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Tuesday, October 05, 2004

The Fibonacci Series in Nature

The innate mathematical spine of pine cones and pineapples...the Fibonacci series...observed and noted originally in 1202. This is a delicious thing and something I wish I'd learnt about at school. I've had an unfortunate and life long inadequacy with mathematics. I came across this sequence and learnt about its significance and observation in the natural world, when I read 'Climbing Mount Improbable' by Richard Dawkins.

"The Fibonacci Series is a sequence of numbers first created by Leonardo Fibonacci in 1202. It is a deceptively simple series, but its ramifications and applications are nearly limitless. It has fascinated and perplexed mathematicians for over 700 years, and nearly everyone who has worked with it has added a new piece to the Fibonacci puzzle, a new tidbit of information about the series and how it works."

It is summed up poetically and cheekily in this site:
http://www.textism.com/bucket/fib.html

...and explained in beginners mathematical terms here:
http://library.thinkquest.org/27890/mainIndex.html?tqskip1=1

Monday, October 04, 2004

The Nature of Creativity

This is an excellent illustrated essay by the very unique Hugh MacLeod about the nature of creativity. The observations and commentary are true for creative people in all walks of life. Whether you have spent a decade wrangling with digital media design projects...or writing that great novel - it's both relevant and entertaining.

http://www.gapingvoid.com/Moveable_Type/archives/000932.html

Vetiver - The Hedge Against Erosion

There are some ideas that seem too simple to be useful. The 'vetiver system' for soil and moisture conservation is one of these ideas. This natural system has been used in over 120 countries throughout the tropics in rain-fed farming areas and has been proven to improve crop yields and to provide a sustainable future for farmers in third world countries. It has been used for the last 50 years and continues to be a great success story.

One thing I can probably guarantee is that you've never heard of it. You can find out all you'd ever want to know about this system from the 'Vetiver Network...this not for profit organisation runs a website which includes links to global gateways and case studies illustrating the Vetiver System at work.

http://www.vetiver.org/TVN_FRONTPAGE_ENGLISH.htm

Domestic Anthropomorphism

Philips and Alessi started a wave of product design integrating personable, cutesy and cuddly characteristics that are meant to melt the heart of the typical consumer. The small round spagetti man dental floss dispenser and spewing man toothpaste lid are amongst my favourites.

Somehow...I keep finding myself buying the Alessi 'devil' bottle opener for people as a gift (three times and counting). However, we own none of these items - daft cartoon implements in brightly coloured plastics don't really sway me. Our nearest equivalent is a simple cotton oven mitt, which was cheap and cheerful but provides plenty of personality for our small urban kitchen.



Our oven mitt has a name...testimony to its design it just makes you go all anthropomorphic. (The mitt's name is Nessie). Posted by Hello