Digital Marble – Desert Chicory

I was going to do a blog post called ‘Circle Quotations’‘ but funny or interesting quotes about a mathematical concept are few and far between. Then I found this one-

Why is a polar bear never lost in the Arctic Circle?
Because it uses Polar Coordinates.

I think you have to be a math person to appreciate the wit, and that isn’t normally me, except I know that the ‘Digital Marbles’ I make in my photo program use a polar coordinate filter to turn square photos into circles.

I don’t know how the polar coordinate  filter works, but I like the result. The circles remind me of the marbles I played with as a child.

Are you old enough to remember when marbles and jacks were popular games? How about skipping and hop scotch; tag, hide and seek, leap frog, and yo-yos? Hula hoops! In the winter, fox and hounds, red rover (skating version), crack the whip, snowball fights and tobogganing!

I made the following two ‘marbles’ from photos of Desert Chicory.

How many degrees does a circle have?
Depends on how long it’s been in school.
-Author Unknown –

These is the original photo. Desert Chicory is a wild flower growing in Arizona.


Here are some of the other ‘marbles’ I’ve made:

15 thoughts on “Digital Marble – Desert Chicory

  1. From my geometry teacher way back when I was in high school. “What did the acorn say when he grew up? Geometry. (Gee, I’m a tree.) I think he told that same joke to generations of students.

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  2. Played all the games, except jacks (in my day boys were relegated to marbles only) and I love the “marbles.” cheers


    1. Did boys skip where you went to school (other than skipping classes?)
      When I was in school, some games were girls games and some were boys games. (I played both, but it was b/c I lived in a neighourhood that was mostly all boys, so if I wanted to play at all, it was boys games.

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      1. We had pretty complicated boy/girl unwritten rules. Boys could skip but only with girls — not with other boys or by themselves. Jacks was taboo for boys but girls could play marbles if they were related to a player (sister) Someday I should write them all up before they’re lost forever. cheers


  3. It is a source of great personal pride that I won the P.T. Coe Elementary School Sixth Grade Jacks Tournament, held during an unusually soggy Phoenix winter *cough* years ago.
    Those were good times!


    1. I just had to go online and find your school. Very ‘in the valley’ compared to our location north of Fountain Hills (600 ft difference in elevation.) We’ve had ‘soggy’ snow twice in 8 years, though we see it in the mountains east of us every year! Do you remember having snow when you lived there?

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      1. Once when I was in grade school it “snowed” on Christmas Day — melted as soon as it touched our skin, but it was still a thrill. 🙂

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  4. Love the polar coordinates joke! And the filter. They do look like marbles! Very cool I had a big bag of marbles as a kid and played most of the games you mentioned. I think my childhood was a lot like The Little Rascals – my brothers and I were outside most of the day all year round and amusing ourselves, sometimes getting into trouble. 🙂

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    1. I still have a small collection of marbles – the clear crystal ones. I doubt they are from my childhood – probably were my kids!
      I know what you mean by being outside. Mom only had two rules that I remember – be careful down by the river and don’t be late for dinner.

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