Tuesday, July 27, 2004

A Tangled Web

OK, so I cringed as I wrote that title, but I'm gonna keep it.

So you know how sometimes you start browsing at a page and 30 minutes later you end up somewhere completely, radically different? I just had one of those. I started at Zach Braff's blog on his new movie Garden State (which I've blogged about before), and ended up at a full proof of Euler's Identity.

So, with the help of Firefox's history I shall record this journey for prosperity.

As I said, I started at Zach Braff's blog, to see if he had added anything new. From there I browsed along to the pictures of the premier, coz well they would have a certain Ms. Portman. While browsing through these very fine images, particularly those of the very fine Ms. Tishby, I noticed that Jenna Elfman was also there. Being an old fan of Dharma and Greg I decided to check out it's credits on IMDB.

At IMDB I remembered that Chuck Lorre was the producer, and that he would put up a vanity card after each episode of the show with various thoughts, which I always found interesting. So, I googled 'chuck lorre' and got to this fantastic website with all his 'vanitiods'. How cool was that?

Bookmarking this site I returned to IMDB to look at the latest box office takings. Looks like the new Bourne Identity movie is doing well. Out of curiosity I decided to have a look at the worldwide figures. Titanic was at the top as expected, but Lord of the Rings had done a few billion worth of damage too. Then I noticed that Passion of the Christ was actually one of the top grossing movies world wide. I missed a lot of the hype on this because I was on the big Europe trip and pretty much oblivious to what was happening in the world.

So I took a quick look at Passion and decided to read Ebert's review of the film. Looks like he liked it quite a bit. Anyways, he made a reference to the fact that the film would have been NC-17 if not for the fact that it was Jesus they were torturing. Since I wasn't quite sure what NC-17 was I googed that. Nothing useful, so I thought "might as well try Wikipedia".

Wikipedia certainly helped. It had a full description of the MPAA rating system and described the NC-17 rating pertty well. Interesting that in America that classification is optional, but it ain't so here... Anyways, that page had a link to a list of NC-17 rated films, so I decided to check that out. On the list I noticed that one of my favourite films Requiem for a Dream was originally NC-17 before being re-edited for a R rating.

Wikipedia even had a page for Darren Aronofsky the directory, and his previous movie Pi which I absolutely LOVE. Of course this being wikipedia the page had a reference to the real 'Pi'. Being a maths geek I decided to follow that and read that. It turns out that a whole bunch of people from Ancient Greece to China to India and the middle-east were fascinated by Pi.

Anyways, the Pi page had plenty of links to important theorems which need Pi, so I opened up a bunch of them in tabs (what would I do without tabs?). Of course a bunch of them are still sitting there as I type this, coz there is no way I can read all the stuff I opened just now.

So anyways from Pi, I head to reading about the Riemann Zeta Function. I'm sure we least brushed over that at Uni, but Dear Lord! that maths looks complicated! Anyways, I left Riemann there and went over to the next tab, which happened to be on Euler's Identity - see, we're almost at the end. We definately did this at uni, since the rule of e^jx = cos(x) + jsin(x) is a pretty fundamental part of signal theory and something they beat all electrical engineers over the head with.

From what I remembered, we didn't actually do the full proof of the Identity, so I decided to follow the link to the full proof of the identity. Which was actually quite understandable - maybe I did take something away from those years of maths at uni. It's funny how I now read for "fun" things which I hated at uni. Much the same way I decided Shakespeare and Austen were worth reading after I finished high school.

So I will stop my jouney there. But just to note the other tabs I have open: Taylor Series, Heisenberg uncertainty principle, Fractals, Mandelbrot Set, The fundamental Theorem of Algebra, Leonhard Euler, Augustin Louis Cauchy and Taylor Series. I think I have some nice reading to do for tomorrow.

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