Things I learned this week — clams, color perception, tuned mass dampers, symmetry

I aspire to be a lifelong learner. I do read a lot — books and online — and I find increasingly that if I don’t take a few moments to write down and reflect on what I learned, then I don’t really learn it. So am starting a new attempt to document interesting things I learned each week. Inspired in part by Tom Whitwell, referred to by Mark Frauenfelder.

Oh, and how fragile our democracy is, and how inspiring it is to see a large cross section of our society rise and start to defend it.

One thought to “Things I learned this week — clams, color perception, tuned mass dampers, symmetry”

  1. I think had read somewhere ages ago that there was an advantage to prime numbers in radial symmetry, perhaps because they reduce the chance of getting stuck in oscillations or local maxima when interacting with an environment that might have regular or repeating patterns; also helps maximize the diversity of terrain examined when traversing it in a straight line, or when standing still interacting with a current flowing in one direction. Given that, 5 is just the smallest prime number that reasonably approximates a circle; maybe the downsides of 7 (increased resources, increased partitioning overhead, increased surface area and heat loss, decreased mobility of limbs) outweigh the advantages.

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