FFFFOUND!

I have been catastrophically remiss in not posting about this much sooner than I am now. FFFFOUND! is a new-ish image bookmarking site, kind of like del.icio.us for whatever badass photography/art/design/etc. you find around the internet. Not only that though, the website itself is an aggregate cornucopia of beautiful, stimulating, cortex-crunching imagery taken from everyone else’s submissions. I subscribe to the RSS feed and it usually pulls in about 200 new items a day, all of which I flick through in a few minutes, letting the visuals wash over my subconscious and picking out favorites to bookmark myself.

Right now the service is invite-only and unfortunately I’m fresh out of invites. What makes this place so good though is the quality of the content that rises to the top. Where else will you see the paper sculptures of Jen Stark, classic Josef Müller-Brockmann posters, scientific illustrations of micro-organisms, field shots of nuclear mushroom clouds and sexy/artsy nude female photography all side-by-side? Member or no you can still browse everything on the site, and if you ask them nicely they might send you some invites, that’s what I did.

I’m including some images from my own FFFFOUND! stream inside this post to give you an idea of what you can expect. Much more at my profile and the site itself.

Update: See FFFFOUND! Redux for a debate over the appropriateness of content.

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Flame Extinguished by Gravity

Nevermind that the fork and spoon are balanced perfectly so as to be their own counterbalance. Watch how the flame extinguishes at the fulcrum, and how the ash curls away from the center of gravity. An easy experiment to try while cleaning up the kitchen after Thanksgiving.

Update: OK, so it might only be that there isn’t enough surface area exposed on the toothpick at the lip of the glass to sustain the flame. A cool experiment nonetheless.

Flame Extinguished by Gravity

Nevermind that the fork and spoon are balanced perfectly so as to be their own counterbalance. Watch how the flame extinguishes at the fulcrum, and how the ash curls away from the center of gravity. An easy experiment to try while cleaning up the kitchen after Thanksgiving.

Update: OK, so it might only be that there isn’t enough surface area exposed on the toothpick at the lip of the glass to sustain the flame. A cool experiment nonetheless.

An Exceptionally Simple Theory of Everything

By most measures the shape E8, shown above (and previously), is the most elegant and complex figure known to mathematics. It is also the inspiration for one man’s comprehensive theory of everything.

Garrett Lisi is 39. He splits his time between surfing in Hawaii and snowboarding in Lake Tahoe, Nevada. He has a doctorate but is not affiliated with any university. “It’s hard to figure out the secrets of the universe when you’re trying to figure out where you and your girlfriend are going to sleep next month” he told the Telegraph. Yet he published a paper this month, “An Exceptionally Simple Theory of Everything,” and his ideas are provoking interest around the world.

His explanation traces the seemingly erratic nature of fundamental particles to the symmetries of E8, a simplified representation of an even more complex 248-dimensional object. “My brain exploded with the implications and the beauty of the thing,” he told New Scientist, recalling when he first made the connection between his theories and the shape of E8. “I thought: ‘Holy crap, that’s it!’” Thus far all the particle interactions predicted by his model correspond with observations in the real world.

It is one of the most compelling unification models I’ve seen in many, many years.

Lee Smolin, Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics

When the Large Hadron Collider opens in May of next year, Lisi hopes his theories will help lead to the discovery of some 20 particles he predicts must exist, particles that so far live only as gaps in a kind of periodic table of particles, all of his construction.

An Exceptionally Simple Theory of Everything

By most measures the shape E8, shown above (and previously), is the most elegant and complex figure known to mathematics. It is also the inspiration for one man’s comprehensive theory of everything.

Garrett Lisi is 39. He splits his time between surfing in Hawaii and snowboarding in Lake Tahoe, Nevada. He has a doctorate but is not affiliated with any university. “It’s hard to figure out the secrets of the universe when you’re trying to figure out where you and your girlfriend are going to sleep next month” he told the Telegraph. Yet he published a paper this month, “An Exceptionally Simple Theory of Everything,” and his ideas are provoking interest around the world.

His explanation traces the seemingly erratic nature of fundamental particles to the symmetries of E8, a simplified representation of an even more complex 248-dimensional object. “My brain exploded with the implications and the beauty of the thing,” he told New Scientist, recalling when he first made the connection between his theories and the shape of E8. “I thought: ‘Holy crap, that’s it!'” Thus far all the particle interactions predicted by his model correspond with observations in the real world.

It is one of the most compelling unification models I’ve seen in many, many years.

Lee Smolin, Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics

When the Large Hadron Collider opens in May of next year, Lisi hopes his theories will help lead to the discovery of some 20 particles he predicts must exist, particles that so far live only as gaps in a kind of periodic table of particles, all of his construction.