Tuesday, December 26, 2006


Earlier this month, two friends of mine invited me to their apartment to help decorate their Christmas tree. However, instead of the usual Christmas tree ornaments, we made origami ornaments (mostly cranes). This piqued my interest in origami. So, for Christmas this year, my sister gave me two cool origami books and some origami paper. (As an aside, I should mention she also thoughtfully made a donation to Oxfam America as part of my Christmas gift. Way to go sis! When asked for a Christmas wishlist, I usually put together a grab bag of items, some more serious than others (pond scum usually makes the list for some reason each year). This year's list included a request for an end to world hunger. We all know a donation to Oxfam won't end world hunger, but it's a help just the same.)

Anyhow, back to origami. One of the books is quite interesting. It's called Origami, from Angelfish to Zen, by Peter Engel. At first glance, it looks more like a companion volume to Douglas R. Hofstadter's Godel Escher Bach than a book about Origami. Sure enough, after glancing through the acknowledgements section of the book, the author makes mention of Hofstadter's influence. The book makes connections between origami and music and science and all sorts of other interesting topics. Then, to top off all that heavy reading, the latter half of the book is folding instructions for a boat-load of origami critters, some of them quite complex.

This afternoon I had about 45 minutes of free time before heading out to karate and made my first attempt at one of the more simple figures from the book. Here it is. Hopefully you can figure out what it's supposed to be.