15 Geodesics Between Martin Gardner and Buckminster Fuller (and Me)

My presentation at G4G15 in Atlanta, Feb 23, 2024...

Title Slide

The web page contains expanded comments for most slides in the presentation, appearing in the same order as the slides. These added digressions are not in the Speaker notes for the slides

Some links are given in the comments below. More appear as References at the end of this page.

Abstract: Martin Gardner mentioned Buckminster Fuller a number of times in his columns and books. In this talk, I explore the arcs of their two lives and connections between them - The Dymaxion Map, Bucky Balls, Tensegrities, and others. I may give a brief recollection of hosting Fuller on his visit to Lewis & Clark College (Portland Oregon) in 1979.

There were only a few seconds left at the end to mention Fuller's visit to L&C. This was a decision I made - since the talk was about Fuller and Gardner, not just Fuller. You can find a full account of Fuller's visit on my 'Bucky" page. See References.

For your reference, the Apple Keynote as presented, with images and speaking notes, is exported into this [PDF].

Bucky (GUINEA PIG B) / Martin (King of Hearts)

Magic Tricks?

OKAY … Bucky and Martin … Doing some Tricks.

Martin: Adam Fish www.fishfotogaphy.com
Bucky’s Photo: Wernher Krutein, phtovault.com

Life Times

Overlap of Lifetimes

Their 2 lives were offset by about 2 decades -- with Fuller born in 1895. Here is the data:

Bucky himself

Richard Buckminster Fuller
Born July 12, 1895
Milton, Massachusetts, U.S.

Died July 1, 1983 (aged 87.96!)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.

Presidential Medal of Freedom (1983)

BF  7 12 1895  7  1 1983  (87) 32130 days
MG 10 21 1914  5 22 2010  (95) 34912 days

BF alive before MG Born
MG Born 19.3 years after BF!
7 12 1895 -> 10 21 1914  (7040 Days)
i.e. BF was 19+ years old when MG was born.

MG was 68+ years old when Fuller Died.
10 21 1914 -> 7 1 1983   (25090 days)

MG lived after BF died
MG lived ~27 years after Fuller Died.
7 1 1983 -> 5 22 2010 (9822)

MG & SF Both Alive from MG born to BF dies  (68+ Years)
10 21 1914  7  1 1983   (25090 days)

SPAN of the two life times
7 12 1895 -> 5 22 2010  = 41952 days = 114.86 years

HS Portraits

High School Portraits

22 years apart. Martin's photo is quite small. Is there are larger scan somewhere?



Both served in the Navy - Bucky in the First World War, Martin in World War II, ending in 1945.

Bucky served in the U.S. Navy 1917-1919, in World War I, as a shipboard radio operator, as an editor of a publication, and as commander of the crash rescue boat USS Inca. (Ensign U.S.N.R. to Lieutenant U.S.N. United States Navy, World War I.)

Yeoman Gardner (1941-1945). Martin did PR for the RADIO Signaling school in Wisconsin... Martin edited the Badger Navy News, in Wisconsin before shipping out to USS Pope.

LIFE 1943 - Old Dymaxion Map

Life Magazine, March 1, 1943

In 1943, Gerard Piel, science editor of LIFE, saw Fuller’s Dymaxion globe. He had a cartographer (Richard Edes Harrison) draw an unfolded “NET”. Piel then put a card stock insert in this issue of LIFE. It consisted of SIX square faces and EIGHT equilateral triangles. These ‘globes’ popped up in offices all over.

Fourteen faces (six squares and eight equilateral triangles) of a cuboctahedron.

1943 R. Buckminster Fuller's first Dymaxion map was a projection of the world onto the fourteen faces (six squares and eight equilateral triangles) of a cuboctahedron. Gerard Piel, who was then science editor of Life, was so intrigued by it that he asked the cartographer Richard Edes Harrison to draw an unfolded net of the solid. Staff artists completed a color map of the drawing, and it was published on cover-stock paper in the March 1, 1943, issue of Life. It was a great success. All over the country, in homes and laboratories, one would see the little cuboctahedron hanging on a cord and rotating with currents of air.

SciAm 1956 - Flexagon

Flexagons in SciAm, 1956

In 1956, Martin sold his Hexaflexagons article to Scientific American, Which caused a lot of flexing in offices all over.

An important distinction - Martin heard of the Flexagon, then wrote the article.

Gerard Piel

Gerard Piel

Recall that Jerry Piel was instrumental in publishing Fuller’s map in 1943. In 1948, Piel became the Editor & publisher of the revived Scientific American magazine. The popularity of the 1956 Flexagon article prompted Piel to ask Gardner to write a monthly column.

Gerard Piel
March 1, 1915 - September 5, 2004
Piel was the science editor of Life Magazine from 1939 to 1945. He was the publisher of the new (revived) Scientific American magazine starting in 1948.

He was one of the signatories of the agreement to convene a convention for drafting a world constitution. As a result, for the first time in human history, a World Constitutional Convention convened to draft and adopt the Constitution for the Federation of Earth. Gerard Piel on [wikipedia].

Curious Maps

No slide - just an aside. I wish I had time to say more here -- Material worthy of the whole six minutes. Maybe I'll pull some in here in the future.

MG wrote a chapter "Curious Maps" - in "Time Travel and Other Mathematical Bewilderments (p 197). The chapter featured all kinds of novel map projections, including a reference to the dymaxion map - but no graphic. (Copyright royalty issue? One would hope that it was 'open'.)

Dymaxion Map with all triangles

Air Ocean Map

MG mentioned a 1954 version - the Airocean World Map - on an Icosahedron. In 1954 BF copyrighted the Dymaxion Skyocean Projection World Map, drawn by Shoji Sadao

Wikipedia: In 1954, Fuller and cartographer Shoji Sadao produced the Airocean World Map, a version of the Dymaxion map that used a modified but mostly regular icosahedron as the base for the projection. The version most commonly referred to today, it depicts Earth's continents as "one island", or nearly contiguous land masses. This was designed to show Earth's continents with minimum distortion when projected or printed on a flat surface.

In 2013, to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the publication of the Dymaxion map in Life magazine, the Buckminster Fuller Institute announced the "Dymax Redux", a competition for graphic designers and visual artists to re-imagine the Dymaxion map. The competition received over 300 entries from 42 countries.

Dymaxion Map [LINK]

Shoji Sadao [LINK]

Good DYMAX MAP page [LINK]

Good Cut-fold-and-glue artwork for kids (and not so young) on OpenStreetMap for some reason [LINK]

My Gift Bag item

Gift Exchange item

This is my G4G15 Gift Exchange item. I put a few extras on the "Share Table". [LINK]

Papercut print by John_Nelson@esri.com, source image [PNG]

Dymaxion Globe Christmas Ornament Thing - very brief article on it from 2019. [LINK]

Bucky on cover of Jan 10 1964 TIME and USPS Stamp

Fuller on Time and US Postage Stamp

Bucky’s likeness appeared on a January 10, 1964 TIME cover. Artist: Boris Artzybasheff [WiKiP]

That artwork re-appeared on a stamp in 2004, marking the 50th anniversary of Fuller’s patent on the Geodesic Dome. The stamp was issued on Fuller’s (109th) birthday.

He has been called "the first poet of technology", "the greatest living genius of industrial-technical realization in building", "an anticipator of the world to come—which is different from being a prophet", "a seminal thinker", and "an inspired child". But all these encomiums are fairly recent. For most of his life, R. Buckminster Fuller was known simply as a crackpot. (Eleven page article - Design: The Dymaxion American. [TIME]

Bucky - 1964 Time / 2004 Stamp (Caricatures)

From the Postal Museum: The stamp artwork is a painting of Fuller by Boris Artzybasheff (1899-1965). The painting, which originally appeared on the cover of "Time" magazine on January 10, 1964, depicts Fuller's head in the pattern of a geodesic dome. Geodesic domes and a number of his other inventions, including the Dymaxion™ Car, a geodesic dome being airlifted by helicopter, the 4D Apartment House, and several objects and models that reflect the geometric and structural principles he discovered surround him. [LINK]

Martin - Lucian McLellan and Tim O’Brien (Caricatures)

Artists Conceptions of Martin

Here are similar portrayals of Martin. (No stamps, or cover of TIME for Martin!)

Martin - McLennan Our bonus challenge this week by Lucian McLellan: can you find ten symbols and six mystery objects in this fantastic impression of Martin Gardner? Credit Lucian McLellan. Appeared with Ignited by Martin Gardner, Ian Stewart Continues to Illuminate by Gary Antonick, October 27, 2014.

Illustration by Tim O’Brien used with a Oct 2014 SciAm article: Let the Games Continue [LINK]

BF Letter / signature

Letter from Fuller to Saturday Evening Post

Here’s a typewritten letter Fuller wrote to The Saturday Evening Post.

MG Letter / signature

Letter from Gardner to Miller

Here’s a reply Martin wrote to Me in 1999, regarding an index I had made of all his MG columns. Martin says: “Of course it’s OK to post anything of mine on the WWW” ! —— (I added his full signature to the slide.)

Record Keeping and Archives

Filing Systems / Archives

Here is Fuller’s Dymaxion Chronofile. (Fuller took notes every 15 minutes of his life.) That’s a PERSON in the red cart! [LINK]

Fuller's Chronofile contains over 140,000 pieces of paper, as well as 64,000 feet of film, 1,500 hours of audio tape, and 300 hours of video recordings. The Chronofile is cross-referenced alphabetically using 13,500 5x8 inch index cards.

Fuller documented his life copiously from 1915 to 1983, approximately 270 feet (82 m) of papers in a collection called the Dymaxion Chronofile. He also kept copies of all incoming and outgoing correspondence. The enormous R. Buckminster Fuller Collection is currently housed at Stanford University.[91]

Both RBF and MG stuff is in Stanford Archives.
Bucky 200' ft?  Artifacts (models) still at  Michigan?
Martin 80 ft?

Guide to the R. Buckminster Fuller Papers M1090 [cdlib].
Online Archive of California
Title: R. Buckminster Fuller papers
Identifier/Call Number: M1090
Contributing Institution: Department of Special Collections and University Archives Language of Material: English Physical Description: 1200.0 Linear feet (maybe 120 feet of aisle, 5 shelves on each side?) Date (inclusive): circa 1920-1983
Abstract: The papers of this 20th century polymath contain his personal archive the Dymaxion Chronofile, manuscripts, drawings and audio-visual materials relating to his career as an architect, mathematician, inventor and social critic.

Arrangement of Collection
The collection is arranged in 24 series:
1: Family History
2: Dymaxion Chronofile3: Clippings
4: Dymaxion Index
5: Patents
6: Awards and Honors
7: Biographical
8: Manuscripts
9: Reprints of Writings by Fuller
10: Reprints11: Office Files
12: R. Buckminster Fuller Photographic Exhibit
13: Photographs (LECO Index)14: Non-LECO Photographs
15: Slides
16: Blueprints and Drawings
17: Audio Visual
18: Project Files
19: Artifacts
20: Business Files
21: Shoji Sadao Geodesics Files
22: Legal Files
23: Materials Removed for Use in the film
24: Negatives

Fuller archives story [LINK].

Dymaxion Chronofile. He cross-referenced its contents with 13,500 index cards. The archives also include:
2,500+ original sketches, blueprints, original posters, and working drawings,
30,000 photos,
25,000 slides,
64,000 feet of film,
1,500 hours of audio tape,
35 file drawers filled with manuscripts, and much more.


Martin kept Index Cards in Shoe Boxes and graduated to metal filing Cabs.

At G4G14, the last talk was by Cassondra Darling (U of Oklahoma) "Deciphering Wonderlands - Creating a Martin Gardner Digital Library". Unknown status. [YouTube]



Each fellow had extensive bibliographies published by others. Dana is here. Trevor Blake lives in Portland!

The Bibliography of Martin Gardner, edited by Dana Richards. [LINK]
Foreword by Donald E. Knuth
The first comprehensive bibliography of the publications of polymath Martin Gardner.

Martin Gardner (1914–2010) was a polymath whose international reputation extended from mathematics to literature, philosophy to science, and magic to fiction. This comprehensive bibliography covers every aspect of Gardner’s lengthy publishing career, from 1930 to 2010, and features detailed descriptions and indices of his writings on mathematics and many other topics. Editor Dana Richards worked directly with Gardner on this project from 1978 until Gardner’s death; it draws on the two hundred boxes of Gardner’s mathematical papers held in the Stanford archives

Buckminster Fuller Bibliography by Trevor Blake.

One thousand five hundred entries by and about Buckminster Fuller. Books, magazines, newspapers and ephemera published between 1914 and 2015.

Richard Buckminster “Bucky” Fuller (1895 – 1983) was a public speaker, author, mathematician and inventor. Fuller is best known as the popularizer of geodesic domes in architecture. He attempted to apply the most recent discoveries of science to the most basic of human needs such as shelter and transportation, without regard for precedent or profit or power, doing more with less. He called this process design science.

Paperback, 260 pages, Introduction, Bibliography, Index. $17.50 [Amazon]

Buckminster Fuller Bibliography Paperback – May 26, 2016 - by Trevor Blake (Author), Richard Buckminster Fuller (Author), Kevin I. Slaughter (Illustrator) [LINK]

Trevor Blake is the author of Max Stirner Bibliography, Portland Memorials and other books. Many Essays on fuller and others. email: synchronofile at gmail [LINK]



Both men were subjects of documentaries, just a year apart.

Bucky Documentary
American Masters S10 EP4  Buckminster Fuller: Thinking out Loud
Premiere: 4/10/1996
Driven by the belief that humanity’s major problems were hunger and homelessness he dedicated his life to solving those problems
Martin Documentary
The Nature of Things / Martin Gardner (46 min video)
CBC documentary
by David Suzuki
Season 36    Episode 3
October 26, 1995    45m

Also a film: The World of Buckminster Fuller (1971) By??



Both had autobiographies, of sorts.

What Martin wrote about Fuller Topics

Fuller topics Martin wrote about

Gardner wrote about several Fuller topics. So.. In the following slides, Let’s look at some things done by G4G folks…

Martin mentioned Bucky in 4 places:

time travel and other - 15
sixth book of math diversion - 19
mathematical circus - 3
fractal music, hypercards, and more - 3

Below are references to Bucky stuff from Martin's books. What MG columns dod they appear in?


Time Travel and Other Mathematical Bewilderments

Chapter 15 CURIOUS MAPS p 199

R. Buckminster Fuller's first Dymaxion map was a projection of the world onto the fourteen faces (six squares and eight equilateral triangles) of a cuboctahedron. Gerard Piel, who was then science editor of Life, was so intrigued by it that he asked the cartographer Richard Edes Harrison to draw an unfolded net of the solid. Staff artists completed a color map of the drawing, and it was published on cover-stock paper in the March 1, 1943, issue of Life. It was a great success. All over the country, in homes and laboratories, one would see the little cuboctahedron hanging on a cord and rotating with currents of air.



Sixth Book of Mathematical Diversions

Interestingly, regular tetrahedrons and octahedrons (regular solids bounded by eight triangles) will pack to fill space if they are arranged alternately as shown in Figure 128. They are the only two regular solids that fit together to fill space. Note that every triangle in the lattice is the face of both a tetrahedron and an octahedron, and that every vertex is surrounded by eight tetrahedrons and six octahedrons. This beautifully regular structure has been exploited in recent years by the inventor-architect R. Buckminster Fuller. The cantilevered truss he calls the "octet" consists of aluminum tubing joined in a network that traces the edges of an octahedral-tetrahedral honeycomb. (A stimulating classroom project is to model such a honeycomb by joining the ends of a large number of rods or soda straws that are all the same length.) C Fuller's more famous "geodesic" domes are essentially tetrahedral lattices intended, like his octet, to achieve maximum rigidity at minimum weight and cost.

Martin pointed out that Alexander Graham Bell built a tetrahedron kite well before Fuller was fascinated by the tetrahedron's strength-to-weight ratio.


Fractal Music, Hypercards and More

The buckeyball is known to geometers as a truncated icosahedron because it can be constructed by slicing off the 12 corners of a regular icosahedron. No one yet knows what properties this third form of carbon (the other two are graphite and diamond) might have. Because of the molecule's near spherical shape, it might provide a marvelous lubricant. (See "Buckeyball: The Magic Molecule," by Edward Edelson, in Popular Science, August, 1991, page 52.) (See also PDF of Chapter 3, Mathematical Zoo)

Jitterbug mechanism


Henry Segerman 3D-printed this “jitterbug” mechanism. Fuller’s had rubber joints.

Dennis Dreher of Bethel, Maine designed an omnidirectional hinging joint, which allows the necessary twisting of adjacent VE triangles in the jitterbug. (VE = Vector Equilibrium, Fuller's alternate name for the flexible framework.)

Henry Segerman (X/Twiiter) Prototype geared Buckminster Fuller jitterbug mechanism, inspired by Oskar van Deventer’s work.

Buckminster Fuller's Jitterbug, by 'kipergok' [YouTube]

Buckminster Fuller's Jitterbug [YouTube]

Great YouTube comment by Eleftherios Pavlides:
Indeed a brilliant discovery by Dennis Dreher of Bechtel Maine as Amy Edmondson's points out in footnote #3 in Chapter 11 in A Fuller Explanation, 1987: #3 footnote: Dennis Dreher of Bethel, Maine designed an omnidirectional hinging joint, which allows the necessary twisting of adjacent VE triangles in the jitterbug. This joint can be seen in Photograph 11-1.

Omnidirectional hinge is a fancy way of saying that the creator of the Jitterbug was Dreher who solved the problem of creating what Fuller had tried for years and had failed to achieve. Joe Clinton a few years earlier had designed a different set of Jitterbugs with connectors in the center of the polyhedra. Clinton's ingenious design depended on a cylindrical hinge. When the hinge was minimized to approximate becoming a point the structure became wobbly.

In this story Fuller was Medici but Michelangelo was Dreher and before him Clinton. Dreher was puzzled why Fuller never credited him with the discovery of this Jitterbug.

Dick Esterle - Geometry Machines

Geometry Machines - a kind of Tensegrity by Dick Esterle

(Continuing from above..) However, Fuller, according to the inventor of tensegrities Kenneth Snelson, did create with his own hands the six bar tensegrity a few months after seeing Snelsons invention in 1948. Fuller also coined the term "tensegrity" for structures that maintain their shape due to pure tension five years after the actual discovery of Snelson's structure and his own six bar and 24 pretensed cables.

Note: Kenneth Snelson said his former professor (Buckminster Fuller) took credit for his discovery of the concept that Fuller named tensegrity. Kārlis Johansons' "Study in Balance" is a c.1920 proto-tensegrity sculpture.

George Hart

George Hart at Bridges under ZomeTool

George Hart under a Zome structure appropriately at a Bridges conference (Towson University, Baltimore - 2012).

George has led many 'group build' exercises of various kinds at G4G over the years.

Paul Hildebrant of ZomeTool

Paul Hildebrant talking with my son August, at Tom Roger's house in BUCKhead

Paul == ZomeTool [LINK]

A Slice of Space, a G4G14 Gift item by Paul H: [LINK]

Dome - playground

Self with grandson

That's me with August's little boy! In January 2024.



Martin mentioned C 60 - a Carbon molecule! Craze: Bucky Balls - The Magnetic Toy ™ ?

Bucky Balls - c60 - BuckminsterFullerene (1985)
[LINK] Buckminsterfullerene is a truncated icosahedron with 60 vertices, 32 faces (20 hexagons and 12 pentagons where no pentagons share a vertex), and 90 edges (60 edges between 5-membered & 6-membered rings and 30 edges are shared between 6-membered & 6-membered rings), with a carbon atom at the vertices of each polygon and a bond along each polygon edge.

Buckytubes and other Carbon atoms. Also, structure of a virus. Buckyball is similar to Covid Virus structure. (Some digression here from Gwen, Thane, Kirby Urner)

Tila BuckyBalls - Gwen Fisher

Buckyball Beads

Gwen Fisher has a tutorial for beading Buckyballs! (with Tila beads) [ETSY]

Digression -- I asked Gwen about doing a group project, to build a buckyball using giant plastic beads and rope.. She said it would be a flop, literally. The buckyball won't hold it's shape under gravity while assembling. You'd need rigid nodes.

In the molecule, the atoms form strong (single and double) atomic bonds, and once the structure assembles itself, it's quite hard. Buckyballs have been found to form naturally in pure soot.

Google Doodles

Google Doodles?

Neither Bucky nor Martin had Doodles. On top, is a Google Doodle for the 25th anniversary of the BuckyBall - Sept 4, 2010.

During the MG Centennial, In 2010, The Gathering tried to get a Google Doodle for Martin. No dice.

BOOK: Inventor of the Future

Inventor of the Future?

Alec Nevala-Lee This recent book dispels many Bucky Myths. It has Extensive notes and Index. See links in References.

Statement in book - Fuller functioned in a “Reality distortion field.”

Bucky drawing on Board - Bucky Speak


Bucky’s writing was dense and obscure.
Martin’s writing was clear and simple.
Fuller often took credit for other people’s ideas.
Martin relished giving credit to others.

I wrote the above before the conference, but Arezoo Islami's talk "Applicability of Mathematics: Shortcomings of Philosophy" made a good case in point. I'm looking forward to listening to that talk again on video.

“You can't better the world by simply talking to it. Philosophy to be effective must be mechanically applied.” R. Buckminster Fuller.

(Note: I included the above before the conference. Arezoo Islami's talk "Applicability of Mathematics: Shortcomings of Philosophy" made a coherent case in point. I'm looking forward to listening to Arezoo's talk again on video.)

“Love is Metaphysical Gravity” - WTH? What does that even mean? LoL

"Zero is the inside-out phase of conceptual integrity; it is the eternal complementation of system." — R. Buckminster Fuller | Synergetics Dictionary

Uriah Fuller

Uriah Fuller

Here’s a good one! Martin’s “Uriah FULLER” was a pun on Uri Geller..


Buckfunster Miller??

Speaking of Puns — I myself used BUCK..FUN..STER .. MILL ER … in the 1970’s, in connection with my pyramid house designs.

Business Card were made in June 1976 (Spokane).

I handed one of these cards to Fuller during Lewis & Clark visit.. Story on Bucky page. (Pyramid vs Dome)

See my page: Who was Buckfunster Miller? [LINK]

In response to his column on Novel Map Projections, I wrote a letter to Martin about a projection on to pyramid / octahedron on Nov 30, 1975, signing it John E. (Buckfunster) Miller. (No reply?) (The projection was discussed in Peter Tompkins' book, Secrets of the Great Pyramid, in chapter XV, The GOLDEN SECTION.)

Maybe add (Scan of) that 1975 Letter.

'Project Toronto' - Buckminster Fuller's 1968 waterfront redesign proposal, featuring a 20 story pyramid. Comments on Reddit - people hating on it. [LINK].

See also: Crystal Pyramid [LINK]. (maybe contains additional sources. Project may be dead!)

Fin - not Fin

ChaptGPT - How Bucky might describe the Aperiodic Monotile

How would Buckminster Fuller Describe the Aperiodic Monotile?


Buckminster Fuller did not specifically describe an "Aperiodic Monotile" in his known works or designs. However, he extensively explored and developed ideas related to geometry, structures, and architectural concepts, often using his term "synergetics" to describe the study of systems in synergy.

If you are referring to a concept or term that emerged after my last knowledge update in January 2022, I recommend checking more recent sources for information on the "Aperiodic Monotile" and how it might relate to Fuller's principles. Fuller's work is known for its emphasis on efficiency, sustainability, and innovative geometric forms, so any interpretation of an "Aperiodic Monotile" in connection to his ideas would likely involve these principles.

SO, you don't think that Fuller would have anything to say about the periodic monotile if he were alive today?

I don't have the ability to predict an individual's thoughts or statements, especially someone who is no longer alive. However, if there were a concept called the "Aperiodic Monotile" that emerged after my last knowledge update in January 2022, and it was related to geometric structures or architectural concepts, it's conceivable that Fuller might have found it interesting or relevant.

Buckminster Fuller was known for his interdisciplinary approach and his interest in exploring new ideas and technologies. If a concept aligns with his principles of efficiency, sustainability, and innovative design, it's possible he would have appreciated or commented on it. To understand his potential thoughts on a specific concept like the "Aperiodic Monotile," one would have to refer to any statements or writings from Fuller himself or interpretations by scholars and experts familiar with his work.

Okay. I was hoping that you might be able to generate some prose describing the monotile in the manner which Buckminster Fuller spoke.

Certainly, I can attempt to generate prose in a style inspired by Buckminster Fuller's approach to geometric structures and design. Please note that this is a creative interpretation and not an actual quote or statement from Fuller:

"In the profound tapestry of geometry, the Aperiodic Monotile emerges as a testament to the inherent harmony within nature's complexity. A dance of asymmetry and order, it beckons us to reconsider the rigid confines of periodicity. Embracing the unpredictable, this Monotile transcends the traditional bounds, a poetic expression of synergy and efficiency.

In its aperiodic grace, the Monotile echoes the universal language of efficiency, harmonizing with the cosmic rhythms. Each facet, meticulously arranged, reflects the interconnectedness of all things. It is a silent manifesto, urging us to rethink the conventional, to question the periodic dogma that confines our perceptions.

Buckminster Fuller's spirit resonates within the Aperiodic Monotile, for it embodies the essence of synergetic exploration. Here, in the ever-shifting tessellation, we find inspiration to chart new frontiers of design, to embrace the unpredictability that defines our existence. As Fuller would say, 'Nature is trying very hard to make us succeed, but nature does not depend on us. We are not the only experiment.'"

Remember, this is a creative attempt to capture Fuller's style and is not a direct quote from him.

Follow up Question for ChatGPT regarding the Monotile

Do you think a sphere could be tiled with the new monotile, like a soccer ball?

The possibility of tiling a sphere with a specific monotile depends on the geometric properties and characteristics of the monotile in question. Without specific information about the design and properties of the "Aperiodic Monotile" you're referring to, it's challenging to provide a definitive answer.

Buckminster Fuller, however, was known for his interest in geodesic domes, which are spherical structures composed of triangular facets. If the properties of the Aperiodic Monotile allow for tessellation on a curved surface, it might be conceivable to use it to tile a sphere in a manner similar to a geodesic dome.

The key considerations would include the monotile's shape, size, and how well it adapts to the curvature of the sphere. If the monotile possesses certain geometric and mathematical properties that enable a uniform distribution on a curved surface, then tiling a sphere could be a possibility.

ChaptGPT - Similarities between Bucky & Martin

I also asked ChatGPT for similarities between Bucky & Martin, and got 4 curious results!

What are some similarities between Martin Gardner and Buckminster Fuller?

Martin Gardner and Buckminster Fuller were both influential figures in their respective fields, although their areas of focus and contributions differed significantly. However, there are a few similarities between the two:

Interdisciplinary Approach: Both Gardner and Fuller had interdisciplinary interests and explored a wide range of topics beyond their primary fields. Gardner, known for his writings on mathematics, also delved into magic, puzzles, skepticism, and literature. Fuller, an architect and inventor, had interests spanning architecture, design, engineering, philosophy, and sustainability.

Popularizers of Ideas: Both Gardner and Fuller played significant roles in popularizing complex ideas and making them accessible to a broader audience. Gardner's books and articles on mathematics and recreational puzzles made abstract concepts engaging and understandable to the general public. Similarly, Fuller's books, lectures, and designs brought his innovative concepts about geodesic domes, sustainability, and synergetics to a wider audience.

Creative Thinkers: Both Gardner and Fuller were known for their creative thinking and innovative approaches to problem-solving. Gardner's puzzles and recreational mathematics often required unconventional thinking and creative solutions, while Fuller's designs and inventions were characterized by their novel approaches to architecture and engineering challenges.

Influence on Education: Both Gardner and Fuller had a significant impact on education. Gardner's books and articles, particularly those focused on mathematics and critical thinking, have been used in educational settings to inspire curiosity and promote intellectual exploration. Similarly, Fuller's ideas about comprehensive design, sustainability, and the importance of interdisciplinary thinking have influenced educational approaches in architecture, engineering, and environmental studies.

While Gardner and Fuller had distinct backgrounds and areas of expertise, their shared commitment to intellectual curiosity, interdisciplinary exploration, and the dissemination of knowledge have left a lasting legacy in their respective fields.

Fuller's visit to Lewis & Clark College, 1979

Fuller vists LC

My Dinner with Bucky - You can read about it on My Bucky page - see References. In 1979 Fuller gave a talk: "Toward a Fuller Future", at L&C College. His talk concluded: "Don't be afraid of Change "


EXTRA SLIDES, not shown

LIFE 1943 Map

The real mapmakers name: Richard Edes Harrison - The 6 Squares are outlined in orange. 8 Triangles are unmarked in the image.


Some Terms Bucky claimed to have coined: Spaceship Earth, Debunk - nope! He coined 'Tensegrity', but didn't invent the concept.

On Wikipedia

Martin has a great page [WiKi]. Fuller's page is a bit of a mess [WiKi].


Martin - a Mysterian [LINK]
Martin has several books on the subject of religious belief. Martin shared this miracle from Piet Hein in the title of his own autobiography Undiluted Hocus-Pocus:


We glibly talk
 of nature's laws
but do things have
 a natural cause?

Black earth turned into
 yellow crocus
is undiluted

Bucky - Unitarian - really?
BOOK: No More Secondhand God & Other Writings

Yes, God is a verb,
the most active,
connoting the vast harmonic
reordering of the universe
from unleashed chaos of energy.

Childrens Books

Martin: edited and/or wrote for Humpty Dumpty, etc.

Bucky: Buckminster Fuller to Children of Earth, text by Fuller; compiled and photographed by Cam Smith.

Rabbit Holes! I didn't go down..

Stewart Brand, Spaceship Earth, Whole Earth, etc.
Steve Jobs - Fuller's visit to Apple (who knows what transpired).


Could it be that Fuller invented the Dymaxion Map to help with the World Game?

Dome Patent 1954

1000's of domes were built all over the world (mostly as RADAR domes)

HANDS-ON ACTIVITIES on Saturday afternoon

Dick Esterle's "Ode to Tom Rogers"...

This photo taken Saturday afternoon at G4G15

The Activity: Build a giant buckyball-like structure from 540 pentagonal pieces and 450 square pieces of die-cut up-cycled cardboard "Space Chips Die Cut". Also make and take smaller constructions.

Annotated References


Subject Matter