04-05. Coffee conundrum

What is the relationship between a coffee bean and Alexander horned sphere?


Pursuing my knot geometry journey around the equator line, I’m now above Pasto, coffee capital of Colombia.

It is said that mathematicians can’t make the difference between a coffee cup and a donut. Princeton mathematician Alexander described the problem back in the early 1900s. More recently, S. M. Blinder composed a persuasive demonstration for this problem on the Mathematica site.

Leona de Los Andes, as Pasto is also known, gave me the perfect coffee-knot segue to the Alexander horned sphere. Using Michael Rogers’ script for the sphere, I composed this unusual 3 knot-dance to celebrate both the old mathematical joke and the place I have reached this week.

I selected the Awa flag color scheme for this design. The Awá, also known as the Kwaiker or Awa-Kwaiker, are an ancient indigenous people of Ecuador and Colombia living in the Narino-Pasto area.

More info on Alexander horned sphere and the knot-geometry project @http://bit.ly/knotgeometry


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