Platonic Solids in a Lightbulb

When we were first given our topic for this week’s blog, I had no idea where on earth I could find a platonic solid in real life, then I saw it. A lightbulb. If you look closely at the picture below of the back of the lightbulb that used to shine in my backyard, it is full of triangles that create a convex surface.

While, it may not be the best example of a platonic solid, I feel as though it represents one well. Once I flipped it to the actual light, however (as seen below), it is full of hexagons that create a flat surface, therefore, it would not be a platonic solid.

If you have any thoughts, I would love to hear them!

Platonic Solids, are they everywhere?

When I was thinking about what to talk about for this blog post on platonic solids I figured I could just find something in my daily life related to the fact, and take a picture. Turns out it is not as easy to find as our last assignment was, the rosettes. I decided to do some more research about these platonic solids and where to find them besides in the classroom with plastic triangles. I came across this interesting video, since these things aren’t necessarily in nature or our daily life, this video was fascinating to see it being hand made. This video shows a tetrahedron being made. If you watch until the end it shows all the possible 5 types of platonic solids that can be made. Even though these things wouldn’t show up in daily life very often, the handmade objects are very cool looking and would make awesome decorations in someone’s home!


Elementary Solids

Truth be told, I’m rather familiar with the idea of platonic solids, although I had never called them as such when I used the shapes as dice for games. As someone else has beaten me to the punch in posting about dice, I thought that I would also post about the idea that the platonic solids relate to the elements.

So, why does each shape correspond to that particular element? This is something that I had to consider. A Tetrahedron is a pyramid, and as it laid on every side it always focused one vertex upwards, just as a fire always rises up. That makes some sense.
A cube is another easy one to get. As a solid and stable shape that probably occurs the most naturally in rock formations, its certain seems like a good representation of what earth is like.
For the last three there seems like each one could have easily fitted in for air, water and the Heavens (Or Universe as the example provides), so why are they where they are?
On air in the octahedron, my initial consideration was that all six vertexes could be considered directionals like for the tetrahedron and fire. So air moves in all directions, up and down, east and west, north and south. That’s why octahedrons are for air.
The Icosahedron being water instead of the universe seems odd. But the icosahedron is the closest shape to a perfect sphere that’s possible. And water is just like that being able to fill up any shape, even round ones perfectly.
The Universe being a Dodecahedron seems strange unless you consider something like how people viewed what the extend of the universe might actually be. Scholars might believe that people lived on one facet of the universe, and that the others represented other planes of the gods and their domains.

PLATOnic Solids

As we learned in class about Platonic Solids, the one thing that caught my attention the most was in regards to Plato. That he had written a piece of work called Timaeus, and in that piece of work it explained to be the five platonic solids as the five different atoms that made up the everything (a very common belief in Plato’s time.) The five elements were fire, air, water, earth and the final one is speculated to be the heavens/cosmos/aether. Below is a diagram of the different solids and what atom/element they represent.

When the elements were brought up in class I automatically though of the movie The Fifth Element–it’s a great movie, and if you haven’t seen it, you’re missing out on life. In the movie the fifth element comes in the form of a young women named Leeloo, in attempts to not spoil the movie too much, when the five elements are combined they create a ‘divine’ weapon. Below are the symbols for the four elemental stones.


Platonic Solids in the real world

In our most recent class with Dr. Plante, we learned about Platonic Solids and the elements. Well I got to thinking and was trying to think about how to relate what we learned in class to the real world. Often, my niece and nephew come to my house and stay a few days. They leave their toys everywhere and I got to noticing that their baby blocks looked like the 3D cube that Dr. Plante drew on the board explaining the vertex and edges of the specific shape. I forgot to take a picture of them before I left my house so I found this image on google, looking similar to the ones they leave scattered all over my living room floor.

Image result for baby blocks



Pretty Platonic Solids

In class when we were playing with the triangles, I really liked all the different shapes we could make. All the shapes, whether they were platonic solids or not, reminded me of the trend of geometric shapes. If you’ve ever been in the decor section of Target I’m sure you’ve seen these.  While researching I found that a lot of people on Etsy make shapes and designs for people to buy. They’re pretty minimalistic and usually metallic, I’ve posted some examples. 

This isn’t a platonic solid but I thought it was pretty anyway. It’s made up of triangles and squares.

Here we have the cube and the dodecahedron. I think these look really cool. The idea of making the “geometric shapes” into a terrarium is pretty popular.

Below is the icosahedron, this is like a fancy Christmas tree ornament.

Here is another example of a “geometric shape” that isn’t a platonic solid. It’s made up of hexagons and squares.




Dungeons and Dragons Platonic Solids

So we had to post about things we talked about in class, I was thinking of what kind platonic solid I could talk about and so went to google for inspiration. I saw some dice that reminded me of the kind of dice I have for a game called Dungeons and Dragons. I am sure most people have heard of it if not by the game being popular or through the popular show The Big Bang Theory. I went and took my game dice out.

As you can see from the picture the common dice throughout the game called d4, d6, d8, d10, d12, d20. The d20 which is the second one from the bottom in the picture is the platonic solid triangle which 5 meet at the vertex. The d12 is a pentagon which 3 meet at the vertex.  The d8 is 4 triangles that meet at the vertex. The d6 is a cube, and the d4 is a triangle that 3 sides meet at the vertex.

Platonic Solids and Elements

When Dr. Plante had mentions the association with platonic solids and the elements and how each on represented an element I found it really interesting so I wanted to look more into it. I have always found the idea of philosophy and theories really interesting because I love hearing other peoples ideas and their theories of how things work or fit together. I eventually found this wonderful website where is details the explanation of Plato’s solids and their correlation with the elements. I also found this really wonderful video on platonic solids and Plato’s association with elements. This gives a more visual learning aspect.

Patterns in headgear?

Hello everyone! So this post has troubled me in a sense that I had a hard time finding any frieze patterns that were post worthy. As I looked around my room, I saw my green scarf hanging over my closet door. This is no traditional scarf, as it is actually called a Keffiyeh. This scarf is a traditional middle eastern headdress that is typical worn by Arab people around the world.  It is most commonly used in dry, arid, desert-like locations to protect the face and head from the sun. additionally to that, it can also serve to keep your head warm if need be. They have become more popular in the western world in the last few decades within the outdoor community.


The “shemagh” was given to by my interpreter while I was overseas and it has proven to be one of the most useful gifts I have received! I have used it to cover my face in a dust storm and also I have used it a few times while snowboarding. Its extremely useful on a blizzard-like day to cover your face from the harsh wind and whipping snow!


Now the fun part…..determining what patterns are displayed on the scarf!! Lets take a look at the two I zoomed in on below. The pattern shown on the left is a little difficult to isolate but if you focus on the tan color as your main “shape” then its a little easier to see. I believe it is an F2. It can not be vertically reflected because no matter where you try to reflect it, the shape can not land back on itself evenly. There is no horizontal reflection either, but there is a glide reflection, which would make this an F2 (I think). The pattern shown on the right, separated by the black vertical stripe, can be classified as F3. This pattern does have a vertical reflection this time, but there is no horizontal reflection. I was unsure if the pattern had a half turn symmetry but i decided it did not because if you flip it 180 degrees, the number of peaks pointing up would then be 2, rather than 3 as seen in the pattern. Please let me know if you see it differently than I do, as I may have missed something!

Rosettes you can eat!

Have you ever wanted to eat a rosette? Well, now you can! With some searching on the web, I have found that rosettes not only form in nature, but in the kitchen! The IOWA Public television station made cookies that were in the shape of rosettes. The ones being made in the video (Located below) are dihedral and have a rotational symmetry. It is very much like the snowflakes made in class. They represent snowflakes for the holiday usually made by families and other cooking experts. They seems to represent more than three lines of symmetry and have a horizontal and vertical line of symmetry within the cookie.

Here is the video to watch how to make them!