sethness's avatar
Nature is cruel, but WE don't HAVE to be.
By sethness   |   Watch
11 7 1K (1 Today)
Published: August 10, 2013
In this picture, I develop the shark tessellation pattern a little further. Earlier versions looked a bit stiff and stuffed.

The quote is from the influential female autistic (yes, autistic) animal behaviorist Temple Grandin. At least... I hope it is. It's a line from the eponymous movie starring Claire Danes. www.imdb.com/title/tt1278469/

The two little gals in the sketch aren't random figures. They're a pair of sisters (yes, sisters) about 6 years old who go to my "church", the Unitarian Universalists of Hawaii. (It's not a church in the sense that it's not Christian. Many of the members are Atheists, Agnostics, Buddhists, or choose to make up their own religion like a la carte style.)
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anonymous's avatar
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Comments (6)
Hop41's avatar
A convex curve with an acute angle on each side (what I call an omega Ω) has often vexed me when trying to make tiles. What can go on the side that makes it a concave curve? You pulled it off well with the shark mouth.
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sethness's avatar
Thanks. That's a struggle for me, too.
I'm a little unhappy with how the top-tip of the tail droops, but I don't yet see a way to improve it.
Notice how the freehand sketch of a shark at the bottom of the picture has a raised, naturally posed tail while the tessellated ones droop.

I may turn this into a template for a CnC (laser) woodcutter/router. If that happens, I'll make the mouths a bit rounder, more like the holes in a jigsaw puzzle piece, so that the pieces will lock together. Sadly, that'd only mean that PAIRS of sharks lock together-- their backs are still too smooth to lock together. :/
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Zassilas's avatar
This is so nice! I really like how you put sharks in the picture along with that inspiring quote. People tend to see sharks as horrible, evil, destructive monsters when they're not. 
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sethness's avatar
Right. They're not evil, destructive monsters. They're mindless killing machines. (I hope you're laughing...?)

I have friends who regularly raid the fishing trawlers around tropical islands, exposing wasteful, destructive practices like harvesting (= killing) sharks just for their fins, to make soup.

The way we treat the oceans as an infinitely healing, infinitely large resource is silly. Maybe in ancient times, when our populations were small by comparison, unrestricted killing of fish was OK. Now, however, it's going to lead to long-term starvation and a harsh skew to the oceans' food chains.
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Zassilas's avatar
Yeah, it's just so outrageous that people do these kind of things! Also there are some fish (such as the orange roughy) that live a very long time like up to 100 years, and it takes a long time for the fish to mature... And they're already being over fished before they can mature or mate! It's like killing kittens... But anyway, I really like this picture- I think the illusions are so cool!
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sethness's avatar
Like the Orange Roughy, green sea turtles take aaaages to sexually mature. They live about 80~100 years (not the 150+ years that Crush, the turtle from "Finding Nemo", claims). They're not sexually mature until the age of 25.

We harvest these animals before we know how long they live, and how many can be taken without decimating the populations.

The way we treat the ocean-- as an endlessly forgiving environment from which we can take and take without care-- only made sense when human populations were tiny.

Even then... there's reason to think that the encroachment of human populations caused sooo many large animal extinctions, like the Megatheriums of Australia and the at-death's-door rhinos, tigers, and blue whales.
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