# Mars, Triangulation, and LOMINOES.

Welcome to this week’s Math Munch!

First things first, I simply must mention a video that one of our readers sent us. Lily Ross was inspired by a recent post and created this amazing fake movie trailer!!! WOW! Thank you, Lily!

Did you know that NASA is planning to send people to Mars around the year 2030? How far away would they be going? Click the picture to find out. It’s incredibly cool.

How far is it to Mars?

Mars

The Moon

distancetomars.com is an interactive website that answers the question, “how far is it to Mars?” It was created by a pair of designers, David Paliwoda and Jesse Williams. Think of how long that took to get there, and now realize that it takes light 3 times longer (since we were traveling impossibly fast, at 3 times the speed of light). That’s 3 light-minutes, so when we look at “the red planet,” we are seeing light that took more than 3 minutes to make the trip from Mars to our eye. We’re seeing what Mars looked like 3 minutes in the past!!! That’s pretty cool, I’d say.

Triangulation #9

Up next, another interactive website experience. This one is a series of interactive digital art — a sort of meditation on the essence of the triangle. Check out Triangulation.  Can you imagine adding a page to this? What would you design? Maybe you could use Scratch to actually make it!

Thanks to our friend, Malke Rosenfeld, for sending us this.

Before we get to our last item this week, a couple of important announcements. As in prior years, Plus Magazine is hosting a mathematical advent calendar. Each day, a new number becomes clickable, linking to a page about nifty math stuff.

The 2014 Plus Magazine Mathematical Advent Calendar

I also want to mention that The Aperiodical (an awesome (fairly advanced) math blog) is hosting a Math Pun Conmpetition!!! Here’s my submission, for those with a little bit of plane geometric knowledge:

Q: Why was it so hard for the equilateral quadrilateral to get home after school?

A: It got on the rhom BUS!

OK, now on to our last item of the week. Here it is…

Alan Schoen with a model of a gyroid

I don’t know a whole lot about Alan Schoen, but his website has some pretty enticing images on it. Really, all I know about Schoen is that he discovered the Gyroid when he worked at NASA in 1970. He also created The Geometry Garret, a website full of cool stuff.

The thing that I want to share is something I’ve never seen before – LOMINOES. These are polyominoes, like the ones we’ve featured at least twice before, but they are simply in the shape of an L. Alan wrote a 10-page booklet on the subject as well as a much longer book. (147 pages!)

They’re both worth poking through. If an image grabs your fancy, start reading and see what you can learn.

Have a great week and bon appetit!

### 6 responses »

1. I bought a couple of sets of lominoes off Alan a couple of years ago. The booklet he’s written certainly has plenty of ideas for things to do with them, but I never really got into it.
I’ve tried a few times with friends to make the ziggurat using all the pieces, but we’ve never managed it. I finally cheated and followed the pattern in the book, so it is possible.

2. the video about the Thinky the Dragon was funny.The illusion is scary like it is fallowing you around.

3. The distance to Mars shows that we’re needing at least 0.5 the speed of light travel ability or some kind of stationary time travel. Mars is the closest “safe” planet to us and to get to any of the other interesting things that are scorched rock and toxic clouds. Jupiter’s over 4.2 A.U. away which is over double what it takes to go to Mars.

A.U.= Astronomical unit :93 million miles or the distance from Earth to the Sun.

4. I am not sure what the illusion is on the Thinky the Dragon video. Can someone clarify that for me?

• Hey John- Thinky is supposed to look like it turns its head to follow you as yiy walk across the front of it