RIP Benoit Mandelbrot, Fractal Innovator

Benoit Mandelbrot, the creator of fractal geometry died at the age of 85 this week. Fractals are a visual representation of an equation that is self-similar and based on recursion, and just so happen to mimic an incredible array of natural processes and formations, from mountain ranges to coral reefs, and interestingly, as the above video explains, explains not only the way branches of a tree are differentiated but how trees in a forest differentiate themselves. Pretty hot.


Mandelbrot Set featuring the song “Mandelbrot Set” by Jonathan Coulton

Here is a zoomed Mandelbrot fractal set to a song aptly entitled “Mandelbrot Set.”

Mr. Mandelbrot also did a lovely TED talk, which you can watch above.

paper toy madelbot fractalspin


For the geek boutique I run, Fractalspin (namesake obvious), I designed a paper toy called “Mandelbot” named after the man himself. You can download the PDF, print it out and assemble it for free.

RIP Benoit, and thank you for adding to our collective understanding.

Open source Tuxes

Tux, the chubby, cuddly penguin mascot of Linux is now as open source as the software package it represents–how appropriate!

If you would like a plush Tux, head over to The Free Penguin Project and download their latest “development release” of open source sewing patterns. The blog attached shows a few of the penguins made from the patterns, a few of them differently-colored. I think this would make a pretty cool Etsy project, seeing how many variations and interpretations you could get from one pattern.

No fabric on hand? You can still get a 3D Tux in paper form by downloading and printing out the Paper Tux Model made by Pricoinsa.

[Thanks, Fractalspin Blog]

Mandelbot: Your new paper robot friend

robot175.jpgHere’s a paper toy robot that I designed for Fractalspin.com, Mandelbot. Just download the PDF (email address required), print it out on cardstock or heavy paper, cut him out with an X-acto knife and then glue or tape him together.

He’s also featured on the back of a 5.5 x 8.5″ postcard featuring items from Fractalspin, although the gloss coating means you’d have to use super glue or a similar adhesive to get him to stick together (printer’s error *shrug*), and it will look nicer if you lightly score the fold lines before putting it together.
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