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November 07, 2008

What's Happenin't

Well, hello all. There's a lot going on these days, though you probably wouldn't know it because this blog has been *crickets... crickets...*. I will make no excuses. I will just plunge headlong into the news.

Volume 17 went out last week (pre-election) and seems to have been a big hit. It originally was not meant to be a book, but rather a series of paintings I did for the Wassaic Project.. I wasn't able to make it to the opening, but Eve and Bowie sent photos, and hey diddely, those paintings looked pretty darn good, if I do say so myself.

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I admit, though, that the location and the photographer helped them out quite a bit. That show has been extended through this weekend, so if anyone happens to be up anywhere near Wassaic, NY, stop by and have a look.

In other news, I was reminded today from a guy I met at SPX that they would like to have a piece of art to auction off at the Pittsburgh ToonSeum, for some sort of benefit. I think the ToonSeum is trying to move out of the Children's Museum and into its own space, because, evidently, they just hate children. So I got out the pen today and had the rare pleasure of just plunking out a drawing (haven't done that in a while...). Of course, I don't really know what it's about, but luckily, I don't need to explain myself.

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I'm in the process of working on Volume 18, which is going to be similar in style to 10,000 Stories, which was our big gimmicky coup. This means I have to do lots of thinking about execution, which I usually don't do (meaning: I just sit down and draw, normally, and now I kind of have to plan out where things are going to happen - drag-o-la!). The interesting thing is that there was a dispute this weekend over whether or not there are really 10,000 stories in that book or 1,048,576.

!!!

Yes, during our studio tour, the local high school math teacher came in and got all wiggedy about 10,000 Stories (as math teachers seem to do). She bought it, went home, and the next day wrote me the following email:

Of course as a lunatic math teacher and more importantly, a lover of creative arts such as your books, I couldn't let go of thinking about how many stories you really have in one of your wonderful books.

The more I pondered it, the more I became convinced that I'd done the "wrong math". (This very much differs from doing the "math wrong", which we definitely did not).

If you and your husband ("you") had written/illustrated a 4-page book, with 10 options per page, you would have created 10,000 stories. (10 to the 4th power)

Instead you produced a 10 page book with 4 options per page. The "combinations" this produces is 4 to the 10th power which equals 1,048,576 different stories!

I don't have the patience to show the different variations, but I just thought of a simpler problem of the same nature, flipping coins. The coin is the "event" (just like a page in your book) and heads/tails are the possible outcomes per event, (just like the sections on a page in your book). Flip one coin and there are two outcomes, (HT), represented mathematically as 2 to the 1st power. (Not 1 to the 2nd power). Flip two coins and there are four possible outcomes, (HH, HT, TH, TT), represented mathematically as 2 to the 2nd power. Flip three coins and there are 8 possible outcomes (HHH, HHT, HTH, HTT, THH, THT, TTH, TTT). This is represented mathematically as 2 to the third power, not 3 to the 2nd power.

The algorithm to follow is find the product (multiply) of all the outcomes from each independent event. (The events must be independent, i.e. not influence each other, like flipping coins).

I think your book satisfies these "requirements" so I think the real number of stories is over a million, but I think Ten-thousand stories is a much catchier and "believable" name.


To this I say: Wow. I'm 1,038,576 more of a genius than I thought I was! Life is grand!

As far as I can tell, her logic holds. But, as you all know, I'm a totally flaky artist, so I don't have a whole lot of credibility. I was the one who thought I could actually count all the stories - AAAA, ABAA, AABA, AAAB, etc. (I only got to 17 before I gave up. That might have been the smartest thing I've ever done in my hapless math career.) If any of you smart math types can weigh in, I would appreciate it. The lady teaches stats, so if you are just a third grade math expert, be forewarned. She can bust out the imaginary numbers and all that.

And, finally, if you're in town this weekend, we are open again on Saturday and Sunday from 10-5 for studio tours. Stop in and see what I've really been up to.

Or just come see me scowl.

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Posted by ribbu at 12:17 AM