Fractal jelly bears in plasma

Scientists discovered something pretty amazing recently and it was completely by accident. What started out as a practical joke in the laboratory may very well turn out to have changed mankind’s perception of what constitutes as life for good.

The scientists at MIT’s Plasma laboratory were in between experiments right after Christmas of 2009 and had some free time before lunch to try out some of their own experiments with the (highly experimental) Plasma Vapormass SpectroScanner (PVSS) before the equipment would be tied up in again in the new year (2010). The PVSS is highly sophisticated equipment that enables scientists to image the inside of a plasma chamber.

What started as a joke
One of the students had brought some jelly bears (a popular type of candy) and shared it on the desk with the rest of the people in the lab and jokingly said “put this into your plasma chamber”. After the initial amusement of the remark, everybody laughed even more when the suggestion was actually carried out and some jelly bears were placed in the plasma chamber. To everyone’s amazement some of the jelly bears managed to retain their form after their energy level was raised to attain plasma state. More jelly bears were added until much of the plasma chamber was filled with a mix of molten jelly bears and whole jelly bears in plasma state. The experiment was left to run during lunch, after which they returned to find something incredible appeared to be taking place in the plasma chamber.

Fractal Form
Much to their surprise the jelly bears were still there and it was because they where actually reforming in a process which someone described as “fractal form replication”. It was agreed that something was making the jelly bears retake shape in what seemed to resemble some sort of fractal enabled process. The scientists decided to continue studying the process in the last days before the new year and it was during these few days they observed even stranger things.

…. but not as we know it
The following days the jelly bears appeared to be coming alive, displaying various behavior characteristics and even forming what seemed to be communities. On the first day, one of the first behaviors this jelly bear community displayed were active attempts to order the various plasma substances within the chamber. Most jelly bears seemed to prosper in an orange colored substance and gathered there into colonies from which a green colored substance was expelled by the entire colony, resulting in orange patches (the colonies) surrounded by green (the expelled substances).

Colonies

The next day (the first full day of observations) some of the jelly bears started to develop certain skills, some seemed to have a defensive nature and can be described as soldiers, much like the soldier ants in ant colonies. The soldier jelly bears had developed some sort of projecting force with which they were able to diminish the various forms in the green colored substances and expel them from the jelly bear colonies. Others seems to have more nurturing skills which were remarkably similar to those seen in worker ants.

Specialization

On the second day of observations, the colonies seemed to prosper but there were no new specialized skills. Instead now all the jelly bears had developed some sort of communicative skill, which was coined by one of the staff from an adjacent laboratory, as being some sort of psychic link. These psychic links would light up with a blue color whenever the jelly bears communicated new information, but were otherwise mostly invisible.

The new breed

On the third day, a new but very rare breed of jelly bears had emerged. This new breed of jelly bears were able to control the others were even able to change the function of other jelly bears. The new breed also displayed a distinctive glow which made them very different in appearance when compared to the others. They also seemed to be able to heal, first only themselves and then later also other jelly bears and at that point the scientists decided to call this group the “divinities”. Whenever it was deemed necessary to do so, the divinities would change the behavior of others by means of their psychic link and also distributed health more equally throughout, this resulted in even more activity within the colonies.

This is the end of the beginning
Unfortunately on the morning of thefourth day it was found that due to a power failure the experiment had stopped during the previous night and all activity had ceased. All jelly bears had vanished and only a sugary sludge remained in the plasma chamber. This sludge no longer responded to elevated energy levels and no new jelly bears seemed to retain it’s form in it anymore. Sadly the plasma chamber had to be cleaned for the coming experiments in the new year and the schedule did not allow for any renewed attempts yet. And because no official experiments were scheduled at the time, the partly documented observations that were made were not enough to be granted time for new experiments on the PVSS equipment. So for now we will have to wait for confirmation of all the observations made during these last days of 2009. But to some of us, even without a repeat of the experiments, the concept of what life is has already changed for good. Perhaps soon it will change for you too.

– Prof. Anonymazing

Links:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/saquedon/sets/72157622385531039/
http://web.mit.edu/
http://www2.uakron.edu/cpspe/dhinojwala/facilities.htm

Lost parameters due to windows screensaver

O no,

I was gonna do some testing with high resolution prints with one of my favorite fractals, but i found out that i lost the parameters for it. It seems i lost a few parameters from the “Splamcirs” set and the favorite is am missing especially and which i was planning to use for the test prints was:

I still have the image rendered in 2048×1536 though, which is good enough to get decent large prints, but which wasn’t enough for my testing purposes. All in all i think i am missing 4 parameters (Splamcirs zoom 1-4) Now i’ll just have to find the location again, which is gonna be hard but not impossible, because i don’t recall zooming in too deep for these images.

Update 2009-10-31: I have been able to find the location again and successfully have saved the location parameters and also (re)rendered the image in 40 Megapixel resolution for prints up to very large poster format (78″ x 52″ or 198.1 x 132.1 cm).

Ultra Fractal Crashes

The reason that the parameters are missing from my backup is probably that the parameters were never saved in the first place. It’s not the first parameters i’ve lost or even entire images. Not too long ago i was experiencing crashes in Ultra Fractal, it took me a while to find out the cause, but i did. Ultra Fractal was crashing when my standard blankscreen screensaver became active on Vista x64 SP2. I did on at least one occasion manage to recover an Ultra Fractal session from unresponsiveness after the screensaver became active which allowed me to save things, close it and reboot. But mostly i was not able to recover the sessions. The problem might also have been due to some irregularities with my Nvidia display driver for my Geforce 8600GT (silent) videocard. Not using any screensaver but only power saving functions stopped Ultra Fractal from crashing.

Fixing my Nvidia display driver issues

I fixed the irregularities with my Nvidia display drivers by uninstalling the old drivers and deleting all old Nvidia display drivers and references manually. To clean my windows from Nvidia display drivers i first tried to use special cleaning software called “Driver Cleaner Professional” (i tried Driver Cleaner.Net v3.4.1.0 to be exact) because it was recommended by many (ignorant, as i discovered) people also on the Guru3D website. The software completely crashed on every uninstall operation i tried on my Vista x64 SP2 system and noticed that the software could at best only uninstall certain drivers from a predefined list. Well the software did not work at all so i resorting to fixing it myself. Advanced users can use the same method for completely removing drivers from windows to resolve any reoccurring issues.

First uninstall the drivers from the Control Panel or from the uninstall shortcut in your Start Menu if it exists. If there are no uninstall options to be found for you specific hardware, Start the Device Manager (right-click My Computer>Manage>Device Manager) select the device you want to uninstall and click “uninstall from the top menu or right-click menu. Now open two Windows Explorer windows (one for search and one to show files) in “c:\windows\inf” (hidden folder) by typing in the location manually. Now click on Search in that folder, this is where things become a bit difficult if you have Windows Search installed, because you cannot use it to search inside documents in non-indexed locations, but it is always set as the default search method. So you must first use the windows search and find nothing and then click on “Use Search Companion” or “Search in File Contents” (depending on your windows), in this case i searched for “Nvidia”.

So what you should do is search for “Nvidia” or “Nvidia Display” (or search for the specific hardware you want to remove) in the “c:\windows\inf” folder (you can also limit the files to contain ” the word oem”). You should then find some files that contain info about the old drivers called something like “oem10.inf”. When the windows search is complete open the found inf files to verify that the found files are indeed the drivers references you wish to remove and close them. Now in the other Explorer Windows delete the found “”oem10.inf” files and their companion “oem10.pnf” files. Make sure you only delete the files containing “oem” in the filename to ensure you are not deleting windows standard drivers.

Nvidia usually also unpacks downloaded drivers to “C:\Nvidia” so be sure to remove the correct drivers from there aswell. Repeat the search and delete for all files with the word “physx” aswell, since these are separate drivers from the Nvidia display drivers. Beware if you have an Nvidia chipset on your mainboard that you only delete the display drivers and not your chipset drivers if you only want to fix display driver issues. Now you can reboot or shutdown and do a clean driver install.

To sum up the manual driver removal process:
1) Uninstall drivers from control panel, start menu or device manager
2) Search for the driver “oem” files (.inf and .pnf) in “c:\windows\inf” and delete them
3) Delete driver files from other locations (like “c:\Nvidia”)
4) Reboot or shutdown (shutdown is even better)
5) Install drivers for a clean install

You should have no more inherited driver issues after this.

That’s all for now,

– Saquedon.