Not for the faint of art.
A complex number is expressed in the standard form a + bi, where a and b are real numbers and i is defined by i^2 = -1 (that is, i is the square root of -1). For example, 3 + 2i is a complex number.
The bi term is often referred to as an imaginary number (though this may be misleading, as it is no more "imaginary" than the symbolic abstractions we know as the "real" numbers). Thus, every complex number has a real part, a, and an imaginary part, bi.
Complex numbers are often represented on a graph known as the "complex plane," where the horizontal axis represents the infinity of real numbers, and the vertical axis represents the infinity of imaginary numbers. Thus, each complex number has a unique representation on the complex plane: some closer to real; others, more imaginary. If a = b, the number is equal parts real and imaginary.
Very simple transformations applied to numbers in the complex plane can lead to fractal structures of enormous intricacy and astonishing beauty.
This flat-out amuses me.
Study: many of the “oldest” people in the world may not be as old as we think
A new paper explores what “supercentenarians” have in common. Turns out it’s bad record-keeping.
Every now and then, some news source runs out of actual news and does a fluff piece about the "oldest person in x" where x is a state, a country, or the universe. This is a massive jinx, because shortly afterward, the second-oldest person in x moves up a rank.
But you know what would suck worse than people shoving cameras and microphones in your face when you're like, 110 years old? Being #2 and watching #1 getting all the media attention, and thinking, "Oh shit, I'm next. If I'm lucky. Let's see... how did I reach my ripe old age? I know - I'll tell 'em 'drinking, smoking and fucking.'"
Old people make the best trolls because they no longer give a damn.
But it turns out some of them are flat-out lying. Or, to be charitable, have shitty memories. That happens when you get superannuated.
We’ve long been obsessed with the super-elderly. How do some people make it to 100 or even 110 years old? Why do some regions — say, Sardinia, Italy, or Okinawa, Japan —produce dozens of these “supercentenarians” while other regions produce none? Is it genetics? Diet? Environmental factors? Long walks at dawn?
A new working paper released on bioRxiv, the open access site for prepublication biology papers, appears to have cleared up the mystery once and for all: It’s none of the above.
Instead, it looks like the majority of the supercentenarians (people who’ve reached the age of 110) in the United States are engaged in — intentional or unintentional — exaggeration.
And that's what amuses me.
It seems unlikely that living in high-crime, low-life-expectancy areas is the thing that makes it likeliest to reach age 110. It seems likelier, the paper concludes, that many — perhaps even most — of the people claiming to reach age 110 are engaged in fraud or at least exaggeration.
"How'd you make it to 110?" "Identity theft.Burger King every day."
In other words, all of our research into the biomarkers, habits, and diets that predict extreme old age? Probably worthless, because a significant share of the sample was not actually as old as we thought.
Science is a powerful tool, but it's only as good as its inputs.