20 May 2018

The other side of the lens

I think anyone has an experience to peep into the lens; magnifying glass, microscope or telescope. Isn't it exciting to see something you cannot see with your naked eyes?

I like microscopes. The first time I bought a microscope, I was very excited and saw anything at random, whatever I could get a sample around me; onion peel, pond water, bird's feather, my hair and so on.

One day, I hit a mosquito and what I had done was, of course, I saw a mosquito with a microscope. I hadn't seen an insect until then. What I saw was an ugly face that I would never say it looked cute. It reminded me of a scene of the movie "Alien." I couldn't believe that I hit that with my bare hand and suddenly felt like washing my hands.

If you have a child who doesn't wash his or her hands after playing with mud before eating, let him or her see mud that was taken from the hand with a microscope. You may find a tardigrade or something ugly. Yes, that's right. A microscope can be used for child training. Seeing is better than hearing.

In this sense, a microscope is a good tool to taste a thrill in daily life. You know why? As I experienced, looking in a microscope makes you see what you don't expect. It's sometimes ugly, beautiful or something beyond your imagination.

I know there are people who love thriller movies. I don't see thriller movies much, but if I were a thriller movie fan, I would peep into an eyepiece of a microscope, because a microscope will lead you to an amazing world. The world you can see in the lens is not a fiction like a movie and that makes you feel more thrilled. I guess you have never thought that you hit an alien with your bare hand.

Nowadays, there are alternatives devices that can be used as a microscope. So, even if you don't have a microscope, for example, you can see the microworld using a smartphone or digital microscopes.

Once you see the microworld around you, you will begin to look at the things around you in a different way.

photo credit: Elsie esq. Fine rotative table Microscope 11 via photopin (license) photo credit: J. Data Imagery Num6_SeaIce_20um_20X_04202018_1 via photopin (license)

5 May 2018

Escher - Memories of the Netherlands

What do you imagine when you hear the word "Netherlands"?
Wind turbines, beautiful flowers, cheese or if you like arts, you may imagine Vincent W. van Gogh's pictures. To me, the first thing I imagine is Maurits Cornelis Escher.

M. C. Escher is famous in Japan. I think Japanese like Escher, and I'm no exception. As evidence of that, exhibitions of the work of Escher are sometimes held in Japan. I have just searched for the keyword "Escher" on the internet, here it is, I found an exhibition of Escher at The Ueno Royal Museum, Tokyo which opens from 6th June 2018.

Therefore, I was convinced that Dutch immigrants who live in Australia knew about Escher, and told them I like Escher's works, but nobody knew. I can think that the people whom I asked accidentally might not know Escher, but it's still surprising. I thought Escher was one of the famous people in the Netherlands.

His works are the fusion of mathematics and art which make me feel infinity and circulation. Well, I'm not a native English speaker and don't have enough vocabulary to describe his amazing works. I'll entrust comments about Escher's works to experts.

It's a bit of an old memory, my husband, Juno, and I attended The Bridges Conference, Leeuwarden, Netherlands in 2008. In that year, the International Puzzle Party (IPP) was held in Prague, Czech, so we thought that it was a good opportunity to join both, The Bridges first and then visit the IPP.

Here are pictures I took in Leeuwarden where Escher was born. The first picture was taken at the workshop of Juno's Spinner Truncated Icosahedron. This polyhedron is famous as a soccer ball. I think one of the most famous polyhedra that everybody knows.
The second picture was our outdoor shop. The attendee who wanted to sell their own works could open a small shop in Leeuwarden. There was an unexpected thing that happened. The shop we were allowed to use was just in front of Escher's birth house! In the picture below, the brick house behind Juno is Escher's birth house. This is an unforgettable memory for me.

There was another lucky occurrence. It was almost at the end of The Bridges Conference, we could see Escher's work. There were lots of his works there. If it had been held in Japan, the place would have been crowded but there were only our friend, Juno and me, three of us. I took lots of pictures but I'm not sure about copyrights' law, so I refrained to upload the pictures.

I could spend wonderful times in the Netherlands.
I would like to visit the Netherlands someday again.

* The Bridges Organization
* Juno's World "Juno's Spinner" 
* Juno’s Spinner (Dodecahedron Model) 

2 May 2018

Looks simple but difficult - Tricky Dick

If you have plenty of time and want to be puzzled, I know the one that will satisfy you.
It looks a simple structure, but is difficult to solve. It's Tricky Dick, designed by Rick Eason.

This puzzle is not new, so I think some readers have already seen it. I got this puzzle about six or seven years ago. I have heard this is a difficult puzzle, but I thought I could solve it. What happened was, I had been playing with it for about one month and couldn't solve it. I left it on my bookshelf and have forgotten about it for a long time, and I recalled that I still didn't solve it yet. 

Tricky Dick is a disentanglement puzzle. The target of this puzzle is to take out a ring. Simple, isn't it? The ring is slightly smaller than a disk connected to the end of a strap. The strap is long. I wonder if the length of the strap is the key to solve it?

I don't know if it's good or bad, this puzzle is high cost-effective. It's a reasonable price and can be enjoyed for a long time. Well, if you are a genius, maybe it can't be high cost-effective though. 

This puzzle is one of my favorite top 10 puzzles. I like a puzzle which has a simple structure, is not a black box type design and is difficult to solve. Tricky Dick is available on Mr Puzzle's online shop.

If you want to be puzzled, please try!
* Mechanical Puzzles - Rick Eason : Tricky Dick 
* Mr Puzzle online shop : Tricky Dick