Tuesday, December 16, 2008

My Favorite Christmas Present

But of course it would be world peace, a just and caring society and the end to all horrible diseases. In reality, though, my best present was one I got at age eight or so. A caleidoscope, a modest tube covered in gray paper, so modest that I tore some of the paper off before realizing it wasn't just some more wrapping paper.

Yet what worlds opened up inside that humble tube! I never grew tired of the fantastic patterns it created, in brilliant jewel colors, or my attempt to find repeats in the patterns or asymmetries. Learning how the images was created was fun, too.

So what was your best present ever and why? It doesn't have to be a Christmas present, but it can't be world peace or anything similarly noble.