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Thursday, July 13, 2006
Pink Noiz
The theory behind pink noise is very attractive as it links to self-organised criticality:

We shall see that the dynamics of a critical state has a specific temporal fingerprint, namely 'flicker noise', in which the power spectrum S(f) scales as 1/f at low frequencies. Flicker noise is characterized by correlations extended over a wide range of timescales, a clear indication of some sort of cooperative effect. Flicker noise has been observed, for example, in the light from quasars, the intensity of sunspots, the current through resistors, the sand flow in an hourglass, the flow of rivers such as the Nile, and even stock exchange price indices. Despite the ubiquity of flicker noise, its origin is not well understood. Indeed, one may say that because of its ubiquity, no proposed mechanism to data can lay claim as the single general underlying root of 1/f noise. We shall argue that flicker noise is in fact not noise but reflects the intrinsic dynamics of self-organized critical systems.

Another cool blog is here:

Walking along one day on the newly-discovered coast of Australia, Captain Cook saw an extraordinary animal leaping through the bush.
"What's that?" he asked one of the aborigines accompanying him.
"Uh - gangurru." he replied - or something like that. Captain Cook duly noted down the name of the peculiar beast as 'Kangaroo'.
Some time later, Cook had the opportunity to compare notes with Captain King, and mentioned the kangaroo.
"No, no, Cook", said King, "the word for that animal is 'meenuah' - I've checked it carefully.
"So what does 'kangaroo' mean?"
"Well, I think," said King "it probably means something like 'I don't know'..."

So ever since, the story goes, the English word 'kangaroo' has been based on a misunderstanding, and really means 'I don't know'.
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