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Sunday, February 14, 2016

Fluid Geometry

I always love the way shadows drape themselves over curved surfaces like snow. They make you think about redefining reality. Which shape is "true?"

To start with, here is the same tree everyone liked in the Blizzard post. Its shadow at 3:18 this afternoon is tall and vase-like while the tree is short and squat.

tree shadow

I walked around to the south side of the tree and took another picture, just a minute later. It certainly doesn't look like the same shadow or the same tree, does it?

tree shadow

My favorites are always geometric shapes like this fence. The lines look parallel in one direction, but hardly in the other. And yet... they are.

fence shadow

But this one is really the best. Diamonds? Straight lines?

fence shadow

When we say we won't believe things we can't see or measure, etc, we sure forget how easily our senses can be fooled.

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Ann said...

I like that last picture.

Secondary Roads said...

Beautiful essay. I was an undergrad at MSU when I read, "Flatland" by Edwin A Abbott. It marked the beginning of understanding for me. What we "see" is not necessarily the truth.

The Furry Gnome said...

Neat shadows!

Sharkbytes said...

Ann- me too. It just works.

Chuck- I'll have to read that. Wonder if the library has it.

Stew- they are amazing things.

Secondary Roads said...

If the library doesn't have it, I do.

Sharkbytes said...

Chuck- they have it available as an ebook. I haven't tried doing that from the lib yet. New skill coming up!

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