November 17 marks the birthday of August Ferdinand Möbius, 1790-1868. He is most famous for his mathematical description of the Möbius strip (or loop), which is a looped surface that has only one side. I hope you have had a chance to play with Möbius loops! My tie is made from wide ribbon, and it has only one side. I mean that if you were painting my tie, you could brush smoothly all around the loop until you reached your starting point -- and you would have painted the entire loop -- it has no "inside" versus "outside." Here's your topological/philosophical puzzle for today: In what sense does my tie tack go "through" the loop? We can't say it pokes through "one side" and comes out of the "other side," because the loop has only one side . . . even when I cross the loop over itself . . .
Thursday, November 16, 2017
Wednesday, November 15, 2017
Today's tie belonged to Otha Dell Brigance (1922-2000), who was born on this date. Mr. Brigance eventually had a granddaughter whom we know as Rachel Haskins -- and who counts as one of our daughters! I am happy to help Rachel remember her grandfather.
Tuesday, November 14, 2017
Monday, November 13, 2017
Saturday, November 11, 2017
Today I am a "poster presenter" at the annual conference for the National Collegiate Honors Council (most of the Honors Programs and Honors Colleges from across the U. S.). My poster covers the organization of the freshman orientation class I lead, where we are studying the campus as our "textbook." My tie features Rodin's sculpture of The Thinker, because honors education strongly emphasizes all aspects of critical thinking. Our tiny bears Garnet and Little Bear came with me to Atlanta, to enjoy the bus ride, the hotel accommodations, and the excellent food! They also liked seeing my poster, but they hid in my pocket during the crowd action.
Wednesday, November 8, 2017
This is Dorothy Day's Day! Day was born on this day in 1897. The short story is that she was "an American journalist, social activist, and Catholic convert. Day initially lived a bohemian lifestyle before gaining fame as a social activist after her conversion" (Wikipedia). The "Atlantic" calls her "a saint for difficult people." Photos of Saint Dorothy show that she dressed plainly, but I think she would not object to this tie with red and silver crossing stripes to honor her memory.