Wednesday, March 5, 2008

"Holding theorems in their hands": The Hyberbolic Crochet Coral Reef Project

"For Ms. Wertheim...the project embodies the 'beauty and creativity that comes out of scientific thinking,' what she refers to as 'conceptual enchantment.' As it turns out, the gorgeously crenellated, warped and undulating corals, anemones, kelps, sponges, nudibranchs, flatworms and slugs that live in the reef have what are known as hyperbolic geometric structures: shapes that mathematicians, until recently, thought did not exist outside of the human imagination ... It wasn’t until 1997 that Daina Taimina, a mathematics researcher at Cornell who had learned to crochet as a child in Latvia, realized that by continually adding stitches in a precise repeating pattern she could create three-dimensional models of hyperbolic geometry. For the first time mathematicians could, as Ms. Wertheim said, 'hold the theorems in their hands'."

-- NY Times: Want to Save a Coral Reef? Bring Along Your Crochet Needles (Um, that would be crochet hooks and knitting needles.)

"Every person who takes up this craft creates new species of crochet organisms and we have come to see the project as a collective experiment in textile-based evolution. Just as all living creatures result from variations in an underlying DNA code, so the species in these handi-crafted reefs arise from deviations in a single simple algorithm. Slight variations in the kind of yarn, changes in the rate of increasing stitches, even shifts in crochet tension make significant differences to the morphology of the finished form ... Ways of constructing once perceived as 'merely' women’s craft, and dismissed from the cannon of scientific practice, now emerge as revelatory forms of a more complex, embodied way of thinking about the world both mathematically and physically."

-- The Crochet Coral Reef At The Chicago Cultural Center

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Friday, October 26, 2007

Fan

I posted an excerpt of this on the plsj tumblelog, but I just reread the whole thing (transcription errors and all) and have been sitting here for fifteen minutes thinking how unbelievably cool Ursula K. LeGuin is.

A LEFT-HANDED COMMENCEMENT ADDRESS
Mills College Class of 1983

Incidentally, some of my most crushing moments as a teacher have been when young women have looked at me and earnestly said, "These feminists you've made us read are no longer relevant. We won."

Um, no. No we haven't.
And neither have men.

(thx)

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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Wired

Long-time favourite Bitch Magazine is looking for submissions for upcoming WIRED issue:

Wired (#39, Spring 2008) The world is a wired place, whether you're wired to the Internet, wired on coffee, wired into the latest political information, or wired up on methamphetamines. With such a multiplicity of meanings for the word, the Wired issue can't help but be a fast-paced tour through some pretty varied terrain: Women in the information age, the joys and terrors of cranking up your metabolism, unplugging with the simplicity movement, the electricity of attraction, building your own circuit board.

Features are 2,000 to 3,000 words of meaty critiques, essays, and articles on pop culture from a feminist perspective. If you're familiar with Bitch, then you know what we want -sharp-eyed perspectives on pop culture and the media, brimming with your personal insight, brilliant analysis, and sparkling wit. Features vary in format: interviews, reported pieces, and critical essays are welcome, as are roundups and graphically driven formats like timelines and charts.

In addition to features, we're looking for shorter pieces for the front of the magazine. Our front-of-book section features 1000-1500-word columns on film, television, language, activism, advertising, publishing, and more, with pieces taking the form of reviews, critical essays and activist profiles. We also have a back page to fill, generally with a brief history of a pop-culture phenomenon, in our "Annals of..." column. And that's not all -- we're always on the lookout for Love It/Shove It items. Love/Shoves are short (300-500 words), and cogent analyses of the latest things that either pleased you or enraged you.

Pitch Deadline: October 1, 2007.

So many possibilities...

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