Counting in binary

Instead of counting up to five on each hand, a binary system can be used to count up to 31 on one hand, and up to 1023 on two hands. This is done by using your fingers to represent increasing numbers, multiplying by two each time.

Once the numbers 1, 2, 4, 8 and 16 are assigned to the fingers, as above, different numbers can be represented by raising or tucking in the fingers. A raised finger represents its number being “on”, whereas a lowered finger represents its number being “off”.

For example, raising the thumb (1), the index finger (2) and the ring finger (8) shows a total of 1 + 2 + 8 = 11.

For higher numbers, exactly the same principle is used, by continuing to double the numbers used on the first hand: 32, 64, 128, 256, 512.

Alternatively, by placing your hand above a surface like a table, pressing the fingertip to the surface can be counted as “on”, which is useful both for the less dexterous and for avoiding having the number 4 misinterpreted by somebody else.


On 18th October 2013 hooded youths in specially designed hoodies took to the streets of Lincoln . Moving around the city in groups The Binary Graffiti Club encoded the city with messages in binary code. The walls, pavements, and empty spaces were covered in over 101 unique and different artworks. An extension of the “flaneur” who wanders without aim The BGC create new sense of urgency and agency as the city is reclaimed for cultural change.

The Binary Graffiti Club provides a platform to celebrate the pioneering spirit of digital innovation and culture through creative collision and socially engaged artistic practice. The Binary Graffiti Club inspires young people to see the city as canvas to create change. The artwork created represents the hopes and aspirations of young people set in various contexts.

The Binary Graffiti Club - An Art Project by Stanza


So for a brief period in the 80s, Carol was pretty much an honorary X-Man. What I thought was neat about that time was the fact that (unless I’m wrong and please correct me if I’m wrong) Carol was the first woman on the team other than Ororo since Jean’s death in the Dark Phoenix arc (actually Kitty joins the team before Carol but she’s 13 and Ororo pretty much adopts her.) So I kind of always think that she and Storm fostered a great friendship in that time (especially during the Brood Saga!!) and now I’m sort of wishing that Marvel would bring these two together in a miniseries or to guest in each other’s solos or something to be flawless and save the world/universe together because wouldn’t that be super awesome? It would be super awesome.  

Even in the trans community the traditional trans narrative tends to be held up as sacrosanct, and those who challenge it are ostracized for somehow polluting the reputation of normal trans people, people who have always known, people who will transition to fill the appropriate gender roles, people who feel alienated from their bodies. In no way do I mean to deprecate the experiences of these individuals. Put simply, anyone who finds themselves at odds with the gender designated on their birth certificate has a rough time of it. As a matter of fact, I envy these “clear cut” transgender people because at least they have certainty, whereas I am adrift in a sea of ill-fitting gender roles, performances, and labels.

I don’t know what gender I am, but I do know that the little girl who dressed up as a princess for Halloween three years in a row and lugged four dolls with her everywhere until she was eleven was me. I was active in the Girl Scouts for six years and those years shaped me into who I am today. My childhood undeniably belonged to a girl but I feel no disconnect between those memories and the moments I am living right now. Beyond maintaining my scraggly beard and looking for the men’s room, “being a man” doesn’t really enter into my daily reality.

—  "I Do Not Know What My Gender Is": On Messy Transitions | James Warwood for The Toast 

cptairbubbles asked:

How did you make that sweet firey thing your holding?! I've been trying to figure out how to do that myself.

You’re that great Chandra cosplayer! :D Certainly!


This medium is lighting gel, a very thin, transparent polycarbonate that comes in a HUGE array of colors, and is used in theatre to change the color of stage lights. It comes in sheets of 20”x24”, around $6 a sheet. I used 6 sheets for this project in 6 subtly different colors.

The base of the head is Wonderflex, molded to the shape of my own head (the wig head is smaller than my head). I got it to fit snugly enough with all my hair underneath it that I don’t need to even pin it in place! I cut the gel into graduating triangles, with the deepest orange at 12”x5” and the palest yellow at 4”x4”, and LIGHTLY treated it with my heat gun on LOW heat. The gel will melt if too much heat is applied, but if lightly heat-treated it will hold its shape. It’s rigid but not breakable - this actually got tossed around in the back of my car, and though it made a lot of crunching noises, the shape never changed. I then took the cones and hot glued them onto the goldenrod-painted Wonderflex dome, then finished it with the heat gun, tweaking the shape of the flames.

The plasma blasts were created much the same way. However, I wanted my fists to be seen inside them, so instead of the opaque Wonderflex I used clear packaging tape. I took a small balloon inflated slightly larger than my fist and wrapped it sticky-side-out with packaging tape, then wrapped it again sticky-side-in. I popped the balloon, and though the shell was a little flimsy to begin with, once I hot glued all the cones on there it turned surprising durable.

The scraps of gel I applied to the tops of my gloves and the tops of my boots, and saved the rest for future repairs.

Hope this helps! :)


Nishinjutsu: Japanese Finger-Counting for Reality Hackers

There are only 10 types of people in the world: those who understand binary, and those who don’t.”

If you’re having a hard time wrapping your head around binary, using embodied cognition can help: specifically ‘manumerical cognition’, and more specifically, counting on your fingers.

We’ve evolved to use spatial-numerical relations, and I’ve already discussed how adding a visuospatial soroban to your mental toolkit can help you with mathematics.

So naturally, why not improve your understanding of binary numbers using finger-counting?

Here's a basic explanation. Finger binary is based on the visual slotting of the 1s and 0s into powers of 2 (for more on conversion methods, see here, especially method two in each section).


You take those slots and represent them with your fingers.

Above, the raised fingers can be viewed as 1s. So in the above picture, the fingers are all added together (512 + 256, etc. all the way to 4 + 2 + 1), giving you 1,023, which in binary is 1111111111.

The unraised finger is a 0. So let’s say you lowered the finger representing 2, so the picture above would have the right index finger lowered, making it a 0. Visually that’s 1111111101. If we counted every finger but that one, we’d have 1,021, which is 1111111101 in binary.

By the way, it’s been suggested that the Incan writing system (their civilization’s not an exception to the importance of literacy, as they weren’t illiterate, unlike what phonocentrists would have you believe), the khipu, is a 7-bit 3D binary system; this interesting article describes how the Polynesians also used binary and the importance of such localized cultural evolution for insight into the diversity of numerical cognition. Binary is old school.

Keep in mind, in English-speaking countries, we tend to raise fingers to represent numbers, so the closed fist (no raised fingers) is zero, and as you can see above, that carries over into finger binary.

However, finger-counting differs by culture, even as it’s an important aspect of human embodied cognition. Here’s a paper explaining this in detail. Of course, there are other factors, e.g. situated cognition, contributing to differences, also.

At any rate, in Japan, lowered fingers represent numbers! They start with fingers extended, and count off by folding each finger. ‘To count on one’s fingers’ in Japanese, yubi-ori kazoeru (指折り数える) literally means ‘finger-folding counting’. So the open hand is zero. Thus, as you might have guessed, the raised finger is nothing, and therefore a 0 in binary (nishin [二進]), while the lowered fingers represent ones:



So the above far-left picture would be 11011, or 27 (adding the 16, 8, 2, 1) in the non-Japanese style, and is 00100, or 4 (just the middle finger, representing the 4 slot) in the Japanese style. Note we ditch the 0s to the left of the first 1, giving us 100; I left them in for the visual reference.

Here’s another Japanese finger binary diagram counting from 0 to 31 on the right hand. In the past, I half-jokingly related yubimoji (Japanese finger-spelling) to mudras while discussing meditation. The below source also muses on the correlation of finger binary with mudra and the like.


Programming is magick.

So now we know what those esoteric Japanese practitioners are really up to with the kuji-in and kuji-kiri. The ninja are using hand seals to hack the machine code of reality. All that power in 10 bits. I mean 10 values. I mean 2 values.

Of course, the Japanese have evolved to use CADs now, but as Shiba Tatsuya or Itachi Uchiha will tell you, there’s something to be said for low-level expertise.