Harlan Brothers in Cantor’s Paradise

Psychoacoustics, Shepard tones, and the logarithmic perception of pitch

 “We adore chaos because we love to produce order.” — Maurits Cornelis Escher (1898 — 1972) 

I recall having a blacklight poster of M.C. Escher’s “Other World” as a teenager. At the time, things couldn’t get too much cooler than the combination of blacklights AND Escher. If you’re unfamiliar with the piece, here’s the original woodcut print:

Science 10 min read

Harlan Brothers in Cantor’s Paradise

This elegant eighteenth century theorem gives a necessary and sufficient condition for proving primality


John Wilson was an English mathematician and judge who is best known for his formula for identifying prime numbers...

Prime Numbers  5 min read

Harlan Brothers in Cantor’s Paradise

Bach Meets Mandelbrot

I think we should send all of Bach; but of course we would be bragging, but it is surely excusable to put the best possible face on at the beginning of such an acquaintance.” ―Lewis Thomas (1913–1993)

More than two centuries separate The Art of Fugue, written by Johann Sebastian Bach, and the primitive computer printout of the first graphical representation of what is arguably the most famous fractal...

Bach 6 min read