Markdown with MathJax in WordPress

I usually write blog posts and my private plain text notes in Markdown using the PHP Markdown Extra flavour which adds syntax for very useful features like tables and footnotes. It is a pretty clean markup language that makes WordPress writing a bit more comfortable than with either Visual or HTML, the two standard post editors.

At the moment I am working on a fairly long post for this blog which requires some mathematical formulas[^1]. The MathJax project has cooked up an awesome combination of JavaScript, CSS, web fonts and MathML to produce math on web sites so great that it seems like magic:

[\frac{1}{\pi} e^{-x^2-p^2}.]

Try to zoom in or out and see how beautifully the formula scales. It is even (to some extent) copy-pastable.

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Stunning Las Vegas time-lapse by Philip Bloom

Just to get this blog up and running, I am starting out with an easy post: An impressive time-lapse video of Las Vegas and a bit of background information.

First the film, 24 Hours of Neon, by Philip Bloom, uploaded on May 7th on Vimeo:

Philip Bloom is a professional filmmaker and an authority on filming with DSLR cameras, a technique that has exploded in usage since the introduction of the Canon EOS 5D MkII camera in 2008 – the first DSLR that featured full HD video recording. The large image sensors on DSLR cameras allow for a more professional-looking picture than what is possible with regular consumer video recorders, in particular a very narrow depth of field. For an example of that, have a look at one of his other films, Dublin’s People.

In this particular film, though, he did not make use of DSLR video. It is made up entirely of still photos shot on four different cameras during 5 days in a hotel room on The Strip in Las Vegas. There are two main techniques involved in the photographing; time-lapse and HDR (high dynamic range). I will just briefly explain them here, planning to write more detailed posts later about my own (more modest) experiences with these techniques.

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Create. Explore. Solve. Play.

Welcome to my new blog, Turning Mirrors. It will be an outlet for stuff I created myself, but also a gathering place for other things that fascinate and inspire me. The content will very likely turn into a mess of different subjects and post types, but I can imagine that it will mostly fit under the keywords of the title:


I take loads of photos, but am not very consistent in sharing them. I will try to showcase some here, either in big sets with a common theme, or as individual shots for the most interesting ones. Occasionally I also dabble in making videos, and I am interested in a number of other creative activities like electronics, LEGO, web design, data visualization… Usually I lack the time, skills, creativity and/or persistence to come up with something great, but that will not keep me from dumping it on the poor Internet.


I do research for a living, and I hope to be able to use this blog to explain some of our results in a language slightly more accessible than that used in academic journals and conferences. This keyword also conveniently covers what I suspect will be a numerous type of post — links to or brief remarks about great works by other people that I discover.


One of the most useful features of the Internet is the instant access to answers to almost any kind of question or problem. Very often, I have benefited from solutions to technical difficulties, tutorials on a particular piece of software, and the like—usually posted on forums or personal blogs. I will never become a heavy forum contributor, but I will try to pay back a bit of my debt to the net and its inhabitants by writing up whenever I find a solution to some problem I had.


While life is not all fun and games, I do feel more compelled to write on subjects that originate in playfulness and curiosity, rather than on serious topics. No strict rules here, but as also indicated by the other keywords, a typical post will be along the lines of “Hey, I did/found this cool thing. Look!

Obviously I hope that some of the posts will be of interest or use to you and others. If so, please do not hesitate to leave me a comment. Just as importantly, though, my initial goal with the blog will be to help me combat my strong inclination towards procrastination. As a reference marker for tracing my progress, let me state that I have been mulling over and putting off this introductory post for about half a year… There is certainly room for improvement! At the end of 2011, I should look back and do a status report.

So much for the good intentions. Now, back to turning some mirrors, so we can have a more efficient life.