April 6, 2009

My posts usually take the form of a changelog, but this time I'm doing something a tiny bit different. I've lived with Even for over half a year, and when we moved in one of the silly little things we wanted to do (and did once) was to update our respective blogs at the same time, and we're doing just that now. And so for this post, I'll simply tell you about a few of the things I know that I find pretty awesome (saving the real updates, of which there actually are a lot, for next time).

The Feynman point (after the famous American physicist Richard Feynman) is the 762nd decimal number of pi, which is a 9, and which is followed by five more 9s (this is the first time in the pi sequence that six consecutive digits occur). Feynman said he wanted to memorize digits of pi that far so that he could say, "Nine nine nine nine nine nine, and so on."

Salvador Dali's brother died nine months before Dali himself was born, and once when Dali was five, his father took him to the cemetery to his brother's grave. He told him that he (Salvador) was a reincarnation of his brother, and Dali came to believe it. "We resembled each other like two drops of water, but we had different reflections," Dali said. He "was probably a first version of myself but conceived too much in the absolute."

The Shepard scale (named after Roger Shepard, an American cognitive scientist) is a peculiar auditory illusion. A sound is played and it sounds as though the pitch descends (or ascends), but in reality it stays the same. The illusion works for both discrete and continuous notes (YouTube links).

Sun dogs, or parhelia (from Greek words meaning "mock suns"), are false suns in the sky, and they usually come in pairs (example).

"If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro' narrow chinks of his cavern."

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