Posts Tagged ‘periodic table’
Click here for James’ explanation, again on the image there for a larger version; and click here for the source material at our old friends TV Tropes… which has been materially updated/expanded since our last visit.
* Hannah Arendt
As we prepare to tell tantalizing tales, we might send pious but modern birthday greetings to Laurence Sterne; he was born on this date in 1713. An Anglican clergyman known in his own time for his published sermons and memoirs, Sterne is surely best remembered these days for his novel The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman.
Tristram Shandy was roughly received in England on its publication. It parodies accepted narrative form, playing with narrative time and voice, and includes a healthy dose of “bawdy” humor– which led to its being largely dismissed by the likes of Samuel Johnson as being too corrupt. But it was a hit on the Continent; indeed, Voltaire declared it “clearly superior to Rabelais.” That said, Sterne’s real influence had a longer fuse. As Italo Calvino observed, Tristram Shandy is the “undoubted progenitor of all avant-garde novels of our century,” one that, in its challenges to the formal concept of the novel, had powerful influence on Modernist writers like James Joyce and Virginia Woolf, and more contemporary writers like Thomas Pynchon and David Foster Wallace.
From the good folks at the Foundation for Neo-cognitive & Ontologoical Research and Development (“F.N.O.R.D. — A Non-Prophet Organization”)…
The Table of Condiments that Periodically Go Bad
(click the image above, or here, to enlarge)
As we clean out our refrigerator shelves, we might recall that it was on this date in 1971 that the first European McDonald’s outlet opened, in Zaandam (near Amsterdam) in the Netherlands. There are now almost 250 MacDonald’s in Holland.
click here (and again) for a larger image
[TotH to Brainpickings]
Along these same lines, readers might also be interested in the “Perpetual Notion Machine” (which includes, as a bonus, the story of Dmitri Mendeleev and the “real” Periodic Table…) See also the Periodic Table of Typefaces (“‘There are now about as many different varieties of letters as there are different kinds of fools…’“) and the Periodic Table of Visualization Methods (“Now See Here…“).
As we constructively stack our writers’ blocks, we might wish a thoughtful Happy Birthday to Immanuel Kant; he was born on this date in 1724 in Königsberg, Prussia (which is now Kaliningrad, Russia). Kant is of course celebrated as a philosopher, the author of Critique of Pure Reason (1781), Critique of Practical Reason (1788), and Critique of Judgment (1790), and father of German Idealism (et al.).
But less well remembered are the contributions he made to science, perhaps especially to astronomy, before turning fully to philosophy. For example, his General History of Nature and Theory of the Heavens (1755) contained three anticipations important to the field: 1) Kant made the nebula hypothesis ahead of Laplace. 2) He described the Milky Way as a lens-shaped collection of stars that represented only one of many “island universes,” later shown by Herschel. 3) He suggested that friction from tides slowed the rotation of the earth, which was confirmed a century later. Similarly, Kant’s writings on mathematics were cited as an important influence by Einstein.
Readers know that your correspondent is intrigued (OK, to the point of obsessed) with data visualization. Previous missives have featured hero examples (like this one and this one) and compelling collections (like Flowing Data and Information is Beautiful). Readers will also recall that your correspondent has a soft spot for the periodic table (as, for instance, here, here, or of course here)…
Now, from Visual Literacy, a synthesis of the two– “A Periodic Table of Visualization Methods“:
Mouse over any of the “elements” (on the original) to see to an example of the approach in question. Very helpful… and very cool!
Update to the Periodic Table of Typefaces: From Julian Hansen, a (very amusing) flow chart for picking the type style appropriate to any need. And from Typography for Lawyers… well, precisely that (replete with cautionary examples).
As we remind ourselves that our mothers were right, that appearances do matter, we might lay a particularly elegant wreath for Donald Deskey, who died on this date in 1989. An inventor (e.g., the laminate Weldtex) and designer, Deskey championed Art Deco (he designed Radio City Music Hall, for instance) and probably did more than anyone else to make industrial design a profession (he was a founder of the American Society of Industrial Designers and of its predecessor, the American Union of Decorative Artists and Craftsmen). His impact survives him; among his lasting designs: the goose-necked street lamp that he designed for New York City…
…and the Crest toothpaste tube, designed for Proctor and Gamble.
The principle of explosion (ex falso sequitur quodlibet*), a law of classical logic, asserts that “anything follows from a contradiction”– that’s to say, once a contradiction has been asserted, any proposition (or of course, its opposite) can be inferred from it. Symbolically, that’s:
Readers may be relieved to know that two different models of paraconsistent logic allow for contradiction without explosion.
* “from falsehood/contradiction follows what pleases”
As we revisit our debate strategies, we might recall that it was on this date in 1869 that Dmitri Mendeleev presented the first periodic table of elements to the Russian Chemical Society. Mendeleev’s chart captured the known elements of the day, and allowed him to predict the properties of elements yet to be discovered.
Cupcakes are, of course, all the vogue. And as their popularity has exploded, they’ve begun to speciate…
There are Periodic Table Cupcakes…
But cupcakes, in their mainstream “chocolate or vanilla” manifestations, or in these more elaborate guises, have remained… well, dainty.
No longer! Now the formidable folks at Butch Bakery (“Where butch meets buttercream”) offer cupcakes in 12 flavors and six “styles”: Woodland Camo, Wood Grain, Houndstooth, Plaid, Checkerboard or Marble.
As we bench press a baker’s dozen, we might recall that it was on this date in 1953 that James D. Watson and Francis Crick announced to friends that they had determined the chemical structure of DNA; the formal announcement took place on April 25 following publication in the April issue of Nature (published April 2). The not-yet-Nobel-laureates walked into the Eagle pub in Cambridge and announced, “We have found the secret of Life.”