“The principle mechanism of skin pattern formation in vertebrates can be explained with a mathematical model proposed by Alan Turing (reaction-diffusion system, 1952). In this month’s cover art, wild-type and mutant tigers are glaring to the right (at a dragon coming up in December issue). In the front of the wild-type tiger, a rock is illustrated with three peaks representing waves of activator and inhibitor that are observed in the reaction-diffusion system. Furthermore, two bamboos having four internodes represent transmembrane domains in a certain variant of connexin (a subunit of the gap junctions), which is a four-span transmembrande protein and one of the responsible genes for morphological mutation in a vertebrate. “
“The cover art of this month is the second part of the series from the November issue. It describes how cellular slime molds assemble into a dragon. The cellular slime molds normally are individual of an amoeba-like unicellular organism. However, when they starve, tens of thousands of cells aggregate in one place to form a cluster. The cluster hugs the ground like a slug, searches for the right place for making spores, and forms a fluting body (lower part of the ground). When placed in starvation conditions, the cellular slime molds begin to secrete cAMP, which stimulates nearby slime molds to secrete pulses of cAMP. Once they secrete cAMP, they become inactive for a while. As the result, waves of cAMP propagate as they swing in a spiral form (upper part of the sky). “
I am, and ever will be, a white-socks, pocket-protector, nerdy engineer, born under the second law of thermodynamics, steeped in steam tables, in love with free-body diagrams, transformed by Laplace and propelled by compressible flow.
“The album endures because of its music, not its mythology. And that’s not just because of the often-cited fact that it mixed folk and rock with other genres—Wilco and plenty of other alternative-leaning bands had already gone experimental in the ’90s. Rather, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot’s triumph was in how it captured a facet of human nature: the way we all send signals, hoping that someone will understand them but also anxious about what happens when someone does. You’ll sometimes hear the album get called cryptic, or self-conscious, or difficult. And that’s fine. It’s really a soundtrack for the ways in which people ask to be misunderstood…
The rise of the Internet over the past decade would seem to lend Tweedy’s lyrics even greater resonance. “All my lies are always wishes”; “I’m down on my hands and knees every time the doorbell rings”; “It’s become so obvious you are so oblivious to yourself”—these could be the drunken tweets of the poster-child for, say, the recent Atlantic cover story about how social media can isolate people and screw with relationships. But Tweedy’s really singing about a universal, timeless crisis of communication. That’s why so many people continue to take Yankee Hotel Foxtrot very personally. In high school, it sounded like Tweedy was speaking for me: This is how shy guys talk to people. In the time since, I’ve realized that no, this is how everyone talks to everyone. Saying what you mean is hard. What’s astonishing about Yankee Hotel Foxtrot is that it actually did it.”