Speaking of tiling shapes – this is the very neat-o faceted face of the new(ish) Conference Centre in Ottawa. It’s supposed to represent a tulip, somehow (I think maybe sideways, vaguely) but I think it looks more like a spaceship. 🙂

I’ve heard that triangular faceted buildings (like Fuller Spheres) tend to be really leaky in the rain because of all of the independently contracting and expanding surfaces, but I’ve been in the conference centre a few times and so far it seems pretty dry.



If there’s one thing about Ottawa in the spring – you’d better like tulips. Sent by the Dutch as a thank-you to Canada for our help in WWII, the NCC alone has planted more than a million tulips, and that’s just the tip of the tulip iceberg. For a few glorious weeks in spring it seems like the entire city is painted in vivid colours.


Thunder in Paradise

I was at the Hopewell locks to snap some pics of a mysterious sailboat parked next to the museum, but got distracted by this awesome remote control speedboat that was doing donuts in the little harbour and terrorizing the ducks. It was crazy fast! I was happy to have an excuse to practice tracking shots – I feel like this image turned out really well.

(Does anyone else remember the Hulk Hogan show with the speedboat? Like Airwolf, but in a boat. Sooooo cool.)


Apple Blossoms

I’m really jealous of the endless stream of gorgeous cherry-blossoms blogger Sushibird has been posting from her explorations around Japan. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I took a trip down to the arboretum and got some photos of the apple blossom trees that are just starting to open up. I expect they’ll be blooming full-on this coming week.

I totally dig the pentagonal symmetry – if you’ve ever cut an apple across its middle, you’ll notice the seed pod (formerly the flower) also shows the 5-way rotation. Clearly, apples are descended from starfish. 😉 What, no?

This next bit will blow your mind if you think you know everything about symmetry: In 1850, Auguste Bravais proved that the units in crystal lattices (congruent tiles that you rotate/translate into repeating patterns) in 2 and 3 dimensional space must have 2/3/4 or 6 degrees of symmetry. The reason you never see pentagonal bathroom tiles is because you can’t smoothly tile 5-edged polygonal shapes in our universe. However, he then proved you can tile pentagonal polyhedra just fine in a 4-dimensional space. (!!!) My brain hurts!