### Intelligent Design

Feb. 11th, 2010 04:57 pm*Contact*(the book, not the movie), mathematicians discover a curious thing. They notice that if π is calculated in base eleven — a base extremely unlikely to be used natively by any naturally-evolving sentient species, making it an excellent format in which to hide something you don't want found by accident — and drawn out to a sufficient number of "decimal" places, one encounters a span of 121 consecutive digits that are all either 0 or 1. And if you rearrange these digits into an 11x11 square, which is the only non-degenerate rectangular arrangement that fits that total, the 1s form a crude circle of pixels on a background of 0s. This is taken as serious evidence of someone dropping the hint, "Math? Yeah. I

*made*that."

*Contact* is fiction, though. What isn't fiction are the animations at www.hd-fractals.com showing incomprehensibly minute zoom-ins on pieces of the famous Mandelbrot Set fractal. Go there, right now, and check out any of the "Trip to e*NNN*" videos. Don't be too embarrassed to skip to the end; some are long. It's not quite a surprise if you know anything about fractals, but...