Monthly Archives: March 2016


The world is full of wonderful things, like sunflowers (Machanguito, my islander friend)

Sunflower seeds are arranged following a mathematical pattern where golden ratio plays a starring role. There are tons of web sites explaining this amazing fact. In general, the arrangement of leaves on a plant stem are ruled by spirals. This fact is called phyllotaxis, and I did this experiment about it some time ago. Voronoi tessellation originated by points arranged according the golden angle spiral give rise to this sunflowers:sunflowers

I know this drawing will like to my friend Machanguito because he loves sunflowers. He also loves dancing, chocolate cookies, music and swimming in the sea. Machanguito loves life, it is just that simple. He is also a big defender of renewable energy and writes down his thoughts on recycled papers. You can follow his adventures here.

This is the code:

opt = theme(legend.position  = "none",
            panel.background = element_rect(fill="red4"),
            axis.ticks       = element_blank(),
            panel.grid       = element_blank(),
            axis.title       = element_blank(),
            axis.text        = element_blank())
CreateSunFlower <- function(nob=500, dx=0, dy=0) {   data.frame(r=sqrt(1:nob), t=(1:nob)*(3-sqrt(5))*pi) %>%
    mutate(x=r*cos(t)+dx, y=r*sin(t)+dy)
g=seq(from=0, by = 45, length.out = 4)
jitter(g, amount=2) %>%
  expand.grid(jitter(g, amount=2)) %>%
  apply(1, function(x) CreateSunFlower(nob=round(jitter(220, factor=15)), dx=x[1], dy=x[2])) %>%"rbind", .) %>% deldir() %>% .$dirsgs -> sunflowers
ggplot(sunflowers) +
  geom_segment(aes(x = x1, y = y1, xend = x2, yend = y2), color="greenyellow") +

A Silky Drawing and a Tiny Experiment

It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data (Sherlock Holmes, A Scandal in Bohemia)

One of my favorite entertainments is drawing things: crazy curves, imaginary flowerscelestial bodies, fractalic acacias … but sometimes I wonder myself if these drawings result interesting to whom arrive to my blog. One way to define interesting could be wanting to reproduce the drawing. I know some people do it because they sometimes share with me their creations. So, how many people appreciate the code I write? I manage some a priori for this number (which I will maintain for myself) but I want to refine my estimation with the next experiment. I have done this drawing, which shows that simple mathematics can produce very nice patterns:


To estimate how many people is really interested in this plot, at the end of the post I will publish all the code except for a line. If you want the line, you will have to ask it to me. How? It is very easy: you will have to send me a direct message in Twitter. If you don’t follow me, do it here and I will follow you back. If you already follow me but I don’t, tweet something mentioning me and I will follow you back. Then you will be able to send me the direct message. If you prefer, you can send me an email. You can find my email address here.

I know this experiment can be quite biased, but I am also pretty sure that the resulting estimation will be much better than the one I manage nowadays. This is the kidnapped code:

opt = theme(legend.position  = "none",
panel.background = element_rect(fill="violetred4"),
axis.ticks       = element_blank(),
panel.grid       = element_blank(),
axis.title       = element_blank(),
axis.text        = element_blank())
seq(from=-10, to=10, by = 0.05) %>%
expand.grid(x=., y=.) %>%
geom_point(alpha=.1, shape=20, size=1, color="white") + opt