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Posts tagged with nature













The life forms on our planet have necessarily evolved to match the magnitude of [thermal] energy flows. But while “natural man” is in balance with these heat flows, “technological man” has used his mind, his back, and his will to harness and control energy flows that are far more intense than those we experience naturally….

A society based on power technology teems with heat transfer problems.

John H. Lienhard IV & John H. Lienhard V, A Heat Transfer Textbook

via the idea factory: learning to think at mit







kirbystenger:

Time to get out. (at Alaska)

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It was the high zenith of autumn’s colour.

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We drove her car out to the countryside, to an orchard. Whatever the opposite of monocropping is, that’s how the owners had arranged things.

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The apple trees shared their slopey hillside with unproductive bushes, tall grasses, and ducks in a small pond in the land’s lazy bottom.

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Barefoot I felt the trimmed grass with my toes. A mother pulled her daughter away from the milkweeds—teeming with milkweed nymphs—because “They’re dangerous”.

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It was only walking along the uneven ground between orchard and forest that I realised that I almost never walk on surfaces that aren’t totally flat, level, hard, and constant.

 

In the Chauvet cave paintings of 32 millennia before sidewalks, the creator — rather than being hampered by the painting surface — used its unevenness to their advantage.

Photo: Horse paintings in  Chauvet Cave

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But today

  • sidewalks are completely flat in New York City; if you trip and hurt yourself because of their ill repair you can actually sue the City
  • art (not all art but a lot of painting or screen-media) is conceived on a flat surface
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  • houses are square; efficient industrial production of the straight and right-angle-based construction materials
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    and work plans
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    means it would be relatively expensive to build otherwise.
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  • yards are square
  • parks are square
  • city blocks are square
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  • (…except older cities which resemble a CW complex more than a grid)
    ComplexCity: Moscow
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In general relativity flat Euclidean spaces are deformed by massive or quick-spinning objects. 

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Due to an uneven distribution of mass inside the Earth, its gravity field is not uniform, as indicated by the lumps in this illustration.

Still image of world gravity map

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and in sheaf theory things can be different around different localities.

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The cave walls in Chauvet have been locally deformed even to the point that knobs protrude from them—and the 32,000-year-old artist utilised these as well.

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Maybe when Robert Ghrist gets his message to the civil engineers, we too will have a bump-tolerant—even bump-loving—future ahead of us.

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EDIT: Totally forgot about tattoos. 








M31 is a globular cluster located 25,100 light years away from Earth. It consists of 300,000 stars and is about 145 light years in diameter.

via intothecontinuum

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a bayou in Illinois, USA (37°22′01″ North Latitude)

(New Orleans is at 29.9667° N Latitude)

(Source: Wikipedia)










Neurons are designed with a lot of listeners (the dendrite) and just one talker (the axon terminal).
If we consider the brain as a robust piece of hardware, which can
learn across environments,
operate independently of the rest of the organisation of the superstructure,
and function even after sustaining physical damage,
maybe there’s a universal principle of good design here.

Neurons are designed with a lot of listeners (the dendrite) and just one talker (the axon terminal).

If we consider the brain as a robust piece of hardware, which can

  • learn across environments,
  • operate independently of the rest of the organisation of the superstructure,
  • and function even after sustaining physical damage,

maybe there’s a universal principle of good design here.


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