Perspective

Things seen from an unusual and enlightening point of view. Things that deepen understanding and perception.

Flyby of Comet 67P Churyumov-Gerasimenko:
The ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft launched in 2004 and chased the comet across millions of miles of space. It arrived in 2014. The “snow” is dust and ice, the white streaks are cosmic rays hitting the camera’s sensor. The cliff in the background is thousands of feet tall. Rosetta studied the comet for 2 more years before being crashed on purpose. The comet orbits the sun every 6.5 years between the orbits of Earth and Jupiter.

 

Long-playing record with the needle.

Popcorn Popping at 30,000 FPS.

View of the Sarychev Volcano erupting in Russia, seen from the International Space Station.

 

 

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Euler’s disk, (pronounced ‘Oiler’) which can spin for an absurdly long time, and seemingly defy gravity by increasing its axial precession as it decreases its azimuthal rotation. It appears to break physical laws (it doesn’t) but it truly shatters expectations.

 

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The Signal to Noise Ratio

  1. Formal: the ratio of the strength of an electrical or other signal carrying information, to that of interference, generally expressed in decibels.
  2. Informal: a measure of how much useful information there is in a system, such as the Internet, as a proportion of the entire contents.

Signal is meaning detected against a background of meaninglessness, or Noise. This is something you and I never stop doing. You are doing it to read this on the screen and doing it again more subtly to decide whether I’m full of crap, then more subtly still, to decide if you care one way or the other. Our need to discern is endless. An animal using stealth or mimicry to catch prey or to escape becoming prey is imitating noise. Detecting signal can easily be a matter of life and death. Continue reading

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