Friday, May 9, 2008

theme & variation

from The Geometry of Shells

The shells of mollusks derive much of their aesthetic
appeal from the regularity of their form. From the platelike
valves of scallops to the tightly wound needle-shaped shells 
of auger snails, shells are endless variations on a geometric
theme in which an expanding figure sweeps
out a curved or spirally coiled hollow edifice. 
Because shells are growing structures built by animals, 
an appreciation of how these variations
are brought must rest on an understanding 
of how shells grow. Once we know the rules, 
we can ask why certain shapes that are compatible 
with the rules are rarely or never encountered in nature.

Geerat J. Vermeij

My mind, being tired, is thinking about other ways of being.

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