(via TYWKIWDBI (“Tai-Wiki-Widbee”): A postulated functional utility for wrinkled fingers)

From Brain, Behavior, and Evolution, a suggestion that the wrinkles induced in fingers by water serve a function similar to that of rain treads on vehicular tires.

Here we provide evidence that, rather than being an accidental side effect of wetness, wet-induced wrinkles have been selected to enhance grip in wet conditions. We show that their morphology has the signature properties of drainage networks, enabling efficient removal of water from the gripped surface..

One can immediately see that they possess the signature structure of drainage networks on convex promontories… Namely, the channel-like wrinkle depressions tend to be disconnected from one another and diverge away from one another as they get more distant from the ‘peak’ near the fingertip; the divides (or borders between the channels) are connected, forming a tree with its root near the fingertip…

Wet-induced wrinkle treads, on the other hand, are pliable, and the act of pressing a finger tip down on a wet surface ‘squeezes’ the fluid out from under the finger through the channels, and upon completion of this single pulsatile flow the entire finger’s skin contacts the surface. In addition to wet-induced finger wrinkles having the signature morphology of drainage networks,the time scale at which they appear (around 5 min) [Cales and Weber, 1997] is plausibly appropriate for natural wet conditions; it is fast enough to be relevant for dew or rainy conditions but not so quick that casual contact with water (like when eating fruit) will elicit it.


Pace is pleased to announce Eureka a group exhibition featuring artists who observe and map the cosmological, metaphysical and scientific through painting, sculpture and music. Eureka takes its name from Edgar Allan Poe’s eponymous prose poem published in 1848. His last significant publication, the work articulates his ideas on the nature of the universe, combining scientific postulates with his poetic vision, and resonating with later advancements in cosmology and astrophysics such as the big bang theory. The exhibition highlights twelve artists from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries who follow Poe’s lead to explore the operations of the universe.

Alexander Calder
Emmet Gowin
Tim Hawkinson
Alfred Jensen
Julie Mehretu
Ben Nicholson
The Sun Ra Arkestra
James Siena
Yalla Yalla Gibbs Tjungurrayi
James Turrell
Keith Tyson
Edgar Varèse

The exhibition will be on view at 508 West 25th Street from May 2 to June 27, 2015.  

Images: Tim Hawkinson, Gimbled Klein Basket, 2007; Alfred Jensen, Physical Optics, 1975. 

First thing after school: tune into Toonami for Gundams wrecking shit. 

Many people on Tumblr have fond memories of the anime boom during the early 2000s, especially on Cartoon Network. What happened to this phenomenon and how did anime go from mainstream to niche? Justin Sevakis of Anime News Network explains the business side of anime:

Nickelodeon isn’t the only youth-oriented channel that pretty much avoided showing anime back during the bubble: Disney Channel avoided it too. Neither network had much of a business interest in getting anime, really. The better question is why Cartoon Network DID show anime when none of their competitors went for it.

He goes on to postulate what really went down at Cartoon Network:

So why DID Cartoon Network show anime when it clearly doesn’t make financial sense in the long term? That company is very clearly run by animation enthusiasts, and I think it’s very clear that the staff, themselves, were fans, and thought that getting firmly into the anime space would create a unique and memorable block of shows that would create a devoted fanbase – and they were right.

If you always had a suspicion that Cartoon Network was better than Nick, this is why. Plus Cartoon Network never had the monstrosity known as Worldwide Day of Play. They got their priorities sorted.

Motherhood in Video Games: The Unsung Heroines of Plot Devices

Let’s cut to the chase here: we don’t see a lot of mothers in our video games. Sure, they EXIST … to die off for a character’s angsty development, to be mentioned offhandedly in a single line of dialogue or to not be mentioned at all. Video games almost put film to shame in how quickly the medium tosses motherhood into the bin of inapplicability. As someone raised by a single mother because the father was more interested in a power dynamic than a loving family, I’d be lying if I said this trend didn’t piss me off a little. I see every single day how motherhood is undervalued and mocked in the form of archaic laws (no country-wide maternity leave in the U.S., for starters) and casual terminology (baby mama, teenage mom, welfare queen, etc) while fatherhood is postulated as something heroic. Even deadbeat dads can expect entire sitcoms and movies dedicated to them!

This problem goes a lot deeper than go-to tropes or lazy writing—it’s reflective of a myopic cultural attitude toward women and the role we are often pressured to be in. This steady devaluing of motherhood is aided by a never-ending deluge of male protagonists written from male perspectives for presumed male consumption. While fatherhood is a separate can of worms that shouldn’t be shoved to the wayside (the previously mentioned lauding of deadbeat dads IS a problem), the unfortunate fact is that is what usually happens to mothers. Fridged, passive caretaker, forgotten, Not Mentioned At All, or demonized are usually the names of the game, if you’ll pardon the pun.

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bdag gnyis - twofold identity: personal identity and identity of phenomena/ things; two aspects of selfhood: individual self and self-nature of phenomena; abbr. of {gang zag gi bdag dang chos kyi bdag} two postulated identities: self of individuals {gang zag gi bdag nyid} and that of phenomena {chos kyi bdag nyid} [RY]

rnam rtog - vikalpa, discursive thought, preconceived ideas, thoughts, interpretative concepts, habit-making thoughts, thought construction, postulates, cogitation, actual perception, thought, reflection, unreal conclusions, imagination, aberrations of the mind, obscuration, disgust, distaste, doubt, conceptual understanding, (subtle stage of mentality, division into subject and object, observable qualities defined, superstition, (man’s dividedness against himself, division into subject and object, tendency to artificially divide reality, second stage of rtog med in which a mind is postulated dealing with sense fields and sense perceptions or with subject and object, clinging to duality, characterized by a thorough-going split), SA rtog pa kun rtog, divisive thoughts, thought state [JV]

mtshan nyid yongs su chad pa'i kun btags - like the two egos, not existing bu by conception postulated as object so [IW]

Quantum Physics


Cont’d from “Dirac notation: Analogy with Cartesian vectors”, see “Dirac notation: Introduction

Throughout mathematics, an operator is defined as:

“A mapping of a function to produce a new function.”

A common example of a regular operator is the differential operator.

Quantum operators are defined by the first postulate of quantum mechanics:

”For any well-defined physical quantity (such as momentum or energy), there exists a quantum mechanical operator (called an “observable”) that yields a value which is an eigenvalue of the function the operator acts upon.”

In quantum physics, operators are written using a “hat”, above the symbol.

Therefore, an observable Ô acting of a function ψ yields a measurement o, which is an eigenvalue of ψ. This is given by the equation

or in Dirac notation

Operators in matrix form

In a discrete QM system, an operator is defined to be a Hermitian matrix which has an eigenstate vector.

Hermitian matrices

In matrix mechanics, a Hermitian matrix is one which has its conjugate transpose equal to the original matrix.

Thus, it must be a square matrix with symmetric elements with equal real parts but oppositely-signed imaginary parts. Thus a general c × c Hermitian matrix ℍ is

where h ∈ ℂ. More explicitly this is

Common operators

Some common operators in quantum mechanics are:


Linear momentum:

where = (/x, /y, /z) is the del (or nabla) operator, i is the imaginary unit and ℏ = h∕2π is the reduced Planck’s constant. Alternatively, in 1-dimension this is

where /x is the x-component of the del operator.

Kinetic energy:

Using the momentum operator we defined previously,

and since i2 ≡-1, the kinetic energy operator becomes

where ∇2 = (2/x2 + 2/y2 + 2/z2) is the Laplacian operator (derived from finding the divergence of del).

now centaurs, centaurs probably can’t masturbate. i mean like how would they even reach?? they’d have to like rub up against a log or something and i’d postulate that this would be really uncomfortable. checkmate, science.

The gospel of art for art’s sake isolates art and postulates its self-sufficiency, as if art had or followed rules which are impervious to the social environment. Adherents of the doctrine believe that art does not and should not reflect the squabbles of the day. Obviously they are mistaken in their assumption that products of consciousness can be created in isolation. Their stance and what is crafted under its auspices have not only theoretical but also definite social implications. American formalism updated the doctrine and associated it with the political concepts of the “free world” and individualism. Under Clement Greenberg’s tutelage, everything that made worldly references was simply excommunicated from art so as to shield the Grail of taste from contamination. What began as a liberating drive turned into its opposite.

“Museums: Managers of Consciousness” by Hans Haacke

So I kinda doubt the sleeveless space jumpsuit things Jasper and Peridot wear are their go-to everyday outfits. It’s probably just something they wear going off-planet, like Pearl’s suit from Space Race.

That in mind I doodled casual Jasper, looking a bit bored. We may not know much of contemporary Gem society but given they stand and walk from place to place and the presence of a chair at the cockpit of the hand ship, I’m willing to postulate they have couches. Possibly also TV? Jasper could be disappointed because the season finale of her alien bloodsport was kind of a letdown.

Quand je postule pour “agent de surveillance” et qu’il semblerait que j’aille bien mes chances pour avoir ce poste. Pitain… je prie pour. Depuis le temps que je cherche à quitter le domaine de la boucherie… pis bon, on va pas se cacher… plus de sécurité d’emploie, mieux payée et prestations de biatch. 8′D

Et moins de chance de tomber sur un patron qui confond “employé” et “larbin”.

Commenting on Zayn Malik, Dr Hawking postulated that Zayn was still a member of 1D, in one of the many alternate universes theorized by physics.

And scientifically validated an entire genre of fanfic!

At this point, we can only postulate as to why there is an overlap between ASD and gender dysphoria. In part, I think there are some qualities of individuals with ASD (such as rigidity, intolerance of ambiguity and difficulty with theory of mind) that in some ways may actually open up one’s internal experience to the more diverse expressions of gender,

What My Female-Born Transgender Autistic Brother Can Teach You About How We Construct Our Identities

Some wonky language in this one — like the unnecessary “female-born” in the title and my personal pet peeve, “transgendered,” — but an interesting piece about the connection and significant overlap between trans folks and people on the autism spectrum.

Religious life begins when we realise that God is not an ethical postulation but the only adventure worth undertaking.
—  Nicolás Gómez-Dávila

Ditching the Fifth Axiom

Abandoning “The Fifth Axiom” - Euclid’s so-called Parallel Postulate - gave birth to a whole new world… the world Hyperbolic Geometry.

Featuring Dr Caleb Ashley.

By: Numberphile.

Fifth Axiom (extra footage)

Some extra footage not used in our Fifth Axiom video with Dr Caleb Ashley.

By: Numberphile 2.
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“Chemical Cocktail” of Additives in Processed Foods Dangerous for Our Health–New Study


Scientists at the National Food Institute and the Technical University of Denmark have developed a risk assessment model and demonstrated what we at and other scientists have postulated for some now…that the synthetic food chemicals in processed food can have a synergistic (or interactive) effect causing dangerous risks to our health and well-being.  We will be covering this research and topic more in-depth in upcoming radio programs and television series, but for now just know that the more highly processed foods you eat (heat-and-serve and ready-to-eat frozen, boxed and canned meals, desserts and snacks) the more of these chemicals of concern you put into your body–and the greater the risk for adverse outcomes.


New knowledge strengthens risk assessment of chemical cocktails in food

Even small doses of chemicals can have significant negative effects if they are present together. A reliable method for calculating the effects of chemical cocktails in food has been developed in the project. The project has shown a need for limiting exposure to certain substances.

The fact that the traditional way of assessing potential harmful effects of chemicals only takes the individual chemicals into account has long been of concern. Especially since this approach does not take into account the effects that can occur in humans when the chemicals are present at the same time in a cocktail. A serious concern is that substances can amplify each other’s effects, so that their combined effect becomes greater than what can be predicted by looking at the individual chemicals.

A recently completed, four-year research project on cocktail effects in foods, led by the National Food Institute, has established that when two or more chemicals appear together, they often have an additive effect. This means that cocktail effects can be predicted based on information from single chemicals, but also that small amounts of chemicals when present together can have significant negative effects.

“Our research shows that indeed, little strokes fell great oaks also when it comes to chemical exposure. Going forward this insight has a profound impact on the way we should assess the risk posed by chemicals we are exposed to through the foods we eat.”

~Professor Anne Marie Vinggaard, National Food Institute


The project demonstrated that even small doses of chemicals can have significant negative effects if they are present together.