Last week I met Tom Beddard, a physicist turned web developer turned artist (and friendly guy). He creates fractals — those recursive shapes that infinitely repeat at every scale. They’re based on simple math, but they can create some amazing images.
Says Beddard: “I don’t seek any new mathematical insight into the resulting structures, it’s a purely aesthetic pursuit to scratch a creative itch. Part of the fascination with fractal exploration is when … amazing and completely unexpected structures can pop out and surprise you.”
Some of the fractals look like Gothic architecture. Some of them look like alien seed pods. All of them are mesmerizing. You can see lots more on Beddard’s flickr page. You can actually fly through the fractals and see them morphing in these videos. And now, thanks to a new app called Frax that Beddard helped develop, you can make fractals of your very own.
Miles traveled: 431
Feet climbed: 11,316
Pieces of pie savored: 25 (9 a la mode)
Flat tires: 4*
Other repairs: 1 new brake lever**
Pork chops eaten: 18
Friendly, welcoming Iowans met: 1,276
Guys who told us to get off their lawn: 1
I “Heart” NPR buttons distributed: 1 gallon Zip-lock baggie full
Pairs of bike shorts ripped: 1***
People Who Told Us They Rode RAGBRAI for the First Time After Hearing About It On NPR last year: 25
People Who Told Us They’d Ridden All 42 RAGBRAIs: 1
Coolest Detour: Buddy Holly crash memorial
Un-coolest Detour: 2 am kybo search
Times Cheating Death due to Unexpected Rumble Strip Encounter: 1
Weeks till Next RAGBRAI: 51
*all Horsley’s. Thanks to the mechanics in Rockford for the new rim tape. Smooth sailing ever since.
**ask Arnie about the cool high school kid in Independence who patched him up in time for those big descents on the last day.
***ask Gonyea, but he probably won’t tell you.
It’s not all pie and pork and pedaling. Last night in Mason City we visited the historic Park Inn Hotel downtown. The building was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. It’s stunning — as you can see by this wall sized stained glass in the ballroom. (Alas, we slept in our tents, not Mr. Wright’s hotel)