December 30, 2009

Native = Na'vi E.T. - On Cameron's Avatar

The plot is clear. Just figure out that a Pandora blue inhabitant is an extra-terrestrial, then pure anagramming gives you: Na'vi ET = native. Avatar main plot is thus a basic western, just like Star Wars. Na'vis worship Nature, lives in tribes; with their bows and arrows they could impersonate fierce Indian Americans quite well, against (mostly) white exploiters.

Could it be called SciFi then? Utopia related for sure, oscillating between a green-powered tale (Heal the world...) and a Second Life warning (You walk into your dreams) with the humorous "un-obtain-ium", an difficult-to-obtain element akin to Thomas More negative places (u-topia, a-maurote). So the script is a bit more interesting than the basic plot.

Yet, although termed Cameron's long awaited child, the story is very reminiscent of both Ursula Le Guin The word for world is forest [1972/1976] (on the green side) and Poul Anderson Call me Joe [1957] (on the wheelchair side). Or simply Pocahontas? What is left in the box is Hope.

Do You Speak Na'vi? Giving Voice To 'Avatar' Aliens:
Evoking Natives in Avatar:
Avatar' and the Culture of the Na'vi:

November 30, 2009

Royal Society - (NOT) A coyly sortie

Today we celebrate an antanagram: while traditional anagrams usually reveal hidden meanings, antanagrams do the converse. Which differs from non-apt anagrams (i.e. unrelated to the subject).
Indeed, Royal Society Publishing celebrates its 350th anniversary with a announcement which is not a coyly sortie: it launches several commemorative initiatives, all of which are completely free, giving access to science treasures. No more tribal lazing with Trailblazing!
  • Trailblazing is an online, interactive timeline showcasing sixty fascinating and inspiring articles selected from The Royal Society Digital Journal Archive. All articles are accompanied by an illustrated commentary, highlighting the significance of the ground-breaking discovery and its influence on the modern world. Trailblazing is free to access from today.
  • The Royal Society Digital Journal Archive is arguably the most comprehensive publishing archive in science. It dates back to 1665 and contains more than 65,000 articles - from the very first peer-reviewed paper in Philosophical Transactions in 1665, to the most recent interdisciplinary article in Journal of the Royal Society Interface. The archive is free to access from today until 28 February 2010.
Following announcements at RSocPublishing twit.

November 19, 2009

Il y a deux minutes, l'antenne - Crumbles & Graffitis

Kriss est partie. Un ultime rendez-vous pour une voix de radio insolite et humaniste, ma favorite depuis près de 30 ans, le prochain Kriss Crumble, dimanche 22.

Son dernier livre : "La sagesse d'une femme de radio" (L'oeil neuf/Inter 2005).

Corinne Gorse sur Wikipedia

September 23, 2009

Logic Gone - Save wavelets from MountainView Monster!

A Googlet was long known to refer to any company or entity snatched up by Google (do you really need a link here?). All logic gone*, Google Inc.* now plans a wavelet invasion on a much larger basis, with its new real-time communication platform. Let us have a quick look at Google Wave's (a complete guide) terminology:
  • Wave: A wave, specifically, refers to a specific threaded conversation. It can include just one person, or it can include a group of users or even robots. [...] like your entire instant messaging (IM) history with someone. Anything you’ve ever discussed in a single chat or conversation is a wave.
  • Wavelet: A wavelet is also a threaded conversation, but only a subset of a larger conversation (or a wave). It’s like a single IM conversation – a small part of a larger conversation and a larger history. Wavelets, though, can be created and managed separately from a wave (sic).
  • Blip: Even smaller than a Wavelet, a Blip is a single, individual message. It’s like a single line of an IM conversation. Blips can have other blips attached to them, called children.
Something smaller than a wavelet? A waveletelet? Is this even at a tweet level? No kidding. And it is going further on Internet Explorer**. To grab its next territories from lone PC**. So expect online terrors from it**! And its name is Google... Frame. A much larger basis, told you. Not a nun Movie, wait***! But a minutia woven*** masterplan. Now let MountainView**** Monster, Google, furbish its Wavelet Munition****. But let us not become "le gogo" de Google. And let us celebrate in peace the Haar wavelet centenary in 2010.

Amongst the latest "WITS: Where is the Starlet" updates: loglets, steerlets and tetrolets. And a few new SIVA conferences such as MIA 2009 in Paris at very short sight.

July 20, 2009

Nom: anthonome - Man on the moon

A small insect (Named: Anthonomus) to celebrate today's Moon landing anniversary. This one dedicates himself to apple trees, celebrating Isaac Newton's law of universal gravitation. Today's anagram is quite long, not mine, and especially meaningful:
Neil Armstrong : That's one small step for a man; one giant leap for mankind
A thin man ran... makes a large stride... left planet... pins flag on moon... on to Mars!

Aside the terrific achievement, that made me think of becoming an astronaut when a kid, the vision of microscopic human beings trying to tame the huge lunar ball leads me to other insects: dung beetles (aka bousiers here).

No wonder, Marie Dacke et al. found in Animal behaviour: Insect orientation to polarized moonlight (Nature, 2003), that one species of dung beetle (the African Scarabaeus zambesianus) navigates by using polarization patterns in moonlight. Now there are three types on dung beetles: rollers, that roll their stuff ball, tunnellers, that bury it and dwellers, that live inside.

Vain human being, whose side are you on? We know for sure there are three types of mathematicians: those who can count, and those who can't. Is it as well possible to categorize peoples (if not scientists) into such categories: those that roll? tunnel? dwell? Better listen again to the words of hope of John Fitzgerald Kennedy at Rice in September 1962:
We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard

June 23, 2009

Remaniement - Min man, Min woman, haha, anagram you are!

De retour de Versailles (là, serviles), c'est la valse des lettres (pas encore des arts). Comme un alphabet bouillonnant, l'encre roulante bruisse déjà d'un remaniement. Min. maternée, Rachida Dati (A hair addict, à sa chevelure impeccable) twisterait avec Michèle Alliot-Marie (depuis le temps que le militaire l'amoche..., elle est de celles que l'armée minent). MAM entérine un virement qui lui fait justice, avec un armement nié ; on ne voyait pas MAM internée, au contraire de Christine Boutin, qui arbora un temps une coupe de bichon instruite, et qui irait du logement aux prisons. Sans passer par la case, départ d'Orly... L'universitaire ire emmenera peut-être Xavier Darcos aux affaires sociales, propulsant Brice Hortefeux de son ouverture (des frontières) vers l'extérieur sur une cible intérieure, avec promesse de ne plus nommer de poulet au bréchet foireux. La fausse surprise, c'est l'arrivée de Frédéric Mitterand, qui pourra frimer, discréditant au besoin le patronyme.

Vite, on annonce la nouvelle au poste dans quelques secondes... En attendant le gouttage nominatif (name-droopping, you know what, i am happy). Un peu de musique afférente :

Pigs, de Pink Floyd [ou : 2^3 different ones]

Accouplés, de Marka [ou : remaniés sans foin]

et un proverbe attribué à la sagesse chinoise :
Bavardage est écume sur l'eau, action est goutte d'or
En d'autres termes : la parole est bruyante mais vaine tandis que l’action est discrète mais précieuse. Le bavardage s’étale en effet comme l’écume à la surface de l’eau mais il est tout aussi inutile et dénué de valeur. Au contraire, l’action peut être aussi infime et peu visible qu’une goutte, mais elle possède une valeur inestimable. Toute ressemblance...

Quelques sources bientôt invalides :

June 18, 2009

WITS: Tetrolet wavelets

The WITS (and the Virtue) honors today tetrolets, a breed of Haar-type wavelet transform based on tetrominoes. The preprint: "Tetrolet Transform: A New Adaptive Haar Wavelet Algorithm for Sparse Image Representation", may be found at J. Krommweh page (or local copy). The abstract reads:
In order to get an efficient image representation we introduce a new adaptive Haar wavelet transform, called Tetrolet Transform. Tetrolets are Haar-type wavelets whose supports are tetrominoes which are shapes made by connecting four equal-sized squares. The corresponding filter bank algorithm is simple but enormously effective. In every level of the filter bank algorithm we divide the low-pass image into 4 × 4 blocks. Then in each block we determine a local tetrolet basis which is adapted to the image geometry in this block. An analysis of the adaptivity costs leads to modified versions of our method. Numerical results show the strong efficiency of the tetrolet transform for image compression

WITS: Steerlet wavelets

Let us welcome the steerlets, a new breed we have little information about so far, except it is featured at SPIE Wavelet XIII: Papadakis, Azencott and Bodmann at Univ. Houston: Three dimensional steerlets: a novel tool for extractiong textural and structural features in 3D images, SPIE Wavelet XIII, August 2009. Those guys from Texas do love longhorns. And don't forget the WAIP 2010 (Wavelet Applications in Industrial Processing) conference CfP deadline on June 22nd.

May 28, 2009

Ars industrialis - Intelligence 2.0

Face à la puissance (auto-)destructrice du crétinisme consumériste effréné, favorisé par les industries de masses médiocres, captatrices d'attention, l'initiative la plus motivante est celle de l'association Ars Industrialis (

Ars Industrialis Haar-Hadamard wavelet logoCette "association internationale pour une politique industrielle des technologies de l'esprit" relativement jeune, fondée par un club des cinq comprenant le philosophe Bernard Stiegler, n'hésite pas à revendiquer l'esprit joyeux des jumelles de Jacques Demy. En quatre ans, elle a travaillé dans le secteur des technologies de l'esprit, œuvrant à analyser, discuter, proposer, individuellement et en collectif (cf. débats réguliers ouverts au théâtre de la colline, Paris 20e , largement diffusés en podcasts).

Leur ambitieux appel à la mobilisation des intelligences (je dirais intelligence 2.0 si ce n'était pas aussi galvaudé) rejette tout passéisme, car s'intéressant (avec compétence) aux "nouvelles technologies" ; en soulignant certes leurs aspects asservissants mais aussi en proposant de nouveaux usages bénéfiques. Cette attitude mêle aikido (en se préparant techniquement et mentalement à un adversaire puissant) et pharmacologie, dans le sens où ces nouveaux outils, comme les pharmakon à la fois remèdes et poisons, sont susceptibles de soigner comme de tuer (selon la dose prescrite).

Ars industrialis (l'association, pas l'insecte) fait un bilan pour ses quatre ans : samedi 13 juin 2009, 14 rue Malte Brun - Paris 20° - métro Gambetta, 14 heures. Ouvert à tous.

Mais avant de partir, il faudra bien découvrir ce qui les motive : c'était aujourd'hui jeudi 29 mai, dans l'émission Science publique sur France culture, "Pour en finir avec la mécroissance":

Si l’association « Ars Industrialis » n’existait pas, il faudrait l’inventer. À l’instar de Paul Valéry qui s’effrayait de « la baisse de la valeur esprit », ses membres fondateurs, dont le philosophe Bernard Stiegler, ont en commun de prendre au sérieux « la bêtise systémique » qui gangrène le capitalisme lorsque celui-ci devient fou. Le travail qu’ils ont abattu...
disponible sous peu en podcast (mp3 pour une semaine et en format streaming). Et surtout j'aime beaucoup ce logo où une vague base de Haar ou de Hadamard ferait des merveilles.

Les invités :
  • Bernard Stiegler. Directeur de l’Institut de recherche et d’innovation (IRI) du Centre Pompidou et cofondateur de l’association Ars Industrialis (pages)
  • Alain Giffard. Spécialiste des technologies de l'écrit. Président de la Mission interministérielle pour l'accès public à l'internet (blog)
  • Christian Fauré. "Principal Entreprise Architect" chez Capgemini France (blog)

May 16, 2009

About Wolfram Alpha (and wavelets, of course) - ANKOSS

Is Wolfram Alpha the forthcoming search law from Mathematica founder? Await a true RAM flow about it in the next few days. Just tried it with a few queries. So far, Wolfram considers "wavelet" as "a small wave on the surface of a liquid", and displays the following relatively unsatisfactory " dandelion":
This nice dandelion could well have been generated by cellular automata. Unfortunately (to me), there seems to be very few connections between wavelets and finite automata (a former topic of interest of mine) or cellular ones so far. Whether WA is ANKOSS (Another Kind Of Semantic Search), based on automata or not, may not be obvious in the next few days. About the original ANKOS ("A new kind of science" by Stephen Wolfram), let me highlight the bright and funny review by Steven G. Krantz, among all the others, featured in Division by Zero.
I am keeping on trying with the Alpha engine, which at least has the merit to easily plot functions (as 1/x), and to be as honnest (and modest?) as Hal 9000:

April 23, 2009


Three days ahead of schedule, let us celebrate Alfred Elton Van Vogt birthday (26 April 1912 – 26 January 2000). That's all folks.

March 31, 2009

WITS: MIMOlet wavelets

There might be a feeling of complexity in the burgeoning world of wavelets. A relatively general multiresolution framework, entitled MIMOlet (mee-moh-let), has been proposed by Guillaume Flanders et al, with a french-dutch-belgian team originating form Lille university. This scheme includes most of the known forms of discrete filter banks, critical or overcomplete, separable or directional. It borrows its name from MIMO (multi-input, multi-output) systems. More details to be found at this page (broken link at the time of writing). Its extension to the sphere (Booldelill et al.) is in progress, as a generalization to needlets (see for instance here).

February 13, 2009

Valentimes: The Great Gig in the Syzygy (Epoch Times),

The magic number 1234567890 (in epoch time) will occur in a few minutes, seconds (out) elapsed since the 00:00:00 UTC on January 1, 1970 fake Unix Genesis. The 1234567890 day coincides with Valentimes. Base 10 is not the handiest, so is 1234567890 as dull a number as 1729 (see the 1729 Dullness Hardy/Ramanujan anecdote)? Not. 1234567890 + 1 is prime, so is 1234567890^2 + 1.

Eventually, the countdown buzzword drives us to the following assertion:
One hour from now, another species of life form will disappear off the face of the planet forever...and the rate is accelerating
We will talk about that later, on January 19, 2038 (2^31 = 2147483647 overflow)

February 10, 2009

WITS: wavelet training, re-learning and writing (cfp)

On today's WITS the wavelet winter school goes back to Le Creusot, a wavelet and time-frequency training (continuous education type) and a wavelet (multirate and multiscale) call for papers.

L'Ecole analyse multirésolution pour l'image (école de printemps) goes back to Le Creusot, from 16 to 18 March 2009, registrations open until March 5th. The objectives are the following:
L’analyse multirésolution est certainement la déclinaison la plus spectaculaire de la théorie générale des ondelettes, tant par son efficacité à représenter l’information que par sa cohérence entre signaux discrets et signaux continus. Cette école vous fera découvrir cet outil particulièrement utile et fondateur, ainsi que sa richesse et son potentiel. Vous seront proposés:
  • initiation à cet outil devenu classique en traitement du signal et des images;
  • présentation générale de ses innombrables applications dans la recherche, l’industrie et la vie de tous les jours !
  • approfondissements sur l’outil dans les applications générales et fondamentales (représentation, interprétation, compression, protection des données, restauration, etc);
  • introduction aux nouveaux concepts associés comme la parcimonie ou “sparsité” qui révolutionne actuellement le domaine des signaux discrets.
A four days continuing education session (ELS043) on wavelets and related time-frequency transforms is proposed at EUROSAE (Paris) from 30 November to 3 December 2009, under the title: "Nouvelles méthodes de traitement des signaux - ondelettes, temps-fréquence : théorie, pratique et applications". Objectives again:
Acquérir une vision globale des différentes méthodes d'analyse de signaux et d'images dans un cadre non-stationnaire, en partant des techniques classiques basées sur la transformée de Fourier. Les transformations temps-fréquence et les décompositions en ondelettes sont mises en pratique sur des données simulées et réelles (signaux et images), permettant d'en découvrir les domaines d'application privilégiés. Elles sont mises en oeuvre en association avec des techniques d'estimation statistique adaptées.
Last, but not least, a special issue on Advances in Multirate Filter Bank Structures and Multiscale Representations (cfp) of Signal Processing will celebrate a 100 years of wavelets since Alfréd Haar founding paper, within the following scope:
A century after the first outbreak of wavelets in Alfréd Haar’s thesis in 1909, and twenty years after the advent of Multiresolution Analysis, filter banks and wavelet transforms lie at the heart of many digital signal processing and communication systems. During the last thirty years, they have been the focus of tremendous theoretical advances and practical applications in a growing digital world. They are for instance present, as local linear expansions, at the core of many existing or forthcoming audio, image or video compression algorithms. Beyond standards, many exciting developments have emerged in filter banks and wavelets from the confrontation between scientists from different fields (including signal and image processing, computer science, harmonic analysis, approximation theory, statistics, bioengineering, physics,y). At their confluence, multiscale representations of data, associated with their efficient processing in a multirate manner, have unveiled tools or refreshed methods impacting the whole data management process, from acquisition to interpretation, through communications, recovery and visualization. Multirate structures naturally shelter key concepts such as the duality between redundancy and sparsity, as well as means for extracting low dimensional structures from higher ones. In image processing in particular, various extensions of wavelets provide smart linear tools for building insightful geometrical representations of natural images. The purpose of this special issue is to report on recent progresses performed and emerging trends in the domain of multirate filter banks and multiscale representations of signals and images. Answers to the challenge of handling an increasing demand of information extraction and processing from large data sets will be explored.

February 5, 2009

WITS: Bathlet wavelets

The WITS (and the Virtue) honors today bathlets, a breed of wavelets based on a balanced weighted uncertainty approach. Colorado 7-eleven (7-11 math problem here) stores fear a Klingon-weaponed robber threatening clerks with a spiky, crescent shaped Star Trek inspired sword called bat'leth or Klingon's personal sword of honor. Since this description is only a coarse approximation, more details are to be found at The Denver Channel.

In the wavelet world, bathlets originate from the University of Bath, wavelets have been designed based on an Heisenberg uncertainty based metric balancing both their time and frequency spread. The Bath Wavelet warehouse serves both orthogonal and biorthogonal wavelet coefficients

A handfull of Bat'leth
Further reading on bathlets:
"Orthonormal wavelets with balanced uncertainty", DM Monro, BE Bassil and GJ Dickson, IEEE International Conference on Image Processing, 1996, Vol.2, pp.581-584 (local copy).
"Space-frequency balance in biorthogonal wavelets", DM Monro and BG Sherlock, IEEE International Conference on Image Processing, 1997, Vol.1, pp.624-627 (local copy).

Bat'leths: Sizing Your Bat'leth (for Vulcans or Klingons only)

January 15, 2009

Art is Arp - When art meets wavelets and compressive sensing

January 2009 issue (n° 106) of art magazine L'Oeil visits the atelier of François Morellet, (born Cholet, 1926). The following picture has been taken two month ago from Hans Jean Arp Museum in Strasbourg.

It is entitled "40000 carrés répartition aléatoire 50 % noir 50 % brun" (1961). Since the big picture is a little blurry, have a look at the high resolution detail (below). François Morellet (not Le Morlet). Doesn't it look like a random CS matrix, by an approximately wavelet-named guy? Or tell me this is just a coincidence, Igor...