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  Discussion about math, puzzles, games and fun.   Useful symbols: ÷ × ½ √ ∞ ≠ ≤ ≥ ≈ ⇒ ± ∈ Δ θ ∴ ∑ ∫ • π ƒ -¹ ² ³ °

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#1 2006-04-30 17:34:08

Registered: 2006-04-30
Posts: 1

This is Gretel

Hello all--

I am a poet, not a mathematician, but formal poetry requires mathematics and  logic.  For example, a sonnet in rhymed, iambic pentameter--Shakespeare's choice, except his plays were most often unrhymed or "blank--" will read oddly if more than 66% of its lines follow the prescribed rhyme scheme and metrical pattern.  So, poets are taught that we should aim for about 2/3 of an English sonnet to fit the prescribed form.  I like this as a metaphor too.  I only conform at about a 66% rate.  I love Fibbonacci's numbers--I may have spelled this incorrectly.  I have made drawings of the way his ratio plays out in the seed patterns of sunflower heads, of the way pinecone "tabs" spiral from their base, and of the way morning glory blooms unfurl.  All examples of his ratio in nature--and of course the famous chambered nautilus is an example too.  The readers among you might like Sacks' The Man Who Mistook his Wife for a Hat.  It is a famous book about the brain and thinking.  Also, Brain Work by Michael Guista.  These are all short stories about neuropathology.  I am not intimating that mathematicians are pathological, just that smart people tend to like these writers.  I live in Columbus, Ohio, where the writer of Proof, David Auburn, hales from.  I used to babysit for him, actually.  Now I hang out with my own children and my husband and teach occasionally.  Please tell me more examples of Fibbonacci's numbers in nature.  Also, recommend books to me.  I originally ended up here because my father told me the story about the half-black sheep viewed from a train.  Happy to come across a group like this.  Gretel Hickman


#2 2006-05-01 04:01:02

Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 24,680

Re: This is Gretel

Hi Gretel Hickman,
Nice story your dad told you, and good thing you landed here! smile
Welcome to the forum!
You spelt Fibonacci right, but you spelt 'hails' wrong smile
I live in Columbus, Ohio, where the writer of Proof, David Auburn, hales from. 
I hope you find this link interesting.

It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi. 

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.


#3 2006-05-01 09:44:55

Registered: 2005-01-21
Posts: 7,685

Re: This is Gretel

Hi paperbackwriter (that was a song by ... umm...), and welcome to the forum.

I have read "The Man Who Mistook his Wife for a Hat", and found it fascinating. How people manage to cope with life when an entire function is missing from their brain is most amazing. So I should check out "Brain Work" then.

You babysat for David Auburn? How amazing!

And quite right, you don't need to be a Mathematician to hang out here, just being a "curious" person will do (and I mean that in a nice way smile)

"The physicists defer only to mathematicians, and the mathematicians defer only to God ..."  - Leon M. Lederman


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