9rules Redesign

Check out the new digs at 9rules, sporting a fresh, simplified design by Mike Rundle and a new feature called Notes which opens discussion to everyone.

I head up the 9rules art community. Stop by and click/read/say things.

Previously on CN: 9rules

Periodic Table of the Keys

Being a Modest Proposal as to a Tabular Arrangement of the Key Board employing a Natural Classification.

Left to right, top to bottom: The Functionals, The Numericals, The Alphabeticals, The Modals, The Editorials I, The Editorials II, and The Punctuationals. Of course there’s still more to be discovered.

Somewhat related: varieties of Periodic Tables, my favorites are (of course) the Longman & Stewart models.

Superb Lyrebird

The Superb Lyrebird found near Australia’s south-eastern coast is extraordinarily gifted at mimicry – copying not only the calls of other birds but the sounds of humans in the forest as well, including camera shutters and chainsaws.

Superb Lyrebird

The Superb Lyrebird found near Australia’s south-eastern coast is extraordinarily gifted at mimicry — copying not only the calls of other birds but the sounds of humans in the forest as well, including camera shutters and chainsaws.

Bryan Louie



Bryan’s dripping, flourishing, richly-textured organic style of illustration is … well, it’s just that. If you’ve seen the music video for Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy” then you’re already familiar. Other clients include Jane Magazine, Hugo, Scion, Microsoft, Pepsi, and Comedy Central. Check out his site for a lot more stills and video.

Previously on CN: Gnarls Barkley: Crazy

Van Gogh Knew Turbulence

detail of Road with Cypress and Star (Artchive)

Vincent van Gogh is known for his chaotic paintings and similarly tumultuous state of mind. Now a mathematical analysis of his works reveals that the stormy patterns in many of his paintings are uncannily like real turbulence, as seen in swirling water or the air from a jet engine.

Physicist Jose Luis Aragon of the National Autonomous University of Mexico in Queretaro and his co-workers have found that the Dutch artist’s works have a pattern of light and dark that closely follows the deep mathematical structure of turbulent flow.

The swirling skies of The Starry Night, painted in 1889, Road with Cypress and Star (1890) and Wheat Field with Crows (1890) — one of the van Gogh’s last pictures before he shot himself at the age of 37 — all contain the characteristic statistical imprint of turbulence, say the researchers.

These works were created when van Gogh was mentally unstable: the artist is known to have experienced psychotic episodes in which he had hallucinations, minor fits and lapses of consciousness, perhaps indicating epilepsy.

“We think that van Gogh had a unique ability to depict turbulence in periods of prolonged psychotic agitation,” says Aragon.

In contrast, the Self-portrait with Pipe and Bandaged Ear (1888) shows no such signs of turbulence. Van Gogh said that he painted this image in a state of “absolute calm”, having been prescribed the drug potassium bromide following his famous self-mutilation.