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Seth's brother, Alexander Bareiss, tells me has has found records of Seth's death.

I almost never go to funerals, even of good friends. Especially of good friends. I don't like to cry. I hate writing this.

I've thought of Seth of twin as well as my opposite.

As a high school student I went to Europe on a senior class trip. At that time I had resolved I would travel the globe and have stamps of every nation in my passport. I've done no such thing, 99.99% of my life has been spent within a 100 mile radius.

Seth, on the other hand was a world traveler and an adventurer. I believe he grew up in New York. Lived in Hawaii for a time, then Japan, then traveled throughout southern Asia. He spent some time in Thailand. Then back to Hawaii. I believe he loved immersing himself in other cultures and he gravitated towards the ocean. He was a scuba diver.

For me God's existence is the most self-evident axiom. But how do you share a self-evident axiom? I know of no way to share this deep belief, the closest thing I have to actually knowing anything.

Seth was an almost militant atheist.

You might think this would cause friction between us. But it was very refreshing to me that two people with diametricly opposite world views could remain friends. Seth even wrote a palindrome poem about it: Nature and Religion A Palindrome

We both shared a love of math, symmetry and art. We first became aware of each other in the late 1990s or early 2000s through Andrew Crompton's website.  At one time Crompton had a short list of 20 or so people in the world making Escher like Tessellations. Both Seth and I were very proud to be on Crompton's list.

When Seth hadn't answered my e-mails, I made an inquiry at a tilings mailing list to which we both belonged. I got back many responses, tessellators throughout the world had been looking for him!  Bruce Bilney and Robert Fathauer devoted a great deal of time and effort to the search.

When David Annal got sick he asked Seth to take over his website Seth did Dr. Annal proud and made the site a great internet resource for tessellations. Since Seth's passing, Kevin Lee has taken over. I hope this website will endure and prosper and Seth's memory will live on.

Seth had a Deviant Art page. He and I cofounded the Deviant Art Group M. C. Escher Style. After Seth was out of the picture Erwin Bonsma (aka Eriban) has been helping with M.C. Escher Style. I believe Seth would have approved.

Seth was very active in the World of Escher Forum (which I can't find a link to, maybe it no longer exists). World of Escher would conduct annual tessellation contests, mostly for kids. Seth wanted to have an annual tessellation contest, a collaboration between him, the World of Escher folks and myself. I'm sad this never came to pass.

I want to have a tesselation contest in Seth's memory.
I'm hoping to get something inexpensive to make STL files for Shapeway.

Don't need animation and fancy rendering.

I tried to go to DAZ, they have a free download! However clicking their download button gave me a 404.
Going to give up D.A. for lent. See you when Easter comes!
Been writing a blog on outer space. Here's a few entries:
The Dark Side of the Moon - Nothing weighty, just having some fun.
Mini Solar Systems - A science fiction setting allowing fast paced stories and plausible engineering.
Deboning the Porkchop Plot - Plane change expense can be exaggerated by Lambert iterations.
Murphy's Mangled Math - A critique of Tom Murphy's arguments against space resources.
Puppets, Telerobots and James Cameron - Use of remotely operated devices (aka avatars) in space.
The Next Continent - Book review and a call for more hard SF set in our own solar system.
Inflated Delta Vs - Delta Vs from one planet to another are often exaggerated.
Mf is a Mofo - An article on Mass Fraction and Tsiolkovsky's Rocket Equation.
Beanstalks, Elevators and Clarke Towers - An article on space elevators.
On their way to our house for Christmas Eve, my daughter Nico and son-in-law Beto were in a terrible car accident. My daughter's alright but my son-in-law broke his neck and damaged his spinal cord.

My daughter and son-in-law will be facing formidable medical bills and other challenges. My daughter Nellie set up a Pay Pal page for Nico and Beto. Any help would be appreciated.

Please pray for our family.
"Different", "strange", "bizarre" are a few adjectives I've heard people use for my coloring books. Adults as well as kids have told me they enjoy coloring them or just looking at the designs.

All my coloring books are available from my Amazon author's page:…

Most of these are Dover books for only $3.99. I don't get a royalty of the Dover books but they pay me a flat rate for each plate that's not too bad. If they sell well, my editor may be more inclined to commission new books in spite of my procrastinating, lazy ways.

One of the books is self published. It's called "Conic Sections and Celestial Mechanics Coloring Book". I get a $1 royalty for each of these books sold. Like the title says and mostly a study of conic sections. I think it's visually interesting.…

Great, inexpensive gifts for adults and kids, plus you'd be putting a few dollars in the wallet of this starving artist.
It's always been my hope that mankind will tear the boundaries that confine us and spread into the solar system. The new frontier would be vast.

But is space settlement doable?

Some argue it's a pipe dream, physicist Tom Murphy being a well known detractor. While Murphy endorses robotic probes, he believes a more ambitious space program is a waste of time and energy. In Stranded Resources, he calls  plans to retrieve space resources a "distraction".

Much of Murphy's arguments rely on stunningly ridiculous straw men. This illustration compares Murphy's absurd asteroid retrieval plan to the Keck Institute of Space Studies (KISS) proposal. Murphy's scenario can be found in his Stranded Resources under the heading "Grab That Asteroid!". Among the writers of the Kiss proposal are members of Planetary Resources' staff.  Propellant mass in these two scenarios vary by 9 orders of magnitude.

Also, Murphy's math is wrong. He does not patch conics correctly. Nor does he seem to have a clue about 3-body mechanics and aerobraking, two well known methods to save on delta V. For a more detailed Murphy critique see Murphy's Mangled Math,

Will space settlement come to pass? I don't know. But I remain hopeful and I believe it's a goal worth pursuing.

A major obstacle is the difficulty of lifting massive habs from the bottom of earth's gravity well. The best way to get past this obstacle (in my opinion) is to find a nearby source of propellant and life support consumables not trapped deep in earth's gravity pit.

Planetary Resources hopes to park a water rich asteroid in high lunar orbit. Water can be broken into hydrogen and oxygen, one of the better chemical propellants. Propellant high on the slopes of earth's gravity well would break the exponent in Tsiolkovsky's rocket equation and make space travel much less difficult. And of course oxygen is useful for life support as is water. Water is also a good radiation shield.

The moon is another possible source of propellant and life support consumables. There seem to be massive water ice deposits at the lunar poles. Among the interesting plans for establishing a lunar base are   Paul Spudis' and Tony Lavoi's architecture and the ULA architecture.
A new company called Planetary Resources… was recently founded by film maker James Cameron, Google Co-Founder Larry Page and others.

There are many companies who hope to exploit extra-terrestrial resources. The wealth and track record of its founders makes Planetary Resources more credible than most such outfits.

I've heard people criticize Cameron's "Avatar" saying it's just eye candy with no substance. I disagree.

Telepresence and remote interaction is the central idea of Avatar. And I believe telerobots are what will enable use of space resources. James Cameron and his brother Mike have been pioneers in telerobotics. Please see my blog entry "Puppets, Telerobots and James Cameron"… .

I hope we will have able telerobotic avatars on the moon and other bodies. This would make a sustained human space presence much more plausible.
Polyhedra have a deep beauty that I can't describe. But I'll throw out a few words anyway: Quiet. Clean. Clear. Crystalline. The symmetries have a calming effect.

My love for polyhedra is shared by many D.A. artists. Some of these artists are very good. I'm pleased to announce a new venue: Polyhedronists:

As of this writing the group's about two weeks old, but already a lot of good work on display. I hope you will take a look.


Hop David
I now have an author's page on Amazon:

All 4 of my coloring books are listed. Hopefully I will add more soon!
Just published my third coloring book:

Conic Sections & Celestial Mechanics…

A coloring book for kids from kindergarten to college. This book exposes younger students to concepts they normally wouldn't see until higher grades. And it can give advanced students some new views of concepts they're already familiar with. Johannes Kepler had discovered planets move about the sun in elliptical orbits with the sun occupying a focus of the ellipse. We now know the paths of orbiting bodies are conic sections (the ellipse, parabola, and hyperbola). This coloring book takes a look at conic sections as well as orbits in outer space.

My first two coloring books:

Various geometrical designs

Magic Mirror Image…
Escher like tessellations.

These books make good stocking stuffers!
Recently Robert Fathauer RFat joined Deviant Art.

Robert and I first learned of each other through Andrew Crompton's website:
Andrew Crompton maintains a list of folks who do Escher like tessellations:… (Seth Ness and I also learned of each other via Andrew Crompton.)

Robert's drawings are generally very clean and well done. He has done a lot of innovative stuff with fractal tilings. Doris Schattschneider noted Robert's explorations in her most recent edition of "M. C Escher: Visions of Symmetry".

If you enjoy Escher and geometry based art, Robert's D.A. gallery is worth a look: RFat
  • Listening to: Sounds of Silence by Simon and Garfunkel
  • Reading: Rime of the Ancient Mariner-Coleridge, illus Dore
  • Drinking: Grapefruit Juice
Out of the blue -- A Daily Deviation for Crab!…

Thanks so much to aruarian-dancer and SRaffa!

I am stunned.
  • Listening to: Alive by Pearl Jam
  • Reading: Childhood's End by Arthur C. Clarke
  • Drinking: Pineapple juice
In his book The Selfish Gene… Richard Dawkins talks about The Prisoner's Dilemma… .Two suspects are being held in custody. One can snitch off his friend. By plea bargaining he can get off scot free while his friend does serious time. On the other hand, if both stay mum, their guilt remains in doubt and both suffer only a mild punishment.

Given a group of criminals in the habit of snitching, it becomes more likely any given criminal will eventually serve hard time. So staying mum could be a better policy in the long run.

Dawkins shows how cut throat competitive behavior may seem to be a way to get ahead in the game. However, cooperative and (what seems to be) self sacrificing behavior can actually serve a self interest.

Perhaps this is how separate entities group together to form a larger entity. How genes group together to form a chromosome, single cells group together form a multi-cellular organism, how people group together to form tribes, churches, nations as well as online art communities. (Please see my animation E Pluribus Unum )

Much of our morality seems to be based on self interest vs community interest. For example some of the 7 Deadly Sins come from basic survival instincts:

Anger - we need to defend ourselves from adverasaries and competitors.
Sloth - we need rest to survive.
Gluttony - of course we need to eat to live.
Lust - sex is how we perpetuate the species.

I will take a look at lust.

The best way for a male to spread his genes is to mate with as many females as possible. But in a promiscuous society, a child's paternity is in doubt. "It's not my kid!" a young man might say after his girl friend tells him she's pregnant. Families become less cohesive when paternal branches of a family tree are less willing to invest in a child's future.

In a culture where practicing monogamy is prevalent, a child's dad as well as mom are willing to help raise the kid. As well as the the grandfathers and grandmothers on both sides. Disease vectors are shut down. If people refrain from coveting their neighbor's spouse, there are fewer violent conflicts.

Then exercising celibacy while still serving the community is regarded as saintly behavior. Larry Niven portrayed such behavior in his novel Pak Man. Sterile workers in an ant colony or bee hive also do this. However, if everyone in a community practiced such saintly behavior, the community would go extinct.

Out of these 3 points on the sinner-saint spectrum, the middle option is what most people should exercise for maximum community prosperity.

Self vs Community seem to be two strange attractors in the fractal space of human behavior.

When cultural mores shift more towards community service, I believe a civilization's contributions become more profound. This was brought home to me as I watched "October Sky" by Homer Hickam. Homer (as well as some of his peers) was inspired to build rockets after the Russians launched Sputnik in 1957. The community portrayed by Hickam is much like what I remembered as a kid. The dads were real hard asses, but most dads worked and most kids had a mom and dad. People didn't bother to lock their doors when leaving their homes. With 50s and 60s technology these people managed to land men on the moon.

Now our technology is more advanced. I believe our species now has the power to start settling the solar system. We could be embarking on an unprecedented era of discovery and exploration. But we can't get past Low Earth Orbit. We are too pre-occupied with very shallow concerns. So much of our time and effort go to things like cosmetics, weight loss schemes, divorce attorneys, anti depressants, drug and alcohol abuse, gambling, anti theft devices and other things that don't really improve our well being in this plastic, self-centered culture.

I don't want a loss of individuality as we all become subsumed into the Borg. But I do believe our civilization could accomplish great things if we spent less time looking after #1 and more time helping our neighbors.
  • Listening to: Alive by Pearl Jam
  • Reading: Childhood's End by Arthur C. Clarke
  • Drinking: Pineapple juice
This journal (as well as 3 deviations) was prompted by a comment by markdow at… :

"I've wondered about the moire pattern of circles on linear monitor rows, but never made the connection with ellipses and parabolas.

Mathworld has a short, uninformative entry about this pattern, calling it "circular chessboard".…"

To me, another word for "chess board" is "Cartesian coordinates". With Cartesian coordinates, a point can be defined by it's relation to perpendicular lines, usually the x and y axis. If a point lies the same distance from the y axis as the x axis, it's on either y = x or y = -x, the two 45 degree catty corner lines through the origin.

If, instead of a vertical line, we make the y axis a point,… , the two 45 degree lines become a parabola.

In Cartesian coordinates y = n x describes a line where n is the slope. As mentioned before, y = x is a 45 degree line. y = 2x is a steeper line. It would be harder to ride a bike up this road. y = 1/2 x is a gentler slope.

Switching back to the circular chess board, y = 1/2 x is an ellipse… and y = 2 x is a hyperbola… .

I daydream about sitting at the north pole of a sphere enclosing a black hole. The radius of the sphere is 3/2 Schwarzchild radius. At this distance, all horizontal light beams are bent by gravity so they travel in circles.

My trusty dog Rex decides to explore this sphere. As he heads south, he seems to get smaller, just as I'd expect. But when he crosses the equator, he starts growing! When Rex reaches the south pole, he extends 360 degrees around the entire horizon! When I look forward, I can see his face on the horizon. When I look the opposite direction, I see his butt on the opposite horizon.

Looking past Rex, I see the back of my head. No matter how I turn, it's the back of my head on the horizon, just behind Rex.

In this surreal sphere I'm sitting on, the z axis remains a vertical line, but the x axis and y axis are both circles. Objects to my left are also to my right.

This makes it harder to order points. With a straight line x axis, the < relationship is transitive. That is, if a < b and b < c, then a < c. In other words, If a is to the left of b and b is to the left of c, then a is to the left of c.  But transitivity is destroyed when the line is bent to a circle.

In Cartesian coordinates (-2, 1) and (2, 1) are mirror images of each other about the y axis. But with a circular chess board, I'm not sure what positive or negative means or if these words have a meaning.

So the point and line coordinate system may be more vague than the two perpendicular line coordinate system.

String theory considers curled dimensions. A small ant on a garden hose might think he's walking on a plane. An elephant contemplating the same hose might see it as a line.

A dimension can be curled so tight that it's virtually a point rather than a line. In spaces with microscopic dimensions, might it more be appropriate to use circular chessboards rather than the more conventional Cartesian coordinates?

Hop's Deviant Art Galleries:
AnimationsConic SectionsFractalsHarmonic PerspectiveImpossible FiguresOuter SpacePen and InkPolyhedraSpiralsTessellations
  • Listening to: Curved Air
  • Reading: Balook by Piers Anthony, illus Patrick Woodroffe
  • Drinking: Water
M-C-Escher-Style recently became a group. We had a rocky start but I believe most of the kinks have been worked out. Now it has become easier for group members to share their images as well as their thoughts and observations.

Since  M-C-Escher-Style became a group, there's been an increase in participation. I love seeing other artists play with impossible figures, tessellations, perspective, spirals, etc., so this is exciting for me.

On Deviant Art I've seen several very strong fractal communities and a lot of interesting explorations in geometry. There are also many talented surreal artists here. So I think there is a lot of potential for our group to grow. May we create new pathways in the garden and explore previously unknown regions!

Hop's Deviant Art Galleries:
AnimationsConic SectionsFractalsHarmonic PerspectiveImpossible FiguresOuter SpacePen and InkPolyhedraSpiralsTessellations
  • Listening to: Toccata and Fugue in D minor bt J S Bach
  • Reading: Visions of Symmetry by Doris Schattschneider
  • Drinking: Water
Upon joining Deviant Art 4 years ago, I  attempted to upload what I thought were print quality images: 64MB CMYK tiffs. Needless to say, that didn't work. I discarded the experience as a failed experiment and forgot about DA.

Then I rediscovered D.A. July 12, 2008. My first successful upload was… . So I regard July 12, 2009 as a first anniversary of sorts. Since then it's been an interesting trip. I believe the friends I've made and the things I'm learning will have a beneficial influence on my art. Now, all I need is more time to paint, draw and study!

AnimationsConic SectionsFractalsHarmonic PerspectiveImpossible FiguresOuter SpacePen and InkPolyhedraSpiralsTessellations

:iconm-c-escher-style: :icontheexquisitecorpse: :iconthe-surreal-arts:  :iconspace-club: :icontheknotters: :iconsixbysix:
  • Listening to: The Moody Blues
  • Reading: The High Frontier by Gerard K. O'Neill
  • Drinking: Minute Maid Cran-Grape Juice
AnimationsConic SectionsFractalsHarmonic PerspectiveImpossible FiguresOuter SpacePen and InkPolyhedraSpiralsTessellations

:iconm-c-escher-style: :icontheexquisitecorpse: :iconthe-surreal-arts:  :iconspace-club: :icontheknotters: :iconsixbysix:
  • Listening to: Ozric Tentacles
  • Reading: The Curve of Binding Energy by John McPhee
  • Drinking: Donald Duck Orange Juice
Please check out
M-C-Escher Style… , a club formed by sethness and myself.
This club displays art with an M. C. Escher influence.

If you're an Escher enthusiast who has done Escher influenced work, we'd like to see it!
  • Listening to: Billy Thorpe - Children of the Sun
  • Reading: Piers Anthony - Orn
  • Drinking: Pomegranate wine
Fellow tessellator Seth Ness and myself have started a group: m-c-escher-style…

We are hoping it will become a venue and gathering place for Escher enthusiasts.

We are babes in the woods as far as administering a group goes. We still don't know how to submit other people's works as deviations. So, for right now, the venue is the Favorites gallery.

There is a lot for us to learn but I believe we will acquire needed skills with time.

If you have any suggestions for the group please drop sethness or myself a note.


  • Listening to: Enya - Paint the Sky With Stars
  • Reading: Arthur C. Clarke - How The World Was One
  • Drinking: Grapefruit Juice