The other day I had an idea for a potential new Illogical product. What if I could find a way to visualize the Earth’s orbit in a way that is both unique and scientifically accurate? I thought maybe I could use some fun math to help me out.
The diameter of the Earth is 7,918 miles. In addition to that, the Earth’s average distance from the sun is about 93,000,000 miles. So my question was this: if two people stood on opposite ends of the earth and aimed a laser at the sun, what angle would their beams meet at? In addition to that, I wanted to get a nice visualization of the math as it pertained to Earth’s orbit (remember, that was the original goal) so I wanted to know what an arc of that measure would look like. By cutting that angle out of a circle, we could get an approximate visualization of how much perceivable curvature the Earth’s orbit has over the distance that the Earth occupies on it. In other words, if you bent a giant wire in a circle around the Sun so that it matched up perfectly with the Earth’s orbit (yes, I know the Earth doesn’t orbit in a circle, but remember we are averaging here), what would the section of that wire that actually intersects our planet look like?
Continue reading “Space is Huge”
I just received a package I’ve been anticipating for a while. A new coaster! I know, coasters are kind of a lame thing to be excited about. Especially single coasters (what, no matching set?). But this coaster is special. I designed it from scratch and had it 3d printed in ceramics. It’s design is based off of a mathematical formula (I’m sure some of you viewing this will be able to guess which one) as part of a new product line I’m working on. More details on that are forthcoming but for now enjoy this one picture as an informal teaser.
Slowly but surely I have been learning more of the programmatic side of computing. First was the extreme basics with HTML and CSS, next came MEL, and now I have reached Python. I have attempted to learn Python a few times in the past but a combination of heavy schedules and lack of commitment caused those attempts to fail quickly. But not this time. I am making noticeable progress and even have work to show for it.
Continue reading “Python and Fractals”
A long time ago I created a 3d-printed Klein bottle for my own amusement. What’s a Klein bottle? A Klein bottle is, simply put, a non-orientable, manifold object. Now, you could go look up the Wikipedia article about Klein bottles (and I suggest that you do, they’re really cool) but the most important thing to note is that a true Klein bottle could only exist in 4-dimensional space. But you just said that you 3d-printed one! Well, yes, I did say that. But my statement wasn’t quite accurate. What I had 3d-printed was a 3-dimensional representation of a Klein bottle. Basically I used the object’s boundary as the basis for creating a shell, from which new 3-dimensional boundaries were defined. By offsetting certain points along the bottle before defining the shell, I could create a 3d object from what was once a 4d object. Pretty cool, right?
This is by far my favorite 3d-printed object, at least of the ones I’ve made so far. I have always found mathematical objects fascinating and while I have printed a multitude of Möbius strips in various styles, something about this Klein bottle makes it seem so unique and mysterious that I can’t help but pick it up and fiddle with it all the time.
If you’d like to get your very own Klein bottle (and I assure you that you do) then you can buy them from my Shapeways store here.