Chasing Color

Art, Science, and Geekery

Last update
2020-07-13 03:15:28

    <>The Dance of a Thousand Hands.

    This is so surreal for something that includes zero special effects of any kind


    If this is the group I think it is (you can find them by searching Dance of a Thousand Hands on YouTube. The dancers are all hearing impared and the orchestra is visually impared. The dancers can feel the music through vibrations in their feet and hearing and feeling each other’s breathing. They are the China Disabled Peoples Performing Arts Troupe and have traveled to 100 countries and counting. They aim to prove that anyone can dance, and anyone can play.

    How to act around wheelchair users

    Interacting with wheelchair users, a crash course:

    1) if you dont have the time or time to read the rest of this, then at least take this part - start out from the assumption that you should give the same level of respect and treatment towards wheelchair users as you would to a walker.

    2)if you think you’re breaking the tension by saying something cringey and demeaning like “no speeding lol!”  “got a license for that thing? haha!”…you’re not.  Please don’t do this, we’ve heard it hundreds of times and it wasnt funny the first time.

    3) You can say the word disabled.  Most of the disability community prefers “disabled person” rather than “person with a disability” - and nearly all prefer it over “handicapped” “handicapable” “differently abled” or other condescending euphemisms for disability.  Use the phrases “X is a wheelchair user” or “X uses a wheelchair” rather than “X is wheelchair bound” or “X is in a wheelchair”

    4) Please remember that we are adults and grabbing us and moving us places without consent or warning is classified as assault.  You should not grab strangers simply because you see they are using a mobility aid, that doesnt make it okay.  Assaulting people is not your kind deed of the day!!

    5) respect our privacy.  Please do not ask why we use a wheelchair (extremely rude!) or whether we can drive, engage in intercourse, have children, etc.  

    5) following off of 4, dont assume that we need your help.  I saw a post recently that had a comment from an abled person that basically said they felt awkward talking to wheelchair users becuase they want to help but dont know how - in the context of…no help being needed.  Many people see wheelchair and assume “help needed!!” and rush to our aid, ignoring our consent or autonomy in the process.  That is not okay.  Ask first.  And respect a no.  But before asking - does the person actually seem to need help?  Are they stuck on a curb (that’s happened to me!) or have a flat tire, or struggling in the terrain?  Or are they simply chilling on their phone, or opening a door by themselves with no signs of difficulty, or pushing themselves down the sidewalk minding their business; yet you assume they must need help because wheelchair = needing help??


    This isnt a perfect list, but i think its a good overview of the basics!  And remember that disabled people aren’t a monolith, and if you are extensively interacting with a wheelchair user (such as a partner or family member, or a roommate) you should definitely see what they personally prefer and listen to them as well!  

    I hope this is okay to ask, but I read a book about a kid who’s a wheelchair user and he said he loved when his friends would kneel to talk to him bc then they were on eye level. I don’t believe it was written by a disabled person so I’ve never tried it, but I’ve always wondered if that was a real thing. Absolutely no pressure to answer this, but do you or any other disabled users have wisdom to share?

    Most wheelchair users find this extremely condescending. We’re not children. Feel free to sit in a chair next to us, or if you’re standing you can stand back a little when we’re talking so we don’t need to break our necks looking up at you.

    story time: my first girlfriend (who is still one of my very best friends!) ended up being HELLA aroace and when we were dating as young teens i had a HUGE suspicion that she was? but she hadn’t come out yet and i didn’t wanna just be like “hey so you seem to have zero capacity for romantic attraction” so instead we just kept dating and i never made a move, so to say. never tried to kiss her or anything we just hung out and watched cartoons and sometimes held hands but that was it

    years later when she told me about being ace i just had to laugh and be like “buddy i know. ive always known” and yeah. i love her a lot

    “how did you know” mostly just Vibes but also the first time we shared a bed all she wanted to do was info dump to me about dragons

    so, she and i were recently talking about this and having a good laugh over the whole thing. and then she tells me that back then, her main reason for agreeing when i asked her out was that she figured that dating would mean we would spend a lot of time together, and since she already loved hanging out with me, getting to do it even more sounded wonderful

    she had NO idea how dating or romance worked. she was literally googling stuff like “what does it feel like to be in love” whenever somebody at school talked about having a crush. she just saw an opportunity to spend more quality time with a best friend and leapt on it without considering anything else

    so yeah, maybe she never loved me romantically. but the platonic love that this girl has shown me over the years is so warm and pure and i wouldn’t trade it for anything in the whole wide world!!

    okay so. her text has become so famous now that i feel obligated inform you guys that the girl im talking about in this post is none other than Rachel:

    as you can see, not much has changed. still ace as fuck, and still keeping me up past my bedtime with random info dumping

    Intuition is real. Vibes are real. Energy doesn’t lie. Tune in.

    This is actually called thin slicing. Your brain recognizes patterns from very small “slices” of information by comparing them to things you have experienced before. This all happens very quickly on a subconscious level without our conscious mind being involved. So intuition is actually really fast pattern recognition, and it can be very accurate. So yeah, if you have a gut feeling that a person or situation is not good, get the hell out. Your brain knows what’s up. 

    When I was young - because I’ve always been a big skeptical pain in the ass - I thought that when people were talking about interpersonal “energy,” they were on some Gay Ass Shit.

    Years later, after spending hundreds of hours reading studies about intuition and neuroscience and pattern recognition and the processing power of the subconscious mind, I realized that that kind of talk - “she has such good energy,” “you need to read the energy of the room,” “I just got some really bad energy off of that guy” - is a convenient shorthand for the lightning-fast, weirdly-accurate, real-as-fuck subconscious processing of the probability of positive or negative social outcomes likely to result from hundreds or thousands of variables. That “energy” isn’t a tangible thing floating around in the air. It’s your brain updating you constantly with information about your situation. Listen to it. Especially if it’s telling you to be nervous or scared. Your brain is very good at recognizing danger. Let the enormous processing power of your subconscious mind protect you. It’s better at spotting patterns than you are. 

    “Bad energy” isn’t some hippie shit. It’s your brain setting off a claxon because it knows something’s not right.

    Thin slicing is wonderfully helpful, but be aware that if it’s doing its pattern recognition from bad sources, you need to actively override it. We’re raised in a racist society, inundated with racist media, and bombarded with subtly (or unsubtly) racist advice. Thin slicing can save your life, but it’s also the cause behind the unconscious elements of racism (and misogyny/ableism/antisemitism/islamophobia/etc.) that we all suffer from

    Trust your instincts, but if your instincts tell you something that seems prejudicial, double check their work.

    A+ addition

    Also maybe don’t listen as much if you have anxiety cause that shit is already on overdrive and it’s probably difficult to separate out the two.

    So the other night during D&D, I had the sudden thoughts that:

    1) Binary files are 1s and 0s

    2) Knitting has knit stitches and purl stitches

    You could represent binary data in knitting, as a pattern of knits and purls…

    You can <>knit Doom.

    However, after crunching some more numbers:

    The compressed Doom installer binary is 2.93 MB. Assuming you are using sock weight yarn, with 7 stitches per inch, results in knitted doom being…

    3322 square feet

    Factoring it out…302 people, each knitting a relatively reasonable 11 square feet, could knit Doom.


    Hi fun fact!!

    The idea of a “binary code” was originally developed in the textile industry in pretty much this exact form. Remember punch cards? Probably not! They were a precursor to the floppy disc, and were used to store information in the same sort of binary code that we still use:


    Here’s Mary Jackson (c.late 1950s) at a computer. If you look closely in the yellow box, you’ll see a stack of blank punch cards that she will use to store her calculations.


    This is what a card might look like once punched. Note that the written numbers on the card are for human reference, and not understood by the computer. 

    But what does it have to do with textiles? Almost exactly what OP suggested. Now even though machine knitting is old as balls, I feel that there are few people outside of the industry or craft communities who have ever seen a knitting machine. 


    Here’s a flatbed knitting machine (as opposed to a round or tube machine), which honestly looks pretty damn similar to the ones that were first invented in the sixteenth century, and here’s a nice little diagram explaining how it works:


    But what if you don’t just want a plain stocking stitch sweater? What if you want a multi-color design, or lace, or the like? You can quite easily add in another color and integrate it into your design, but for, say, a consistent intarsia (two-color repeating pattern), human error is too likely. Plus, it takes too long for a knitter in an industrial setting. This is where the binary comes in!


    Here’s an intarsia swatch I made in my knitwear class last year. As you can see, the front of the swatch is the inverse of the back. When knitting this, I put a punch card in the reader,


    and as you can see, the holes (or 0′s) told the machine not to knit the ground color (1′s) and the machine was set up in such a way that the second color would come through when the first color was told not to knit.

    <>tl;dr the textiles industry is more important than people give it credit for, and I would suggest using a machine if you were going to try to knit almost 3 megabytes of information.

    Someone port Doom to a blanket

    I really love tumblr for this 🙌


    It goes beyond this.  Every computer out there has memory.  The kind of memory you might call RAM.  The earliest kind of memory was magnetic core memory.  It looked like this:

    Wires going through magnets.  This is how all of the important early digital computers stored information temporarily.  Each magnetic core could store a single bit - a 0 or a 1.  Here’s a picture of a variation of this, called rope core memory, from one NASA’s Apollo guidance computers:

    You may think this looks incredibly handmade, and that’s because it is.  But these are also extreme close-ups.  Here’s the scale of the individual cores:

    The only people who had the skills necessary to thread all of these cores precisely enough were textile and garment workers.  Little old ladies would literally thread the wires by hand.

    And thanks to them, we were able to land on the moon.  This is also why memory in early computers was so expensive.  It had to be hand-crafted, and took a lot of time.

    (little old ladies sewed the space suits, too)

    Fun fact: one nickname for it was LOL Memory, for “little old lady memory.”

    I mean let’s also touch on the Jacquard Loom, if you want to get all Textiles In Sciencey. It was officially created in 1801 or 1804 depending on who you ask (although you can see it in proto-form as early as 1725) and used a literal chain of punch cards to tell the loom which warps to raise on hooks before passing the weft through. It replaced the “weaver yelling at Draw Boy” technique, in which the weaver would call to the kid manning the heddles “raise these and these, lower these!” and hope that he got it right. 

    With a Jacquard loom instead of painstakingly picking up every little thread by hand to weave in a pattern, which is what folks used to do for brocades in Ye Olde Times, this basically automated that. Essentially all you have to do to weave here is advance the punch cards and throw the shuttle. SO EASY. 

    ALSO, it’s not just “little old ladies sewed the first spacesuits,” it’s “the women from the Playtex Corp were the only ones who could sew within the tolerances needed.” Yes, THAT Playtex Corp, the one who makes bras. Bra-makers sent us to the moon. 

    And the cool thing with them was that they did it all WITHOUT PINS, WITHOUT SEAM RIPPING and in ONE TRY. You couldn’t use pins or re-sew seams because the spacesuits had to be airtight, so any additional holes in them were NO GOOD. They were also sewing to some STUPID tight tolerances-in our costume shop if you’re within an eighth of an inch of being on the line, you’re usually good. The Playtex ladies were working on tolerances of 1/32nd of an inch. 1/32nd. AND IN 21 LAYERS OF FABRIC. 

    The women who made the spacesuits were BADASSES. (and yes, I’ve tried to get Space-X to hire me more than once. They don’t seem interested these days)

    This is fascinating. I knew there was a correlation between binary and weaving but this just takes it to a whole nother level. 

    they do this so that they can prove people use the library, figure out what books are popular so they can make sure to get more like it or further entries in a series, and to figure out what times the library is more buisy while ive never killed a person in a library (yet) i do sometimes unshelve additional books to boost the statistics thus resulting in increased funding for the library, however small

    This certainly takes the stress away of trying to figure out where to put a book back

    I am screaming lmao also this reminds me of @rosewater1997

    I really do love that people have legitimately always just been people. Like how many angry breakup texts have their been that end with “Come get your stuff or I’m donating it to goodwill”? People never change.

    The concubine after reading this:

    This is my new breakup format

    Fuck him and his harem. I hope Nisaba made you #1 wife, baby

    Wind erosion

    A really cool find in the deserts of Northern Africa. Wind is a major erosive force, capable of picking up and carrying sand grains, but the wind is limited. Most winds are easily able to pick up sand, but pebbles are usually too big for the wind to move.

    This photo is about 4 cm across. There are small pebbles sitting on top of sand; the wind can move the sand but not the pebbles. The pebbles have protected the sand grains below them, creating pillars of sand beneath the pebbles. These would be called deflation features; remnants of sand being removed by the wind.


    Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/banco_imagenes_geologicas/8558090382