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  • feedwordpress 09:01:44 on 2015/12/21 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , presents, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, topography, , wrapping   

    “Math is sometimes called the science of patterns”*… 


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    From Katie Steckles, help for the Holidays…

    Special Holiday bonus:  the story behind those massive bows that bedeck cars given as Holiday presents.

    * Ronald Graham

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    As we fold with care, we might recall that it was on this date in 1937 that Walt Disney released the first full-length animated feature film produced in the U.S. (and the first produced anywhere in full color), Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

    The original theatrical one-sheet

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  • feedwordpress 08:01:09 on 2015/10/31 Permalink
    Tags: Casanova, Charles Howard Hinton, , , lottery, , , topography,   

    “Men of broader intellect know that there is no sharp distinction betwixt the real and the unreal”*… 


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    During the period we now call the fin-de-siècle, worlds collided. Ideas were being killed off as much as being born. And in a sort of Hegelian logic of thesis/antithesis/synthesis, the most interesting ones arose as the offspring of wildly different parents. In particular, the last gasp of Victorian spirituality infused cutting-edge science with a certain sense of old-school mysticism. Theosophy was all the rage; Huysmans dragged Satan into modern Paris; and eccentric poets and scholars met in the British Museum Reading Room under the aegis of the Golden Dawn for a cup of tea and a spot of demonology. As a result of all this, certain commonly-accepted scientific terms we use today came out of quite weird and wonderful ideas being developed at the turn of the century. Such is the case with space, which fascinated mathematicians, philosophers, and artists with its unfathomable possibilities…

    Further to yesterday’s nod to topography, and on the occasion of Halloween: hyperspace, ghosts, and colorful cubes – the work of Charles Howard Hinton and the cultural history of higher dimensions– “Notes on the Fourth Dimension.”

    * H. P. Lovecraft, The Tomb

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    As we get down with the dead, we might recall that it was on this date in 1756 that Giacomo Casanova, who had been incarcerated in Venice as a blasphemer, cabalist, seducer, and ruffian, escaped from prison.  He made his way to Paris where, as “Jacques Casanova, the Chevalier de Seingalt,” he wrote his autobiography, launched the lottery, and made a killing.

    Illustration in Casanova’s Histoire de ma fuite des prisons de la République de Venise qu’on appelle Les Plombs (Story of my Flight), 1787. From the German edition, 1788.

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    Casanova circa 1750-1755 (just before the escape)

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  • feedwordpress 08:01:24 on 2015/10/30 Permalink
    Tags: , , , Revolution of Topography, , Thurston, topography, ,   

    “Life is like topography”*… 


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    What if you could see Earth’s 5-billion year journey not just in a book or on screen, but on the planet’s very topography? That’s the idea behind the audio-visual performance Revolution of Topography, Cappadocia: Epic History of Humanity, which features 3D animations projection mapped onto the rocky surface of the Cappadocia Zelve Valley.

    Produced by FikirbazZenger and directed by Ferdi Alıcı, Revolution of Topography has been billed as the world’s “largest mountain surface mapping”; and, with a 10-year screening time, will run for longer than any other projection mapping installation in history. The a/v installation, located at Cappadocia Zelve Valley Open Air Museum, will run through all phases of Cappadocia’s history, from geographical formation and topographical transformations to the emergence of civilization and religion…

    More at “Mapping a Valley with Earth’s 5-Billion Year Journey.”

    * “Life is like topography, Hobbes. There are summits of happiness and success, flat stretches of boring routine and valleys of frustration and failure.”

    – “Calvin,” Bill Watterson

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    As we take the long view, we might send spatially-sophisticated birthday greetings to William Paul Thurston; he was born on this date in 1946.  A pioneer in the field of low-dimensional topology, he was awarded the 1982 Fields Medal for his contributions to the study of 3-manifolds.  In later years, while his research continued, Thurston took on the challenge of  mathematical popularization and education. He served as mathematics editor for Quantum Magazine, a youth science magazine, and was one of the founders of The Geometry Center.  As director of Mathematical Sciences Research Institute from 1992 to 1997, he started a number of programs designed to increase awareness of mathematics among the public.

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  • feedwordpress 08:01:46 on 2014/08/30 Permalink
    Tags: , breakfast, clockmakers, clocks, , , Simon Willard, topography,   

    “I went to a restaurant that serves ‘breakfast at any time,’ so I ordered French toast during the Renaissance”*… 


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    “When you wake up in the morning, Pooh,” said Piglet at last, “what’s the first thing you say to yourself?”

    “What’s for breakfast?” said Pooh. “What do you say, Piglet?”

    “I say, I wonder what’s going to happen exciting today?” said Piglet.

    Pooh nodded thoughtfully. “It’s the same thing,” he said.

    ― A.A. Milne

    How to prepare an essential– and exciting– part of any mathematically-correct breakfast…

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    * Steven Wright

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    As we tangle tastefully with topography, we might spare a thought for Simon Willard; he died on this date in 1848.  A master clockmaker who created grandfather clocks and lobby/gallery clocks, Willard is best remembered for his creation of the timepiece that came to be known as the banjo clock, a wall clock that Willard patented in 1802.  Only 4,000 authentic “Simon Willard banjo clocks” were made; and while he had many imitators turning out replicas, these originals are highly-prized collectibles.

    Banjo Clock

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    Simon Willard

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