## An example of "order out of chaos"

"Draw some random points on a piece of paper and join them up to make a random polygon. Find all the midpoints and connecting them up to give a new shape, and repeat. The resulting shape will get smaller and smaller, and will tend towards an ellipse!" [code to make this in Mathematica] [a version which allows you to watch the process step by step, with 10 vertices or 100]
posted by ocherdraco on Dec 3, 2012 - 65 comments

## 15 bits of crypto should be enough for anybody

On May 13, security advisories published by Debian and Ubuntu revealed that, for over a year, their OpenSSL libraries have had a major flaw in their CSPRNG, which is used by key generation functions in many widely-used applications, which caused the "random" numbers produced to be extremely predictable. [lolcat summary]
posted by finite on May 16, 2008 - 81 comments

## pi in pixels

what happens if you assign a colored pixel to each decimal of pi?
posted by petsounds on Oct 26, 2006 - 99 comments

## random(1-100)

Please pick a random number between 1 and 100 (Explanation follows after filling out a short form.)
posted by kika on Aug 28, 2006 - 146 comments

## Meta Math

Gregory Chaitin's Meta Math! The Quest For Omega
"Okay, what I was able to find, or construct, is a funny area of pure mathematics where things are true for no reason, they're true by accident... It's a place where God plays dice with mathematical truth. It consists of mathematical facts which are so delicately balanced between being true or false that we're never going to know, and so you might as well toss a coin." From Paradoxes of Randomness.
"In my opinion, Omega suggests that even though maths and physics are different, perhaps they are not as different as most people think. To put it bluntly, if the incompleteness phenomenon discovered by Gödel in 1931 is really serious — and I believe that Turing's work and my own work suggest that incompleteness is much more serious than people think — then perhaps mathematics should be pursued somewhat more in the spirit of experimental science rather than always demanding proofs for everything." From Omega and why maths has no Theory Of Everythings.
[previously, see also, via]
posted by MetaMonkey on Apr 13, 2006 - 17 comments

## LavaRand

LavaRand...harnessing the power of Lava Lite® lamps to generate truly random numbers....

That's a bold statement, but who am I to doubt the power of the lava lamp. The mathematical purist may disagree with the "truely random" part, but this geek speak convinced me that LavaRand can handle all my random number needs.
posted by bicyclingfool on Apr 30, 2001 - 1 comment

Page: 1