It is no wonder why Pieter van Suijlekom’s reef aquarium has been chosen as “tank of the month” by the Reefkeeping online magazine. With a lenght of 6 metres and weighing 8000 kg, this is the largest private aquarium I have ever seen, and I guess it must be one of the most impressive ever constructed. (My dentist has an impressive aquarium, too: a very good idea to soothen up the patient´s nerves before the torture). It is so big that a 22-mm thick safety glass sheet had to be custom made by Tetterode Glass so that it could stand the tremendous pressure of the water inside.
The number and kinds of fish and corals lodged inside this tank is by no means less impressive. To mention a few, you will find here examples of Seriatopora hystrix, Poccilopora verrucosa, one Halichoeres chrysus and three Naso literatus (naso literatus? this must be the Cyrano de Bergerac among the fish, I guess). The tank has been accomodated on the second floor of the “Open fireplace Center”, a shop in Vlaardingen, Netherlands. As you may see in the pictures, the room has been fitted with two comfortable armchairs (I have to talk to my dentist about it), and I’m sure that if I lived nearby I would grab some popcorn and go to the dock of the tank to watch the fish roll in, instead of spending my money going to the movies.
ps. I have just found the monster-megatank. Still, if not in size, I think that Pieter’s aquarium is much more impressive in terms of style.
Last weekend I had the pleasure to assist to the meeting organized by my friends of the Origami Group, which took place in a hotel located close to Santiago de Compostela and gathered enthusiasts coming from all over Spain and abroad.
These were three days of intense folding and a great opportunity to learn while making great friends! Many people brought their own models (either made from diagrams or original creations), and I have to admit that I was absolutely amazed by the level and skill of the participants. I´m sure that you will agree with me that these models show great expertise and a unique beauty.
I had the chance to take lots of pictures during these three days (even if I always arrived late! 😛 ). Many of them are shown below; I added a picture of Xerome to the article I wrote on the models he made from tree leaves, and some 15 pictures of earring designs to the article I wrote a month ago on the same topic. Furthermore, I took so many pictures of tessellations that I think they deserve a separate article, so if you like the pictures below I suggest that you come back tomorrow: you won’t be disappointed, I promise!
Jeff Anderson, developer of Groboto, has kindly sent me the link above. It points to his new blog, where he´s posting images made with the beta for the new version of the program. This is very good news for two reasons: it means that the work is advancing at a good pace, and it shows that it is advancing in the right direction. Several of the pictures he has posted are screen captures that show the program´s interface (after you click on a picture for the first time, notice that there´s an icon over its upper-left corner that allows you to see the full size version). The controls shown look reasonably intuitive and the images, impressive. If the rendering speed is as fast as he claims (this picture was rendered in just three seconds) and the interface is as easy as to not interfere with creativity, Groboto may be truly one of the most interesting programs since William Latham released Organic Art (V2 will be the first version for both windows and macOS; V1.6 already stands as one of the most unique and interesting programs of its kind for the mac).
These cookies are the result of my most recent research into what ancient trilobites would have tasted like if primitive biochemical processes were based on jam/chocolate/cookie molecules.
An easy recipe, served by George Hart, for the dinousaurs’ favourite cookies to enjoy at tea time. With lots of butter, chocolate and humour, what else can one ask for?
…Well, actually there’s more! you should must visit George’s site, and see for yourself some of his sculptures, his prototypes (I really want one of those rapid prototyping machines!), and his 3D puzzles, all based in polyhedra. Oh yes, and the picture of his office. I guess it looks like a phone booth from outside… 😉
A 4-dimensional convex polyhedron (properly called a “polytope” or “polychoron”) is a volume of 4-dimensional space that is bounded by a number of hyperplanes. (…) These 4-dimensional star polytopes cannot be viewed directly in 3 dimensions. What we have to do is slice the 4-dimensional object with a 3-dimensional hyperplane. The part that intersects the slicing hyperplane forms a 3-dimensional star polyhedron, which is displayed by the applet in stereoscopic 3D.
I recognize that these explanations can be intimidating if you are not familiarized with polyhedra. That´s why the site above is invaluable: it will let you intuitively tinker with those abstruse geometries through a java applet with an easy to use interface. There´s a huge amount of 3D shapes to explore (you can click on the shape and drag the mouse to rotate it), and with several different rendering options, a Stereo Mode for 3D visualization and automatic rotation and animation features, this little applet could keep you entertained for ages (plus it is highly inspirational for designers and modular origami enthusiasts). A must see!
ps. You can also visit this page and download another very easy to use program that allows you to manipulate and transform different polyhedra. For general information on polyhedra, this page looks like the place to go.