The Friday Fillip

I never got past trigonometry in math, so fractal geometry hurts my brain. Fortunately, it can be portrayed in images, the most famous of which belong to the endlessly creating (literally) Mandelbrot set. I’ve discovered a program called XaoS (“chaos”) that takes not only the Mandelbrot equations but many others and causes them to output glorious fractal images — images that let you drill down into them only to discover worlds as complex as the one you left — on and on until the ability of the application is exhausted. If you’re feeling lazy you simply ask XaoS to conjure up a random starting picture and dive in from there; or for those times when even this is too much trouble (Friday afternoon, say), simply put the thing on automatic pilot and watch as you fly through scenery that out Kubrick’s the 2001 Space Oddyssy.

This isn’t an online app: you have to download it onto your machine. So until you get around to doing that, let me offer you five screenshots of places I’ve been.

(This also introduces something new to Slaw: Lightbox, a means of viewing larger images than might otherwise be accommodated by our print-based format. If you click on “one” below, you should see a popup layer appear. Mouse over the right side to see a “next image” link or the left side to see a “previous image” link; using these links you can proceed through the images as in a slideshow. You can use the “Close” link at the bottom right to return to the regular Slaw page.)

one | two | three | four | five


  1. The Friday Fillip Fractals!! Oh, yeah!