We have come a far way with satellite images - more than 20 years ago I helped processing the first SPOT images at the University of Stuttgart. We were proud to detect landmarks such as highways after hours of intensive data processing. Today just a mouse click away much higher resolution data freely available on the internet.
While this is great technology in itself, I really was stunned taking a look at some flight tracking information available on the internet. Take a look at http://www.fboweb.com/, select the "Google Earth Primer" button on the right-hand side and select the demo link halfway down the page. You can see how planes find their way into an airport such as Seattle Tacoma. Even more, any flight number can be looked up and you’ll see where on Earth it is. Take in particular a lower angle to see the height of a plane.
Now that almost twenty years passed since I left the university all memories came back - the challenge of a proof and the devotion for the mathematicians pure abstract and universal world." Do you remember how to proof that the square root of 2 is irrational? This book takes you through the history of the calculus that started with the work of some many great Greek thinkers such as Archimedes, Euclid and Pythagoras.
It was in particular the historical perspective, well documented and fairly easy to read that I liked so much about Singh's book. And if you wish to take it a little further, take a look at Basic Ideas in Greek Mathematics.
In the late 50s, a new musical wave was being developed in Brazil, once again combining elements from quite different origins. On one hand, there was a group of young musicians in Rio who were listening to American jazz singers and players, absorbing harmonic influences and styles, especially from West Coast cool jazz musicians, such as Chet Baker and Barney Kessel. On the other hand, in the interior of Bahia State, a young guitarist, João Gilberto, created a sophisticated way to blend the syncopation of samba with altered chords, paving the way to the movement that eventually came to be known as bossa nova, or “new thing”. Gilberto’s creative partnership with pianist/composer Antonio Carlos (a.k.a. Tom) Jobim (1927-1994) and with lyricist Vinícius de Moraes sparked a way of music making that emphasized sophisticated harmonies with an understated vocal delivery and a delicate groove, often based on samba, but with other rhythms present as well. Many other pianists contributed to the development of the bossa nova language, among them Luis Eça, Eumir Deodato, Sérgio Mendes, Hamilton Godoy, César Camargo Mariano and João Donato.
And while looking for some Bossa Nova baselines I did come across the two papers below. And as I cannot neglect my academic IT background I got - to some extend - fascinated by the scientific approach people took in analyzing the swinging Latin rhythm that let your body move. What a contrast! And what it also made clear to me is that playing the Bossa Nova is a rhythmic challenge - look at the indices provided in the 'Measures of Syncopation'.
In today's times of fast money it is amazing that it took seven years for the band to follow up their debut album "Sympatique" with "Hang On Little Tomato" in 2004. Songs of both albums where played, ending with a giant spectacle with twelve Brazilian samba girls entering the stage on the sweeping rhythm of "Brazil".>
If you take a look at the definitions given in the various dictionaries, you will find “Search for information”. I believe that my daughters (7 and 11) have a different association. Half of their time they google pictures – for fun. For example to use it as a new background or to create a virtual postcard. This goes beyond the search for information, it has become part of their lifestyle (and I haven’t even written about the search for music …).