Sunday, April 22, 2012

Lesson 143: Connected

Earth Day.   We celebrate it on April 22nd.  Do the math, Readers:  Earth Day.  Plus.  Eloise.   I bet you were expecting this weekend's post to look something like this:

I'm a self-professed tree-hugger, so maybe you were expecting this:

I did climb a tree in my yard once, to save it from a chainsaw.  But nope--no tree hugging rallies held at The Lamp Post this weekend.

Eloise's earthy photography.  That must be it.  Her sunrises:

Her unenhanced skies:

Her search for the heavens:

No, no, and no.  All from this week, but no, that is not the direction I am headed today.

How about Ellen's art?  Would that work its way into the blog world?  

Kind of.  I can hardly go a week without showing you something she painted.  This is a line from one of my favorite Dr. Seuss stories, The Lorax.  "What do you want me to paint you this weekend?" Ellen asked on Friday night.  "Me, but skinny," I replied.  She frowned and didn't move.  "Ok," I relented.  "How about something earthy.  It's Earth Day on Sunday."  She marched up the 14 steps to her bedroom easel and made this.  But, no, Ellen's art is not this weekend's topic of conversation (but I still found a way to worm it in).

You know my love for music, so maybe you were predicting this:
Earth Day does rock, but no, this is not this weekend's theme.  It's about this:

Touch.  My new favorite TV show.  It's about connections.  We all interrelate.  I guess a good graphic would be something like this:

According to the voice-over at the beginning of the show, there are 6,919,377,000 people living on our tiny planet, and only a few can see the connections.  I think I am one of them.  

You can see the trailer to the Fox TV show on the post below this one.  Blogger updated its format this weekend, and with any "improvement" comes technological grief.  I could not get the video and my pictures to show on the same post.  Time for a teenager to help me.  Thank goodness I have a nice pool of them at the ready because I am a teacher.  Please keep reading to the post below and watch the trailer if you are not yet hooked on this series.  Keifer Sutherland stars in it.  He's a great actor, so you should give it a whirl for that reason alone.  Thursday nights, after Idol.  Be there, or be square...or maybe hexagonal?  Read on.

The writers of this TV show raise these questions:  What if fate is a formula?  (No help here.  I never took physics.).  What if coincidence is a calculation?  (Major bummer.  I am mentally retarded in math.).  What if our lives are part of a pattern?  (Or is it a path:  Jeremiah, 29:11).   

The brilliant writing team wants us to believe that 
Every Thought.
Every Breath.
Every Action.
How cool would that be?  

The theme that the series centers around, is that children with autism have the ability to see those connections.  And although they lack the skills to effectively communicate what they see to the rest of us, they try to get their message across in nontraditional ways.  The writers want us to believe that these special people have the ability to see mathematical connections, hidden in plain sight.  They are everywhere.  We just have to know where to look.  And believe me, as the parent of an autistic almost fourteen year old, I've been looking.  Heck, if I have to deal with all this baggage Natalie carries around, I may as well have something cool to tell you all about.  Glad I didn't have to look too far.

Remember this?:

This was Natalie's circle pattern she was writing over and over and over again for more than a week.  I finally determined that it was a money worksheet she must have been working on in school.  Here are my notations for an explanation in case you missed the post:

  After the recent Touch episode, I've been intrigued with her circles within circles.  See them under the words 5 nickels?  Jake, the boy with autism on the show, kept putting colored blocks in a similar pattern.  This was later recognized as a picture representation of a hexagonal number.  Here is what one really looks like:

From what I could piece together in my pea-sized math brain is that a hexagonal number is a triangular number, but every other one.  The article I read said that the digital root (?!?!) of a hexagonal number is either 1, 3, 6, or 9.  I thought that was cool because they are all numbers I like.  They work together, like in my birthday, 3-3.  You can multiply them to get 9 or add them together to get 6.  Way cool.  Beyond that, the article had fractions and parenthesis and letters in place of numbers and I broke out in hives just looking at it.  If you are math inclined, you'll have to check it out for yourselves.

Who knows?  Maybe Natalie's got this all figured out.  I showed her this picture to see how she'd respond, and she said in her monotone voice, "Stop sign."  Crap.  She's got my math ability.  A stop sign has 8 sides, not 6.  Maybe not.

Another numbers theme the show mentions is the Fibonnaci sequence.  The  numbers are in this pattern (from wikipedia):

In mathematics, the Fibonacci numbers or Fibonacci series or Fibonacci sequence are the numbers in the following integer sequence:
0,\;1,\;1,\;2,\;3,\;5,\;8,\;13,\;21,\;34,\;55,\;89,\;144,\; \ldots\;

The pattern is found in nature in these ways:
A Fibonacci spiral created by drawing circular arcs connecting the opposite corners of squares in the Fibonacci tiling; this one uses squares of sizes 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, and 34. See golden spiral.

As in the perfect proportion that DiVinci' painted in his Mona Lisa:

And here in the center of daisy:

And here in the snail shell:

Now check out Sam's artwork that was sent home from preschool, BEFORE the Touch episode aired, mind you:

So there you have it, Readers.  We've figured it all out here at the Lamp Post.  Too bad one of the scientists doesn't speak and the other is too busy jumping off the arm of the couch into a pile of pillows pretending he's John Cena, the WWE wrestler. 

Maybe my Leonardette will paint us all something to help us.  She made this the other week.  Maybe there is a pattern to Ellen's petals.  This was a gift to Kenyan Karen for Easter.  It's a safe bet that right now she has Eric in front of that thing counting the petals.

I don't know much, but I do believe this:  there is much more to our world than we can ever begin to understand. There are messages in front of us, hiding in plain sight, just waiting for the right person to come along and discover them.

We are all connected on this tiny planet.  Don't ever forget that.


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