Power Avengers beat Darkula in Chula Vista!

In Chula Vista, the dastardly supervillain Darkula has been defeated, thanks to the superhero Power Avengers!

Don’t believe me? The exciting comic book story fills the walls of the Energy Station at the South Chula Vista Library!

When local sixth grade school students enter the Energy Station, with its action-packed walls, they might be inspired to become real life heroes. At the Energy Station makerspace they learn about energy conservation and sources of renewable energy, such as solar or wind power.

This unique City of Chula Vista project, created several years ago in partnership with San Diego Gas and Electric, aims to inspire the next generation to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics or STEM. Having a pipeline of future STEM workers is essential to the health and growth of our regional innovation economy, which depends on technical expertise in fields such as electrical engineering, biomedical research, and wireless communications…

No matter what a kid’s talents or interests might be, at the South Chula Vista Library they can learn how to create a brighter future and thwart the menace of Darkula . . . as members of the Power Avengers!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Mathematical nonsense and truth at the Bonita Museum.

If you are intrigued by human creativity, science or philosophy, you might enjoy the artwork now on display at the The Bonita Museum and Cultural Center. The title of the exhibition is Rule 42, Stretched Language.

Why Rule 42? According to one popular work of fiction, 42 is the answer to the ultimate question of Life, the Universe and Everything. Go ahead, smile!

Why Stretched Language? Perhaps because human language can be stretched in endless ways. Words assembled in infinite combinations can represent one’s personal experience or shine light into dark places. Be made into poetry.

Words are symbolic. Numbers, variables and equations are also symbolic. They, too, can be used in poetic expression. Indeed, the exhibition’s subtitle is “Explorations into visual, concrete and mathematical poetry.”

Supposedly, the works in this exhibition each have something to do with mathematics. It seemed to me, however, that they all celebrate something larger: the unique capacity of diverse human minds to imagine, rationalize and create. And even embrace pure nonsense.

Psychronometrics. Sounds scientific. Sounds profound. The equation and description are impressive. But the assertion is that our psychological experience of time, and how time seems to accelerate as we become older, is related to Einstein’s theory of relativity.

To compare the two is utterly absurd. That equation in the photograph above includes velocity. Neither the young or the old have managed (yet) to approach the speed of light!

But you know what? The plasticity of the human mind, which can imagine and rationalize absolutely anything and everything, is what is on display. These are the metaphorical works of visionary artists, not “serious” scientists. Infinite artistic truths cannot be defined with a few equations.

More rational visitors to the exhibit might laugh at some of the jumbled assertions and associations. Rule 42, Stretched Language can be a stretch.

My advise? Don’t be too critical. Step outside your own idea of Truth and enjoy!

This rather unusual exhibition ends on December 3, 2021.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Squares, circles, rectangles on a pier!

If you’ve followed Cool San Diego Sights for a few years, you probably know I love to walk out on the G Street Pier. One can take fantastic photos of downtown San Diego, Coronado, and sailboats passing across the sparkling water. But my favorite thing to photograph is the pier’s crazy clutter!

Along one edge of the G Street Pier one can always find stacked lobster traps, colorful floats, tangled ropes, and piles of weathered objects used on commercial fishing boats.

Today as I walked along the Embarcadero I noticed the G Street Pier was open. So I walked out on it.

Look at all the squares, circles and rectangles my camera found! (Some triangles and a starfish, too!)

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Strange geometries on the G Street Pier.

The crazy tangle of fishing nets, lobster traps, rusty chains, floats, pallets and miscellaneous junk on the G Street Pier is wonderful beyond description.

The pier was open today, so I walked out on it.

Not only did I stride over the beautiful bay, with fishing boats floating before the San Diego skyline, and gulls wheeling overhead, but I felt I was moving through a fundamental Truth of this world made visible. Mathematical truth. Divine truth.

Were great philosophers walking with me, what would they conclude?

To help bring out some of the geometry–the ordered symmetry and fractured chaos–I’ve added a whole lot of contrast to these photographs.

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I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Geometric patterns in a city.

Walking through a city is like navigating through a sea of geometric patterns!

On all sides: circles, lines, triangles, squares, rectangles!

Look up, look down. See the grates, ironwork, bricks, manhole covers. See the windows and reflections. You’ll find yourself surrounded by architecture designed mathematically.

Some of the patterns are simple. Others are complex.

When you walk through a city, what shapes and patterns do you see?

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Most efficient way to eat pumpkin pie.

After performing a very detailed mathematical analysis, noting that the total area of a circle is π r², and after taking precise measurements and observing the object in question with a critical eye, I’ve finally determined the most efficient way to consume pumpkin pie.

Please consult the following photograph:

Insert spoon into pumpkin pie. Turn spoon, lift.
Insert spoon into pumpkin pie. Turn spoon, lift.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Unfolding Humanity appears at Maker Faire!

A couple months ago I blogged about the debut of a fascinating dodecahedron sculpture called Unfolding Humanity. The San Diego Geometry Lab had begun building their project by a parking lot at University of San Diego.

Today I finally saw the interactive metal sculpture completed! It was among the many cool inventions on display at 2018 Maker Faire San Diego in Balboa Park!

If you want to learn more about Unfolding Humanity–the mathematics behind it, and how it’s symmetry and complexity is similar to the structure of the universe–please check out my earlier blog post here, or visit the artwork’s extremely interesting website here.

I learned from Diane Hoffoss, Associate Professor of Mathematics at USD, that the San Diego Geometry Lab might be building additional similar projects in the future. Probably every other year. Because it’s quite an undertaking!

I also learned that many people enjoyed stepping inside Unfolding Humanity during Burning Man! Someone even performed magic tricks inside it!

This is what I saw at Maker Faire San Diego today…

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

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Assembling a beautiful mystery: Unfolding Humanity.

Working to complete Unfolding Humanity. Lit green lettering on the exterior of the sculpture is similar to that from the iconic movie The Matrix.
Working to complete Unfolding Humanity. Lit green lettering on the exterior of the sculpture is similar to that from the movie The Matrix.

Late today I swung by the University of San Diego to see something extraordinary.

The San Diego Geometry Lab, with the help of the San Diego Collaborative Arts Project (SDCAP) and the University of San Diego (USD) Applied Mathematics program, is building a complex interactive sculpture called Unfolding Humanity. For a few minutes I admired the metal sculpture which stood outside by a campus parking lot, and watched as USD students and faculty worked to carefully assemble it.

Unfolding Humanity will be on public display this year during Burning Man, and the weekend of Maker Faire San Diego in Balboa Park.

Once completed, people will be able to stand inside the hollow, 12 foot tall dodecahedron. When the mirrored sides fold close, those inside will see their myriad reflections amid thousands of programmable star-like LEDs. They will seem to stand at the center of the universe. The fantastic effect will almost certainly inspire awe and provoke thought. Awe at the beautiful symmetry and complexity of the universe, and thought about its mathematical structure and our place inside it.

This very cool sculpture is fascinating on various levels. The Matrix-like chamber provokes questions about the relationship between technology and humanity. The opening pentagonal walls relate to Albrecht Dürer’s 500-year-old mathematical problem concerning the unfolding of polyhedra. Most interesting to me, the mathematical structure of the universe, based on observations of cosmic radiation, is thought to resemble that of a dodecahedron–the shape of Unfolding Humanity. Standing inside the sculpture might in some way help us sense the mysterious structure of the cosmos itself.

This artwork reminds us all that the universe’s existence, and our existence inside it, is ultimately a profound mystery. As the Unfolding Humanity website states: We human beings do not know who we are, and that is who we are.

Today when I attended Unfolding Humanity’s announced debut, I was under the impression the project was completed. But it turns out construction is ongoing. I learned the interactive sculpture should be finished in perhaps a week or so.

Please visit the San Diego Geometry Lab website. You’ll learn more about the artwork’s conception, historical significance and symbolism. You’ll see cool external and internal renderings of Unfolding Humanity based on a computer model, plus an animation of how it will open and close once completed!

Students, faculty and interested visitors watch work being done on Unfolding Humanity during its debut at University of San Diego.
Students, faculty and interested visitors watch work being done on Unfolding Humanity during its debut at University of San Diego.

Exterior panels haven't been attached to this side of the enormous Unfolding Humanity dodecahedron yet.
Exterior panels haven’t been attached to this side of the enormous Unfolding Humanity dodecahedron yet.

Unfolding Humanity, once completed, will make the mystery of human existence in a beautifully mysterious universe come to life.
Unfolding Humanity, once completed, will make the mystery of human existence in a beautifully mysterious universe come to life.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Lobster traps, shadows create a cool matrix.

I got some cool photos yesterday when I walked past new lobster traps on a pier. The cage-like traps and their shadows, which were cast on a clean flat surface, created an illusion of strange dimension and space that captured my eye.

These grids of metal and shadow remind me of some unusual sculptural artwork I recently blogged about in the gallery of San Diego’s Central Library.

The following images almost look like molecules arranged in a matrix. Intersecting parallel lines seem to form an abstract, mathematical, three dimensional space.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Life is a stimulating adventure!

San Diego students learn STEM through aviation!

Cool aircraft are displayed during an event at Gillespie Field by Air Group One of the Commemorative Air Force.
Cool aircraft are displayed during an event at Gillespie Field by Air Group One of the Commemorative Air Force.

Today I headed to Gillespie Field in El Cajon and checked out an Expo organized by Air Group One of the Commemorative Air Force. As I walked among all sorts of restored World War II aircraft and a wide variety of fascinating exhibits, I made a very cool discovery!

Students in San Diego are invited by Air Group One to participate in a special aviation-themed STEM educational program! The special program is designed for middle and high school aged youth. Ricardo Sevilla, the friendly A-STEM Educational Officer, walked over to introduce himself to me, and I learned a little bit about this truly amazing opportunity.

S.T.E.M subjects (science, technology, engineering, and math) can be taught to students in San Diego classrooms or at Air Group One’s super cool Gillespie Field headquarters, where there are a variety of potential hands-on activities. Topics that are featured include how to become a pilot, how to operate a drone, how to build a rocket, and the aerodynamics and design concepts that enable an airplane to fly. Potential careers in aviation and the aerospace industry are also introduced. Sounds like lots of fun!

Are you a teacher in San Diego who’d like to learn more? Wouldn’t your students be thrilled to visit an actual airfield? Check out this page of the Air Group One website!

Banner promotes Air Group One's Aviation Educational Programs.
Banner promotes Air Group One’s Aviation Educational Programs.

Air Group One's historic 1943 SNJ-5 "Sassy" on the tarmac at Gillespie Field.
Air Group One’s historic 1943 SNJ-5 “Sassy” on the tarmac at Gillespie Field.

Flyer describes an exciting ASTEM educational program offered by Air Group One.
Flyer describes an exciting ASTEM educational program offered by Air Group One.

If you're interested, use the email shown in this photograph.
If you’re interested, use the email shown in this photograph.

Learning about aviation can help a student take flight and discover new horizons!
Learning about aviation can help a student take flight and discover new horizons!

I’ll be blogging about today’s fantastic event at Gillespie Field as soon as I get my photographs together!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!