Thursday, July 19, 2012

More from the intersection of science and music

On the origin of music by means of natural selection is an article over at science daily about using principles of evolution by processes of selection (in this case artificial rather than natural) to generate the "ideal" pop song.  I think it has already been written, it is called Pachelbel's Canon in D...
But seriously, if you want to check out how the sounds "evolved" into music, you can read the paper here (might still be behind a paywall, sorry), or you can sample some of the music here.  I think the crucial point where it starts to become "music" to me is between the 250th and 400th generations. But if you listen to any of the early versions and then skip down to the more current ones, it will blow your mind.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

More Science and Music: Ode to the Brain

Yesterday I linked to the Symphony of Science website when I compared the musical presentation of Higgs boson data to the auto-tuned videos of Carl Sagan, Richard Feynman, and Neil deGrasse Tyson at symphony of science.  Since I hadn't listened to the videos in a while, I scrolled down on the site, and saw that in the interim a bunch of new videos have been added, including this one entitled an "Ode to the Brain"

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

This is pretty cool: Scientific data is music to my ears

So, by now, you have probably heard that physicists at CERN have discovered the infamous Higgs boson.  Though I am no physicist, my understanding of Higgs bosons is that they are the particles you get when you (metaphorically) smack empty space really, really hard. In essence, their existence provides evidence that empty space is probably not actually empty space at all, but instead is filled with "dark energy" which is responsible for the universe's continued expansion. Anyway, since I can't do it justice, I will stop trying to explain it here.  Instead, I want to draw attention to an interesting presentation of the data, put together by one of the groups working at CERN... If you click on this link you will be taken to an mp3 that was created by taking the data points from the Higgs boson experiment and giving them each a corresponding musical note.  Though I am pretty sure the samba beat on the third repetition was added in for effect, it's still pretty amazing, possibly even better than autotuned physicists.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Now blogcasting from my tablet

I have been very spotty in keeping up with the old blog here lately, but I finally downloaded the blogger app, so hopefully I will get back into the swing of things. I only ask that you bear with me while I fumble around the touchpad with my giant fingers and thumbs, and try to figure out how to add videos and other content that aren't saved on my tablets.  Btw, if anyone's curious, i did not get an iPad... i used to have one, but traded it in for an Asus transformer prime, which I find to be an excellent droid tablet, but only a passable autobot.