Klein Bottles

A Klein bottle is like a Mobius strip, but is not bounded. It’s a manifold (meaning has no holes) surface with only 1 side. While you can’t technically create this object in 3D space, you can cheat by having a self-intersecting point. It’s a fun thing for people who are interested in topology.

I’m not a mathematician, but I enjoy learning about mathematical concepts. Over the years I’ve seen the Klein bottle come up from time to time, especially the glass representation created by Cliff Stoll. I remember first hearing about him in a video that was showcasing his under-house storage solution for his many glass Klein bottles that he sells.

I decided to buy one for myself. I had heard that the buying process was first rate, and that was no exaggeration.

Cliff himself emailed me to let me know the bottle was being shipped. Not only did he include a personalized, and very humorous letter, he included many photos of the very bottle I would be receiving!

After just a couple of days, my parcel arrived!

It included invoices, inspection paperwork, “topological propaganda,” instructions, an advertisement, and stickers. Each page is packed to the brim with mathematical humor, jokes, puns, and more. I couldn’t stop smiling as I read through it all.

I can’t recommend getting one enough. It’s an fascinating object created by an interesting person! Thank you Cliff for this exceptional experience!


My cat, Ying

June 21, 1992 – December 12, 2008
I love my cat. Back in the summer of ’92, we found a fat stray cat on our porch. We decided to keep her. She was very friendly, and thus we named her “L.C.,” which is short for Love Cat. One day, we found out that she wasn’t fat at all, she was just pregnant. She had four kittens, and they were very cute. We gave 3 of them away, and kept the one we called Bluey. L.C. was going to get “fixed” to make sure there were no more unexpected presents, but lo and behold, she was already pregnant again, and this time, she had a litter of 8 kittens. Ying was one of the 8, along side Bert, both of whom we kept. The cats over the years developed their very distinct and different personalities, as well as their habits of where to sleep and generally live. Ying stayed upstairs, where, incidentally, I also resided. Out of all the cats, she was the one with whom I was most familiar and most attached. She was very loving and enjoyed sitting on tummies and kneading them with her paws. She slept on my bed, and would always be where the people were (and where the whippet wasn’t)

On December 12, 2008, my kitty, Ying, was put to sleep. She was 16 years old. She had a tumor in her abdomen, and was considered too old to be put through a treatment. Why am I telling you this? It’s my way of remembering my cat, and preserving a memory of her. My whole website was named from her back when I first purchased the domain in ’98. People probably don’t understand what Yingster” means, but to me, it represents my cat who was always there during my life growing up. She will be missed, but not forgotten.

Skeet Shooting

Have you ever been skeet shooting? It’s fun. Maybe it’s a guy thing, but having a gun and being able to blow up a little clay disc hurling through the air is just cool. It’s been at least 4 years since I have been skeet shooting. Needless to say, I was out of practice. My first round I only scored an 11 out of 25, and my second was 14.

For those of you who don’t know, in skeet shooting, the shooters take aim at small frisbieish clay things called pigeons, which are fired from the left and right. We take shots from different stations in a semi circular layout. We get 24 different shots, and one extra shot in case we miss one, totalling a perfect score of 25.

I went again the following weekend, and my score jumped from 14 to 17. So, I’m making improvements. Yay!. Well, if you ever get the chance, I recommend trying it out.

© 2007-2015 Michael Caldwell