Martin Gardner's Flexagons


Martin Gardner


Folding Paper Models


Geometric form twisting


Speaking in mathematical notation


Presence near several colleagues with doubts

Collected by

Warehouse 13







Date of Collection

May 29, 2019



Martin Gardner (October 21, 1914 – May 22, 2010) had plenty of interests – magic, mathematics and critical thinking among them. A leading authority on the works of Lewis Carroll, renowned master of puzzle solvers and proponent of critical thinking. His column “Mathematical Games" aimed to make math, one of the most uninteresting and difficult subjects, fun. Many Scientific America readers such as Isaac Asimov, Salvador Dali and then unknown M.C. Escher gawked at how simply explained and majestically complex Gardner could embellish numbers. Which made sense since he couldn’t truly grasp anything beyond calculus. Instead his focus was on puzzles, paradoxes and patterns. Many of his readers later collaborated with Gardner and fellow scholars in a push for achievement, striking their works out as artists, mathematicians, conjurers and scientists.

Gardner was also an intense doubter on fringe science at all levels. Any belief that could not be proven deserved scorn. Alongside several skeptic friends, they formed the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal to investigate any practice not founded on reasonable evidence. Everything from psychokinesis and creation myths to flat earthers and vaccine-foregoers.


Allows for acute manipulation of geometric growths and patterns. First timers can easily control the amount of sides on a cookie tin to perfectly fit more sewing materials and understand how to connect together a 500-piece puzzle in seconds. Advanced users are those with greater understanding and interest in mathematics i.e. being able to perform math instead of just naming a concept. They can play with four-dimensional space to make recurring loops, turn random events into a regular pattern. Or just end up locking themselves in a perpetual room. Muttering in cosines and partial derivatives while their mates look onwards twiddling their thumbs in concern.

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