April 8, 2013

Games, Noise, and Science-related Obscure References

This is being cross-posted from my micro-blog, Tumbld Thoughts:

First off, here are my notes on "games with noise", a follow-up on a previous Synthetic Daisies post called "Makin' Pha-ses". This approach bears some similarities to the move by nature approach to games and games played with incomplete information.

Next are some art and games inspired by physics and what's on the edge of the unknown. First up is the painting "Black Hole", which is photography by Fabian Oefner. Interesting parallels between the way these images came out and the structure of a Hurricane (see inset for image of Hurricane Isabel). HINT: same physical processes at work -- "Black Hole" was painted by harnessing the power of centripetal force.

By the power of free association, I bring you the Atari video game "Tempest". The game is actually not based on a black hole (of the cosmic variety), but was inspired by a dream about monsters emerging from a hole in the earth. Nevertheless, the Larry Fleinhart character (fictional cosmologist) from the TV show "Numb3rs" seemed to take inspiration from its cosmological resemblance.

Finally, here is some simulated and fictional relativity, courtesy of the Physics arXiv blog (MIT Technology Review) and Wired.

The first article in from the Physics arXiv blog on a new paper that uses in situ visualization (inspired by movie special effects techniques) to compress data in exascale (very large -- 10^18 flops per second) simulations [1].

The second is an article from Wired (Underwire feature) on the Kessel run (of "Star Trek" fame), and how the Millennium Falcon would have to go faster to light speed to achieve it [2].


[1] Specifically, the bullet time scene from "The Matrix". Paper: Kageyama, A. and Yamada, T.    An Approach to Exascale Visualization: Interactive Viewing of In-Situ Visualization. arxiv:1301.4546.

[2] Hill, K.    How the Star Wars Kessel run turns Han Solo into a time-traveler. Wired Underwire blog. February 12 (2013).

This is arcane territory, even for me. Finally, there's a comprehensive explanation for how a "parsec" can be used a unit of time rather than a unit of distance.

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