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And collapsible hexagons are, I suppose, cool enough to at least amuse you a little bit during your class...
October 1, 2012 2:14 PM   Subscribe

To keep yourself amused during your math class, you start playing with [all these strips of paper]. And by you, I mean Arthur H. Stone in 1939. (SLYT)
posted by 256 (35 comments total) 56 users marked this as a favorite

 
I have never in my life said this, but I am anxious to watch part 2 of this video about geometric forms.
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:19 PM on October 1, 2012 [19 favorites]


Previously (but not a dupe).

This Wikipedia article on Flexagons is the first result for a search on Arthur H. Stone. The second is an article on Hexaflexagons and Other Mathematical Diversions (Google quickview of original PDF), with a bit more background on the 23-year-old Mr. Stone who first noticed the fascinating properties of the flexagons. The third link is, oddly enough, an interview from 1997, with then 81-year-old Stone, on topic topological.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:23 PM on October 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm 35 years old. I'll be 36 in December. This video has finally, for the first time in my life, instilled in me the slightest bit of interest in math.
posted by item at 2:33 PM on October 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think Vi Hart may be the coolest person alive. Seriously.
posted by Malor at 2:36 PM on October 1, 2012 [13 favorites]


Ummmmmmmmmmmmm, extremely cool.

I'm showing this to the mathematician I keep on retainer.
posted by entropone at 2:36 PM on October 1, 2012


This video has finally, for the first time in my life, instilled in me the slightest bit of interest in math.
-- item

Surely this isn't the first time?
posted by gray17 at 2:43 PM on October 1, 2012


Vi Hart, thrice previously.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:53 PM on October 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Holy... What the... Stop doing that. Eventually you're going to flip it around to the face where Great Cthulhu slumbers, dreaming his terrible dreams. "Blue face, green face, blue face, yellow face, blue face again, AAARGH R'LYEH FACE!"
posted by The Bellman at 3:14 PM on October 1, 2012 [11 favorites]


Make your own custom hexaflexagon with your own uploaded images.
Flexagon Creator

Here's a company brochure in the form of a hexaflexagon
posted by Nyrath at 3:21 PM on October 1, 2012


The most interesting thing about Flexagons was the involvement of Feynman and Tukey.
posted by Slothrup at 3:25 PM on October 1, 2012



I love that woman's voice. I would hire her to follow me around and narrate things.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 3:29 PM on October 1, 2012 [14 favorites]


I call witchcraft.
posted by sarastro at 3:40 PM on October 1, 2012


Is this a practical app?
posted by Mojojojo at 3:59 PM on October 1, 2012


Vi Hart rules.

And now off to make hexaflexagons.
posted by eyeballkid at 5:14 PM on October 1, 2012


God, her voice is cute. Like, I'm a dad and have a baby girl cute. Not the other one.
posted by clvrmnky at 5:26 PM on October 1, 2012


So never leave anything next to Vi Hart in study hall, because she'll color everything with markers and cut it up and fold it into crazy patterns and she'll understand why they do things like this, and you won't, and you'll be totally out of notebook paper and feel dumb.
posted by xingcat at 6:02 PM on October 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Cooooool. Love the voice, too!
posted by michellenoel at 7:11 PM on October 1, 2012


I was like, "Surely I can think of something better to say in this thread than 'I LOVE MATH'?"

But I cannot. I LOVE MATH. Math is the BEST.
posted by sc114 at 7:23 PM on October 1, 2012


I just watch her parabola video, and a bit after 4:30 she remarks, "Any collection of circles is two-colorable." I think I've just been nerd-sniped. Any collection of circles will be planar, so it's clearly four-colorable, but I can't get any lower. Bah!
posted by d. z. wang at 7:27 PM on October 1, 2012


I first leaned about these from Steve Caney's Toy Book when I was six, they're awesome.
Actually the whole book is awesome.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 7:37 PM on October 1, 2012


As a LabVIEW programmer who also works with industrial communication protocols, Vi Hart's name makes me laugh.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 7:40 PM on October 1, 2012


I just watch her parabola video, and a bit after 4:30 she remarks, "Any collection of circles is two-colorable." I think I've just been nerd-sniped. Any collection of circles will be planar, so it's clearly four-colorable, but I can't get any lower. Bah!

This isn't a proof, but it should make it seem plausible: color the plane white. Every time you add a circle to the plane, each point on the plane that falls in the added circle gets its color inverted (from white to black or vice versa). The result of this should always be a valid coloring.
posted by Jpfed at 7:47 PM on October 1, 2012


I love that woman's voice. I would hire her to follow me around and narrate things.

I was tearing out my hair trying to figure out why her cadence is so familiar and I finally got it: Lev Yilmaz.
posted by The Bellman at 8:04 PM on October 1, 2012


jpfed: oh neat! I was trying like mad to find a way to express the idea of "adding a circle" in graph theory, because that's the only place I've ever seen colorability. But, yes, once you show me that construction, it's trivial to construct the corresponding graph and coloring thereof. Thanks!
posted by d. z. wang at 8:06 PM on October 1, 2012


And a googling shows that my argument can be made rigorous (skip to assignment 1 problem 3).
posted by Jpfed at 8:20 PM on October 1, 2012


I love that woman's voice. I would hire her to follow me around and narrate things. Dear God, no! It'd be worse than tinnitus. You can fix typos now! Cool, (not that I had one).
posted by epo at 12:04 AM on October 2, 2012


Man that's cool.
This is even cooler than the Edit Window.
posted by From Bklyn at 2:32 AM on October 2, 2012


I love that woman's voice. I would hire her to follow me around and narrate things.

I was tearing out my hair trying to figure out why her cadence is so familiar and I finally got it: Lev Yilmaz.


Really? To me, it's clearly Felicia Day on her day off.
posted by talitha_kumi at 2:42 AM on October 2, 2012


Or Little Frieda.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 3:04 AM on October 2, 2012


The main thing Vi Hart has taught me is this: I used to think i was good at geometry, now i know i'm not.

In school, i was pretty bad at math; it just never clicked for me. I liked what i could do with math (Standard Deviation to this day is awesome to me), but i always got poor grades and always hated the frustration i'd feel from not understanding.

But geometry? Geometry i got. I looked at the shapes and just understood them in a way that i couldn't other types of math. I considered myself good at it; good enough to do proofs in my spare time, good enough to think "i really am good at this kind of math."

Then Vi came to youtube. I realized i wasn't good at all; that i was merely - at best - sort of poor-average, and that all my life i'd mislead myself.

The truth's always good to learn, but sometimes it hurts.
posted by dethb0y at 3:06 AM on October 2, 2012


Then Vi came to youtube. I realized i wasn't good at all; that i was merely - at best - sort of poor-average, and that all my life i'd mislead myself.

Vi is great, but... please consider how much Vi doodles that does not get edited into a video and uploaded to youtube, and how many of her insights do not actually come from her doodling but are learned by normal means (with a textbook and hard work), and the advantages she has in coming from a mathematical family.
posted by Jpfed at 5:06 AM on October 2, 2012


So cool. Nice example of vocal fry, too.
posted by gubo at 5:07 AM on October 2, 2012


Vi Hart justifies YouTube.
posted by kengraham at 5:35 AM on October 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ah, when it comes to flexagons, I just found the motherload
Flexagon.net
posted by Nyrath at 12:02 PM on October 2, 2012


You must watch part 2!
posted by desjardins at 5:51 PM on October 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


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