domingo, 14 de febrero de 2016

Amount, Quantity or Number?


An amount of something is how much of it there is that you can measure. 
Amount is normally uncountable, so we CANNOT say: 'a large amount of cows were infected.'
But we would say:
  • The amount of work I got through in July was double the amount that I did in June.
  • No amount of love would heal the hatred she felt.
  • I had a certain amount of respect for him: he was a good footballer and a good ambassador for his country.
We can also use amount as a verb, as in amount to, and again this describes the counting or measuring of something:
  • When you added everything up, his total expenditure on this project amounted to £9,950.
  • I don’t think the talks in Helsinki will amount to very mucH.
Similarly, a quantity is an amount of something that you can measure or count. We often talk about large or small quantities of something. It is usually applied to inanimate objects so again it is unlikely that we would say: 'a large quantity of cows were infected'. But we would say:
  • There were very small quantities of peppers on sale in the market.
  • There are very large quantities of gas beneath the North Sea.
We often contrast quantity with quality:
  • It doesn’t matter how many words you write: it is the quality that is important, not the quantity.
  • These toys are sold in quantity and the quality doesn’t seem to matter
We use number to describe how many, and often we do not know exactly how many there are. This is one of the defining aspects of a number of. Number is countable and can be applied to both animate and inanimate items, so this is the one that fits your sentence:
  • a large number of cows were infected.
  • There are a number of reasons why I can’t marry you.
  • A number of people were injured in the explosion.
  • I had warned her not to go there any number of times, but she wouldn’t listen

martes, 2 de febrero de 2016

Fractal patterns in nature

Fractals are patterns formed from chaotic equations and contain self-similar patterns of complexity increasing with magnification. If you divide a fractal pattern into parts you get a nearly identical reduced-size copy of the whole.
The mathematical beauty of fractals is that infinite complexity is formed with relatively simple equations. By iterating or repeating fractal-generating equations many times, random outputs create beautiful patterns that are unique, yet recognizable.

Romanesco Broccoli

This variant form of cauliflower is the ultimate fractal vegetable. Its pattern is a natural representation of the Fibonacci or golden spiral, a logarithmic spiral where every quarter turn is farther from the origin by a factor of phi, the golden ratio.
Image: Flickr/Tin.G.


Mountains are the result of tectonic forces pushing the crust upward and erosion tearing some of that crust down. The resulting pattern is a fractal.
Above is an image of the Himalayan Mountains, home to many of the tallest peaks on Earth. The Himalayas are still being uplifted by the collision of India with the Eurasian plate, which began about 70 million years ago.


Ferns are a common example of a self-similar set, meaning that their pattern can be mathematically generated and reproduced at any magnification or reduction. The mathematical formula that describes ferns, named after Michael Barnsley, was one of the first to show that chaos is inherently unpredictable yet generally follows deterministic rules based on nonlinear iterative equations. In other words, random numbers generated over and over using Barnsley's Fern formula ultimately produce a unique fern-shaped object.

In the eye of the beholder

Jackson Pollock's Summertime : Number 9A

Pollock's No. 5

lunes, 1 de febrero de 2016



1. to give your opinion to someone about the best thing to do in a particular situation
I’m afraid I’m not able to advise you.
> advise someone to do something:
Her doctor advised her to rest.
Students are advised to read all the questions carefully.
> advise someone against something:
Police are advising the public against travelling in the fog.
> advise someone that:
The bank advised us that we should increase our insurance cover.
> advise that:
Experts advise that sunscreen should be reapplied on an hourly basis.
> strongly advise:
I strongly advise you to reject the offer.


1. to advise someone that they should do something
> recommend (that):
I recommend that you buy a more powerful computer.
> strongly recommend:
We strongly recommend you insure your luggage when you travel.
> recommend doing something:
We recommend booking early, as this is a popular event.
> recommend someone to do something:

suggest offer an idea or a plan for someone to consider
The report suggested various ways in which the service could be improved.
>suggest (that):
I suggest we have dinner first, and then watch the film.
> suggest what/why/where etc:
Can anyone suggest what we should do to increase sales?
> suggest doing something:
If there is a mechanical problem, we suggest contacting the manufacturer directly.

> Suggest is never followed by a direct personal object. Use the preposition to:

✗ If this happened to one of your friends, what would you suggest her?
✓ If this happened to one of your friends, what would you suggest to her?
2. to tell someone about something that may be useful or suitable for a particular purpose
> suggest + noun
Can you suggest an inexpensive restaurant?