stanford University and imprinted with the "free love" aura of the period, this short film continues to be shown in biology class today. It has since spawn a series of similar funny attempts at vulgarizing protein synthesis. Narrated by Paul Berg, 1980 Nobel prize for Chemistry. ...

i wish i could find out more about how it was made! wish i was there!

Monday, January 15, 2007

i don't like this blog, i can't organize the stuff. i guess i need a bonafide webpage!

fun math, preliminary listing:

will learning math mess with my imagination?

go to the bookstore or library and look up cool < blackskimmmer > 01/15 13:55:51

puzzle books about math. it will NOT mess up your imagination. in fact you need imagination to do really high level math, and invent new math. someone had to imagine all that stuff you are learning. -4 x -4 = +16? zany! who first thought that up?

some ideas here:
here's a shitload:
look at this cool math creature:
it's the mandelbrot set. look THAT up

and of course the prime number machine:

you can wonder about prime numbers in fibonacci numbers:

or an insoluble puzzle:

have fun.

so what is art? is it like science or math?

i think the act of creating art is to go through < blackskimmer > 10/08 11:26:44

some psychological (spiritual?) transformation and the resulting peice ought to induce in others the spurr to go through the same or similar transformation. these transformations can be trivial or profound! usually having to do with the meaty thick paradox of what it is to be a birthing/dying/creative individual/cooperating member of society..seemingly infinite potential/finitely mortal/trivially mortal...

not all art achieves this of course! much of it is lazy or basically technical exercises.

i don't think the primary role of science is to go through this kind of transformation, though, often in math and science you will have various epiphanies which are species of this transformation. also the ultimate goad to doing science for many, is a LOVE for this real universe, enough to get to know it on its own terms, without our anthropomorphic ideas, desires fears greeds getting inthe way.

yet, to want to KNOW nature on those terms, to puzzle out that mystery, the NEED to do that, is a very human need. and to teach someone how to do that to enter into that kind of relationship with nature will invoke in them a psychological transformation as i described above. the way you do that teaching... what kind of poem do you write to convince someone... convince someone that they want to know nature on that level... how do you convince? how do you entice? Is it NATURE herself in enticing us to want to know her as she truly is, the one performing the art with her works? surely she did that number on me!

is mathematics art?

while mathematics currently deals with patterns FAR SIMPLER than the insane complexity of human life/death/birth/love/hate... the act of doing mathematics and the results do share many formal properties with art that does deal with the meaty thick of human life. of course we should recognize that there is plenty of shit that's called art that has little to do with the mature meaty drama of human life, but i'll hold to the def of art as work that DOES.

in essence, a mathematician is staring at something and it's gnawing at him, he's COMPELLED to draw out some mystery! (irrationaly? why bother to do math at all?) and he FEELS something going on or FEELS that something is true. his job is to communicate that HUNCH to himself (logically ?), to convince himself that his hunch is true, and then to someone else and convince them. this is called a math proof.

take a 300 level math course and hand in proofs to your proff. he will sometimes turn them back and say: "there, you haven't really explained that step, spell it out more". hand in another proof and he might hand it back saying:"why did you spell out that step so much? it's obvious!" the whole process is very SUBJECTIVE!

a math proof is a poem. a poem is a means of communication of some hard-to-put-your-fingers-on INNER experience you have to someone else so that they too might experience what you did. same with math proof, it's a way to communicate some inelucable inner hunch.

often to understand someone's proof you have to go through all sorts of rituals of imagination, drawing pictures, working out examples, before you feel that same final sense of satisfaction that the original mathematician acheived, that the hunch is true. often you get a good willie off the flash of insight when you GET IT.

have you taken 2nd semester calculus? have you had to do tricky trig integrals and trig substitution integrals? these take many creative leaps of the imagination.

let me then describe the process of a proof i did many years ago:

we had a problem from highschool math team: to prove that on a perfect haxagonal lattice you couldn't make a perfect square out of any 4 vertices.

(try to prove it!)

we didn't figure it out.

i had it in the back of my mind over the years, and every now and then thought about it.

one day 5 years later, my girlfriend asked me why i coulndnt solve it. i asked "hey where did you hear about that problem?" she said, "your friend told me.." feeling my manhood was at stake here, i attempted to do so that evening.

the first stroke of creativity occured to me that the hexagons were messy and somehow i imagined that peices were missing, so i popped centers in each and drew the rays and made it into a tesselation of equilateral triangles. extra points so the problem should be easier, but if i could prove it wasn't possible with extra points, it certainly wasnt possible without 'em.

my first attempt crashed into an algebra error, so i changed approaches. that didn't work. tried another thing... then at 3am staring at the picture of a tesselation of triangles with a sqaure marked out by four vertices it came to me why not make more squares? so then i imposed a tesselation of sqares on the dammed thing. (this was a little free wheeling as i wasn't yet 100% sure i was guaranteed the squares could tesselate out of the vertices from just ONE sqaure) still not sure what to do. throughout this process i had this vague notion that the ultimate issue was that squares have to do with the sqaure root of 2 , while the hexagons/equilateral triangles had to do with the square root of 3. and they weren't compatible!

so now what? at 3am staring at this i suddenly saw the triangle's lines as lines of irrational slope on the square tesselation and what really came to me was how you could wrap the square tesselation up into a torus (this was a pretty wacky picture and very far from the original hexagonal tesselation) and i remembered that the lines of irrational slope go winding around forever on the torus never crossing or coming back to their original point. so those irrational sloped lines each emanating from each corner of ONE of the squares can NEVER meet any other corners of the squares.. something is a foot... so then i saw the diagonall lines from all the triangles. so many of them... all threading through all the corners of the square tesselation going on infinitely but they couldn't intersect all the corners, but there where way more squares' corners going off to infinity. seemed like there where too many corners for lines, a contradiction! because each corner of the square is made from the triangle's lines! of course this feeling was still a hunch! i had to demarcate the appropriate area of squares - n - wide and calculate the number of irrational lines, then calculate the number of sqare vertices in that region. yup they didn't match up.

ergo insoluble.

my friends thought it was a wild looking proof, very goofy.

it was so silly that it didn't sit well with me, there ought to have been a simpler way just having to do with the two squrae roots! it still gnawed at me.

the next morning i found the algebra error in my first attempt which dealt more directly witht he sqare roots and finally i found a third proof having to do with abstract Rings of sqqre root of 2, and you couldn't express square root of 3 in it.

quite a beutifull bit of work.

i still like the first wacky proof though.

you gotta draw the pictures and fill it in! hope it's understandable what i did! well that's the point, probably at this point it aint such a good poem, i probably have to spell some more things out more starkly.
the formating is a mess huh? what a lot of work!