Joy in the universe, and keen curiosity about it all—that has been my religion.

–John Burroughs , in "The Heart of Burroughs's Journals" (1928), 257.

To remember myself that science is joy

This period sucks, I’m badly overstressed and my career is at a turning point which I still don’t know how it will turn -all indications seem to be for the “not nicely” but we will see.

I have no time (and overall no energies) therefore to post anything really cogent, but I just wanted to highlight a few random thing, to remember myself that science should be joy, not pain.

  • The Periodic Table of Videos , a wonderful website of the University of Nottingham that links 118 Youtube videos for the 118 known elements. They’re not shy of tackling also the “weird ones”: it’s easy to make an interesting video about sodium or carbon, but what about copernicium? Or holmium? Well they manage to find interesting stuff about any element, and this is incredibly cool.
  • An exploration of the Mandelbrot parameter space in two parts, from a blog which is a geeky treasure (The previous link comes from there, too). Basically what it is built is a meta-Mandelbrot, that is an object that is made by looking at how Mandelbrot sets centered in different points of the complex plane behave. Guess what – the Meta-Mandelbrot looks fractal as well, and eerily Mandelbrot-like (even if not identical -see image above).
  • An orrery of all the multiple planetary systems discovered by the Kepler mission so far. How boring are the science fiction planetary systems, all so monotonously Solar-like. The universe outside is damn wild, instead. It’s chaos from the order of gravity, all the way down. Oh, and you all know that they found Earth-sized planets at last, don’t you?

4 Comments

  • Excellent, I’ll share this with my boys!
    Hope things loo up for you soon, damn it.
    Val

  • a good list, but you missed the most important proof that science is joy: the egg-in-the-vinegar experiment. a little childish, but of sure impact!
    (it’s just to say: stay up. and if you can’t stay up, at least you should stay high – chemically)

  • wait, the egg-in-the-vinegar is damn boring. the real emotions is coke and mentos! (and I did it, it works very well)

  • wow! i didn’t know of it! i’m doing it presently!

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