Party at Tom and Sarah’s

On Saturday afternoon, we loaded ourselves onto several buses which went over to Tom and Sarah’s house, where we could see the mathematical art, and participate in building some new sculptures.

Soon enough Neil got to work on what he called a “Hilbert Curve,” a sculpture which eventually ended up looking like this:

Julian came along and called it a “Peano Curve”:

Sigh, he calls in Hilbert, you call it Peano. I know what the childrens’ art docent at the DeYoung Museum would call it: a big squiggle. Discuss amongst yourselves.

I was just looking on when Uri Levy, the inventor of the magnetic Tower of Hanoi came along, and showed me the octagon Vi Hart had just showed him how to make with balloons:

In fact, he had done it so well, that he’d just been certified as an octagonologist, and he announced his intent to bring the art of octagonology to Israel, from whence this wisdom will spread beyond America and into all corners of the world.

Just about then, Max Schneider and Gareth Conway recruited Neil to help them explore what Max called “The Abyss.”

Max saw a cavern and announced they’d all be famous now as the discoverers of a great mine. Then Gareth challenged Neil as to which of them could remember the most digits of Pi. It’s a math geek throw down! It lasted until the boys reached a digit they didn’t agree on. The only out was to go up the hill to ask The Pi Guy to referee, but he’d not only correct them, but show them how many digits of Pi a man can recall.

That could be embarrassing, even among math geeks, so I distracted the boys by approaching the cavern, to their collective horror. I peeked inside and saw what I perceived as a well, and told the boys that was what it was. But y’know, I’d just spent most of the week having my visual perceptions challenged, so for all I know I was really looking a diamond mine, guarded at the bottom by a fierce dragon; or the lost dreams of puzzlers, waiting to be unlocked.

I decided it was wiser to leave that mystery unexplored, so I left the boys to continue their adventure, and went back up the hill, where the geometric balloon making had gotten totally out of control:

I crawled into one of the hyperbolic sculptures to hide out, and joked with the others who’d joined me there that we were “the in crowd.” No, Hans Schepker joked with me, since we are on a sphere, it could very well be that everyone else is “in,” and we were the little exclusionary circle that was “out.”

Alas, it was already getting dark, and all too soon the party ended and we all had to head home. But in the meantime, Neil had met and made a lot of new art and math friends, both his own age and older.

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