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White Noise Boutique to sell ‘artisanal white noise’


 
Residing at the precise point where conceptual art meets commerce meets mathematics meets cyptography meets transcendental meditation meets, shall we say, hipster excess is the White Noise Boutique, a pop-up shop that will exist in the city of Brighton in the United Kingdom from September 9 to 18 of this year. The only products the White Noise Boutique will sell are custom-made LPs and digital files containing unique white noise, a term that encompasses both a washed-out static-y sounding audio tone as well as a cryptographically pleasing set of random data. The quest for “truly” random numbers, useful for encoding data, is a daunting task with a multitude of high-end applications, which are described here.

Used properly, white noise can be soothing to listen to, especially for hyperactive minds, so white noise is frequently used to help people get to sleep, to meditate, or to concentrate on urgent work. You can listen to Wikipedia’s 20-second sample of white noise generated by Jorge Stolfi. To my knowledge this project has nothing to do with the excellent 1985 novel by Don DeLillo.
 

 
Once you create a batch of white noise at the White Noise Boutique, you can spend £1 for a digital file and £4 to receive an LP with the white noise on it (if you go that route, you will receive a digital file as well). One pound is roughly $1.50 these days, so the LP will run you about $6.

The White Noise Boutique’s descriptions of their process and options make it all but impossible to resist making hipster jokes about “hand-crafted bologna” and the like. Indeed, it honestly does seem parodic much of the time. What follows are the captions for a series of slides that you can see on the video embedded below, which capture that elusive, slightly vacant and solicitous tone that tells you you might be in hipster territory. Remember, they could have mimicked The Matrix or Mr. Robot, but instead they aped the patterns of people who use the word “artisanal” a lot.

We craft unique white noise to your exact specifications.

Steps:
Select a random-number generator to create your noise.
Some generators allow for a starting value, called a “seed.”
For extra security, we can apply additional randomness through a process called “salting.”
We apply a battery of statistical tests to ensure your white noise is as random as possible.
Once generated, we hand-cut your white noise to a unique vinyl record or direct to digital download.
Finally, if specified we upload a digital version of your white noise for download.

 

The explanation on the website is full of verbiage like “Type 1390-B tube-powered noise generator” and “a Faraday cage for generating your noise to avoid electro-magnetic radiation.” Can’t you just imagine that conversation at your local latte purveyor in which the one dude sneers at the other dude because HIS randomly generated white noise did not use a Faraday cage?

The funny thing is, as the proud owner of a record collection purchased entirely in the last 2 years, I ........ kinda want one.
 

 
via Death and Taxes
 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Homeless street kid is ‘math genius of Dapitan’
07.28.2014
12:31 pm

Topics:
Politics

Tags:
children
UNICEF
mathematics

stretkidgenius.jpg
 
A homeless child on the streets of Dapitan city in the Philippines entertains tourists with his genius for math. The Philippines is the 39th richest economy in the world, with a gross domestic product (nominal) of $272, 207 billion. Yet kids as talented as Gerald are living on the streets.

Gerald is nicknamed “Boy Square Root,” which will become apparent from this video taken by Chelsea Mae S. Luzanta from Antipolo in the Philippines, who is a student at the University of Santo Tomas.

Who knows what the full story is, but taken as reported, then Gerald should be at school, should be enjoying his childhood, not having to hustle to survive. Support UNICEF’s children’s campaigns here.
 

 
Via Arbroath

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Queen Elizabeth’s Magician: a docu-drama about Dr John Dee


 
A couple of months ago Damon Albarn premiered his new work Dr Dee: An English Opera as part of the Manchester International Festival. As the name would suggest, Dr Dee concerns the life of the Elizabethan mathematician, cartographer and magician John Dee, with original music composed by Albarn (singing and conducting a chamber group live on stage throughout the show). Well, maybe it was because I was so blown away by Bjork’s magical Biophilia show a few days earlier at the festival, but I found the opera to be a massive let down. You can read more of my thoughts on Dr Dee An English Opera here.

One of the main complaints levelled at Albarn’s production was that its oblique nature did nothing to explain the fascinating story of John Dee to an audience unfamiliar with the man. I was lucky enough to have some knowledge in advance and was able to spot some of the key moments in Dee’s life - but even then the narrative felt scrambled and made little use of some incredible source material (namely the man’s incredible life story). That’s despite this promising write up in the MIF’s program:

There was once an Englishman so influential that he defined how we measure years, so quintessential that he lives on in Shakespeare’s words; yet so shrouded in mystery that he’s fallen from the very pages of history itself.
That man was Dr Dee – astrologer, courtier, alchemist, and spy.

Queen Elizabeth’s Magician - John Dee is a 2002 television show produced by the UK’s Channel 4 for their Masters of Darkness series, and tells the man’s incredible story in a much more accessible way. While perhaps not revealing anything that the more avid Dee student wouldn’t already know, the show is informative and entertaining (if slightly cheesy) and serves as a good introduction to the man and his legacy. It’s also a good watch for fans of Alan Moore, who appears throughout the show and talks of Dee’s magical practices and their influence - and the three-note “spooky” sax motif is more memorable than anything in Albarn’s opera: 
 

 
Previously on DM:
Dr. Dee: sneak preview of new Damon Albarn opera about 16th Century Alchemist

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment