Or, if you prefer, we’re halfway (well, 44% of the way) to Tau day, 6/28. A fine day to watch the Vi Hart‘s Anti-Pi Rant. And, a fine day to round up some of our finest Pi, Pie, and mathematics projects:
Pi blanket for Pi Day, and the Apple Apple Pie!
Sierpinski triangles out of polymer clay, and fractal cookies.
Fractal snowflake cupcakes, Fabric Klein bottle
Vector Snowflake generator application, and Symmetrisketch— for exploring other symmetries.
Christmas Chaos and Sconic Sections
Now that Halloween is over, what should you do with all of your leftover Halloween candy? From the archives— make them into fridge magnets!
You can find more Halloween decor projects in our Halloween Project Archive.
Refined by artist Eric Hagan is described as
a food safe sugar based electromechanical kinetic sculpture. Utilizing digital fabrication and mold making techniques, Refined represents a few select stages from the manufacturing process for refining sugar.
At Maker Faire New York, Eric brought along not only the mechanisms, but also the molds he used to make the gears and other components out of sugar.
Our friend John made Sconic Sections for a dinner party, with a slight variation: he baked the scone dough in ice cream cones. That led to a little bit of extra difficulty in slicing them, but the cone also provided an outline for the ellipses, hyperbolas and parabolas.
Amazon today decided to remind me about some of our past projects through book recommendations. We contributed a bunch of projects to The Hungry Scientist Handbook and were interviewed for Cooking for Geeks. Well targeted, Amazon— perhaps too well…
Here’s how to make a variant on our plum chutney, tailored for the creamy sweetness of peaches.
We’ve reduced the overall quantity of fruit and sugar to get a higher spice concentration. The cayenne and ginger are increased to make it even spicier. Pepper flakes are added both for flavor, and for pretty flecks of color against the pale peach pieces. We also added cloves for a little more depth of flavor.
The peaches are not peeled, both to get more peach flavor and for the color the skins add. Wash well or peel (blanching makes peeling easier) if the provenance of your peaches is unknown and you’re concerned about pesticides.
- 6 cups cut up pieces of peaches, pits removed, skins (optionally) left on
- 2 lemons, cut into small pieces, seeds removed
- juice from 3 more lemons
- 2-3 Tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and grated (a microplane works great)
- 1 Tbsp cumin seeds
- 1 stick of cinnamon
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/2 tsp garam masala
- 10-12 whole cloves
- 1/2 cup water
- 3 cups sugar
Put everything except the sugar into a sauce pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until the fruit starts to soften, about 10-15 minutes.
Add sugar and cook, stirring frequently, until it thickens to a consistency you like (20 minutes to an hour). Remove cinnamon stick after cooking.
You can also follow your favorite canning procedure for longer term storage. Makes about 3 pints.
Our Sconic Sections post was highlighted in an article in the science section of today’s New York Times. The article covered several science and engineering topics in addition to geometric food (including George Hart’s Möbius bagel).
Previously: Edible Googly Eyes in the New York TImes.
The conic sections are the four classic geometric curves that can occur at the intersection between a cone and a plane: the circle, ellipse, parabola, and hyperbola.
The scone is a classic single-serving quick bread that is often served with breakfast or tea.
And, at the intersection of the two, we present something entirely new, delightfully educational, and remarkably tasty: Sconic Sections.
In what follows, we’ll show you how to bake cone-shaped scones, to slice them into plane geometric curves, and to highlight those curves by selective application of toppings. We’ll also discuss some of the methods that didn’t work so well, as we refined our methods for making these.
Onwards, towards parabolic preserves and hyperbolic Nutella!
Continue reading Play with your food: How to Make Sconic Sections →
George Hart sent us a link to his incredible Escher cookie roller project. The project “provides a customizable method of producing cookies that are imprinted with an individual’s favorite frieze patterns and tessellations.”
He and co-consipirator Robert Hanson have provided software for generating STL files to produce 3D printed tessellated cookie or clay rollers, and they’ve even posted a few of their sample STL files.
The process of using an imprinted roller to create patterns on clay dates back to ancient times. Using modern tools including image processing software and 3D printers allows recreation of the ancient patterns, as well as the creation of completely new ones.
A mermaid’s purse is the iconic protective egg case of certain oviparous (egg laying) sharks and skates.
Here’s another version, made of crepes, perfect for protecting your eggs at breakfast time. Continue reading A Mermaid’s Purse, for Breakfast →