Alejandro Erickson
Senior Software Developer at Copperleaf Technologies

I was browsing my google analytics page to see how people are getting to my website, when I came across a delightful forum post at

A young working-class lad of perhaps 23 sets himself up at a table and typewriter in my city of residence and, dressed in gentlemanly clothes and armed with a 17th century dictionary and copies of Shakespeare's comedic works, proceeds to produce for passersby unique, off-the-cuff "Shakespearean Insults" typed onto small slips of paper.

Some months ago while out for a promenade with the young lady I was courting at the time, We came upon this young man and he proceeded to produce for us, at no expense, two insults, and then instructed us to read them to each other "with gusto."

Well, my good sirs, I happily say we did just that and to this day the insult he had me read to my lady remains tacked to the corkboard in my study.

Anyhow, to get to the heart of my tale, my friend the OP might consider arming himself with the following phrase, provided to me free of charge by this most whimsical young Shakespearean Insulter:

"Thou errant doghearted flax-wench!"

As an aside for any who may be curious, here is the young man's website.

I have since retired the insult machine in favour of more lucrative pursuits, but I am nearly ready to revive it now.  It appears my audience took some creative liberties that I approve of.

That's right!  Hexastix Puzzle Kits are now available on ebay Canada.  Click here to order one!

I have pasted the listing below.

Hexastix Puzzle Kits

are based on a beautiful piece called "72 Pencils", by Mathematical Sculptor, George Hart.

Alejandro with hexastix smileEach kits is guaranteed to contain 148 brightly coloured 3 inch long sticks, 37 of each colour, and 8 elastic bands for construction.  Instructions and video are at .  There are enough sticks to fill in the middle of the hexastix (see instructions for details).  Colour requests are matched approximately (specify up to 4 colours).

The sticks are all hand cut from bamboo skewers and coloured with RIT dye by Alejandro Erickson, in Victoria, BC.  Please inquire about custom cut and coloured sticks.

Order by December 16 in Canada to get your Hexastix Puzzle Kit by Christmas.  Orders ship by standard letter mail, so the pictured item is repackaged to fit.

You can "finish" your hexastix with white glue and acrylic medium, to remove the elastics, and give it that shiny look.  Below-right is a larger one I did, and below-left is built from the kit, but without filling the middle sticks in.




18th Century French mathematician, Buffon, asked "What is the probability that a needle which falls on the floor, crosses one of the lines between the floor boards?".  It turns out that this number can be used in a Monte Carlo method to approximate π.


We dropped our "needle" 100 times, and got an approximation of 3.22, which is pretty close to 3.14 (considering the small number of trials).


You can read more and find a proof at's_needle


I discovered this cool fact on which was posted on


I recently saw a picture of some spaghettis stuck in pieces of wieners, and the results were these cute little lumps with floppy tails sticking out.  "So much potential," I thought.  Here are the results of my first geometric crafts using spaghetti and wieners.  This is definitely something I can bring to a nerdy event.

I tried to make a hyperboloid too, but didn't have enough materials left.  Some thoughts for the future though...



Wieners and Spaghetti meet Geometry

I'm pleased to announce that GeoBurst has provided materials to the local girl guide chapter, for the girls to make tensegrities.  They will be on sale Saturday, November 19, at their Fall Tea and craft faire.

Girl Guide Tensegrities Fall Tea

The craft fair/bake sale are free to get in to, and the tea costs $5 for tea/coffee, sandwiches and goodies, served by girl guides, brownies, and sparks.  Advance tickets are on sale between 11:30 and 12:30, or before each tea seating  at 2:00, 2:40, and 3:20.  It's at St. Mary’s Church Hall, 1701 Elgin Road (off Oak Bay Ave.).

I would have been happy to teach them myself had it not been for one of their leaders (and a friend of mine) Jennifer Woodcock.  From her email:

The girls LOVED them and are all keen to buy their own ornaments.

Instead of selling them ready-made ones, however, I will have another chance to provide them with more materials and more fun!  Thank you Jenni and Girl Guides :)

Don't wait, and seize this opportunity to contact me for materials and/or workshops to build your own tensegrity ornaments.