Monday, February 23, 2015

Rolling Shutter + Moving Things = WICKED

There is a point in every blog's life where the audience and niche becomes set in stone, a point which this blog seems to be quite far from reaching. Do I go through the proof of Hölder's Inequality with informal language and cute pictures? Or, instead, simple mental math tricks that everyone alive should know? A smattering of recent interdisciplinary papers I have opinions on, or stories of working with high school and middle school tutees? Macros in $\LaTeX$? Householder reflectors? That time I found out biologists use "units" to refer to a different quantity for every substance?

So here we fall back on the old "what is Peter up to" shebang, which is never not funny. I feel truly blessed to have a partner who spends hours looking at fluid dynamics in bubble solution and can spell his initials in a 9x9 puzzle cube. The fields he finds interesting (look at all the things prime numbers can do! pretty pictures!) are also more accessible to laypeople than the fields I find interesting (okay, now memorize definitions for 2 years! in two more years you will be able to appreciate distributional calculus!). Maybe that's why there are so few famous analysts.

The biggest fight we ever had was over his finitism. He tried to convince me it was silly to model reality using irrational numbers that can't be described using a finite amount of information; I sat on the bed sobbing because the axiomatic structure he was proposing didn't have a clear measure, and so how do sets get mass, and HOW DOES INTEGRATION WORK IN YOUR CRAZY WORLD? DON'T YOU CARE ABOUT THEORETICAL JUSTIFICATION? HUH?!

Pictures, right? Everyone likes pictures?

Some background: this particular incident occurred when Peter discovered his cellphone camera took pictures by storing data from the top down, so that the photos were separated into horizontal lines that were actually taken at different times. (Wikipedia assures me this is called rolling shutter.) Usually, this doesn't make a difference---unless if one were to take pictures of something spinning or vibrating really fast.

So of course that's what he did for a whole week.

Here's what his mom's spinning flamingo looks like in real life:

... but with a rolling shutter, it's a curved monstrosity... 

An ordinary fan looks like it has vertical blades:

Bouncing balls show deformity:

And, for our personal favorite, filming a cello gives a visualization of the old $u_tt = c^2\nabla^2u$:

All things considered, it wasn't a bad way to spend a week.

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