Written Blog

A Mathematical Approach to Classifying Poi Patterns, using Trigonometry to Model Toroids

This post continues my section-by-section exploration of my poi math paper.

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A Mathematical Approach to Classifying Poi Patterns, using Trigonometry to Model Flowers and Third-Order Motions

Today's post continues my step-by-step exploration of my poi paper for easier searching. Yesterday featured my introduction and the basics of periodic math. Today we will apply these concepts to modeling flowers and third-order motions.

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The Five Mitzvahs

So the wonderful folks at Flowtoys have asked me for my flow story, and like most things I do what I'm going to give them is going to be a little unconventional. It's not necessarily my flow story, but the story of five people who whether they realize it or not are directly responsible for the artist that I am today. We'll call this a thank you to all of them for actions big and small to push my journey forward :)

Brian

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The Introverted Performer

Everybody knows a performer when they see one: performers are loud and outgoing, friendly and confident. They reach right out to you and draw you into their world, promising a good time with someone who makes you feel totally at ease. I’ve never done a poll, but I’d suspect that the ideal performer to most of us is somebody that fits the rough definition Carl Jung laid out in the 1920s of an extrovert: a person who is sociable, takes charge, is outgoing, and is at their best in a crowd of people.

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"I can't do that."

This is one of those phrases that generates within me very conflicting emotions when I hear it...on my less proud days, it makes me annoyed. It’s a wall they’ve imposed between themselves and whatever they’re seeing and there’s a part of me that grits my teeth and wants to tell them, “well...sure you can’t, as long as that’s your attitude.” Which is a pat response to an even more pat statement and seldom very constructive.

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A timing and direction based approach to classifying Hybrids

This is partially inspired by Pierre Baudin's recently published matrix of hybrid patterns and partially a byproduct of revisiting old work. Back in the spring as I attempted to cobble together a hybrid Gina McGrath posed as a challenge to many of us at FLAME Festival I found that my perception of how polyrhythm hybrids could be composed was only a third of the story at best.

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Drex's Planar Graph Conjecture for Poi

Ever heard of a mathematician by name of Leonhard Euler? I recently did a video on his Seven Bridges of Köenigsburg solution and its applications to how we create poi paths...well, I've found another use for Euler's work, most notably his Polyhedron Formula. The Cliff's Notes are that Euler noticed upon studying the Platonic Solids that if you counted the number of vertices each of these polyhedra had, subtracted the total number of edges between vertices, and added back the total number of polygonal faces and the number is invariably 2. You can see an outline of the concept below:

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5 Poi Spinners to Watch in 2013

While I was collecting votes for the Top 10 Poi Spinners of 2012 effort, it quickly dawned on me that some of the most interesting people I was discovering as part of that process were not going to make the top 10, so I thought it appropriate to highlight some of my favorites who seem poised on the edge of breaking into the mainstream in 2012 and possibly climbing the list by the end of the year if they make good on the promise they’ve shown in the past year. In no particular order, here are 5 spinners that are likely to be making big contributions to the world of poi in 2013:

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The Top 10 Poi Spinners of 2012

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Does handedness influence dominant direction of spin?

laterality /lat·er·al·i·ty/ (lat″er-al´ĭ-te) a tendency to use preferentially the organs (hand, foot, ear, eye) of the same side in voluntary motor acts.

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My poi are not a tool

My poi are not a tool. They are not a prop. They are not an artificial entity upon which I imbue meaning and metaphor. My poi are not another person or a cell phone. My poi are not a belt or a cup of coffee. My poi are an extension of me. My poi are a part of me. They are a living, breathing extension of my hopes, dreams, and ambitions. They feel my sadness and joy, my aches and pains. They are as much a part of me as my hands, fingers, and eyes. They are an extension of my expression. They emote with my pursed lips. They leap for joy with my springy legs. My poi are not an other thing.

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Why I spin

 There is something very unique about life.

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For Love of Teaching

There's a question that's been dogging my mind a lot lately when it comes to spinning and more specifically spinning for a living. It's a very simple question that's disarming at first but can lead to a good amount of navel-gazing to answer: why am I doing this? What is it about spinning that makes me want to do it to the exclusion of having a stable day job and the financial security I enjoyed up until so recently? I think I got part of my answer last night.

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Who's more engaged? A Facebook and Google+ case study

Seen this article by Farhad Manjoo? It was recently published on Slate and it alleges that Google+ is already on its way out. I was skeptical for a number of reasons and then realized I actually had the data at hand to prove G+ audiences are more engaged than Facebook audiences--by a lot!

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The Talent Trap

At a recent regional burn, a friend watched me as I practiced poi one afternoon and lamented that she believed she had no natural talent for the tool. I chuckled and replied that I didn't either, which I didn't think at the time would be such a controversial position, but it lead to a very heated debate over what constituted talent and how one might be judged to have it.

My assertion then is the same as it is now: when it comes to talent there is no such thing.

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