Friday, June 11, 2010

Site Surfing #3: Adolf Hitler's Swastika is just 30 Degrees away from the Star of David

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How can you convert the revered symbol of the Jewish people, the Star of David, to the swastika symbol commonly associated to the Nazi party and Adolf Hitler? All it takes is just 30 degrees angle.

From good...
... to evil.
At least that's what a fellow blogger has published in a mathematical post featuring spirolaterals, a figure defined by turning angles, the number of segments or turns, and the number of repetitions.

While the Star of David and the swastika symbol are fine examples of spirolaterals, admittedly it is a bit insensitive to the Jews. So apologies in advance to those who will be offended.

The procedure below can produce both symbols but on different angles when turning. You'll get the swastika when you turn by 90 degrees. On the other hand, use 120 degrees for the Star of David.

  1. Move forward 3 units and turn right.
  2. Move forward 1 unit and turn right.
  3. Move forward 2 units and turn left.
  4. Move forward 1 unit and turn left.
  5. Move forward 2 units and turn right.
  6. Repeat.