Weird science facts, November 2 — November 8

Here we are again, with more Twitter #weirdscifacts!

599. Nov 02: Digits of Pi have inspired a musical sequence and a whole symphony!  This comes via a tweet by @para_sight; also, @physicsman points out, “Given that Pi is non-repeating the binary version of the sequence contains every symphony in every codec in every bit rate.”

600. Nov 03: Fossilized red penguins in the Peruvian desert?  It is odd enough to note that fossils of penguins have been found in a desert, but it was also determined that these penguins were red!  (h/t @kimberly_gerson@ejwillingham)

601. Nov 04: Via @blakestacey, the “tea leaf paradox“: stirring tea invariably leads to tea in middle bottom of cup!  This is a wonderful example of nontrivial science typically sitting unnoticed in plain sight!  One would think that the tea leaves would be pulled to the edges of the cup by centrifugal force, but as is often the case the actual physics is more complicated.  (Picture via Wikipedia.)

602. Nov 05: Mathematician attempts the world’s ugliest piece of music.  While we’re talking about music, it’s worth noting a mathematical attempt to produce genuinely horrible music.  (Avoiding obvious Nickelback joke.)  (h/t @patrickneville)

603. Nov 06: Urohidrosis: some bird species lower their body temperature by defecating on their own legs.

604. Nov 07: “Mars” “Crew” 520 day experiment ends, but 2000 attempt ended in drunken disaster!  The “disaster” is referenced at the bottom of the linked article.  Considering that a trip to Mars will take more than a year, experiments such as these are necessary to test human response to prolonged confinement and isolation.  As is often the case, the “Twilight Zone” was way ahead of the curve on this one.

605. Nov 08: Sinister alliances: Groupers and moray eels can hunt as a team!  (recent post by @edyong209)

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2 Responses to Weird science facts, November 2 — November 8

  1. J Thomas says:

    “Given that Pi is non-repeating the binary version of the sequence contains every symphony in every codec in every bit rate.”

    I don’t think this is necessarily so.

    Given a nonrepeating sequence, it’s *possible* for it to include every finite symphony. But take one particular symphony. Go through the nonrepeating sequence and snip out every copy of that symphony in one particular code at one particular bit rate. Afterward will you still have an infinite sequence? Likely. You could. Will it still be nonrepeating? Probably. It could. We ought to be able to find an example of a nonrepeating sequence that has a symphony missing.

    So I think this claim goes too far. There can be examples where it’s true and examples where it’s false.

    • I was thinking the same thing, and you’re probably right. It was an interesting enough mathematical hypothesis to be worth mentioning in the post, at least… I wonder if any mathematicians would like to chime in?

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