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# Complex Numbers

Rated: 18+ · Book · Personal · #1196512
Not for the faint of art.
 Complex Numbers 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.
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February 28, 2021 at 12:00am
February 28, 2021 at 12:00am
#1005450
 Turn Off the Light Entry #7 of 8 for "Journalistic Intentions"  [18+] Turn Off the Light Hello darkness, my old friend... Yeah, yeah, I know. Look, too much light can be a bad thing, you grok? One of the many things I hate about the beach is how relentlessly bright it is. You're lying there on your towel or whatever, and because walking in sand is intrinsically fatiguing and because of all the heat and humidity and the having to deal with other people, you're tired. So you close your eyes. But that doesn't induce darkness, no, all you see is the pulsating deep red of the skin and veins of your eyelids. The accursed daystar still burns, beating down upon you and trying to give you cancer, blasting its blackbody radiation -- a misleading term, but that's what physicists call it when something shines in a spectrum -- into your retinas. Even worse is when a cloud passes between you an the solar orb, giving you relief that is as short-lived as it is illusory. No. Make it go away. At least for a few hours. In darkness, there is comfort. In darkness, there is no ugliness, no beauty. In darkness, no one can see you smile. Turn off the light.
February 27, 2021 at 12:02am
February 27, 2021 at 12:02am
#1005335
February 26, 2021 at 12:03am
February 26, 2021 at 12:03am
#1005286
 Forbidden fruit Ever wonder about grapefruit? Grapefruit Is One of the Weirdest Fruits on the Planet   From its name, to its hazy origins, to its drug interactions, there’s a lot going on beneath that thick rind. You know, there are quite a few weird fruits on the planet. Durian comes to mind. And wtf is up with breadfruit? But yeah, okay, maybe grapefruit is a bit weird, especially since grapes are already fruits and they have nothing to do with citrus so what's with the name? Right from the moment of its discovery, the grapefruit has been a true oddball. Its journey started in a place where it didn’t belong, and ended up in a lab in a place where it doesn’t grow. Hell, even the name doesn’t make any sense. See? The current theory is that somewhere around five or six million years ago, one parent of all citrus varieties splintered into separate species, probably due to some change in climate. Three citrus fruits spread widely: the citron, the pomelo, and the mandarin. You don't see pomelo much around here. I have a vague memory of eating one, long ago, in a foreign land. At the time, I thought it was a cross between an orange and a grapefruit. I guess that was backwards. With the exception of those weirdos like the finger lime, all other citrus fruits are derived from natural and, before long, artificial crossbreeding, and then crossbreeding the crossbreeds, and so on, of those three fruits. Mix certain pomelos and certain mandarins and you get a sour orange. Cross that sour orange with a citron and you get a lemon. It’s a little bit like blending and reblending primary colors. Grapefruit is a mix between the pomelo—a base fruit—and a sweet orange, which itself is a hybrid of pomelo and mandarin. Yeah, I know. I got lost too. Speaking of all these names, let’s discuss the word “grapefruit.” It’s commonly stated that the word comes from the fact that grapefruits grow in bunches, like grapes. There’s a pretty decent chance that this isn’t true. In 1664, a Dutch physician named Wouter Schouden visited Barbados and described the citrus he sampled there as “tasting like unripe grapes.” In 1814, John Lunan, a British plantation and slave owner from Jamaica, reported that this fruit was named “on account of its resemblance in flavour to the grape.” Yeah... no. This is largely guesswork, almost all of it, because citrus is a delightfully chaotic category of fruit. It hybridizes so easily that there are undoubtedly thousands, maybe more, separate varieties of citrus in the wild and in cultivation. Seriously, though, the vast variety of citrus and its ease of modification is pretty fascinating. The article goes on to describe how grapefruit, and other citrus, led to Florida becoming Florida, so there's another reason for me to hate grapefruit. It also talks about the very interesting discovery that grapefruit completely fucks with some medications. Now, I've said this before but I'll say it again: I've never liked grapefruit. I mean, I never really hated it; if it's there I'll eat it but I never sought it out, or deliberately obtained grapefruit juice to drink. It was just something that was there. That is, until I started taking a statin, at which point I got really intense cravings for grapefruit. The surest way to get me to want something is to tell me I can't have it. I mean, it's possible that if someone told me "you can't eat eggplant or your blood pressure will go through the roof," I'd want to go out and buy bushels of eggplant. Possible, but I doubt it. At least I always acknowledged that grapefruit was edible. Anyway, I'm not going to quote the circuitous part of the article that goes into the discovery of grapefruit interactions, but basically, it can have the effect of making us metabolize more of certain medicines than expected. I know a guy who takes advantage of this. He's poor and has shit insurance, so he stretches out his statin supply by taking 1/2 the recommended dose and munching on grapefruit. Pretty sure that's not recommended. “There are a fair number of drugs that have the potential to produce very serious side effects,” says Bailey. “Kidney failure, cardiac arrhythmia that’s life-threatening, gastrointestinal bleeding, respiratory depression.” A cardiac arrhythmia messes with how the heart pumps, and if it stops pumping, the mortality rate is about 20 percent. It’s hard to tell from the statistics, but it seems all but certain that people have died from eating grapefruit. And see, I'd rather die from eating something that I actually like.
February 25, 2021 at 12:01am
February 25, 2021 at 12:01am
#1005237
 The Art of the Stout You'd think that, as a long-time beer snob, I'd like Guinness. The Untold Story of the Guinness Toucan   You'd be wrong. I mean, it's not bad, and it's certainly an important beer for many reasons. I'm sure I'd like it better if I were to go to Ireland and drink it from the tap there. And given a choice between Guinness and that watered-down rice water that passes for "beer" that's mass-produced in the US, I'll take Guinness every time. But I made the mistake once of drinking a pint at a concert. The mistake was, before the concert, I'd gone to a taphouse and had a really good stout. By comparison, the Guinness just didn't measure up. Like I said, though, it's a culturally important beer for many different reasons, one of them being just how long it's been brewed. Beer drinkers are used to seeing eye-catching beer labels — some good, some not so good. But stroll past a beer fridge and you might see a label that’s simple, nostalgic, and a throwback to the 1930s: the Guinness toucan. Beer art is flourishing right now. Graphic artists are probably having a field day with all the logos and labels and tap handle designs, to say nothing of posters and taphouse decorations. “The Guinness family did not want an advertising campaign that equated with beer,” the UK History House writes. “They thought it would be vulgar. They also wanted to stress the brew’s strength and goodness. Somehow it led to animals.” At least they didn't pick an elephant. There was the pelican that stole everyone’s beers with the copy, “My goodness — my Guinness!” Also the sea lion that had a habit of stealing Guinness. And the turtle that steals Guinness on its back. A lot of thirsty animals, basically. None earned as much fame as the toucan, however. I don't think I was ever aware of these other mascots. The toucan’s brightly colored beak contrasts nicely with two dark glasses of Guinness (almost always two glasses, playing off of the similar sounds of “too can” and “toucan”). As I'm only aware of the ones with draft pints, I never would have made the "two can" connection. No cans, no pun. The toucan and its gang of animal friends graced Guinness ads for decades. Then, in 1982, Guinness stopped working with S.H. Benson and dropped the animals. In recent days the toucan has made some appearances, including a limited-edition can released in 2016. But it primarily lives on in the memories of Guinness lovers and collectors. They're more than happy to sell toucan merchandise in dedicated Guinness stores (yes, these exist), along with the famed bar towels. So yeah, even with the proliferation of beer choice nowadays, there will always be a place for Guinness. But that's as much a testament to the power of marketing than to the beer itself.
February 24, 2021 at 12:01am
February 24, 2021 at 12:01am
#1005154
 Guess Who's Coming to Dinner Entry #6 of 8 for "Journalistic Intentions"  [18+] Guess Who's Coming to Dinner I'm guessing... no one, because there's still a pandemic going on. Yeah. I know. No one cares anymore. And I get that -- I quit caring about a lot of things, myself, like the environment or adhering to society's expectations of me. But not about the pandemic. Too many people have suffered long-term effects, and I'm just done with everyone who's pretending it doesn't exist. They've made it so that, instead of me sometimes going out and doing stuff, I have to never go out and do stuff. And I miss doing stuff. But you know what I don't miss? I don't miss having to do the work involved with having guests over. Or, more usually, me doing the work and then people cancelling at the last minute. Just can't trust anyone. Fortunately, I've entered Grumpy Old Man territory and I no longer have to put up with shit that I don't want to put up with, such as people who are annoying. Which is almost everybody. Don't get me wrong - if I'm invited to dinner, once I can move around again, I'll be as polite and respectful as I know how to be (though you'll still have to put up with my jokes). But no more hosting for me. Too much work for not enough reward. Yeah, I'm in a bad mood right now. Like I said: Grumpy Old Man.
February 23, 2021 at 12:02am
February 23, 2021 at 12:02am
#1005046
February 22, 2021 at 12:09am
February 22, 2021 at 12:09am
#1004969
February 21, 2021 at 12:03am
February 21, 2021 at 12:03am
#1004906
February 20, 2021 at 12:01am
February 20, 2021 at 12:01am
#1004845
February 19, 2021 at 12:07am
February 19, 2021 at 12:07am
#1004786
February 18, 2021 at 12:04am
February 18, 2021 at 12:04am
#1004723
February 17, 2021 at 12:02am
February 17, 2021 at 12:02am
#1004657
February 16, 2021 at 12:02am
February 16, 2021 at 12:02am
#1004582
February 15, 2021 at 12:05am
February 15, 2021 at 12:05am
#1004505
February 14, 2021 at 12:35am
February 14, 2021 at 12:35am
#1004420
February 13, 2021 at 12:03am
February 13, 2021 at 12:03am
#1004357
February 12, 2021 at 12:01am
February 12, 2021 at 12:01am
#1004285
February 11, 2021 at 12:01am
February 11, 2021 at 12:01am
#1004202
February 10, 2021 at 12:01am
February 10, 2021 at 12:01am
#1004134