World’s Strangest

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A Tribute to Professor Lipscomb

Professor Lipscomb, together with fellow Nobel Laureate, Rich Roberts and the Nicola Hawkins Dancers, performing in the premiere and only performance of the ballet “The Interpretive Dance of the Electrons” at the 2004 Ig Nobel Prize ceremony. Photo: Alexandra Murphy. by Marc Abrahams, Improbable Research staff Very sad news. My good friend and longtime collaborator William Lipscomb [...]

Portrait of Beethoven Made from His Own Sheet Music

To carry out this elaborate project, Erika Iris Simmons sketched an outline of the composer and then cut up the center of the sheet with an X-Acto knife. She folded and arranged the pieces, doing her best to keep them in order and the notation correct. Simmons has similar pieces at her site, including a [...]

Psychedelic Science

Oh my God, it’s full of stars. Discover has compiled a gallery of some truly trippy science images. Scientists know you don’t need psychedelic drugs to make mind-blowing psychedelic images: Fractals, particle collisions, computer simulations, and sunspots will do the job just fine. Fractals form a major section of psychedelic art, and the king of fractals was [...]

Required Viewing: IBM’s “They Were There”

It’s hard to believe that IBM is 100 years old (well, nearly — it turns 100 on June 16, 2011). Yet, watching this newly released 30-minute documentary, the point is driven home: IBMers were indeed there at many crucial points in American technological history. They invented so many devices and systems we take for granted [...]

Stunning Fractal Art

A fractal is a fragmented geometric shape that, when split into parts, each part is roughly a smaller copy of the whole, a property called self-similarity. And it makes some damn wild images when you start injecting color, layers or even candy. Benoit Mandelbrot, the French mathematician who is known as the father of fractal geometry, died [...]

Mandelbox Mystery Trip

Link – by Avi Abrams & M. ChristianScroll down for today’s pictures & links. Mandelbox Mystery Trip Want to fly around inside an antique alien spaceship? Benoit Mandelbrot may have discovered the math to create staggering Mandelbrot sets but it was Tom Lowe who took Mandelbrot into the 3rd dimension with his Mandelbox. Check out this [...]