Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Snowflakes = Fractals

hello comrades! i sincerely apologise for the infrequency of my posting. my sister has been complaining on behalf of all of you, so never fear, someone is looking out for you and your need to read! anyway, the truth is the branch of the library where i usually go for my internet fix is closed for the finishing touches to the big renovation and this is the first chance ive had to come to a different branch. on top of all that, there have been big kerfuffles in my personal life and i have had running around to do for the holidays and i just havent had time to write. PLUS whenever i DID sit down to write lately, i got distracted by catching up with the blogging blobs, who im sure you all remember i am rather fond of. but all of this is neither here nor there, because i actually have been holding onto TWO topics that i want to write about, and both are brief and semi related, so i shall write both in this one post.
first of all, we are enjoying (or not enjoying, i guess) the first of what is predicted to be a very snowy winter here in southern ontario and monday morning started bright and early with minus twenty five degree wind chill and black ice due to flash freezing. although it was a little inhospitable out, a sick and twisted part of me was delighted. for one thing, i am fond of winter, and for another, more important thing, i was eager to try out my new skinny road tires on the ice and snow. i had road tires on my old bike a few years ago, but its been a while and this is a different bike, so i was curious about how the handling was going to turn out. since i put the new tires on, i have felt the handling much more sensitive to small changes in the steering which makes for more concentration when riding. i assumed that the ice and snow was going to be way mroe difficult to navigate than they were with my old tires that were wider and had more tread, but i actually found the opposite to be true. i dont know if this is some bizarre trick of physics, or if i am just a better rider on road tires (possibly a bit of both) but i was able to control my bike much better with the skinny slippery tires than the big rugged ones. i think its because the lack of traction helps me glide through/over the snowy patches instead of having to plow through them which always results in wobbliness if not complete system failure. i must admit, stopping short isnt much of an option on the ice, but i am pretty good at slowing down well before hitting red lights. also i am always prepared to leap off of my bike in the worst case scenario of losing control. all said, it was an interesting and delightful turn in my ongoing bicycle narrative.
the other thing i wanted to mention is semi related in that it is about my fondness for mathematics, and i suppose my other story is kind of about my being impressed by if not fond of physics. this past weekend, dave and i were visiting my aunt and uncle and my cousin was helping me with a craft which involved some gluing and as we were laying out the things to be glued before actually setting them, my cousin remarked that the way i was patterning them was actually going to match the planned design perfectly. to which i told her not to ever doubt mathematics, for it was the mathematics of pixellation that made my design perfect. this gave me pause to reflect on how much i love that about math and in many ways science. although i have my own internal struggles with my faith at times, i can honestly say this: math is one of the ways that God reveals himself to us. it is perfection, mysterious, unshakable. it made me realise why there are certain sects (like Kabbalah, i believe) of Judaism and other faiths that have a very distinct numerology. many would say that sort of thing is nonsense or voodoo, like astrology or something, but i kind of get it. math is so perfect, its almost divine. maybe it is, and those people are just seeking divinity where its most likely to be found. i dont know, but it certainly is some food for thought.

1 comment:

callie said...

i am your blog's advocate!
not fond of physics? that's a shame. physics is endlessly fascinating.
math truly is divine. perfection and mysterious are excellent word choices, both applicable and thought-provoking. i completely agree with and adore said description.
also, astrology has great merit. i am believing in it more and more, not to the point of basing my life on it, but everything about is so spot-on i can't help but believe it.
oh and this makes me a triple advocate: your blog, the no-pants cult an, of course, the universe.