An Alphabet of Squirrels — Q is for Query, Question, Quriosity, Querulousness

 

cropped squirrel laneI think librarians are born. Some of us are at any rate. I’ll interrupt just about anything to check a fact. And it’s not always (not always) because I need to be right. It’s just a need to know. Even if that elusive bit of information I got up from a delicious dinner to verify will leave my short-term memory midway through dessert. Regardless of the fact that a hundred years from now nobody is going to give a rat’s ass who wrote the screenplay for “Some Like it Hot.”

On the spires. Those little things that stick out. Crockets.

On the spires. Those little things that stick out. Crockets.

Even if it means acknowledging that Jack wasn’t just making stuff up*, those little popovers that stick out like tumors on gothic church steeples really are called crockets, a word which not only tickles me for some reason, it takes me straight to Harold and the Purple Crayon, and the need to know what sort of creature got to take home the leftovers from Harold’s picnic that was composed entirely his nine favorite kinds of pie.

Crockett Johnson created Harold and the Purple Crayon. Harold found as many possibilities in his purple crayon as I find in a square of paper. I'd be proud to host Harold as my inner child.

Crockett Johnson created Harold and the Purple Crayon. Harold found as many possibilities in his purple crayon as I find in a square of paper. I’d be proud to host Harold as my inner child.

They say curiosity is a sign of great intelligence. In my case, not so much. It’s an excuse to excuse myself and go gather the informational equivalent of navel lint. While I was looking up public domain images of crockets and finding a picture of Harold and his crew, I could have written a chapter on my fourth unpublished novel.

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*A couple of the young architectural historians on our Florida tour last week told me that’s what they do. All the time. Have standards slipped since Jack was in graduate school?

 

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An Alphabet of Squirrels — P is for Platonic Solids…Paper Ones

cropped squirrel lane

My friend Faye Goldman just published this book, Geometric Origami:

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It’s twenty bucks on Amazon, and the author gets bupkis for her trouble, and you have to pay the postage. Fifteen dollars direct from the author, and she actually makes a little money from that transaction. Postage would run you about five bucks, so which purchase option makes better sense? What would Moshe the Mensch do?

It is a drop dead gorgeous package. Using only two origami folds — “mountain” and “valley” — she’s given instructions on how to create these unearthly shapes. It’s a construction method called “snapology,” invented by Heinz Strobl, and Faye has parsed it down into bite-sized pieces.

A week and a half ago I brought home a copy, and I haven’t been able to put in on the bookshelf. I’ll put it away after I make one more little teensy unit. I’ll just connect one more ring of pentagons, and then I’ll put it away. I wonder if I can find instructions for a solid dodecahedron, and now that I have located those, what would it look like made from the pages of a Little Golden Book?

What you see in the picture here are two “snapology” icosahedrons made “The Faye Way,” that solid dodecahedron (made from a copy of Cars) and a hexahedron made from sonobe units.

In the interest of balanced reporting…It’s not just platonic solids that are leading me down the primrose path of procrastination. My new distraction includes Archimedean solids, too, but for some reason they don’t please me as perfectly as the pared down Platonics, which I consider to be 3-d poetry.

For more info on Geometric Origami, you can go to http://www.fayegoldman.com.

(I may have to pull this post, because I didn’t ask the author for permission to plug her book. But the thing about artists, myself included, is that most of us would rather submit to a root canal than engage in the activity we refer to as “shameless self-promotion.” It’s always easier for me, and a lot more fun, to toot someone else’s horn.)

 

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