report from ASILOMAR
Personal impression from the Travel to,
stay at, and travel back home from
The 3rd International Meeting
of Origami Science, Math, and Education
the Master of Mixed Metaphors and misplaced Quotations.
The Great and Glorious Kalmon,
PR man for THOKI YENN
“One can almost see him, gray-haired and serene
in the inviolable shelter of his book-lined, faded,
and comfortable study.”
(Joseph Konrad, _Lord Jim_)
I love to steal quotations. - On the way the old Geezer excelled
in his ability to put his foot in his mouth, he might have caught this
“foot in mouth” disease on his way through Europe, already in Paris
he nearly missed the connection to Newark Airport, because of no
Escort in spite of the promise. A fellow passenger, who the old Geezer
had converted to Origami by folding a DNA-4 molecule on the way
from Paris to Newark, talked to the airport security because the
promised Escort was not there, and at once there was a man with
a wheelchair pushing him neatly along the corridors.
He saw a man having his shoes shined, then he wanted a shoeshine,
he looked at his own shoes and saw that it was badly needed, he bought
these shoes in the earlier millennium and there were still spots from
meals in 1997 on them. Sitting high and mighty on the chair he was asked
to look after the luggage by the friendly passenger, and he remarked:
“No, I won't, it might explode in half an hour!” Five people turned around
and looked at him in horror and the shoeshine-man stopped his brushes
and said: “You don’t say that kind of things in an Airport, you might get
arrested.” The old Geezer grinned and said that in Denmark he could
joke about anything. Oh, but not in America !
I wish I could remember all the silly things he did and all the times
he stumbled around with his foot in his mouth, By the way the Gate in
Noah's New Ark was hidden in the basement and we had to get out
through the backdoor, the lady “manning” the Check in Counter fell in
Love with me, when the old Geezer made a drawing of me, and she changed
his boarding card to a nice seat in Business Class. Tah Dah.
When we finally arrived at San José Airport, two lovely girls were waiting
for us, it was Mette Pederson of Mette Units Fame and her friend Cynthia
Fullbright, and both were fully up to being bright and helpful. They had rented
a car and there was plenty of time for the old Thok to tell his morbid tale of
his preparing for all eventualities, with cremation and ashes blowing in the
wind over the pacific, if he should buckle under.
At the Hotel in Jan José, next morning at breakfast Mette taught us how
to unwrap a drinking straw in the most elegant manner by tearing off a bit of
the paper and blowing into the straw and sending the cover sailing
smartly through the restaurant.
Driving past the Crematorium and the Aquarium finally arriving at the
Asilomarium, which turned out to be a beautifully organized Refugium.
It was still the day before the start of the 3OSMEUM, so my 2 guardian
angels suggested that we take a look see, at the sea otters and although
I was *otterly* exhausted I enjoyed to be wheeled around in this marvelous
place, where a lot of research was going on. It sounded so good that all
this research was going on for the protection of the animal life, that I got
the suspicion that it is really to find out how better to exploit the nature
for the benefit of the humanoids.
The old Geezer had another attach of “foot in mouth” and called his
2 angels for his pushers so loudly that people around us turned and looked
at this monster loudmouth in a wheelchair, and it turned out that before
the day was over he created another upset, by sleeping so heavily that
Mette couldn’t wake him by knocking on his door when it was time to go
and eat. The old fool had scared the girls about his morbid talk about his
condition so they thought he was ready for the crematorium. Big upset,
the Security could not get in, because the old fool had used the deadlock,
as recommended in most hotels, they must have knocked real hard a long
time, both on door and window. Because when he finally woke up, there
was a man trying to break in through the window and another one
crawling over the banister from the neighboring balcony and when the
old Geezer finally opened the door there was another man with all kind
of keys and Mette and Cynthia looking relieved. No Cremation this time.
We didn’t get to Hollywood, but we had arrived at Asilomar, but what
a show we experienced, they were all there, all the stars and the comets
and the “illuninati” Origami enthusiast from all over this little mud ball
off a planet that is ours for the time being, I even spotted a Raccoon
outside the window, representative from the Raccoon Republic it seems.
What a line up of lectures, just reading the titles made my head swim,
and the old Geezer was thoroughly flummoxed by these incomprehensible
lectures about Origami moved out of the paper and into mathematical
universes where plodding palookas like the old Geezer is left behind.
OK, the lectures was of a very high quality, in fact the quality was so
high I could not follow and fold my otherwise excellent understanding
around the meaning of it.
I was very pleased to meet Tomoko Fuse again and I went to her
presentation of the folded deep pot, again surprised at her ability
to use the papers ability to hold on to itself when the folds are arranged
in the proper way, and Tomoko San knows about paper and what it can
do and what it cannot do.
It is interesting what make people laugh, in the question time
Professor Miura asked how much beer this Pot could hold, and the
audience laughed, I wonder if they had laughed if he had asked what is
the cubic volume of this pot ?
So I learned something about what makes people laugh, and I know
that Thok is very interested in that, he is always working at finding twist
and turns in the language to make people laugh, it is a bad habit from
his magician days, where the aim was to misdirect the attention, which
of course have no place in Origami. But it’s important in PR.
All the lectures that we attended, which was not very many compared
with the total amount of lectures available, were very nicely organized,
every thing worked like clockwork, exact time started and ended and
smooth, smooth, as silk.
The lecture I found the most interesting was by Frances Winters
with the thought provoking title: "Is what you see what you think it is?"
Thok had a long conversation with her before her lecture and was very
surprised that she knew the term Kalpa and used it in her lecture.
She had actually folded about ten different models looking exactly the
same, a high pyramid like the one on the $ bill, but folded from the
birdbase creases arranged in different ways on the square, bewildering,
but understandable when we were shown the actually folded models.
The solutions show relationships with Chladni figures, she said.
That made me wonder whether it was possible to create the birdbase
crease pattern by means of the Chladni method. This could lead into
Cymatics and get you lost in the universe of Lissajous curves.
Another outbreak of his “Foot in Mouth” disease occurred when
Thoki was talking to Miyuki Kawamura. He thought she was a boy at
about 14 years old, and talked to “him” as the older stupid uncle,
after the interesting Lecture she held about Origami with Trigonometric
Functions, he only became aware of his stupidity, when he was discussing
the constructing of the 3rd root of 2 with him/her, so he had to take his
foot out of his mouth again.
It is impossible to construct 3rd root of 2 using a compass and straight
edge, but it can be solved using origami. Here was something he could
understand, and he was bragging about his use of it in his reversed solution
to the Delian Problem, that is instead of constructing a cube with double
the volume he folded a cube with half the volume as a given cube, and
folding a very close approximation to the 3rd root of 2, and then he folded
the other half volume in the shape of a trihedral wall.
When it came to be his turn to mount the scaffold he was so nervous
that he should hang himself by his loose tongue. And I am not sure that he
didn’t. At least he never got around to say what he really wanted to get
across, so he drowned his opinions in Clowning. Too bad.
He was very nicely introduced by Florence Temko, who is an old
friend of his, believe it or not, several people that he had met at earlier
Conventions actually came forward and talked to him afterwards.
In the evenings he was happily showing off again and again folding
his NAI GAI BAKO, fiercely defending his small supply of colored
A4 paper, with another crowd of old friends. Judy Hall and Martin van
Gelder and some delightful new friends Deborah Foreman-Takano,
Doris Asano, Ian Harrison and Naoaki Nakashima plus 2 other nice
young girls whose names I did not get, I hope they will write to me
if they read this.
He managed to introduce the company to the little stunt with the
horizontally dropped cork that jumps up and stands on end.
It was a big hit. Luckily the old Geezer had brought a dozen or more
as give away corks.
The Chapel closed and he moved into the reception area, and looking
around to find victims that he could force to fold his favorite box
the Fujimoto Hexagonal wonder, he lured Elsa Chen, Doris Asano and
Kay Eng into folding along with him. He really loves to be surrounded
by pleasant female company, he had them fetching his meals for him
and calling the Jitneys when ever he wanted to be transported.
When he finally found his own door, he couldn't get in, he was locked out,
the Front Desk apparently hoped that he had left, Luckily lovely Kay Eng
heard his painful cry of despair, and called Security, who opened the door
and let him in, so he could sink into the arms of Morpheus.
The planning of my return trip was a beautiful and elegant work of art
by Mette Units, neatly composed with all the little unforeseeable
inactitudes that creates the interesting variations in the overall pattern.
First Doris Asano sold me to Angelo Baldo, who brought me directly to my
Best Western Hotel, after a little via to the airport to deliver another lovely
lady whose name I unfortunately do not remember, Angelo Baldo helped us
at the reception, where the old man was totally lost at the question about
the credit card and we had to call Mette to handle the reception.
Mette had supplied us with all possible phone numbers and addresses
if whatever could or would go wrong. Murphy's Law !!!
The Check in at the San José Airport was nice and smooth and when I
asked for confirmation of the wheelchair that Mette had ordered,
the nice young man gave me a “delivery note” with 2 carbons which
according to orders were handed to the senior Flight Assistant,
who at the arrival at Newark New York parked me in 1 Class until my
On the way Thok had folded a DNA-4 molecule to one of the
Stewardesses, who had asked so kindly where “this sweet old man”
were going and where he was coming from, she brought 2 sheets of
Continental Airline Letter paper, and to my surprise they had the
Silver Rectangle format, but were slightly smaller than A-4,
but they were so hard and dry that they broke and split when I folded
the hexagonal Fujimoto box with lid, this is the first time this has
happened to me. The adventures you come up against when you go
to foreign lands ?
Wheelchairs galore in Newark, but too few to handle them,
the poor man who got me had to handle two chairs and he hurried
us into waiting position while he rushed off to pick up another
lot pointed at other gates, a colleague picked us up and brought
us to the door out to where the Bus to the proper Check In for Paris.
While waiting there a choleric elderly person was
very upset about being left there, and shouted abuse in Spanish
at the poor young man who had to run shrugging his shoulders,
he had others to fetch. The quarrelsome person was so scared
to be left there, that he crawled out of his Wheelchair and
wobbled to the nearest Check In and started to shout at the
innocent people there, until a security man brought him back
to his wheelchair, while his little gray mouse of a wife, red in her
face, was watching the performance.
Finally in the last second before the Bus went of, we were
helped on board and full speed off to the Air France Terminal C.
The driver called the Check In on the phone and asked them
to hold the Plane until these two wheelchair riders for Paris
could be there. The other person was a Lady going to Sweden,
we both enjoyed to be pushed right up to the door into the Plane,
where all the other passengers already were belted up to take off.
The 8 hour trip to Paris across the Atlantic went nice and quiet,
good food. The old fool was reading Harry Potter and the
Sorcerers Stone, good book he thinks, he is looking forward to
read the rest of the series.
Wheelchairs again in París - Tah Dah - OK -
The trip to Copenhagen was easy and pleasant. Wheelchairs in
Kastrup Airport right out to the Taxi and home to our Cave
with its Augean clutter. Ta Dah. 456 Emails waiting.
Miles to go before I sleep. Ta DAH.
Greetings from The Great and Glorious Pesky Kalmon of the North