three dimensional shape

Shadows of Doubt

More spoopy Halloween thoughts…

What if the shadow counterparts of the Toa Mata never fully reintegrated with them? The very act of having their dark half ripped from their being  either damaged them enough that that they could never fully rejoin, or their shadow counterparts grew enough of a sense of self in the brief time they were apart that they are no longer truly a single entity together.

This could manifests itself in different ways. Such as, the Toa may see or hear their dark counterpart, and even converse with them internally or externally. Others can’t see or hear them, and they have to be cautious that they don’t do so in public. More than once, a Matoran has walked in on the Mata having an angry conversation with their reflection.

Perhaps their shadows may also literally move independently, and even split from their form, though are unable to take a three dimensional shape without the Makuta’s power feeding them. Were they more cooperative, they could serve as scouts and allies to the Toa. Instead, they remain the darkest parts of their inner selves. They constantly whisper of doubt, jealousy, and anger, and all of it directly from the Toa’s own hearts and minds.

Perhaps if the Toa are under great stress or feel great anger, their shadow selves might temporarily seize control of their bodies to carry out their darkest thoughts and urges. At times like this, only their dearest friends, especially Takanuva, can break the hold of their shadow selves and help them regain control of their bodies.

Social psychologists are becoming rather brilliant at setting up these gender difference sleights of hand [to show that gender differences disappear in the absence of stereotype threat]. The examples are piling up in all sorts of domains–from social sensitivity to chess to negotiation–but the pièce de resistance is the visuospatial skill of mental rotation performance.

In the classic and most widely used test of this ability, the test taker is shown an unfamiliar three-dimensional shape made up of little cubes–the target–and four other similar shapes. Two of these are the same as the original but have been rotated in three-dimensional space, and two are mirror images. The task is to work out which two are the same as the target. Mental rotation performance is the largest and most reliable gender difference in cognition. In a typical sample, about 75 percent of people who score above average are male. Gender differences in mental rotation ability have even recently been seen in babies three to four and five months of age. While it’s easy to see that a high score on the mental rotation test would be a distinct advantage when it comes to playing Tetris, some also claim (although they’re often strongly disputed) that male superiority in this domain plays a significant role in explaining males’ better representation in science, engineering, and math.

People’s mental rotation ability is malleable; it can be greatly enhanced by training. But there are far quicker, easier ways to modulate mental rotation ability. By…manipulating the social context in such a way that it changes the mind that is performing the task. For example, you can feminize the task. When, in one study, participants were told that performance on mental rotation is probably linked with success on such tasks as “in-flight and carrier-based aviation engineering … nuclear propulsion engineering, undersea approach and evasion, [and] navigation,” the men came out well ahead. Yet when the same test was described as predicting facility for “clothing dress and design, interior decoration and interior design … decorative creative needlepoint, creative sewing and knitting, crocheting [and] flower arrangement,” this emasculating list of activities had a draining effect on male performance.

Alternatively, instead of changing the gender of the task, you can keep the task the same but push gender into the mental background. Matthew McGlone and Joshua Aronson, for example, measured mental rotation ability in students at a selective liberal arts college in the northeastern United States. One group was primed with gender, while another group was primed with their exclusive private-college identity. Women who had been induced to think of themselves as a student at a selective liberal arts college enjoyed a performance boost, scoring significantly higher than gender-primed women. Likewise, Markus Hausmann and colleagues found that although gender-stereotype-primed men outperformed gender-stereotype-primed women, men and women primed with an irrelevant (geographical region-based) stereotype performed similarly on the mental rotation task.

Another outrageous, but successful, approach was recently devised by Italian researcher Angelica Moè. She described the mental rotation test to her Italian high school student participants as a test of spatial abilities and told one group that “men perform better than women in this test, probably for genetic reasons.” The control group was given no information about gender. But a third group was presented with a downright lie. That group was told that “women perform better than men in this test, probably for genetic reasons.” So what effect did this have? In both the men-are-better and the control group, men outperformed women with the usual size of gender difference. But women in the women-are-better group, the recipients of the little white lie, performed just as well as the men.

—  Cordelia Fine, Delusions of Gender: How Our Minds, Society, and Neurosexism Create Difference

Appearing like a winged fairy-tale creature poised on a pedestal, this object is actually a billowing tower of cold gas and dust rising from a stellar nursery called the Eagle Nebula. The soaring tower is 9.5 light-years or about 57 trillion miles high, about twice the distance from our Sun to the next nearest star.

The starlight is responsible for illuminating the tower’s rough surface. Ghostly streamers of gas can be seen boiling off this surface, creating the haze around the structure and highlighting its three-dimensional shape. The column is silhouetted against the background glow of more distant gas.

The edge of the dark hydrogen cloud at the top of the tower is resisting erosion, in a manner similar to that of brush among a field of prairie grass that is being swept up by fire. The fire quickly burns the grass but slows down when it encounters the dense brush. In this celestial case, thick clouds of hydrogen gas and dust have survived longer than their surroundings in the face of a blast of ultraviolet light from the hot, young stars.

Inside the gaseous tower, stars may be forming. Some of those stars may have been created by dense gas collapsing under gravity. Other stars may be forming due to pressure from gas that has been heated by the neighboring hot stars.

The dominant colors in the image were produced by gas energized by the star cluster’s powerful ultraviolet light. The blue color at the top is from glowing oxygen. The red color in the lower region is from glowing hydrogen. The Eagle Nebula image was taken in November 2004 with the Advanced Camera for Surveys aboard NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope.

Object Names: Eagle Nebula, M16, NGC 6611, IC 4703

Image Type: Astronomical

Credit: NASA, ESA, and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

Time And Space

Geometry of brain’s outer surface correlates with genetic heritage

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego and the School of Medicine have found that the three-dimensional shape of the cerebral cortex - the wrinkled outer layer of the brain controlling many functions of thinking and sensation - strongly correlates with ancestral background. The study, published online July 9 in Current Biology, opens the door to more precise studies of brain anatomy going forward and could eventually lead to more personalized medicine approaches for diagnosing and treating brain diseases.  

“If we can account for a large percentage of brain structure based on an individual’s genes, we’re in a better position to detect smaller variations in the brain that might be important in understanding disease or developmental issues,” said the study’s senior author Anders Dale, PhD, professor of radiology, neurosciences, psychiatry and cognitive science, and director of the Center for Translational Imaging and Precision Medicine at UC San Diego.

Caption:In the study, the researchers found that the shape of the cerebral cortex correlates with genetic ancestry. Credit: UC San Diego

i had a dream that every word anybody spoke formed a three dimensional translucent, interesting shape in the air, and the shapes would connect to each other some way, one for every word. and whole sentences formed big collections, and by the end of a conversation both people would be left with gigantic shining structures, made up of thousands of these things. and you could leave them there, or find somewhere to store this big strange memento of your conversation


Norris joins me virtually, appearing as a three-dimensional human-shaped golden orb in the Mars-scape. (In reality, he’s in the room next door.) A dotted line extends from his eyes toward what he is looking at. “Check that out,” he says, and I squat down to see a rock shard up close. With an upward right-hand gesture, I bring up a series of controls. I choose the middle of three options, which drops a flag there, theoretically a signal to the rover to collect sediment.

After exploring Mars, I don’t want to remove the headset, which has provided a glimpse of a combination of computing tools that make the unimaginable feel real. NASA felt the same way. 

MORE: Our Exclusive Hands-On With Microsoft’s Unbelievable New Holographic Goggles

Mordecai plush: Process

This process post is about obtaining a complex shape through multiple rough drafts. My aim for all my plushies is to have the least amount of seams showing. Basically making the pattern as efficient as possible.

I tend to start with the head and work down since the head is the point of reference. For Mordecai I used a sphere as you can see in the sketch mock up.

This is not a tutorial on how to make mordecai but my process in creating complex shapes for intermediate to expert plush artist reference. I won’t be offering anymore on mordecai than what is shown in this post.

Keep reading

I’ve found Magopolis. The entrance was a massive, perfectly smooth wall cut from the rock, with an equally perfect and smooth door in the middle. To open that door, I had to solve another riddle, and it wasn’t something easy, like “speak friend, and enter”. I don’t think the ancient unicorns were big on friendship in general.

What happened was that as I approached the door, a three-dimensional shape appeared in front of it. It wasn’t quite stable; it would flicker slightly. I ran my hoof through it and as I suspected, it wasn’t solid. Clearly some sort of projection magic.

The shape was some sort of irregular cloud of black, a black so dark it looked unnatural, like a hole in the fabric of reality. It shifted slowly around, like a mist. I didn’t understand what it was doing, but it didn’t seem like a threat (though apparently Spike didn’t agree, and headed back to the camp site).

I went to check the door, but it didn’t budge, unsurprisingly. I tried every opening spell and unlocking spell I knew. I tried blasting it open. I even tried bucking the door open. None of it had any effect (except making my hooves hurt).

Clearly the door was locked with a powerful enchantment, and the dark cloud was the only clue. I suspected I had to figure out something about it to open the door, but even with a closer look all I could see was black.

I was stumped. This wasn’t words to figure out, a cipher to break, an equation or a logical puzzle, it was just darkness. How do you solve darkness?

For a long time, I tried to come up with something, but I wasn’t getting anywhere. In my frustration, I even tried to cast magic missile at the darkness, but that did nothing.

Obviously, my current approach wasn’t working, thus I decided to get a closer look at the wall in case there were any clues or instructions. It was a bit dark to read however, so I cast a light cantrip to see better, and suddenly the dark cloud swirled in towards its center and disappeared! In its place, a pegasus appeared.

I figured that meant I had solved the first part of the puzzle. It happened just as I cast the light cantrip, so the casting of the spell itself must have been the solution. That question came to mind again: “How do you solve darkness?” Of course, you cast light.

It was all so obvious then, it was a challenge-response authentication system! Magopolis was a city for magically talented unicorns, and to enter, you needed to cast specific spells in response what the door projects. That way, not only would the city be off limits to non-unicorns, but also any unicorns who weren’t sufficiently skilled.

On to the next part of the puzzle, the pegasus. What spell is the opposite of a pegasus? A grounding spell? That didn’t work. I decided to study the pegasus in more detail. It was an ancient pegasus, of course, wearing the traditional armor and helmet. It looked quite hostile. That gave me an idea.

I cast magic missile at the pegasus, this time not out of frustration, but on a hunch, and it exploded into dust which promptly vanished. Instead, a chasm appeared.

It was then I really understood what the puzzle was about. Not about opposites, but about the correct spell to use when faced with the particular situation the door projected. When in the dark, cast light. When faced with an enemy, attack. Well, at least according to the mindset of the ponies who built this place. The ancient unicorns and pegasi had an uneasy truce due to mutual reliance, but to isolationists they would have been considered enemies, and to them the way to deal with an enemy would have been through force.

So, the chasm. It was easy now, knowing the premise of the puzzle. I teleported a short distance, and the chasm faded and disappeared.

The door showed me fire, I used a dousing spell. Then it showed a pallet of iron ingots, so I used a levitation spell. It seemed like five spells was the required number, because at that point the door unlocked and opened.

If I peek inside, I can see a passage, which I presume will take me to the city core itself. I just wanted to send an update before I go in there. Besides, Spike refuses to come near the place, he says it creeps him out, so I just want to make sure he’s alright and also have him send this letter off before I go.

I will write you again once I’m done searching the place for a while and back at camp. I’m really excited to see what I can find!

Love & Rockets #49 (November 1995), Part 11

Could all of this linear order be a way of anchoring or securing Maggie as she goes through the endless chaotic events that make up her existence? Or are they meant to contrast the human figure with the flat surfaces and fixed angles of the world around us?

No idea.

Each of the above panels looks like a geometry lesson to me, the arrangement of the lines is so powerful. 

The third one reminds me of that one scene in The Shining, except a lot less creepy.

Two also’s:

First, the rear wall of the shower seems slightly tilted so that the tiles on the right are higher. Is that because the shower’s not a perfect cube (or whatever a three dimensional shape with unequal sides would be called) or because the viewer is situated at a less than central point? We do seem to be closer to the shower head than the sink.

Second, no shower curtain?

Magnificent anyway.


I want to be loved for the curves of my body,
like hugs granted by clothes that may fit too snugly.

I want to be cherished for the rolls of my eyes, like a kiss on the lips could always pass by.

I want to be remembered for the contagiousness of my laugh, as I like to think I’m a walking joke for the world to gaze upon.

I want to be known for my naive tendencies, like trust sifting through my pores, never did strike a match I did not know how to extinguish like haunting dreams make their way past.

I want to be the bones in which I wear, and the smile I carefully carry. Acceptance only manipulates those who fail to see the world as a three dimensional shape.