URLs du Jour


  • Back in my math-nerd days, I'd done some poking around with Fibonacci numbers (the sequence 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89,… where each number is generated by adding the previous two). I learned that Fibonacci numbers popped up in various spots in nature, like the shell of the Chambered Nautilus.

    Another childhood myth destroyed! This turns out not to be true at all. If you want me, I'll be in my bed, fetal position, crying my eyes out… (Via BBSpot.)

  • When going up the Fibonacci sequence, dividing each number by its immediate predecessor gets you ever-closer to the so-called "Golden Ratio", φ, where

    phi formula from Wikipedia

    I'd also "learned" that rectangles whose sides were in the Golden Ratio were supposed to be most pleasing to the eye, and popped up in painting, architecture, and … Well, that's probably not true either. Debunking of that claim and others can be found here.

  • Apparently, J. J. Abrams' new TV show Fringe is into Fibonacciality. They have a mind-bending website at 1.61803398874989484820458683436563811.com, where you'll learn that if you draw a rectangle joining the Iowa towns of Estherville, Cresco, Carroll, and Vinton, the sides will be in the Golden Ratio!

    Spooky! Inside this rectangle is Mason City, Iowa, so I would guess there's a Masonic conspiracy lurking in there somewhere. Or perhaps a tie-in with The Music Man, which would also be very cool.

  • J. J. Abrams is also producer/director of the new Star Trek movie, due in May 2009. Captain James T. Kirk is widely expected to be born in Riverside, Iowa sometime within the next few centuries. Riverside is, unfortunately, not within the rectangle described above.

Last Modified 2012-10-10 3:49 PM EDT