WoD – Fractal Geometry and Benoit Mandelbrot

Anyone know how big the coastline of England is?  The answer is, it depends.  It depends on how big your yardstick is.*  Huh?  What?  Well, imagine for a moment you have a tape measure a mile long.  And you stretch it from endpoint to endpoint along the whole coast of England – you will get some number.  But now imagine you have a yardstick.  This allows you to get into many more nooks and crannies and coastal edges than the mile-long tape measure did, right?  If you took that figure and divided it by 1,760 (the number of yards in a mile), you’d get a different answer.  Now imagine a 12″ ruler.  You can angle it even further into and along all the bends of the land.  Now a micrometer…

Check out this (read the text and click the little squares): http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/fractals/scal-flash.html It is all very, very cool.  Mandelbrot is one smart dude.


*  The actual answer is: infinite.

Wednesday:

A MENTSH ON GLIK IZ A TOYTER MENTSH.  (ah MEHNCH ohn GLIHK ihz ah TOYtehr MEHNCH)

A man without luck is a dead man.

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