An Unexpected Snow-pinski Triangle


My blog post this week was supposed to be about a fractal sand castle in St. Croix. I’m headed there for a friend’s wedding and thought that it would be a good opportunity to add yet another fractal to the series. Unfortunately, my trip from the balmy Bay Area involved a short detour in Boston. Boston, of course, promptly got hit with the brunt of a major snowstorm leaving me stranded without much appropriate snow gear (although I did manage to buy a pair of boots shortly before the blizzard shut everything down).

This snow pile on the side of the street is taller than I am.

With no sand in sight, I decided to try tromping out a fractal in the snow instead. I think most fans of math art are already familiar with the fantastic snow art of Simon Beck (if you aren’t, go click that link now, DO IT). I was most assuredly not equipped to make anything of that caliber, but that didn’t mean that I couldn’t freeze myself trying to make a smaller scale attempt. And, conveniently, just outside my hotel, a glistening flat snow bank waited for me to stomp out my very own Snow-pinski Triangle.


Tromp, sink, tromp. The snow-pinski triangle carved into the snow serves as a nice counterpoint to the sand-pinski triangle I mounded upon the ground a couple years ago. Although they share both a fractal structure and certain ephemerality, they also seem to represent opposite concepts. Summer and winter. Hill and hole. Land and water…..

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But I still wish that I was in St. Croix already.

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