June 30th, 2009


It's hard being a math geek sometimes

The other day I was in the supermarket looking at granola bars as a possible source of calcium, when I spotted a cereal. I forget what they were called, but I know the name began with "Hex". Hex-bits, Hexacrisp, something like that. It was similar to Crispix, and was made in little hexagonal pieces.

What bugs me about it is that the photo on the box showed a bowl full of the cereal... an OCTAGONAL bowl. This is just WRONG somehow!

I think what troubles me is that it's hard enough getting people to tell the difference between hexagons and octagons. I keep seeing cartoon drawings of hexagonal stop signs and octagonal hex nuts. One time I created a geometrical dissection of a regular hexagon into a regular octagon and cut out cardboard pieces to demonstrate. I showed it to someone, and he wasn't impressed, because he didn't realize that the shape had changed!

It's hard being a math geek sometimes.