Benoit Mandelbrot (1924-2010)

An amazing life:

Benoit Mandelbrot, who died on October 14 aged 85, was largely responsible for developing the discipline of fractal geometry – the study of rough or fragmented geometric shapes or processes that have similar properties at all levels of magnification or across all times.

Before Mandelbrot, mathematicians believed that most of the patterns of nature were far too complex, irregular, fragmented and amorphous to be described mathematically. Euclidian geometry was concerned with abstract perfection almost non-existent in the real world. Mandelbrot’s achievement was to conceive and develop a way of describing mathematically the most amorphous natural forms – such as the shape of clouds, mountains, coastlines or trees – and measuring them. His work has become the foundation of Chaos theory – the mathematics of non-linear, dynamic systems.

May he rest in self-referential pieces.

@karen marie wants to know — Fucking integrity, how does it work?: so many things we use every day were possible only because he had that one big realization. He was Isaac Newton great – I am convinced.

Now see I know about this because I was in a play about it.

Okay, I finally fell for it and have Netflix on a one month trial, against my better judgment. Any recommendations?

@karen marie wants to know — Fucking integrity, how does it work?: Couple of ideas:

The Big Country (Western, magnificent); Let the Right One In; Coco Before Chanel; The Battle of Algiers; I’ve Loved You So Long; Angels in America; Amarcord (Fellini, gorgeous); In Which We Serve; Valentino: The Last Emperor; When the Levees Broke; Pan’s Labyrinth; Red, White, Blue (Trilogy of interlocking films, Blue is best but all are good); Funny Games (German, scariest movie ever made); Vincere (the young Mussolini); Gomorra (sensationally good Italian movie about the mob); The 400 Blows; The Virgin Spring; Fanny and Alexander (Bergmann, magnificent); The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie; Wild Strawberries; etc.

Are you set up to stream movies straight to your TV? Almost the best thing about Netflix. Not all are available but many are.

@Benedick: Get out! How cool is that?

Yeah, we have Mandelbrot to thank for certain CGI special effects that grew out of the Mandelbrot Set. NOVA has a fractal generator that you can play with as well as a documentary I can’t watch. >:/

@karen marie wants to know — Fucking integrity, how does it work?: Simon Schama’s History of Britain. Frank Lloyd Wright by Ken Burns. Anything by Kurosawa – you can stream almost all of it (if so equipped).

@Benedick: Well, streaming to my ‘puter, as I don’t have a TV. Yeah, I signed up for the $9.99/month (although this is only a trial!!!!!) because the claim by Netflix is that there are more TV shows available at that level.

Hulu is pretty good, especially it being free, but the movies pretty much suck.

Thanks for the suggestions! I’m always open for more, if anyone else has any.

@Dodgerblue: Echoing JNOV, COTD.

@karen marie wants to know — Fucking integrity, how does it work?: And if you’re like me and don’t have the attention span for movies, Netflix is an amazing way to catch up on all the great shows that are on fancy-pants cable: The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, Deadwood (imagine Shakespearean actors with every other word out of their mouths being “cocksucker”), Mad Men, The Wire (which I have in the queue and haven’t yet started). In terms of cable comedies, there’s Weeds (which has its ups and downs) and Sex and the City (ditto but it will help you get a ton of pop cultural references of the past decade and the season they did post 9/11 was great). Baked and Capt. Howdy watch Dexter, which is on my queue, and stars one of the actors from Six Feet Under.

I love BBC comedies. Right now I’m watching Hyperdrive, a silly sci-fi Britcom. It’s nice not having commercials.

Man, I wish Timmy Lincecum were pitching tonight. Three walks and three strikes in the first inning is pure torture. Giants were lucky that the JNOVs only scored one run.

@karen marie wants to know — Fucking integrity, how does it work?: @SanFranLefty: Another vote for the streaming TV shows on netflix. We watched about a dozen episodes of “Arrested Development” when I was home this summer, which I had never seen before.

There’s a cap on the number of free streams (movies, TV) per month on the 9.99 plan, but it is pretty generous.

I’m still on the second half of the Stillerz’ mauling of Cleveland, but have to admit that young Colt looks pretty good, especially considering the number of hits he’s taking from 300 lb linemen..

40 minutes to Mad Men S4 Finale. I usually don’t get this… giddy (???) about a TV show season finale.

I’m not surprised that it’s on the “Things White People Like” list. BTW, does being a fan of the show make me an honorary white person?

@ManchuCandidate: Remember your brethren on the Pacific time zone (or who have to wait 24 hours for it to be available on iTunes)….

I thought that being Asian made you an honorary white person..isn’t that the meme? ;-P

I won’t be revealing any spoilers or live blog it. Live blogging spoils all the fun for me.

I think that only applies to Asian females… or so it seems.

@Nabisco: Arrested Development is just genius, isn’t it? the whole show is as witty as the perfect pun of the title.

I agree. 3 seasons of brilliance.

If they were Korean then the Bluths would be my dad’s family (but minus the funny.)

@SanFranLefty: AMC HD is ET. But I’m not talking.

@ManchuCandidate: Really? Thats funny, I hope the legal complications aren’t real in your life. I am remembering a Simpsons episode, where Lisa goes to DC as part of an essay contest, her essay is “Cesspool on the Potomac,” the winner is a Korean immigrant, who says, “Where else, can an immigrant come and just a few years later, own a chain of tire balancing centers, except the US, and also, Canada.”

When I was a youngish lawyer, struggling with my own little shingle, trying to make a living as a lawyer in a small town, doing retail law, I had this one client, I did a real estate deal for him. He was a recent asian immigrant, I don’t even know where from. He was buying a small apartment building, 8 units. He was younger than me, he made less money, but he had a plan, he was buying income properties, he found financing, he did it, I closed that purchase for him, he became a landlord. I don’t know what happened to him, but I have no doubt, he did well, and went on to bigger deals, bigger properties, I suspect, he lives much better than I do, today, 20 years later.

Its not intelligence that makes for success, you know, beyond basic competence and sense, its balls, he had balls. I don’t have balls, I opted for the security (ha) of working for someone else, to give me a paycheck, maybe, elevate me, but I didn’t have the balls this guy had, he was grabbing at opportunity and taking the chance and going for it.

@Nabisco: Just plowed through four seasons of Fry & Laurie on Netflix/Apple TV. Seasons 2 & 4 recommended.

I appreciate’s pitch-by-pitch coverage, but the graphics are crap.

@SanFranLefty: Shit was bananas. That’s all I’m going to say.

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— …. –..– .- -. -.. -. — – …. – . — … -. -… -.-. .- -.. .. … .- … -.- .. -. –. — . .. ..-. .. .– .- -. – – — -.. .- – . .- –. . . -.- .-.-.-

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01000111 01101111 00100000 01010000 01101000 01101001 01101100 01110011 00100001

Don’t make me pull Dvorak out!

That little Yoda dude invented CGI?

@SanFranLefty: Shit. Game 2.

@karen marie wants to know — Fucking integrity, how does it work?: Blade Runner, Moon, True Grit, No Country for Old Men, They Were Expendable, The General, Steamboat Bill, Steamboat Willie, Touchdown Mickey,The Producers, Casino, Goodfellas, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Cloverfield, District 9, Gojira (original Japanese Godzilla), Metropolis, The Apartment, Throne of Blood, Rashomon, Red Dawn, The War Room, Wag the Dog, my all time favorite Independence Day, to name a few.

@redmanlaw: Somebody else besides me likes Casino?

@nojo: I liked it too. Once Upon a Time in America is probably my favorite mobster movie.

Wild Turkey 101 and water on the rocks for Mad Men tonight.

@redmanlaw: This no streaming thing is killing me. Jr might have to drop out.

@nojo: I like this scene. I also recall Sharon Stone looking pretty fab in it.

@nojo: Fry and Laurie is to die, the cocktail recipes at the end, they kill me, “slow comfortable snog with a close relative.”

@nojo: Completely awesome movie. I go to Vegas a lot, because of the spouse’s work, its in that industry, casinos. Thats not what it is now, but that is what it was then, the end of the movie, shows the implosions of all the first generation, mob-connected casinos, and hints at their replacement by the current “legit” gaming industry giants. Thats my life, this new “legit” gaming industry. But the accuracy of the movie, I have heard attested to, first hand, by those who were there, and it was done so well.

@Promnight: Yessuh massuh promnight suh! But you’re not on. I just checked.

I hate FB chat. You can’t go invisible, and next thing you know, you’ve got six windows popping at once.

@Promnight: Yeah, the seasons framed by the variety-show shtick are the ones I like.

@Casino: Well, golly! It always gets overshadowed by Goodfellas in the Marty Pantheon, so I’m surprised when anyone even mentions it.

@nojo: Have you seen Once Upon a Time in America? It was brutally edited. It’s still very good and often overlooked. I wonder if I could get my hands on the original version.

@Promnight: Um, me, too. I responded to you. Sheesh. See? This website works better at getting messages through than fucking FB chat.

@JNOV: I may have seen the uncut version, but I’m not sure. It’s been awhile.

@nojo: Leone turned down The Godfather to make this film. The original run time was close to four hours. I saw it back in ’87, and I saw it again around ’04, and I noticed that some scenes had been added that were cut in the ’80s, but I’m not sure if that was the original version. I was just messing around on Wikipedia — there was one uncut version released in Brazil, but it’s out of print. Meh. I’ll hunt around for it later.

@nojo: Is that not the best?

@JNOV: Oh, yeah, that was great!

Also, too, Once Upon A Time In Mexico

@karen marie wants to know — Fucking integrity, how does it work?: They have a hard time getting away from Monty Python’s ghost during the first series, but they find their groove after that.

And not being otherwise familiar with Fry (yes, I know the catalog now…), I really like his Bond Villains, or more generally his upper-class authoritarian characters. The man was made for white kitties.

And while we’re Netflixing, I should mention that Eric Idle’s “Not the Messiah”, a Life of Brian oratorio recorded last October at the Royal Albert Hall, is a pleasant entertainment. Nothing spectacular, but very good-natured.

@nojo: I’m in love with Eric Idle. Great interview with him on Fresh Air. I can’t believe this interview is five years old. Either they replayed it within the past two years, or I’m losing time Memento style.

@JNOV: I enjoy great singers in white tie and evening dress doing silly things, especially when accompanied by the BBC Orchestra and Chorus. Definite PDQ Bach vibe going on.

@nojo: I think that’s part of why I love Leonard Bernstein. He was exuberant, silly, loved to explain things to kids in terms that they could understand — he didn’t take himself seriously although he was seriously dedicated to so many things. And he was unafraid to live an authentic life. Awesome, awesome man.

I have a CD of the London Royal Philharmonic playing Madonna. I’m not a big Madonna fan, and I doubt I’ve ever listened to the whole CD, but I just had to have it because it exists.

@karen marie wants to know — Fucking integrity, how does it work?: Hey. Also watch Tombstone for me. I love pre-puffy pre-douchetastic Val Kilmer in that one.

ADD: Oh! And Sam Elliot! Love him!

I saw Ruined tonight at the Geffen in L.A. It won the Pulitzer for drama last year, and IMHO, deserved it.

@JNOV: And here’s the trailer. You like this, you’ll like the show. If not, no shame.

@JNOV: Her head’s cut off in the trailer, but that’s Carol Cleveland wrangling them.

@nojo: LOVE!

Welcome to my website. It’s all here and it’s all true!

FCS should show up any minute. He can smell a ginger a mile away.

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