Monday, 7 April 2014

F is for Fractals, Forests, Fish, Flower-like animals ...


“How Long is the Coast of Britain? Statistical Self-Similarity and Fractional Dimension” ...
200 km increments
= 2,400 kms
approx 1,491 mi

.... is a paper by mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot, first published in Science in 1967.


100 km increments
= 2,800 km
approx 1,700 mi
The paper examines the coastline paradox ... I leave you to check out the Wikipediaarticle ... but fractals overcome our problem ... how long is the coast, such as how long is a piece of string ...




So as you can see ... interpretation is needed as to the length ... but according to Wiki and its List of Countries by length ... the British Coast is ranked 12th or 16th:


50 km increments
= 3,400 km
approx 2,100 mi

12th in the World Factbook at 12,429 kms  (7,723 miles), or

          16th in the World Resources Institute at 19, 717 kms (12, 252 miles)


So I leave you to decide how long the coast of Britain is ... and where do you measure from: the highest cliff, to the lowest decline ... and in millimetres or tiny fractions of them, or as here in rather large increments.  Defeats me!


Borth beach, Wales - a skeletal forest: buried under
peat, sand and salt-water more than 6,500 years
ago combed out in one of our storms



During storms the beach is combed down, and much of the underlying rock, or perhaps a buried forest, or 800,000 year old human footprints briefly appear, before sand and sediment once again cover them up ...




European Plaice
Fish of all varieties surround our shores ... too many to mention, but one or two ... 


The plaice is an expert at camouflage, as it lives for the first few years of its life near the shore, becoming almost invisible on multi-coloured gravel.

Fishguard Herrings: a sculpture overlooking Fishguard
Harbour by John Cleal - see Wiki for more details


Herrings, an eponymous British fish ... which we have fished for and eaten over time humanly immemorial ... I also wrote about them last year in my A-Z cookery theme.



Fish and chips - thank goodness lunch is coming up!




I could not miss out cod or hake ... our standard fare for Fish and Chips ... which we used to eat out of the newspaper it had been wrapped in, laced with salt and pepper and a sprinkling of vinegar ... not for me though ... I enjoy my batter crispy!



I would stop in Hayle (in the St Ives Bay area) on my way to Carbis Bay and my grandmother’s house with supper for us all ... having travelled down from London – the smell in the car was hard to resist!



A selection of sea anemones
painted (1893) by the Italian
Giacomo Merculiano
These hollow, jelly-like animals called anemones give us beautiful coloured sea flowers: from salmon pink, to emerald green and jet black.




Sargatia - painted by the Naturalist
Philip Henry Gosse, 1855




They move slowly, sliding their muscular bases along the rock surface ... some burrow in sand and gravel, while others slide into crevices in the rocks ... so only their tentacles show.



Their “petals”, the tentacles, are equipped with specialised stinging cells that poison prey, which is then pulled inwards to the mouth.





That is F for fracturing Fractals, found Forests or Footprints, fruitful Fish, fluttering Flowers ... from Aspects of British Coasts ...


Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

51 comments:

Manzanita said...

By the time one gets the coast line measured, it would change and have to start all over again.

Natasha Duncan-Drake said...

I really miss fish and chips. Somehow in my thirties I manage to develop a phobia of fish bones, so even though I love the taste I can't bring myself to eat it. I used to love hake. The only fish that don't count are tuna and smoked salmon :). Yeah, there is no accounting for my brain.
Tasha
Tasha's Thinkings - AtoZ (Vampires)
FB3X - AtoZ (Erotic Drabbles)

Old Kitty said...

Oh now I'm hankering for some chips!!! With plenty of salt and vinegar and the crispy bits! :-) And it's not even tea time yet! LOL!

Loving your A-Zing theme!! Have a great Monday! Take care
x

Lisa said...

My husband is studying Fractals right now in his math class (yes, he's gone back to University) and is constantly showing me videos, etc. about them and what they are, how they work. I would LOVE to come across an unburied treasure like a fossilized forest just released from the sand. My imagination would go crazy with who might have once wandered amongst those ancient relics before they were relics! My son didn't like to eat fish until he tasted the UK's fish & Chips!This is the first post I'm reading this morning and it was a perfect way to start the day! Thanks Hilary!

Deborah Barker said...

Fish and chips! I think the smell is almost always better than the actual thing but I am hooked every time. (No pun intended). The illustrations are like something from Alice and Wonderland - beautiful :-)

Sue McPeak said...

The sea flowers are truly amazing and quite beautiful. Very clever to include them in your Coastal Theme for the Letter 'F'. Also the thoughtful idea of 'Footprints'. Nice, Hilary!
Sue at CollectInTexas Gal

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

I like crispy batter for fish and chips, too, Hilary.

Those sea flowers sound amazing! I don't think we have anything like that here.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

Manzanita is right - it's ever changing and ever evolving. And now I am craving fish-n-chips :)

Bob Scotney said...

I've gone off fish and chips every since the PC brigade got their way and we can't get them wrapped in newspaper anymore.

L.G. Smith said...

F is for fish and chips, extra crispy. :)

Brian Miller said...

mmm i am all about your fish and chips....love the crispies and crackles....ha just a little difference in those two measurements...smiles.

Chatty Crone said...

I am not a fish eater. I do like fish and chips with malt vinegar. A couple of others too, but nothing with a real fishy taste.

Jo said...

Yes, Fish and Chips were never the same once their wrappings had been sanitized. I remember a place in Sheerness where the F & C were the best I ever ate. Probably not there any more.

I'm not sure what you measure when looking at coastlines. Do you cross bays and estuaries or take them into account.

Trisha F said...

I always think of GB as pretty tiny, so that's quite impressive it's ranked so high :) I guess a lot of countries don't have much coast, so it makes sense when you look at it that way.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Your Plaice fish looks a lot like our flounder. And I have been fishing for those before.

Claire Hennessy said...

Interesting about Britain's coastline. And YUM fish and chips - I do miss them now I am in California.

Karen Walker said...

Mmm. fish and chips. Yummy. And one of these days I'm going to travel the coastline of Britain. Spectacularly beautiful.

Botanist said...

I think you illustrated the fractal problem well, and it's not just the length of the ruler that makes it difficult. Where to measure from? And, as Manzanita pointed out, it's constantly changing anyway!

OK, now hankering for British fish'n'chips, with salt & vinegar please...

Elizabeth Seckman said...

How neat it would be to find one of those unearthed foot prints. I do like my fish with vinegar, but I also like it crisp, so I use the vinegar as a dip instead of pouring it on. Gee, now I am feeling hungry!

cleemckenzie said...

I guess the length of Great Britain's coast isn't as important to me as the beauty of it. I have some very fond memories of exploring some of those cliffs and windswept beaches.

Bish Denham said...

I say take an average of the two measurements and be done with it, because really, how important is it to be precisely exact? And how many really care?

I do need to try sprinkling vinegar on my next batch of fish & chips. There's a place in the VI and makes 'em really good.

Inger said...

You know they try to do fish and chips over here, but it is not anywhere near the same. And for me, herring is THE Swedish fish. Particularly the Baltic herring, a fish I grew up on. Again, this was so interesting.

LittleCely said...

I love looking at anemones. They are such interesting creatures.

LittleCely's Blog

rosaria williams said...

That is some complex coastline to measure! I'm watching Doc Martin on television, and wander where that show might take place, and why it's always sunny and dry.

Paula said...

This reminds me that I have some hake in the freezer to fix. However mine came from the Schwann man. And we love vinegar on our fish! Yummy

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I wouldn't want to be eaten by an anemone, that's for sure!

Damaria Senne said...

The chips wrapped in paper somehow have a unique flavour to me. I remember as a child, pulling chips from that shiny paper that they wrapped the chips in before wrapping in paper. They tasted so wonderful..now that I think about it, so flavourful with too much salt and that pungent dash of vinegar.

They call them slap chips here in South Africa and Mma loves them and still makes me get them. Except, they don't wrap them in newspaper anymore.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Manzanita – exactly even as I type this short reply – the coast will changed ...

@ Natasha – fish bones can be really difficult to deal with – so in some ways can understand – jsut glad I don’t suffer! Tuna .. and smoked salmon – that occasionally has bones .. but enjoy: fish is good for you!

@ Old Kitty – fish and chips tonight? Yes the crispy bits are delicious aren’t they .. thanks re the theme ...

@ Lisa – good heavens above – what a coincidence – clever chap! We can see the trees in Penzance Bay quite often, especially on a very low tide .. and many folk stories/myths based on reality have grown out of the Welsh forests buried in the sea ... for example the 6th century bard: Taliesen.

Proper fish and chips is just delicious – a real treat, when it’s done well ... I’m just delighted I set your day off in the right direction ...

@ Debbie – if that’s what I feel like eating, which I don’t very often .. it is wonderful! Those early naturalists and painters were incredibly talented ... I would love to be able to draw ...

@ Sue – thanks I enjoy doing the different things ... the Footprints were only found about a year ago and ‘released as info’ to the public this year .. incredible find.

@ Elizabeth – well I’ll join you with the crispy batter ... your shore line will have anemones .. the Caribbean particularly, as too the west coast ...

@ Keith – as you say the coast line is always changing and today we’ve had some more heavy rain and big waves rattle across ... Fish and Chips – sounds good ...

@ Bob – everything is so nannyish now – no-one can think for themselves ... and I agree fish and chips out of a polystyrene container doesn’t match up ... we’ve got quite good F+C shops here ... as we should in a seaside town!

@ Luanna – ok I’ll remember extra crispy for the lady!

@ Brian – another fish and chip fundi. I liked the way the measurements were set out using fractals ... I could vaguely understand!

@ Sandie – I love fish .. and I must eat more of it –especially now spring is here ... glad you enjoy fish and chips occasionally though ..

@ Jo – Fish and chips have lost their ‘caveman’ feel haven’t they – now we get the sanitized wrapping. Some shops last a long time ... but Sheerness is right on the water’s edge ..

I can’t help re the measurements ... but someone has taken the time to ‘work it out’ and which measurement you take must be vaguely right ...

@ Trisha – I was somewhat bemused by the figures of the islands and ours in particular – so had to put those facts in there ... and as you say not all countries have a coastline or much of one ..

@ Diane – does our Plaice look like your Flounder – they are both flat fishes ... I’ve never gone fishing ... except as a kid once only I think ... that must be exciting catching you own fish ...

@ Claire – the coastline numbers fascinated me .. so glad you were interested too. Fish and Chips – not many of us who would miss out on those ..

@ Karen – gosh ... that’s one long travelling trip – mind you I might join you – there’s so much of Britain I haven’t seen yet .. we need to build ourselves up – with lots of fish and chips!!

Thanks everyone - part 2 following ..

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Ian – thanks for coming by ... breakfast time Fish and Chips – well why not once in a while ...

I’m glad I passed muster with the fractals and measurements – thankfully someone else made my life easy! Not for one second is the coastline the same ... and we think we live on a stable planet!

@ Elizabeth – the archaeologists who found them .. couldn’t do all the work they wanted to do with them .. before nature took its course and buried them under the sand ... still they made some records and took some photographs etc ...

If you’re eating fish and chips out and about ... then a sprinkling of vinegar is a way forward ... but thinking about it – I prefer lemon!!!

@ Lee – well you’re right there .. but I enjoy numbers sometimes ... but our little island has some amazing vistas and sea shores ... It’s wonderful you can remember our shores and your exploratory ventures out ... we are windy too ...

@ Bish – well in some ways you’re right .. but I quite like having the numbers – give your take ... so to a point I care! Fish and chips though ... you are so lucky to have the Virgin Islands as a base ... oh I’d love to visit ... and eat fish and chips with you ..

@ Inger – well we’ve tasted the best fish and chips haven’t we .. though I know Herring is your Swedish dish .. did you spot the Herring Sculpture here? We used to have fresh herring so often when we were on holiday in Cornwall .. delicious fish.

@ Cely – all those sea creatures always amaze me – that they’ve adapted so well and give us such a wonderful floral arrangement on the shore ..

@ Rosaria – we have lots of inlets, headlands, estuaries et al to measure around – thankfully someone with a better maths brain is out there ... doing the calculations for us ...

Doc Martin was filmed in Port Isaac, Cornwall .. and film crews have a way of making the sun shine!!!

@ Paula – ah well that’s good I’ve reminded you of your hake supper ... it’s a good fish ...

@ Alex – sea anemones would eat you very very slowly! I suspect some other creature might get you first and finish you off .. .

@ Damaria – our fish and chip shops used to use newspaper .. but the ink was tar based and that had a degree of antiseptic in it .. and I agree they were more flavourful years ago ...

I remember that name ‘slap chips’ ... how delicious you still get them for your Mama .. it’s a rare treat for me now ...

Cheers everyone – thanks so much for your comments .. Hilary

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Manzinita is right: by the time you calculate the length of the coast, it probably has changed. Besides trying to calculate by fractals always fractures my mind!

Lovely pictures as always!!

Lynn said...

The Fish & Chips look so good. We have them here in the US, but they don't quite seem the same as over there.



Silvia Villalobos said...

A lot of very interesting Fs, Hilary. The coastline ... not easy to measure, is it ... as it's ever-changing or simply too large. Great facts here. I so want some fish and chips right now.
Silvia @
SilviaWrites

Patsy said...

The fractals frazzled my mind!

Karen Lange said...

I must say, you really covered the letter F nicely! Your personality shines through in every post, you know, and this one is no exception. And now that you mention fish and chips, I must say that I am kind of hungry. I'm with you - the crispy batter is my favorite. Thanks for informing me and brightening my day! :)

Julie Flanders said...

Oh my gosh, the skeletal forest is amazing. And now I'm craving fish & chips. :)

Stephen Tremp said...

I totally agree about the crispy batter. The crispier the better. Never ate them out of a newspaper though.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

We get a wonderful series over from the BBC called Coast with host Neil Oliver, a delightful man. Canada (CBC) adopted the idea and now we have our very own series called Canada Over The Edge. I could sit and watch these shows about the coastlines over and over again. I think they've been talking to you, Hilary. Eh??? They're very interesting.

Jen Forbes said...

My husband loves loves loves fish and chips but he only wants cod. We grew up eating herring, my poppa was french and loved it pickled. Have you ever had it that way?

Enchantress said...

Informative :)

Maggie Winter said...

Oh Hilary, those fish and chips looks so good. It's the one meal I can't make here...I haven't managed to find a fish that works yet. It's really my favourite meal...my mouth is watering, the newspaper was a special touch, sad day when it was banned. Great post really pretty anemones, lovely quirky creatures... now I was surprised at the possible size of the British coast...I love the rugged, rocky coves the best.
Enjoyed it, thanks.
On the A to Z Challenge Maggie@expatbrazil.

Margie said...

Hilary,
When I visited Britain back in '07 I had the best fish and chips I have ever had.

Delightful journey with you here.
Thank you.

kaushikgovind said...

Had always loved the Fractals! The recurring design of fractals have always amazed me :) :)

Rosie Amber said...

Once again a fantastic post full of fun info and great pictures, thanks.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Roland - as your coast does .. it is never the same for one moment - great phrase .. "calculating by fractals always fractures my mind" - it certainly did mine .. thanks re the pics ...

@ Lynn - it's funny how things can taste different in other countries or just in the particular locality .. fish and chips by the sea - is soooo good!

@ Silvia - I was glad to find out about the fractal way of measuring the coast .. how to explain it otherwise - I'd no idea! Glad you enjoyed it ..

@ Patsy - I know frazzling fractals - it was fun to put in ..

@ Karen - thanks so much .. I just enjoy what I do and thankfully you and others seem to enjoy my posts .. for which I'm mighty grateful. Crispy batter - yes please!

@ Julie - I love that photo of the skeletal forest - so delighted you do too .. Fish and Chips can't be bad at Aquinnah .. I'd have thought? ...

@ Stephen - crispy batter - I am so with you there .. and they were so good out of newspaper ..

@ Joylene - I enjoy Neil Oliver's Coast series - he has lots of fascinating information too. Glad they've introduced a similar series in Canada - you've lots of coast line to explore too.

Thanks Joylene for the thumbs up - I just write up interesting snippets - that you wouldn't normally come across - which I think is more interesting, and seems to be thankfully ..

@ Jen - Cod is now being carefully monitored - I tend to have hake to nurture the cod stocks ...

Herring is delicious too - we had those fresh in Cornwall and off the van when we were in Surrey - and I still by them .. and I love pickled herring .. and yes soused herring I have occasionally ..

@ Enchantress - thank you ..

@ Maggie - you do need that thick piece of fish and very fresh too .. I don't eat it that often - so it is special and I then love it so much ...

The length of our coast was interesting to find out - at least someone's worked a choice of two out .. !! I like facts as well as interesting information ..

The flower anemones are so pretty aren't they ...

@ Margie - so pleased you remember your Fish and Chip meal that you had here .. so glad you're enjoying the posts ..

@ Kaushik - Fractals are good aren't they .. I've written about them elsewhere too

@ Rosie - many thanks - it's great you've enjoy the posts ..

Cheers to you all - thank you - Hilary

mail4rosey said...

Ah, dinner's at grandma's. My most favorite thing in the world, and I miss it. :)

Rubye Jack said...

There is so much of amazement in this world. For me, it reminds me to not look at myself but rather look at the world and meaning is found. What intrigues me is how animals like the plaice are so adept at camouflage.
Nice post Hilary!

Robyn Campbell said...

Mmmm, fish and chips. So yummy sounding. I hope I'll be able to have them someday. I can make them, but I want to have them in Britain. Real fish and chips. Thanks for making my day happier, Hil.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Rosie - oh how lovely I brought back memories for you of your grandmother ... so pleased you remember these fish and chip evenings ..

@ Rubye - thanks for visiting ... and yes, we need to look around us - especially now spring is blooming .. so much is happening. Also as you say camouflage from all creatures - I really didn't know which one to write about ..

Look on the other side - such a good idea ...

@ Robyn .. I'm just about to go out to supper - and I hope you do get over here at some stage and can have really good fish and chips ... perhaps we can share!

Cheers to you all - have a great Friday .. Hilary

Viola Fury said...

Hillary,

I think that in terms of measurement and time and tide, and height and depth, it would be difficult to decide on a standard to get a "true" reading, and when dealing with something so huge, we have to settle for an approximation.

I have run into similar things here in the state of Florida. Is the coast eroding? Is it being added to? The one thing we do know for certain, is that our coral reefs and our Everglades in particular, an environment which exist nowhere else in the world, must be protected. Florida sits atop a series of inter-connected caverns, filled with pure, pure water, called an aquifer.

As more and more people have moved here, and more greedy land developers have exploited this, the aquifer and the Everglades have suffered. Ah! I do love my soapbox and I thank you for sharing these wonderful pictures and stories! Mary

Michelle Wallace said...

Hi Hilary. Since I don't want to miss any of your wonderful posts, I'm TRYING to play catch-up!

The plaice is a clever creature... like the water version of the chameleon... and sea anemones are beautiful!

Fish and chips? Yummy! I also like battered fish, but some places don't do it very well - too much batter at the expense of the fish... LOL

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Mary - it was an interesting post to write .. and yes how do we decide .. where from and where too .. and when, as it changes constantly ...

I've seen a tv programme or two - but one particularly interesting recently on the sink holes in Florida; and the underground caves, and the coral and Everglades - it is a unique environment ...

Humans have a lot to answer for ..

@ Michelle - thank you so much for keeping on coming by - I appreciate everyone and how we all remotely keep up I've no idea!

The Camoflage of many creatures is amazing isn't it ..

and I'm cooking a fish pie tonight! We want good fish and chips .. not lots of batter, nor oily chips ... we can get it!

Cheers to you both .. Hilary