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Sunday, February 7, 2010

Leisure time

I haven't watched television in ages, I suppose it's at least ten years ago since I watched. Well, I occasionally watch a program. I have seen a couple of matches of Euro 2004. Netherlands - Portugal, if I remember correct. I read the news on a news ticker at the top of my desktop. I loaded the ticker with RSS feeds from all the major news sites. I subscribed to breaking news alerts via e-mail so the real news comes through. - At times I selectively crawl the internet to collect quality stuff to watch. I have tons of documentaries. This week I watched 'Touching the void' - about two climbers and their perilous journey up the west face of Siula Grande in the Peruvian Andes in 1985. As if I joined them. Mind blowing.

Tonight I'll be watching a BBC Four documentary ( 17 jan 2010 ) which is called The Secret Life of Chaos.

( One of the goals of my study is to be able to understand the mathematics of fractals. The OU has a course on them in the M.Sc. program. I suppose that would be level 4 then. But I am busy as it is with MT365 and M208. )

It looks promising. And otherwise I am going to listen to ( watch perhaps ) another Project Camelot interview.

Chaos theory has a bad name, conjuring up images of unpredictable weather, economic crashes and science gone wrong. But there is a fascinating and hidden side to Chaos, one that scientists are only now beginning to understand.

It turns out that chaos theory answers a question that mankind has asked for millennia - how did we get here?

In this documentary, Professor Jim Al-Khalili sets out to uncover one of the great mysteries of science - how does a universe that starts off as dust end up with intelligent life? How does order emerge from disorder?

It's a mindbending, counterintuitive and for many people a deeply troubling idea. But Professor Al-Khalili reveals the science behind much of beauty and structure in the natural world and discovers that far from it being magic or an act of God, it is in fact an intrinsic part of the laws of physics. Amazingly, it turns out that the mathematics of chaos can explain how and why the universe creates exquisite order and pattern.

And the best thing is that one doesn't need to be a scientist to understand it. The natural world is full of awe-inspiring examples of the way nature transforms simplicity into complexity. From trees to clouds to humans - after watching this film you'll never be able to look at the world in the same way again.

1 comment:

  1. I have been following your blog ever since I started studying MST121 in October last year. Very enjoyable! I have been interested in chaos ever since reading Chaos by James Gleick when it was first published. I would love to have sufficient knowledge to follow the ideas involved.

    Cheers! Clive, London


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Mathematics: is it the fabric of MEST?
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(Raumpatrouille – Die phantastischen Abenteuer des Raumschiffes Orion, colloquially aka Raumpatrouille Orion was the first German science fiction television series. Its seven episodes were broadcast by ARD beginning September 17, 1966. The series has since acquired cult status in Germany. Broadcast six years before Star Trek first aired in West Germany (in 1972), it became a huge success.)