Saturday, February 19, 2011

Little Birds...

...that have nothing to do with math.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Today It's Gnomons

Gnomons seem to have a lot of different definitions which makes it difficult for someone like me (one that needs clarity) to explain what it means. 'The part of a sundial that casts a shadow?' Or, how about this one: 'that which, when added to an entity (number or shape), makes a new entity similar to the starting entity.' And I really like this one because I can see it: Gnomon is the name given to an aesthetic process utilized by James Joyce, in his set of short stories, Dubliners, whereby the whole of the character is revealed by a single part. I only know I thought of circles when we discussed them in our class. And complimentary colors.

Next, we move onto symmetry and rigid motion...does that sound like an oxymoron to anyone besides me? You know, rigid (unmoving) and motion (moving)? We shall see. It's all about keeping an open mind, I guess.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

Oh, yes. Sugar cookies for Valentine's Day. Have a happy one!

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Math and Nature

So, here we are, nearly to the middle of my least favorite month. With the biggest piles of snow in a long while. And today, wind chills below 0. Spring is just around the corner, but the corner seems a bit far away about now. Thank goodness I'm keeping my mind busy with my math class. It is very stimulating and I find I'm putting a lot of time and energy into learning, or relearning something very interesting. When I'm not doing problems, I'm working on my journal...

This is the famous Fibonacci Spiral in fabric. The sequence of numbers comes up in nature often. The structure is very similar to the traditional log cabin construction, spiraling around a center block. The difference, though, is this spiral grows exponentially with each addition. Like the numbers: 1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21, 34,55,89,144...adding the last number with the previous to get the next.

And then there's the rabbits. Fibonacci figured out that if a pair of rabbits, under ideal conditions, reproduced regularly, they would have 144 (a fibonacci number) rabbits at the end of the year..and every month up to that point will follow the sequence as well.

The center of many flowers grow in a spiral pattern. One set of spirals goes in one direction and one in the other...(I think I need to add a few more beads here). On a pineapple, there are 8 spirals in one direction and 13 in the other (fibonacci numbers). News you can't use, but interesting nonetheless.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Another Snow Day


True to my last post about growing younger in 2011 I've decided to start with "expansion." I'm auditing a math class at our local college. Math and me have always been like oil and water, we both don't like each other much. But this opportunity came along and the class sounded interesting: Ferns and Fractals, Math in Nature. And because I'm doing it for fun, there's no pressure to participate or pass tests, but I can if I want. It also happened about the same time I discovered Deborah's post on the Crochet Coral Reef. The math is challenging since I had to go back and relearn basic algebra before any of this made sense, but despite how terrible I am at it, I remember how much I loved the 'sense' of it, the thrill of coming to the right answer. There have been many 'oh my goodness' moments. Fibonacci spirals, phyllotaxis, gnomons. Symmetry is next as well as M.C. Escher...great fodder for quilt designs. I will do a project due at the end of class which is April. Spring. I'm thinking of something along the lines of the Sketchbook Project, a book with a page for each new thing I'm learning. Mixed media: fabric, paper, stitch and glue.