Friday, Friday

Because it’s Friday, and as a result of something I wrote a couple of weeks ago, I think I need to blog this:
funny pictures - Project: To find the centre of any flat object.
see more LOLcats


The Beast has pointed out that the softness of the surface is also important to the experiment.
And, in other news, scientists (in particular Adamatzky et al.) are asking important questions:

Are motorways rational from slime mould’s point of view?

We analyse the results of our experimental laboratory approximation of motorways networks with slime mould Physarum polycephalum. Motorway networks of fourteen geographical areas are considered: Australia, Africa, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, Iberia, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, The Netherlands, UK, USA. For each geographical entity we represented major urban areas by oat flakes and inoculated the slime mould in a capital. After slime mould spanned all urban areas with a network of its protoplasmic tubes we extracted a generalised Physarum graph from the network and compared the graphs with an abstract motorway graph using most common measures. The measures employed are the number of independent cycles, cohesion, shortest paths lengths, diameter, the Harary index and the Randic index. We obtained a series of intriguing results, and found that the slime mould approximates best of all the motorway graphs of Belgium, Canada and China, and that for all entities studied the best match between Physarum and motorway graphs is detected by the Randic index (molecular branching index).

Good news for Belgium, Canada and China, I guess.
(h/t @harpistcat)

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7 Responses to Friday, Friday

  1. Tom English says:

    I’ve been calling them “nature’s geometers” for several decades.

  2. Tom English says:

    Err… cats, not slimes.

  3. Bob O'Hara says:

    Works for both of ‘em, doesn’t it though?

  4. Jon Moulton says:

    “Lay object on floor”. This also works for spines and sofas; the feline unerringly locates the belly, perching above the visceral center. Kneading commences in inverse proportion to the spine-owner’s need for sleep.

  5. Mike Fowler says:

    I see you’ve only gone for the demi-Hitler moggy in this photo.
    (My Godwin trumps your lolcat)

  6. Cath Ennis says:

    I’ve been trying to train my cats to massage my back by lying on the floor on my stomach and waiting for them to commence their usual OCD kneading/purring activity, but it seems to be the one exception to the rule. Put a hot cup of tea in my hand, though, or some work or a book on my lap, and they’ll knead like their lives depend on it.

  7. Jon Moulton says:

    Piezoelectric paw-booties and tea: the power source for the future