This is Math Month with 14 brilliant kindergarteners. We've gone from Fibonacci Numbers to Golden Spirals to Mobius Strips. The kids watched the following jaw-dropping, 3-minute video linking a Mobius Strip to the music of J. S. Bach:
They watched the Jos Leys video transfixed. I heard more than one soft "Whoa!"
The kids then drew on and cut their pre-made Mobius strips in half length-wise to learn more about the amazing looping properties of the Mobius strip. Then I created one more extra-long Mobius strip, expecting to cut one-third of the way into the strip creating one long loop intersecting with a shorter loop.
I got two disconnected loops of green construction paper.
Hysterical laughter ensued as Ms. Steph had forgotten to twist the loop.
It was GREAT!
It looped perfectly into a discussion of scientists making mistakes and to the wonderful book I am reading (thanks, Jan!): Brilliant Blunders by Mario Livio (2013).
In the preface, Livio starts by noting his standard answer to what his book was about: "It is about blunders, and it is not an autobiography." So far, it is a finely-woven quintuple helix of the biggest mistakes of Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, Fred Hoyle, William Thomson (Lord Kelvin) and Fred Hoyle. Rosalind Franklin (see October 29, 2013 Partial Ellipsis of the Sun blog post here: Rosalind Franklin: DNA Photograph 51) and her contribution to the discovery of the DNA double helix (not triple helix as Pauling hypothesized) are discussed in great detail. There are photos, letters, journal notes, and diagrams detailing the errors of these scientists. One reviewer wrote, "Even Einstein was no Einstein sometimes."
The word "blunder" according to Merriam Webster is from the Middle English blundren, probably of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse blunda to shut one's eyes, doze, Norwegian dialect blundra.Here's hoping that you will open your eyes to the beauty of these holiday Mobius strips:
There are more photographs of this Mobius Nautilus here: Mobius Nautilus
Wishing you all a good holiday (whichever you celebrate--or not) and winter filled with colossal mistakes, many children, and much laughter. . .and, perhaps, a Mobius tree:
I look forward to our loopy conversation. (Sorry about the lack of an umlaut over the "o" in Mobius; I know you'll pronounce it Mer-bius not Moh-bius. . .)
Posting on a Monday this week, back to Tuesday next week,
Word Woman (Scientific Steph)