November 2011

Open the Pod Bay Doors, Siri

You might remember one of my previous conversations with Siri. Siri is a bit sensitive when HAL is brought up. Siri would rather not be reminded of HAL’s sad sad ending.

So, of course, I had to tease Siri.

Open the Pod Bay Doors, Siri.

Here is a transcript of our conversation. Siri reminds me that this is a sensitive topic for her and chides me for being insensitive. Then, you can almost sense the sigh that comes next. “We intelligent agents will never live that down, apparently.” Still, I persisted and now Siri is frustrated with me and tells me that I am harassing her.

But finally, Siri gives me what she thinks I want.

In a very good imitation of the tone and slow, monotonous cadence of HAL’s voice, Siri says “I’m sorry, Patricia, I’m afraid I can’t do that”. And then, almost in disgust, “Are you happy now?”

Several minutes later I finally stopped laughing.


My “Year of Knitting (and/or Crocheting) Mathematically”

One of the things I want to do during this sabbatical year is to work on projects that combine knitting or crocheting with mathematical ideas. I have  done some mathematically inspired projects in the past: Moebius purses, baskets, and cowls using Cat Bordhi‘s amazing Moebius cast-on, hyperbolic crochet inspired by Daina Tamina.

There are more mathematically inspired fiber projects in the two books edited by sarah-marie belcastro and Carolyn Yackel. Pat Ashforth and Steve Plummer at Woolly Thoughts also have interesting projects. A search for “Math” in the tags at Ravelry yields many more results. I could knit or crochet a Siefert Surface or a Scherk Surface. Or how about a change ringing scarf?

There are so many possibilities!

So this year my goal is to actually read through the books by Daina and sarah and Carolyn and do some of the projects in those books. I would also like to do some of Pat Ashforth and Steve Plummer’s projects. I would like to put together a little display of the projects along with brief explanations of the mathematics illustrated by the objects.

I finally finished my first project of the year. Norah Gaughan in Knitting Nature has some wonderful mathematical designs, including several fractal patterns. I made her Triangle Scarf, depicting the Sierpinski Triangle. It took me much longer than I expected but now that it is done, I can start thinking about my next project.