I’m a big fan of fractals, starting with discovering Fractint while filecrawling on a BBS back in the day, then naming my online “geek boutique” after them, then creating a paper toy named “Mandlebot”. Here’s a cool documentary on fractals by Nova: “Hunting the Hidden Dimension.”
Drunk History: Nikola Tesla
Nikola Tesla: Genius who Lit the World
This ultra-nerdy video made the rounds a while ago when the large hadron collider dropped onto the scene as it neared completion, but strangely the existence of the educational rap that extolled its inner workings and inherent scientific virtue seems to be sadly non-pervasive. To help it’s reach, there are some viral-friendly resources available. If you’re interested in doing a remix or want a higher-quality downloadable video,go to Large Hadron Ramp Links and Lyrics, and here’s a set of mindblowingly awesome photos. If that’s not enough to convince you to hit the play button, Steven Hawking makes a guest appearance. Sort of.
In high school there were just as many girls as guys in my AP Biology and Organic Chemistry classes, but fewer hanging out and talking BBS smack at Computer Club. In college the Intro to Computer Science class was pretty balanced, but CS II showed the first signs of a noticeable gender imbalance, skewing toward guys having the majority. I’d go home after classes and log a few hours on Quake, and noticed that my opponents tended to be all men. Usenet newsgroups that focused on cryptography, open source computing, and similar subjects also seemed to have a higher number of male names than female. These days, I show up at electronic music workshops or log into similar forums and am usually one of two or three other girls there. And there’s only a handful of recognized women electronic musicians in the field as opposed to the countless men. Seeing as we’re supposed to be a pretty egalitarian culture, that’s weird, right?
Girls and young women are less likely than boys and young men to agree with the statements “I like mathematics” and “I like science,” in a national survey:
- 40% of girls and 31% of boys said that math is their least favorite subject
- 21% of girls and 17% of boys said that science is their least favorite subject *
Tesla coils are totally nerdy along with being impressively frightening at the same time. Its original inventor, Nicola Tesla displayed it at the World’s Fail in 1893, but he surely had no idea that his invention would eventually be used as as a kickass rave toy, let alone play the theme to one of the most popular 16-bit video games of the 1980s and best-selling title ever. Apparently an endeavoring soul has figured out a way to modulate the resonant frequency of the coil to create the tones you hear. Fantastic. [via] [via]
Watch the video clip: