Week 9

Final Project (Very Rough) Draft (Really More of an Outline)

Sex itself exists at the intersection of science and art. On one hand, there is the image of sex that is presented in schools, to young adults: sex is biological, necessary, driven by hormones, and associated with consequences such as unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. At best, students are taught the anatomy of reproductive systems and learn the very basics of consent and penis in vagina sex, with some brief mention of other sexual orientations.

Innovative Capital and The Need for ArtTech in Learning Environments

The ArtSci Undergraduate Society had the opportunity to create and art exhibition titled Linear Perspectives-- inspired by the Basic Plasma Science Facility’s (BaPSF) Large Plasma Device (LAPD) at UCLA. Dr. Gekelman (who constructed the LAPD made a visit to the exhibition, and asked the students about the art pieces they constructed. It was great to see how open Dr. Gekelman was to the artistic liberties and interpretations of his scientific data.

Plasma and its natural phenomena as art

To me, one of the most interesting topics from Dr. Gekelman’s talk was about geomagnetic storms. Storms fascinate me in general: the way they form in nature, and the way that they are endlessly used as symbols in human art work. I think storms are one of the best examples of the inherent artistic quality of the natural and physical world. Physics is what explains general storms, so hearing about geomagnetic storms, and how utterly other they are, was fascinating.

Ordered Chaos

From what I remember from high school physics, electricity and magnetism both involved charges to some degree and were related somehow, but for the most part were two distinct topics. I was surprised to learn in college that the two are essentially different sides of the same coin and are constantly influencing each other. As I read more about magnetic flux ropes and the plasma released from them “breaking,” I realized that the parlor tricks driven by magnets and electrons are actually a powerful and dangerous force in the universe.

Plasma and Invisible Strings

Walter Gekelman's talk was a really interesting and exciting to listen to. He took what could have been an incredibly overwhelming topic and made it approachable and simple. But that did not make any of what he said any less impressive and humbling. Just the sheer scale of what he was describing was so overwhelming to me, so beyond the scope of the every day human experiences.

Something Out of This World

Listening to Dr. Walter Gekelman speak last week, I was in awe. I am a Geography major, so most of the terms, concepts and ideas he brought up were all unfamiliar to me. It was difficult to keep up at times and try to follow what he was saying, but I managed to write down key words that stood out to me so I could follow up and do further research on them.

Is Reality Beyond Our Perception?

What struck me the most during Dr. Gekelman’s talk was the time in which his reactions took place.  A billionth of second is such an abstract concept to us that is it quite unfathomable. Yet, I find it interesting that the concept of time itself is almost unfathomable. Time as we know it is so inorganically constructed with an arbitrary 24 hours in a day, 60 minutes in an hour, and 60 seconds in a minute. Yet it is so ingrained in our society and in our biological clocks.

Fowler, oh Fowler, wherefore art thou so strange?

I have not been inside the Fowler Museum till this quarter during my time at UCLA and regret that I have not gone sooner because it is so interesting and beautiful. The highlighted exhibit was “Making Strange” by Vivan Sundaram. He obtained his education from India and continued studying art in London. I thought this exhibit was probably the strangest that I have encountered, hence the name.

LASER: What is an Infinity Structure?

I was really not sure what to expect when attending Robert Gero's exhibit on infinity structures. I was half expecting to see a 3d rendition of the Möbius strip, but Robert Gero talked about an idea where the interior expands infinitely and the exterior remains unchanged. He based his concept off prior works where people had discussed the idea of an infinitely expanding exterior with an unchanging interior and what he came up with was this model in the following picture.

Koko the Gorilla

As requested, I thought I would take few moments to speak about Koko the gorilla and her miraculous story. I know that on Thursday we were talking about all sorts of interesting characteristics in regards to animals, but when we were focusing on monkeys and how intellectual they are, I immediately thought about Koko.

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