Fallacy man!

(Source: Slate)

First 3D sonography of the stimulated clitoris by Dr. Odile Buisson and Dr. Pierre Foldès, 2009.

(Source: blog.museumofsex.com)

Marcello: I’m going to build a life that’s normal. I’m marrying a petty bourgeoise.
Confessor: Then she must be a fine girl.
Marcello: Mediocre. A mound of petty ideas. Full of petty ambitions. She’s all bed and kitchen.

Italo: A normal man? For me, a normal man is one who turns his head to see a beautiful woman’s bottom. The point is not just to turn your head. There are five or six reasons. And he is glad to find people who are like him, his equals. That’s why he likes crowded beaches, football, the bar downtown…
Marcello: At Piazza Venice.
Italo: He likes people similar to himself and does not trust those who are different. That’s why a normal man is a true brother, a true citizen, a true patriot…
Marcello: A true fascist.

Giulia: What are you going to do now?
Marcello: The same as everyone else who thought like me. When there are so many of us, there’s no risk.

Giulia: What was Marcello like as a student?
Professor Quadri: Serious. Too serious!
Giulia: But you can’t be too serious.
Professor Quadri: Really serious people are never serious.

Ghardaia and Crépuscule sur la ghardaia.
Pierre Reymond.

(Source: pierre-reymond.fr)

The Great Debate

The discovery of the Americas presented some difficult problems for the Christian Europeans: the people who lived in the Americas, often called Indians, did not appear in either their sacred books nor in the writings of the Greek historians. Initially, there was a great debate over whether or not American Indians were human. In order to be considered human, from a Christian European perspective, the Indians had to have the ability to reason and a soul which could be saved from eternal damnation through conversion to Christianity. Once the Pope had declared that Indians were human, the Spanish, unlike some of the other European powers, took seriously the humanity of native people. They saw them as a part of the community of God. They recognized that they had certain rights. During the 16th century the Spanish engaged in a number of intellectual debates about the Indians which culminated in the 1550-1551 debate in Valladolid.

Continue reading.

If the World were 100 PEOPLE:

50 would be female
50 would be male

26 would be children
There would be 74 adults,
8 of whom would be 65 and older

There would be:
60 Asians
15 Africans
14 people from the Americas
11 Europeans

33 Christians
22 Muslims
14 Hindus
7 Buddhists
12 people who practice other religions
12 people who would not be aligned with a religion

12 would speak Chinese
5 would speak Spanish
5 would speak English
3 would speak Arabic
3 would speak Hindi
3 would speak Bengali
3 would speak Portuguese
2 would speak Russian
2 would speak Japanese
62 would speak other languages

83 would be able to read and write; 17 would not

7 would have a college degree
22 would own or share a computer

77 people would have a place to shelter them
from the wind and the rain, but 23 would not

1 would be dying of starvation
15 would be undernourished
21 would be overweight

87 would have access to safe drinking water
13 people would have no clean, safe water to drink

(Source: 100people.org)

How much people in different countries spend on food?

In Europe and north America, spending on food as a share of total income has declined markedly, but at the expense probably of quality. In contrast, people in poor countries are forced to devote a far higher share of income to buying food. It seems that in general as countries develop people spend proportionally less on food.

(Source: economist.com)

Emergence of macroscopic directed motion in populations of motile colloids

From the formation of animal flocks to the emergence of coordinate motion in bacterial swarms, at all scales populations of motile organisms display coherent collective motion. This consistent behavior strongly contrasts with the difference in communication abilities between the individuals. Guided by this universal feature, physicists have proposed that solely alignment rules at the individual level could account for the emergence of unidirectional motion at the group level. This hypothesis has been supported by agent-based simulations. However, more complex collective behaviors have been systematically found in experiments including the formation of vortices, fluctuating swarms, clustering and swirling. All these model systems predominantly rely on actual collisions to display collective motion. As a result, the potential local alignment rules are entangled with more complex, often unknown, interactions. The large-scale behavior of the populations therefore depends on these uncontrolled microscopic couplings. Here, we demonstrate a new phase of active matter. We reveal that dilute populations of millions of colloidal rollers self-organize to achieve coherent motion along a unique direction, with very few density and velocity fluctuations. Identifying the microscopic interactions between the rollers allows a theoretical description of this polar-liquid state. Comparison of the theory with experiment suggests that hydrodynamic interactions promote the emergence of collective motion either in the form of a single macroscopic flock at low densities, or in that of a homogenous polar phase at higher densities. Furthermore, hydrodynamics protects the polar-liquid state from the giant density fluctuations. Our experiments demonstrate that genuine physical interactions at the individual level are sufficient to set homogeneous active populations into stable directed motion.

(Source: arxiv.org)

Excerpt from “Rosalyn Tureck on Television”, showing Rosalyn playing Bach and giving insightful comments.

Power laws and self-organized criticality in theory and nature

Power laws and distributions with heavy tails are common features of many complex systems. Examples are the distribution of earthquake magnitudes, solar flare intensities and the sizes of neuronal avalanches. Previously, researchers surmised that a single general concept may act as an underlying generative mechanism, with the theory of self organized criticality being a weighty contender.

The power-law scaling observed in the primary statistical analysis is an important, but by far not the only feature characterizing experimental data. The scaling function, the distribution of energy fluctuations, the distribution of inter-event waiting times, and other higher order spatial and temporal correlations, have seen increased consideration over the last years. Leading to realization that basic models, like the original sandpile model, are often insufficient to adequately describe the complexity of real-world systems with power-law distribution.

Consequently, a substantial amount of effort has gone into developing new and extended models and, hitherto, three classes of models have emerged. The first line of models is based on a separation between the time scales of an external drive and an internal dissipation, and includes the original sandpile model and its extensions, like the dissipative earthquake model. Within this approach the steady state is close to criticality in terms of an absorbing phase transition. The second line of models is based on external drives and internal dynamics competing on similar time scales and includes the coherent noise model, which has a non-critical steady state characterized by heavy-tailed distributions. The third line of models proposes a non-critical self-organizing state, being guided by an optimization principle, such as the concept of highly optimized tolerance.

We present a comparative overview regarding distinct modeling approaches together with a discussion of their potential relevance as underlying generative models for real-world phenomena. The complexity of physical and biological scaling phenomena has been found to transcend the explanatory power of individual paradigmal concepts. The interaction between theoretical development and experimental observations has been very fruitful, leading to a series of novel concepts and insights.


Photograph by Abbas Hajimohammadi Saniabadi

The first time Abbas Hajimohammadi Saniabadi visited a hospital in Tehran, where patients suffer from mental disorders like schizophrenia, he had one question for the head doctor: Can I come back?

It was mid-2012 and he wanted to document what life was like there for the hundreds of men and women being treated. The doctor eventually agreed. Hajimohammadi Saniabadi, now 30, traded in his old-model Nikon and sold his car, a Hyundai, to buy a Nikon D700 and get started on what would become his first story. He and the doctor set up four quick visits — but by year’s end, he would make nearly a dozen more. —Andrew Katz

See More Photos on LightBox — Fragile Minds: A Poignant Look Inside an Iranian Mental Hospital

(Reblogged from timelightbox)

Astronomical scales.