we-are-star-stuff

awkwardsituationist:

from “fantastic fungi, the forbidden fruit” by louis schwartzberg, a documentary about mycologist paul stamets. “the task that we face today is to understand the language in nature. my mission is to discover the language of the fungal networks that communicate with the ecosystem. i believe that nature is intelligent. the fact that we lack the language skills to communicate with nature does not impugn the concept that nature is intelligent; it speaks to the inadequacy of our skill set for communication,” paul says. “i believe nature is a force for good. good is not only a concept, it is a spirit. and hopefully this spirit of goodness will survive.”

excerpts from paul stamets TED talk, “six ways mushrooms can save the world”:

mycelium infuses all landscapes, it holds soils together. it’s extremely tenacious. it holds up to 30,000 times its mass. we have now discovered that there is a multi directional transfer of nutrients between plants, mitigated by the mycelium. in a single cubic inch of soil, there can be more than eight miles of these cells. the mycelium, in the right conditions, produces a mushroom that bursts through with such ferocity it can break asphalt.

we’re more closely related to fungi than we are to any other kingdom. we share in common the same pathogens. fungi don’t like to rot from bacteria, and so our best antibiotics come from fungi. i”ve been a scanning electron microscopist for many years, and when i’m staring at the mycelium, i realize that they are microfiltration membranes. we exhale carbon dioxide, so does mycelium. it inhales oxygen, just like we do. but these are essentially externalized stomachs and lungs. and i present to you a concept that these are extended neurological membranes.

most of you may not know that fungi were the first organisms to come to land. they came to land 1.3 billion years ago, and plants followed several hundred million years later. the mycelium produced oxalic acids, pockmarking rock and grabbing calcium and other minerals and forming calcium oxalates. this makes the rocks crumble, and is the first step in the generation of soil.

now, we’ve had several extinction events (and our currently in the sixth), and 65 million years ago we had an asteroid impact, and a huge amount of debris was jettisoned into the atmosphere. sunlight was cut off, and fungi inherited the earth. those organisms that paired with fungi were rewarded, because fungi do not need light. fungi use radiation as a source of energy, much like plants use light. so, the prospect of fungi existing on other planets elsewhere, i think, is a forgone conclusion.

mathmajik

mathhombre:

spring-of-mathematics:

Type of Spirals: A spiral is a curve in the plane or in the space, which runs around a centre in a special way.
Different spirals follow. Most of them are produced by formulas:The radius r(t) and the angle t are proportional for the simplest spiral, the spiral of Archimedes. Therefore the equation is:
(3) Polar equation: r(t) = at [a is constant].
From this follows
(2) Parameter form:  x(t) = at cos(t), y(t) = at sin(t),
(1) Central equation:  x²+y² = a²[arc tan (y/x)]².

You can make a  spiral by two motions of a point: There is a uniform motion in a fixed direction and a motion in a circle with constant speed. Both motions start at the same point. 
(1) The uniform motion on the left moves a point to the right. - There are nine snapshots.
(2) The motion with a constant angular velocity moves the point on a spiral at the same time. - There is a point every 8th turn.
(3) A spiral as a curve comes, if you draw the point at every turn(Image).

Figure 1: (1) Archimedean spiral - (2) Equiangular Spiral (Logarithmic Spiral, Bernoulli’s Spiral).
Figure 2 : (1) Clothoide (Cornu Spiral) - (2) Golden spiral (Fibonacci number).

More Spirals: If you replace the term r(t)=at of the Archimedean spiral by other terms, you get a number of new spirals. There are six spirals, which you can describe with the functions f(x)=x^a [a=2,1/2,-1/2,-1] and  f(x)=exp(x), f(x)=ln(x). You distinguish two groups depending on how the parameter t grows from 0.

Figure 4:  If the absolute modulus of a function r(t) is increasing, the spirals run from inside to outside and go above all limits. The spiral 1 is called parabolic spiral or Fermat’s spiral.
Figure 5: If the absolute modulus of a function r(t) is decreasing, the spirals run from outside to inside. They generally run to the centre, but they don’t reach it. There is a pole.  Spiral 2 is called the Lituus (crooked staff).

Figure 7: Spirals Made of Line Segments.

Source:  Spirals by Jürgen Köller.

See more on Wikipedia:  SpiralArchimedean spiralCornu spiralFermat’s spiralHyperbolic spiralLituus, Logarithmic spiral
Fibonacci spiral, Golden spiral, Rhumb line, Ulam spiral
Hermann Heights Monument, Hermannsdenkmal.

Image: I shared at Spirals by Jürgen Köller - Ferns by Margaret Oomen & Ferns by Rocky.

Spiral compulsion. But this is a handy reference.

the-actual-universe
ohstarstuff:

The famous theoretical physicist John Archibald Wheeler coined the term “It from Bit”. He says that ”It” — every particle, every field of force, even the space-time continuum itself — derives its function, its meaning, its very existence entirely — even if in some contexts indirectly — from the apparatus-elicited answers to yes-or-no questions, binary choices, “bits.” This concept symbolizes the idea that every item of the physical world has at bottom — a very deep bottom, in most instances — an immaterial source and explanation; that which we call reality arises in the last analysis from the posing of yes-or-no questions and the registering of equipment-evoked responses; in short, that all things physical are information-theoretic in origin and that this is a participatory universe.

Wheeler speculated that we are part of a universe that is a work in progress; we are tiny patches of the universe looking at itself — and building itself. It’s not only the future that is still undetermined but the past as well. And by peering back into time, even all the way back to the Big Bang, our present observations select one out of many possible quantum histories for the universe.
At every moment, in Wheeler’s view, the entire universe is filled with events, where the possible outcomes of countless interactions become real, where the infinite variety inherent in quantum mechanics manifests as a physical cosmos. And we see only a tiny portion of that cosmos. Wheeler suspected that most of the universe consists of huge clouds of uncertainty that have not yet interacted either with a conscious observer or even with some lump of inanimate matter. He sees the universe as a vast arena containing realms where the past is not yet fixed.
from Does the Universe Exist if We’re Not Looking?

Also check out fromquarkstoquasars article: John Wheeler’s Participatory Universe

ohstarstuff:

The famous theoretical physicist John Archibald Wheeler coined the term “It from Bit”. He says that ”It” — every particle, every field of force, even the space-time continuum itself — derives its function, its meaning, its very existence entirely — even if in some contexts indirectly — from the apparatus-elicited answers to yes-or-no questions, binary choices, “bits.” This concept symbolizes the idea that every item of the physical world has at bottom — a very deep bottom, in most instances — an immaterial source and explanation; that which we call reality arises in the last analysis from the posing of yes-or-no questions and the registering of equipment-evoked responses; in short, that all things physical are information-theoretic in origin and that this is a participatory universe.

Wheeler speculated that we are part of a universe that is a work in progress; we are tiny patches of the universe looking at itself — and building itself. It’s not only the future that is still undetermined but the past as well. And by peering back into time, even all the way back to the Big Bang, our present observations select one out of many possible quantum histories for the universe.

At every moment, in Wheeler’s view, the entire universe is filled with events, where the possible outcomes of countless interactions become real, where the infinite variety inherent in quantum mechanics manifests as a physical cosmos. And we see only a tiny portion of that cosmos. Wheeler suspected that most of the universe consists of huge clouds of uncertainty that have not yet interacted either with a conscious observer or even with some lump of inanimate matter. He sees the universe as a vast arena containing realms where the past is not yet fixed.

from Does the Universe Exist if We’re Not Looking?


Also check out fromquarkstoquasars article: John Wheeler’s Participatory Universe