Thursday, November 27, 2014

Global Warning: "If the ocean was whiskey . . ."

All Dried Out!
New York Times

Just look at what global warming is doing to the oceans! Thank goodness I'm on the ball and ready to shout out a global warning! Red hot arctic seas - heat goes up, you know! Underwater mountain ranges exposed in all their now-naked uprightness! Other stuff I don't know what are!

Just kidding. The images are the dried residues left at the bottom of whisky glasses:
Ernie Button, a photographer in Phoenix, found art at the bottom of a whisky glass. Howard A. Stone, a mechanical and aerospace engineering professor at Princeton, found the science in the art. (Kenneth Chang, "Art in a Whisky Glass, Neatly Explained," New York Times, November 24, 2014)
Button first noticed the residual patterns in a shot glass:
Eight years ago, Mr. Button was about to wash the glass when he noticed that leftover drops of Scotch had dried into a chalky but unexpectedly beautiful film. "When I lifted it up to the light, I noticed these really delicate, fine lines on the bottom," he recalled, "and being a photographer for a number of years before this, I'm like, 'Hmm, there's something to this.'"
He eventually found the right man of science to study the strange effect:
Mr. Button typed "fluid mechanics" and "art" into Google. Up popped a list of search results that included Dr. Stone.

Mr. Button emailed. Dr. Stone responded.

"I remember it wasn't clear what we were looking at," Dr. Stone said.
And they're still not entirely sure what they're looking at, as you'll learn if you go to the story itself. And if you go to Ernie Button's site, you'll see many more images.

As for the ocean as whiskey, here's the song.

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At 9:34 AM, Blogger Carter Kaplan said...

This post makes me wonder what images might be found at the bottom of a bottomless bottle of beer?

At 12:09 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

That would require some non-Euclidian geometry, the bottom of that bottomless bottle being found where parallel lines meet.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 12:09 PM, Blogger Kevin Kim said...

Having recently seen "Interstellar," I suspect the bottomless bottle has a wormhole in it-- a portal that connects the bottle to Hell's own brewery.

At 12:13 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

No worm can survive the bottomless beer - its alcohol content is too high!

Jeffery Hodges

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