Friday, May 04, 2018

The Algorithmic Beauty of Sea Shells (and more)

The Algorithmic Beauty of Sea Shells | Hans Meinhardt | Springer [source]


Turing's theory of morphogenesis of 1952 and the subsequent discovery of the crucial role of local self-enhancement and long-range inhibition [source]

Alan Turing’s Patterns in Nature, and Beyond [from WIRED]

Alan Turing’s Patterns in Nature, and Beyond | WIRED

 '' Turing patterns can involve not just chemicals, but large, complex systems in which each unit — for example, a cell — is distributed like molecules of pigment. ...A basic step towards proving the existence of these three-dimensional Turing patterns is demonstrating a three-dimensional pattern in the lab. In a paper published Feb. 11 in Science, researchers led by Brandeis University chemist Irving Epstein do precisely this.'' [source]

Friday, March 16, 2018

Calculating π by hand: the Chudnovsky algorithm

Calculating π by hand: the Chudnovsky algorithm - YouTube

Terrific video...

A fraction that does a decent approximation of PI is: 355/113 (see here)

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Generate cat images with neural networks

GitHub - aleju/cat-generator: Generate cat images with neural networks

<<This script generates new images of cats using the technique of generative adversarial networks (GAN), as described in the paper by Goodfellow et al.

The images are enhanced with the laplacian pyramid technique from Denton and Soumith Chintala et. al., implemented as a single G (generator) as described in the blog post by Anders Boesen Lindbo Larsen and Søren Kaae Sønderby.

Most of the code is based on facebook's eyescream project.

The script also uses code from other repositories for spatial transformers, weight initialization and LeakyReLUs. >>


256 randomly generated 32x32 cat images

Friday, September 22, 2017

ARCA's revolutionary aerospike engine completed and ready for testing

ARCA's revolutionary aerospike engine completed and ready for testing

 '' ARCA Space Corporation has announced its linear aerospike engine is ready to start ground tests as the company moves towards installing the engine in its Demonstrator 3 rocket. Designed to power the world's first operational Single-Stage-To-Orbit (SSTO) satellite launcher, the engine took only 60 days to complete from when fabrication began. 


The aerospike engine is different because it basically works by cutting a rocket engine's bell, which directs the exhaust of a rocket engine in one direction, in half, then placing the two halves back to back to form a tapering spike. This means the air itself acts as the missing half of the rocket bell, containing the hot gases as they leave the combustion chamber. ''

Saturday, August 19, 2017

LOOP programming language

Having a lot of fun with the LOOP language.
The language (see here) is simple:

Variables: x0,x1,x2,x3,x4,...
Constants: 0,1,2,3,4,...
Operators: + and -
Separators: ; and :=
Keywords: LOOP,DO and END

And if you let xi and xj be variables and let c be a constant. Then
   xi := xj + c
   xi := xj - c
are correct programs.

Let P1 and P2 be LOOP programs. Then
   P1; P2
is a LOOP Program.
Let P be a LOOP program and let xi be a variable. Then
is a LOOP Program.


This program for example:

x3 := x1 + 0;
  x3 := x3 + 1
x0 := x3 + 0

shows that f(x1+x2) = x1+x2 is LOOP-computable (with strict LOOP).
If you give input parameters like: 5,3
the output will be: 8

Thursday, March 02, 2017

DNA could store all of the world's data in one room

DNA could store all of the world's data in one room | Science | AAAS

'' Now, researchers report that they’ve come up with a new way to encode digital data in DNA to create the highest-density large-scale data storage scheme ever invented. Capable of storing 215 petabytes (215 million gigabytes) in a single gram of DNA, the system could, in principle, store every bit of datum ever recorded by humans in a container about the size and weight of a couple of pickup trucks. But whether the technology takes off may depend on its cost. '' [source]

Sunday, February 26, 2017


Skulpt a Python interpreter running in the browser! :)

Monday, January 30, 2017

Fast Pathfinding via Symmetry Breaking

Fast Pathfinding via Symmetry Breaking |

My question is: can I avoid A* and have a simpler approach to path-finding, especially on simple 2D grids? Something more like an animal-inspired heuristic than a correct algorithm?

For example: can a simple AI start exploring a grid, remember/learn where obstacles are as it progresses, and navigate wrt that knowledge instead of using A*?

This article seems like a good starting point to find an answer ;)

Friday, January 27, 2017

Textile muscles could find use in a literal "power suit"

"There are many people who could use a bit of help moving their limbs, but they don't necessarily need a full-on exoskeleton."

Monday, December 12, 2016

Programming | STEM Hacks

A great blog with lots of great ideas [source]

E.g here -> HopScotch Turing Machine

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Never-married demographics in history

 I wanted to find some data about marriage statistics, possibly historical. I found these interesting data from USA, about percentage of never-married people from 1890 to 2010 (at age 35)

and at age 45:

 I even found data about Roman Census (reconstructed with modern statistics in the best way possible...)
"Demographically, the Roman Empire was an ordinary premodern state.
It had high infant mortality, a low marriage age, and high fertility within marriage.
Perhaps half of Roman subjects died by the age of 5.
Of those still alive at age 10, half would die by the age of 50.
Roman women could expect to bear on average 6 to 9 children."


Monday, November 28, 2016

Creation & Computation (blog)

'' OCAD University Blogs is a web publishing service primarily serving the academic and curricular needs of the student and faculty community at OCAD University, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. '' [source]

Friday, November 25, 2016

Lcar screensaver for Windows "System47"

Totally cool!
System47 - download

Friday, October 21, 2016

Fusion - fusion - fusion

MIT's Fusion Reactor Broke a World Record Right Before the Feds Shut It Off

 '' The fusion reactor hit this milestone near midnight on September 30th, the very last day of its operation. “We were pushing parameters purposefully at the end, to see if we could exceed the value we’d achieved in the past,” Martin Greenwald, the deputy director of MIT’s Plasma Science and Fusion Center told Gizmodo. “It was pretty exciting.” ''

China's Experimental Fusion Reactor Hits Major Milestone | Popular Science

"A Chinese fusion reactor managed to sustain plasma at temperatures of over 90 million degrees for 102 seconds ...

This achievement at the Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) in Heifi, China, comes just days after German chancellor Angela Merkel inaugurated the Wendelstein 7-X, another experimental fusion reactor.


EAST is a tokamak, a doughnut shaped device originally designed by the Soviets. It holds the plasma in place using magnetic fields, and operates in pulses. The Wendelstein 7-X, in contrast, is a stellarator, a similar design but one that can theoretically operate continuously, like an artificial sun. "

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Who really believes in Human-caused global warming?

Peer-Reviewed Survey Finds Majority Of Scientists Skeptical Of Global Warming Crisis [2013]


Only 36 percent of geoscientists and engineers believe that humans are creating a global warming crisis, according to a survey reported in the peer-reviewed Organization Studies. By contrast, a strong majority of the 1,077 respondents believe that nature is the primary cause of recent global warming and/or that future global warming will not be a very serious problem.


Taken together, these four skeptical groups numerically blow away the 36 percent of scientists who believe global warming is human caused and a serious concern.


Interesting data and discussion. However, there is this article which reads the cited study exactly reversed!

In a Forbes op-ed, James Taylor takes a study that prominently reveals the anti-science influence of oil and gas companies, and spins it to suggest that serious, substantive disagreement exists among relevant scientists on climate change. This could not be further from the truth, as evidenced by the very study he cites, as well as numerous other studies that have surveyed climate scientists.


So according to this second article, the wrong interpretation in the Forbes article is basically due to the influence of oil and gas companies.

How am I going to know what is really happening?
I still believe that Science is a way to get to the truth and it should not be a matter of majority...

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Geomorphs - cards to create random dungeons!

Cards to generate random dungeons... what a clever idea!

A dungeon generator:

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Mini ice age coming... or not?

Why this article [source] has a title like "There Probably Won't Be A “Mini Ice Age” In 15 Years" but

it concludes with:

<<However, Zharkova ends with a word of warning: not about the cold but about humanity's attitude toward the environment during the minimum. We must not ignore the effects of global warming and assume that it isn't happening. “The Sun buys us time to stop these carbon emissions,” Zharkova says. The next minimum might give the Earth a chance to reduce adverse effects from global warming.>>

Is it really so politically incorrect to say that there are other factors than CO2 driving the planet's climate, that the article must start with a negative? :(

Thursday, August 18, 2016

"How to save the Euro"

Interesting discussions of the state of the EU and the Euro from 2011 to now. Very interesting (IMHO) also because of the recent Brexit.

How to save the euro | The Economist

'' [2011] Instead of austerity and pretence, a credible rescue should start with growth and, where it is unavoidable, a serious restructuring of debt. Europe must make an honest judgment about which side of the line countries are on. 


Put our plan to many Europeans—creditor Germans, debtor Greeks or Eurosceptic Britons—and they may moan that this is not what they were promised when the euro was set up. Completely true, and sadly irrelevant. The issue now is not whether the euro was mis-sold or whether it was a terrible idea in the first place; it is whether it is worth saving. Would it be cheaper to break it up now? And are the longer-term political costs of redesigning Europe to save the euro too great?

The sobering truth about the single currency is that getting in is a lot easier than getting out again. Legally, the euro has no exit clause. ''

How to Save the Euro by George Soros | The New York Review of Books [2012] '' We remain in the acute phase of the crisis; the prospect of a meltdown of the global financial system has not been removed. ...

My proposal is to use the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), and its successor the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), to insure the European Central Bank (ECB) against the solvency risk on any newly issued Italian or Spanish treasury bills they may buy from commercial banks.2 Banks could then hold those bills as the equivalent of cash, enabling Italy and Spain to refinance their debt at close to 1 percent. ... This would put their debt on a sustainable course and protect them against the threat of an impending Greek default. ...The European financial authorities rejected this plan in favor of the Long-Term Refinancing Operation (LTRO) of the European Central Bank, which provides unlimited amounts of liquidity to European banks—not to states themselves—for up to three years.
... The difference between the two schemes is that mine would provide an instant reduction in interest costs to governments while the one actually adopted has kept the countries and their banks hovering on the edge of a potential insolvency. I am not sure whether the authorities have deliberately prolonged the crisis atmosphere in order to maintain pressure on heavily indebted countries or whether they were driven to their course of action by divergent views that they could not reconcile in any other way.  

Stiglitz: How to save a broken euro – [2014] ''Joseph Stiglitz is an American economist and a professor at Columbia University. A recipient of the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, he is also a former senior vice-president and chief economist of the World Bank ...
As we survey the damage from the years of crisis and recession in Europe that finally seems to be ebbing, there is a sigh of relief that the Eurozone has not fallen apart. But the return to growth is a far cry from a return to prosperity. At the current pace of “recovery,” no return to normalcy can be expected until well into the next decade. Even Germany, which is often touted as the most successful country, has grown by a miserly .63 percent over the past 5 years — a rate that in other circumstances would be called an utter failure. The euro is not an end in itself. It was supposed to be the means to a more prosperous Europe, with higher living standards. For the Eurozone as a whole, incomes today are some 20% below what they would have been, had the growth trend that prevailed in the years before the euro continued. Europeans have been asked to make continuing further sacrifices — lower wages, lower benefits, weakened systems of social protection — all in the name of saving the euro.


The extreme austerity that many European countries have adopted in the wake of the crisis has almost been a knockout blow. A double-dip recession and soaring unemployment are terrible costs to pay for slightly improved current account balances – which are better in most cases more because imports have decreased than because exports have increased. ''