Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Infinite Primes

The even-order symmetrical magic square in the upper right corner of Durer's famous Melancholia engraving fascinates me.

It's relatively easy to construct odd-order magic squares by following simple formulas, but the even-order, numerical pun, and symmetry of Durer's is a thing of beauty.

And of course the engraving itself is absolutely stunning. I saw a print of it once at the Clark in the beautiful Berkshires, where I sometimes would drag anyone who'd go along to see the great Impressionist collection there.

I ran into the Durer by accident. That's the best way, I suppose.

Lucky for me I've had a few days away from hospital nursing in which I could think about such things. Sometimes when we work, the vast beauty of our world is not what we first consider. Too busy.


Eli Blake said...

Gosh, I didn't know you were into math!

A man of many talents, obviously.

Dirk Gently said...

this is why i love the internets. one learns the most fascinating things from the neatest people.

shrimplate said...

You guys are *two* much! Thanks for stopping by.

My favorite uncle is a retired math teacher, as is his wife. He himself was actually my 7th-grade math teacher back in the day, and one Christmas he gave me my first Glenn Gould album.

Anyways, math is fun.

I remember hearing a snippet from a Clinton talk on the radio. He was asked what differentiated his economic policies from Reagan and Bush the 1st, and he said "We did the math."