Tuesday, July 1, 2008

"Black Squares" or "People Are Silly"

Scientists cooked up the idea of Dark Matter as a way of explaining why the universe doesn't fly apart. The more they work, however, the more they are able to find evidence that confirms its existence. Now, thanks to the fine folks at the Particle Zoo, you can own your own plush bit of Dark Matter for just $9.75 + shipping. I love that the ad says "...it remains a mystery as to what exactly it is" and then lists the construction materials. They had to be laughing when they did that.

Addle your melon here.

In 1915 Kazimir Malevich painted his famous Black Square. When he exhibited it, he hung it in the corner of the room that was traditionally reserved for the family icon. The message was pretty bold. These days it's about as revolutionary as a sock and helps ignorant people bad-mouth art.

"A black square? Really? I could buy one of them at Sherwin-Williams for a couple of bucks!"

It's all context.

I respect Suprematism in its historical perspective, but I think it's pretty silly. Evidently so did Stalin.

Not entirely safe for work, though not all that lewd.

Censor bars are inherently silly. Proven fact (see full study here). I love the Pong part. Oh retro, you are so hip.

The music, by the way, is a fantastic song called 'Toe Jam' by the British superband BPA. It features Fatboy Slim, David Byrne, and Dizzee Rascal. Another great Dizzee Rascal video here(highly recommended).

Photo Credits: Dark Matter ad yoinked from the Particle Zoo website. Black Square courtesy of Wikimedia.


Thisbe said...

According to John Moffat of the Perimeter Institute of Theoretical Physics, dark matter does not need to exist.

Apparently, if you add a few extra terms to Einstein's equation for gravity you can allow for asymmetric gravity - gravity that behaves differently on galactic scales than on human scale, which does away with the need for dark matter.

It's quite heterodox, and may be all bunk anyway. But I like it.

Michael said...

I love that.
Little by little we seem to be chipping away at our assumption that the universe is uniform and that the laws of nature function similarly at every scale. I've never understood why that should be the case.
But, hey, what do I know about it?