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That solution turned out to be the Euler beta function. The preparatory work done by the four of us had a crucial role, but the discovery that the Euler beta function was an exact realisation of DHS duality was just my own. Well, the formula had many desirable features, but the reaction of the physics community came to me as a shock. As soon as I had submitted the paper I went on vacation for about four weeks in Italy and did not think much about it.

At the end of August , I attended the Vienna conference — one of the biennial Rochester-conference series — and found out, to my surprise, that the paper was already widely known and got mentioned in several summary talks. I had sent the preprint as a contribution and was invited to give a parallel-session talk about it.

Curiously, I have no recollection of that event, but my wife remembers me telling her about it. There was even a witness, the late David Olive, who wrote that listening to my talk changed his life. It was an instant hit, because the model answered several questions at once, but it was not at all apparent then that it had anything to do with strings, not to mention quantum gravity. The first hints that a physical model for hadrons could underlie my mathematical proposal came after the latter had been properly generalised to processes involving an arbitrary number of colliding particles and the whole spectrum of hadrons it implied was unraveled by Fubini and myself and, independently, by Korkut Bardakci and Stanley Mandelstam.

It came out, surprisingly, to closely resemble the exponentially growing with mass spectrum postulated almost a decade earlier by CERN theorist Rolf Hagedorn and, at least naively, it implied an absolute upper limit on temperature the so-called Hagedorn temperature. The spectrum coincides with that of an infinite set of harmonic oscillators and thus resembles the spectrum of a quantised vibrating string with its infinite number of higher harmonics. Holger Nielsen and Lenny Susskind independently suggested a string or a rubber-band picture.

But, as usual, the devil was in the details. Around the end of the decade Yoichiro Nambu and independently Goto gave the first correct definition of a classical relativistic string, but it took until for Goddard, Goldstone, Rebbi and Thorn to prove that the correct application of quantum mechanics to the Nambu—Goto string reproduced exactly the above-mentioned generalisation of my original work.

At that point it became clear that the original model had a clear physical interpretation of hadrons being quantised strings. Some details were obviously wrong: one of the most striking features of strong interactions is their short-range nature, while a massless state produces long-range interactions. The model being inconsistent for three spatial dimensions our world!

Not really. Qualitatively speaking, however, having found that hadrons are strings was no small achievement for those days. It was not precisely the string we now associate with quark confinement in QCD. Indeed the latter is so complicated that only the most powerful computers could shed some light on it many decades later. A posteriori , the fact that by looking at hadronic phenomena we were driven into discovering string theory was neither a coincidence nor an accident.

This very bold idea came as early as from a paper by Joel Scherk and John Schwarz. Confronted with the fact that the massless spin-1 string state refused to become massive there is no Brout—Englert—Higgs mechanism at hand in string theory! Other spin-1 particles could be associated with the gluons of QCD or with the W and Z bosons of the weak interaction.

String theory would then become a theory of all interactions, at a deeper, more microscopic level. While the data were showing that hard hadron collisions were occurring at substantial rates, in agreement with QCD predictions, the softness of string theory could free quantum gravity from its problematic ultraviolet divergences — the main obstacle to formulating a consistent quantum-gravity theory.

Not immediately. I was still interested in understanding the strong interactions and worked on several aspects of perturbative and non-perturbative QCD and their supersymmetric generalisations. Most people stayed away from string theory during the — decade. Remember that the Standard Model had just come to life and there was so much to do in order to extract its predictions and test it.

I returned to string theory after the Green—Schwarz revolution in They had discovered a way to reconcile string theory with another fact of nature: the parity violation of weak interactions. This breakthrough put string theory in the hotspot again and since then the number of string-theory aficionados has been steadily growing, particularly within the younger part of the theory community.

Several revolutions have followed since then, associated with the names of Witten, Polchinski, Maldacena and many others. It would take too long to do justice to all these beautiful developments. Personally, and very early on, I got interested in applying the new string theory to primordial cosmology.

I think there was at least one already, a model by Brandenberger and Vafa trying to explain why our universe has only three large spatial dimensions, but it was certainly among the very first. The problem was that the decelerating solution had, superficially, a Big Bang singularity in its past, while the dual accelerating solution had a singularity in the future.

But this was only the case if one neglected effects related to the finite size of the string. Many hints, including the already mentioned upper limit on temperature, suggested that Big Bang-like singularities are not really there in string theory. I think that the model further developed with Maurizio Gasperini and by many others is still alive, at least as long as a primordial B-mode polarisation is not discovered in the cosmic microwave background, since it is predicted to be insignificant in this cosmology.

A second line of string-related research, which I have followed since , concerns the study of thought experiments to understand what string theory can teach us about quantum gravity in the spirit of what people did in the early days of quantum mechanics. I am still working on it.

It predicts the dimensionality of space, which is the only theory so far to do so, and it also predicts, at tree level the lowest level of approximation for a quantum-relativistic theory , a whole lot of massless scalars that threaten the equivalence principle the universality of free-fall , which is by now very well tested. If we could trust this tree-level prediction, string theory would be already falsified.

But the same would be true of QCD, since at tree level it implies the existence of free quarks. The majority of figures are unique, but clearly related to figures known elsewhere in North America, especially those of the American Southwest. The repertoire also includes a few tricks that have not been previously recorded, which is surprising since most string tricks are globally distributed. In he collected four figures and three tricks from the Bubi of Fernando Poo now called Boiko Island.

In his Pangwe collection was published in the journal Baessler Archiv. His Bubi collection appeared in a book published in Unfortunately, both collections have remained inaccessible to most string figure enthusiasts because the instructions are written in German and illustrations are lacking for the majority of figures. In this article, the authors offer an English translation.

Illustrations and supplemental notes are also provided. He then describes how to iterate a portion of the weaving sequence to give any number of Chiefs, and shows how a three-dimensional analog of that figure can be made by altering the initial loom. The author suggests that his overall approach might prove useful in making iterative, 3-D analogs of other simple string figures that begin with a two-loop loom. Murphy inoli , New York, New York, pages - String figures are excellent tools for helping students acquire spatial skills. They also promote analytical thinking when taught systematically.

In this article the author presents yet another system he uses to teach math skills to students who do not respond to traditional methods of learning. Two spatial concepts, chirality and asymmetry, are explored through systematic variation of a simple string figure. Smith, Stratford, New Zealand, pages - Most traditional string figures were created by preliterate peoples of the world.

Nevertheless, some of their designs resemble letters of the alphabet. In this article the author combines these figures with some of his own to form a complete alphabet. In this article the author introduces a new method for making 'Porcupine' plus eight variations. The variations represent various animals, including a dog, a cat, and a caribou. Methods for making double versions of each are also given. All the figures in this article are described using a new shorthand notational system devised by the author. In this article the author introduces two new methods for making 'Raven' plus thirteen novel variations.

The variations represent various animals dog, pony, flying crane, dove, and swan plus various numbers 1, 2, 4, 6, and 9. In this article the author examines the many ways in which 'Seven Diamonds' can be made. He then shows how variation leads to nets with five, thirteen, fourteen, twenty-one, and twenty-five diamonds. A method for doubling the frame string is also given.

Tennis Net with Two Loops, by Tetsuo Sato, Kumamoto, Japan, pages - The use of two loops when making string figures greatly increases the number of possible manipulations. The resulting designs are potentially more intricate and beautiful, especially when loops of different colors are used. In this article the author presents a two-loop version of Murphy's '4-loop Tennis Net', an elaborate mesh that appeared in last year's Bulletin. But if we eliminate the requirement that the frame strings must be transverse, the impossible flag is indeed possible!

The author provides a construction method. A Helping Hand - Philip D. The author describes a heart-warming encounter he had with a Norwegian submarine officer who had lost an arm many years ago. Together they were able to do a string trick the officer learned while serving in the Navy. The author provides illustrated instructions. Mongolia: Land of 15, Strings - David Titus. The author describes a recent trip to Mongolia where he distributed thousands of colorful string loops and learned a few Mongolian string figures and tricks, all of which have been seen elsewhere.

Half-second Star - Bob Grimes. The author provides instructions for making a simple star-shaped string figure that requires only 'half-a-second' to form. Ladder Patter - Mary Beth Andersen. Verbal cues are helpful when teaching children how to make string figures. The author presents her "patter" for teaching 'Jacob's Ladder' to kids. The Cat's Cradle series was indeed known in Russia. The author provides names and illustrations of some of the designs shown to him by several women. Today zoology professor Michael Pollock uses string figures to enliven his rather dry 8 AM vertebrate taxonomy lectures.

Students appreciate the effort he makes to capture their attention. His strategy is outlined in the following essay. Language parallels are also examined. The article also included 14 string figures published by Jayne nearly a century ago. In this article we offer additional information gathered during the winter of This information includes a table that summarizes the prevalence of each game at 12 different locations on the reservation 5 of which were surveyed for the first time in , alternative titles for many of the previously gathered figures, and 41 new games, most of which are variations of previously collected games.

This article also includes a highly detailed analysis of subtle differences in technique observed among 50 informants who were asked to perform figures from the standard Navajo repertoire. The analysis suggests that there is no single "correct" way to form many of the figures. A total of 50 string figures were photographed.


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Methods for making 28 are presented in this article. For each design the authors were able to secure a mounted specimen and record the native name, but no methods of manufacture were obtained. With the distractions of modern society, the skills required to make these figures have often been lost. Fortunately a few families are keeping the tradition alive by passing on their knowledge to younger generations. His collection, published in volume 5 of this journal, provided the West with its first glimpse of string games from this region. In this article the author describes three additional figures he collected on a return visit in His informants were from Nigeria, Mauretania, Mali, and Madagascar.

Most are identical or closely related to African figures first collected over 60 years ago. While the former are the more complicated designs, the latter presents perhaps the greater challenge to those seeking reconstructions. For, although we present no less than six different reconstructions for Aom, detailed analysis suggests that we cannot be sure which method is best, nor even if we have reconstructed the correct figure. The Nauruan string figures continue to surprise and challenge, almost a century after they came to the attention of the Western world.

However, the sequence of designs often varies from country to country. In this article the author describes seven different sequences he observed among school children in Lisbon. According to the author new designs are often created spontaneously. Of special note are several asymmetrical designs not reported previously.

Is This String Figure Possible? Its simplicity and symmetry on the fingers has a natural appeal from which flows many a string figure. But in a strange way Opening A can sometimes stifle creativity. Use Opening A too much, and the mind can become locked into thinking about finger manipulations and string movements in limited ways. Thinking outside the box becomes difficult.

New openings give birth to new string realities to explore with ten fingers, two hands, and a loop of string. Antipodal A is just such an opening. Murphy inoli , New York, New York, pages - In previous articles the author has explored various string figure "systems" suitable for teaching math students how to think logically and better comprehend various fundamental math concepts such as reciprocals, additive inverses, matrices, iterations, generalized formulas, chirality, asymmetry. By learning to create and symbolically notate new string figures students overcome their math shyness.

In this playful article the author exhibits his acquired skills by showing how a new string figure opening can be systematically manipulated to create a series of beautiful new designs. Several net figures with a "heart" embedded in the web are of special interest. In this article the author introduces new methods for making each of them plus 18 variations. The variations represent various animals such as eagles, dogs, rabbits, and giraffes.

All the figures in this article are described using a shorthand notational system devised by the author. It resembles a classic mathematical puzzle of the same name. In this article the author shows how to make a multi-colored version of this stunning new figure using multiple loops. Fadenspiele sind mehr!

Second edition, revised and expanded. Errata pages The String Figures of Nauru Island, 2nd Edition, 1st press run late - Many of the errata listed here were corrected in the second press run mid Unfortunately the first press run mid suffered from numerous printing and computer errors, most of which were corrected in the second press run early However, a significant number of copies from the first press run were sold before the errors were noticed. If the last page of your copy is blank, it is from the second press run and you need not worry.

Many string figures are displayed on the hands between a pair of transverse "frame" strings, which typically lie across the near side of the thumbs and the far side of the little fingers prior to extension. In this letter to author draws attention to an uncommon technique used by Maori string figure artists in making the design called Kotiro-Punarua to stabilize the frame lines and optimize the symmetry of the pattern. Belize, Please - David Titus. Figures and tricks observed on a recent visit to Belize in Central America are described.

Diamonds from South Africa - David Titus. Figures and tricks observed on a recent visit to South Africa are described. In the 8th Bulletin of the ISFA , I had whimsically written an article proposing comparisons between string figures and quantum physics.

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To my delighted surprise, lo and behold, I received encouragement for my musing from not only an ISFA member, but a member who is as well a scientist of high atmosphere physics AND the son of one of the most prestigious precursors of string figure collecting and research: Dr. Henry Rishbeth, son of Kathleen Haddon.

Kiwi - One or Two? Whether or not this string figure from New Zealand represents one or two Kiwis is debated. A string figure photographed on the Island of Rhodes in is compared to a similar figure photographed in Athens in Of these, 31 were collected by the author at the St. Louis Exposition in The remaining 66 figures were gathered by others, including her mentor Dr.

Haddon, her brother Dr. John L. Cox of Philadelphia, whose relationship to the author is not stated. Indeed, some of the most impressive string figures in her book are attributed to John Lyman Cox, who collected them at the Indian School at Hampton, Virginia. Much is now known about Caroline Furness Jayne and her family thanks to a biography written by Mike Meredith for our Bulletin, but who was John L.

Cox, and how did he know Mrs. When, exactly, did he collect the figures at Hampton, and what became of his informants? These questions remained unanswered until last year when James S. Cox, eldest son of John L. Cox, contacted the ISFA seeking membership. Cox, III. An essay on string figures, written by daughter Mary Cox at age 16, is offered as an appendix.

Biographical information about other members of the Furness and Jayne families is also included. Both appeal to the kinesthetic sense of muscle, balance and heft. Both are ancient cultural forms involving movements of the human body in relation to space. In this essay, the similarities and differences are examined. In this article the author presents a general method for creating mountain string figures having any number of peaks. A method for effectively displaying the figure on the hands is also offered.

String Games of the Kangirsujuaq Inuit, by Bernard Saladin d'Anglure, Quebec City, Quebec, pages - During the past century string figures have been gathered from nearly all Inuit groups except those of the Quebec-Labrador peninsula. This lack of data has severely hampered attempts to compile a comprehensive catalog and map the geographic distribution of each design.

The collection described herein partially fills the void. His informant, for all except the last two figures, was an Inuit woman named Ilisapikutaaq. As each figure was made the author taped the finished pattern to a sheet of paper, labeled the finger loops, and recorded the native name. Photocopies of each specimen are reproduced in this article. Probable methods of construction are offered in an appendix. Instructional books often imply that the goal of the game is to successfully make a series of traditional designs, typically eight.

Occasionally authors acknowledge that the original purpose of the game was to continue playing as long as possible, which they illustrate by showing how designs from the middle or end of the series can be transformed into one of the beginning designs in a seemingly endless fashion. It is well established that new designs emerge when methods for making existing designs are altered. But deciding how to alter a method requires special insight that can only be acquired through trial and error, or from others.

In this article four string figure artists collaborate to create novel variations of Bokola, a traditional figure from Fiji. Each artist makes a unique contribution to the group by sharing techniques gleaned from years of experience. As the maker performs a series of repetitive movements, the crocodile is seen basking in the sun, opening his mouth, eating his prey, and taking a nap.

String Games , by Arvind Gupta. It was invented by Kawashima in Twinkling Star - Avery Burns. A six-pointed star that 'twinkles' is offered by the author. The figure is a variation of the Hawaiian figure 'The Twitcher'. Lawnmower and Belted Butterfly - Bob Grimes. This four-part series derives from 'Cup and Saucer'.

Original version of Frank Oteri's instructions for making a figure comprised of multiple pagoda-shaped towers. Brief report of string figures seen by the author on a recent visit to rural areas of South Africa. Includes a technique for adding pairs of diamonds to any diamond figure. Nomenclature - by Mark Sherman pages Abbreviations and terms used throughout the Bulletin are summarized and illustrated. During a series of field trips between , and at every opportunity that arose between , author Tama Saito traveled throughout Japan learning traditional string figures and tricks from anyone who was kind enough to teach her.

After 30 years of tedious work her collection includes an astounding methods, which she has chosen to publish here in English translation. For each figure or trick, the author provides the reader with informative cultural notes, an exhaustive list of titles, the location at which it was learned, the sex and age of the informant, and one or more artistic sketch made with brush, pen, and ink. Appendix 1 presents 24 Japanese-style figures and methods invented by the author.

Appendix 2 provides readers with maps of Japan showing the 47 prefectures mentioned in the text. Noguchi's 15 years as the first director of the ISFA. Profusely illustrated with photographs. Waugh between and It was celebrated for being the first major Native American string figure collection ever made among a tribe that speaks an Algonquian language. Here we present yet another major collection that F. Surprisingly, only a small percentage are similar or identical to figures gathered among the linguistically related Ojibwe, who live south of Innu territory: most are related to figures gathered among the linguistically unrelated Inuit Eskimos , who live north of Innu territory.

K Smith has been making string figures for over eighty years. Years later, Tom Storer created his own variation which he called Suhurime. In this article the author presents seventeen additional variations that he created to celebrate the retirement of his beloved mentor, Professor Tom Storer.

Volume 1 , by Anne Glover. Comment about a string figure that appeared in String Figure Magazine March which the editor misinterpreted. Kenshu, not Tatsuhide - Tetsuo Sato. Second letter about mnemonic rhymes that help performers remember the steps in making Jacob's Ladder. Stamp-sized String Art - Carey C.

Brief account of a miniature string figure that was presented to the author as a gift. It was woven with the help of two forks, whose tines served as fingers. Brief account of childhood string figures once known in rural Alabama.


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  4. Stage Fright Advice - Camilla Gryski. Quick tips, gleaned from years of experience, on how to teach string figures to a large group of children. Moose for a King - Lori King. Instructions for making an invented string figure that represents a Canadian moose. Raymund Laile, O. It is an important article that documents a wide variety of complex and previously unrecorded designs from a region that is pivotal in understanding how string figures diffused across the globe.

    Nevertheless it has been largely ignored by the string figure community for two reasons: 1 the article is written in German; and 2 the author failed to collect methods for making the designs he photographed.

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    Based on the analysis, it appears that only thirty-eight of the designs in the collection have been recorded elsewhere in Oceania. The remaining sixty-three are either variations of previously observed figures or entirely new designs that were created by shuffling and combining well-known Oceanic technique sequences. Noble, Prestwick, Ayrshire, Scotland pages - String figures are still a popular form of entertainment in many isolated regions of Papua New Guinea.

    It consists of 29 figures some having multiple stages and 8 tricks. The majority are known elsewhere in Papua New Guinea, but by different names. In addition to string figures and tricks, the author also describes 10 designs that are formed with an elastic rubber band, an inexpensive plaything that the children purchase at local markets. Elastic Band Figures from the Philippines by Michael Taylor, East Sussex, England pages - Designs formed with an elastic rubber band are similar to string figures but not nearly as widespread and probably not as old.

    In this article the author provides methods for making several elastic band figures he obtained from Filipino men visiting England. In our second article we offered additional information gathered during January of This information included a table that summarized the prevalence of each game at 12 different locations on the reservation 5 of which were surveyed for the first time in , alternative titles for many of the previously gathered figures, and 41 new games, most of which were variations of previously collected games.

    In this article we provide a table that summarizes the prevalence of each game at 8 additional locations, more alternative titles, and methods for making 14 additional figures. String Figures from Tabuaeran by Will and Lillie Wirt, Port Angeles, Washington pages - In this short report the authors describe fourteen string figures eighteen designs they learned from islanders during a four-hour visit to Tabuaeran Fanning Island , an atoll in the Line Islands that now belongs to Kiribati. This article reviews string figures that are displayed by rotating one hand relative to the other, crossing arms, or thrusting hands into the figure.

    Reconstructions are given for similar figures whose original methods are unknown. It is demonstrated how to convert conventional string figures into ones that can be displayed by hand rotation, cross-arm, or thrusting techniques. There is also a discussion on the physical limits on the size of a string figure and the amount of string that is used. Kodomotachi no Sansu'u-ryoku wo Takameru Ayatori String Figures for cultivating the arithmetic ability of children , by Hiroshi Noguchi. Narrative and photographs of string figures observed during a recent visit to the Highlands of Papua New Guinea.

    Real Origin Redux - John H. Comment about ship's rigging cat harping and its potential connection with the term cat's cradle. Balloons and Bird from Belgium - Cathy Salika. Instructions for making a string figure series from Belgium. In Memoriam: Carey C. Smith - Mark Sherman. Summary of Smith's contributions to the string figure literature. Transcript of speech read during the funeral of the author's father Honor Maude's husband. Nomenclature - by Joseph D'Antoni pages Abbreviations and terms used throughout the Bulletin are summarized and illustrated.

    Step-by-step illustrations for making two Oceanic string figures Rope Bridge and Pigeon are provided as examples. During his 13 years as an ISFA member he scoured the globe searching for places where traditional string figures were still being made. In he founded our email discussion group and in began serving as an Associate Editor of our Bulletin. His stunning photographs of indigenous peoples displaying favorite string figures inspired everyone and eventually became part of a highly successful traveling exhibition in Japan.

    When not traveling he spent time rewriting and illustrating the Eskimo methods that Diamond Jenness collected in Alaska and Canada. He shared this work-in-progress by periodically posting instructions and beautifully annotated photographs on the web for others to test. The analysis of certain ethnographic sources shows that the creation of string figures arises from a mental task developed in these communities around the concepts of procedure, operation, sub-procedure, transformation and iteration.

    This task has involved the development of algorithms resulting from investigations of spatial patterns of great complexity. From this perspective, a string figure can be viewed as a product of a mathematical activity. Ladder String Figures: Methods for increasing and decreasing the number of steps. Each diamond represents a step. At each diamond junction the strings either cross or interlock depending on how the figure is made. While studying mathematics at Utsunomiya University Professor Kiyota Ozeki encouraged me to write a thesis on methods for sequentially increasing and decreasing the number of steps in ladder string figures.

    I discovered that one of my decreasing procedures becomes an increasing procedure when the number of steps reached two. Furthermore, upon exchanging right and left hand strings, I learned that one of my increasing procedures became a decreasing procedure. I also developed procedures for making ladders with two string loops. To make mathematical relationships easier to compare I developed abbreviations for groups of symbols and used these abbreviations to formulate equations. In this article the authors offer methods for making 44 figures and 7 tricks gathered between and among two western Pueblo tribes.

    As expected, a majority of the games are identical or similar to those played by the Navajo, but 18 are not. Of those not played by the Navajo, 4 are known elsewhere and 14 appear to be unique to the Pueblo tribes we surveyed. Master-box: Der Kugelfaden the ball-string , by Lothar Walschik. Step-by-step illustrations for making five string figures Look! Unlike the original publication issued in , our revision includes annotated illustrations of intermediate stages so that readers can monitor their progress as they work through each set of instructions.

    In he joined an expedition to Papua New Guinea and stayed there until , doing research in the northern coastal area and the islands offshore. During his career he worked for the Anthropos Institute and for several years was chief editor of its periodical Anthropos. Four of them appear to be original, not found elsewhere in the world, and two of them have not been described before. A short comparison with known string figure literature follows each figure. The results of this questionnaire are presented here.

    Many of the figures and tricks encountered are found also in other places in Europe and in the world. The performance was filmed by a team of German researchers. One of the figures appears to be not recorded before, and the construction method of another figure was hitherto unknown. Some of the other figures have their own peculiarities.

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    One stems from the Grand Valley of the Balim river, the other from the Ilaga valley. Here transcriptions and reconstructions of twenty-one of the twenty-two different string figures in the films are presented, along with a short introduction and comparative notes. They are the first published construction methods for figures from West New Guinea. Six of the figures were hitherto unknown. In an Appendix, construction methods of two other string figures from the New Guinean highlands are presented. A small collection of string figures and games from Burkina Faso by Sam Cannarozzi, Parcieux, France pages - The author presents nine different string figures and tricks that were collected in among various ethnic groups of Burkina Faso.

    He gives also an alternative construction method for one of them, which was collected in the s in Mali. One figure, The Well in the Mecca, is the first figure the author has ever encountered that has an Islamic connotation. Ayatori, performed by Ai Noguchi. Introduced by Kyoko Maya. Rediscovered method for making a traditional Dutch string figure called "Sliding Door" which appeared in a newspaper article.

    Henry Rishbeth - Pril Rishbeth. Annoucement that the son of Kathleen Haddon died in Where is He? Ayatori Workshop Update - Mariko Ohmi. Hiroshi Noguchi's teaching activities in The eight figures in the present collection, with one exception, are different from those in Jayne's compilation, and appear to pre-date the publication of her book.

    A surprising feature of this collection is the appearance of some remarkable and hitherto unknown figures. These figures, coupled with those from other collectors, suggest that at some time Europe may have been a flourishing centre of string figure creativity. The European Diving-Finger Opening by Martin Probert, Devonshire, UK pages - Three European string figures, all constructed from the same opening, reveal a striking pattern when fingers dive through the centre of the strings.

    An analysis is made of the opening, and eleven additional 'diving-finger' figures, invented by the author, are developed from this European 'diving-finger' opening. Cat's Cradle East and West by Martin Probert, Devonshire, UK pages - Part I takes a fresh look at the theory of an east-to-west migration of the twoperson Cat's Cradle game, and finds the basis of the theory untenable.

    Part II identifies string figures with the potential to evolve into the two-person game, and notes the existence or absence of these 'ancestral figures' in the surviving repertoires of East and West: the existence of such a figure indicates a possible origin and centre of migration. The Migration of String Tricks by Martin Probert, Devonshire, UK pages - Part I examines the theory that the string tricks of ethnographical collections were carried round the world by sailors, and discovers, in the sources where evidence might have been most expected, a significant lack of evidence.

    Part II offers an alternative theory to account for the wide distribution of these tricks. Here it is arranged and described for the first time. No construction methods for the figures were recorded, but it has been possible to reconstruct many of them. Additional material on string figures found in the Uppsala archives is described in appendices.

    During the winter of they suddenly became popular among school girls in Copenhagen. In this article the author provides a transcription of the methods that were captured on film sixty string figures and three string tricks. Most of the figures represent objects familiar to midth century Europeans, both urban and rural, and many are grouped to form a series.

    One of the longest series, consisting of eight designs, illustrates a story. Surprisingly, until now, less than half of the possible double-walled diamond figures have been identified. Methods for constructing the newly discovered figures are given. A revised transcription of two string figure series captured on film by Gerd Koch on the island of Onotoa, Kiribati Gilbert Islands.

    A transcription of three string figures captured on film by Ernst Vatter among the Ata Kiwan mountain people of the Solor-Alor archipelago, East Indonesia. Instructions for performing a trick in which two linked overhand knots mysteriously dissolve. A summary of information gathered by the author from Austral Islanders living in Tahiti, Rurutu, Tubuai, and Ra'ivavae.

    But, before the publication of that article, string tricks had been described in detail in works of the s to s written by European and American magicians. This article describes the string-figure tricks contained in three English-language publications. Alongside he discusses questions of source criticism in ethnological field work and the consequences of cultural change.

    The string figures were recorded during various research periods in the region between and A new development in the area appears to be the occurrence of rubber band figures.

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    The author presents photographs of seven of these figures. For most figures in the collection no construction methods were recorded, but twelve figures and one series of figures have instructions, usually in German, and sometimes also in the Watut language. Fischer further collected information on Watut terminology used to describe the construction of string figures.

    Due to the mixing of string figures with and string figures without instructions, and due to the use of the German language, the collection has undeservedly been neglected in string figure studies. Therefore in the current paper all Watut string figures from the collection that have instructions are presented. An interpretation of the original German and Watut instructions is given. Each figure is then followed by comparative remarks. One of the figures boromak has only been found among the Watut and the neighboring Wampar.

    Noble, Inverness, Scotland; transcribed and annotated by Stephan Claassen, Best, the Netherlands pages - In this collection seventeen different string figures and tricks are presented. The continuation of a popular Oceanic figure appears to be unique, as is the construction method of a figure that is itself known from other parts of New Guinea.

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    A small series, which has only been recorded before in a more complex form on Saibai Island, Torres Strait, is also presented. They are presented here. Each trick is compared with related tricks from Scandinavia. Most of the tricks are found in other parts of Sweden and Scandinavia; only one of them has probably not been recorded before.

    The paper uses material from Nordiska Museet, Stockholm, Sweden. A transcription of two string figures captured on film by Frank Hurley for his silent adventure series Pearls and Savages. After consulting a recently published book on Navajo Astronomy, the author was able to map four previously unidentified Navajo constellations that have corresponding string figures.

    We ask why anyone would wish to know all these possible Double Diamond forms, and give two answers. A method is given for the previously unknown form. We join Alice in Through the Looking-Glass to gain an insight into left-handed and right-handed figures. A minor optical illusion of the Double Diamond is explained. We conjure up and experiment with a two-colour loop, and use it to form Overlapping Diamonds.

    Techniques are introduced for dealing with string figure instructions involving a series of loop-through-loop transfers, and these techniques are used to rework the previously unknown form of the Double Diamond. We finish with a transformation of the Double Diamond. In this article a single versatile and easily-memorable construction for such ladders is presented. Once the moves are learnt, the maker is able to fashion a multitude of different ladders without any reference to instructions.

    Multiple-sided frames, and multiple-sided diamonds, are possible for all ladders. Hexagons and rectangles can appear among the diamonds. One happy consequence is the ease of constructing a series of attractive ladders for display purposes. The method is to take a length of string, thread it into the diagrammed shape, tie the two ends together, and then try to unwrap it completely. If the unwrap results in a simple loop, the diagram represents a string figure. The disadvantage of this method is that it cannot pinpoint which crossings might need to be changed.

    The technique is easy to use. It is the perfect tool for correcting the crossings of string figures designed on paper, and may prove useful for establishing a working figure from faulty reproductions of traditional figures for which no known method exists, and which do not seem to be constructed by traditional techniques. It may be that, with the aid of this technique, string figure enthusiasts with artistic talent will be able to devise string figures that would not be easy to produce by other means.

    Note: Since the above article was written, a program has been completed to carry out the work of testing string figure diagrams. The program can be found here. Noble, Inverness, Scotland pages - Fifteen previously unknown photographs of Nigerian string figures taken by N. Thomas, between and and held in the Royal Anthropological Institute archives in London are analysed and reconstructed methods are suggested for all of the designs, using techniques described in previous collections from nearby geographical regions.

    Chopstick Heart Revisited by James R. Swedish String Figures IV: String figures used in folk medicine by Stephan Claassen, Best, the Netherlands pages - The author describes two instances of the use of string figures in traditional Swedish folk medicine. A construction method for this krampknut has survived, but curiously this does not exactly match the preserved specimens of the knot.

    Another string figure is used in a ritual performed by a specialist healer from Fru Alstad, southern Sweden. The photographs are stored in the archives of the Canadian Museum of History. One figure has probably not been recorded before. Of one figure, representing a shaman, only drawings of its construction have been published before, although the figure is also found in two manuscripts. Some String Figures and Tricks from Rankin Inlet by Kathy Elbaum , and Mark Sherman, Pasadena, California pages - In this article methods for making twenty-two Inuit string figures and six string tricks are presented.

    Of the twenty-two figures, two have not been reported previously in the published literature. Of the six tricks one appears to have Nordic roots, perhaps reflecting contact with European whalers which became frequent in the 19th century. Performance aspects speed and fluidity are also discussed. String Astronomy of Oceania by Alexey Andreev, Moscow, Russia pages - In this brief report the author broadens our appreciation of Oceanic string figures that represent stars, planets, and constellations by showing how their designs illustrate various aspects of ancient Oceanic astronomy.

    One-handed String Figures by Martin Probert, Devonshire, UK pages - The following figures are designed for anyone who, either temporarily or permanently, has the use of only one hand. I have met, at various times, an excellent one-armed juggler, and an equally excellent one-armed magician. Perhaps these string figures will suggest an interesting and challenging pastime to someone similarly handicapped.

    String Figures are not Knots by Martin Probert, Devonshire, UK pages - A discussion of the circumstances under which string figures may be considered as equivalent, and of the circumstances in which they are not equivalent. Aspects of the context in which the string figures occur are described. Placed in a comparative perspective, the Wampar string figure repertoire reflects the various relations that existed and exist with neighboring and more distant ethnic groups in Papua New Guinea.

    Two of the string figures have until now only been recorded among the Wampar, while three have been recorded only among the Wampar and their neighbors, the Watut. Nowadays rapid social change often occurs in the communities of Papua New Guinea, and this is certainly true of the Wampar. The making of string figures now competes with several alternative pastimes. This has led to changes in the string figure tradition, yet the material presented in this paper does not support the conclusion that the repertoire is diminishing or that the tradition will die out soon.

    Wolfgang Laade made transcripts and translations of the chants and stories in the Kalaw Kawaw Ya language accompanying the figures, but they were never published. The first part of the present paper presents these chants and stories together with the construction method, display and action of the string figures.

    Comparative notes accompany each figure. In addition, the construction methods of two additional figures and some construction parts, not published in , are given. The film also contains a section in which several Kalaw Kawaw Ya technical terms used in string figure construction are demonstrated. The second part of the present paper presents and studies these technical terms.

    Arctic Astronomy: Following the String by Alexey Andreev, Moscow, Russia pages - In the Arctic region only one string figure has been recorded that has a name clearly connected to celestial bodies. The author attempts to find an explanation for this, and he identifies additional Arctic string figures that might be related to astronomy. Papuan String Astronomy: All in One by Alexey Andreev, Moscow, Russia pages - The author compares names and figures of a string figure series occurring in Papua New Guinea and finds a strong connection to celestial bodies.

    Double-walled diamond string figures are typically displayed between upper and lower transverse frame lines running between hands. The author describes an alternative display that involves rotating the figure a quarter turn in its own plane. Deacon's collection of New Hebrides string figures, mentioned in his posthumous book edited by Camilla Wedgwood, have never been found.

    The author provides a partial list of string figure names which he recently found among Deacon's field notes at the Royal Anthropological Institute in London, and provides instructions for performing one New Hebrides string trick. American Navy Captain David Porter visited Nukuhiva in the Marquesas Islands in the years , where he saws young girls making intricate string figures. His description of the event was published in , but was not known to ISFA members until The author quotes the full passage.

    This article illustrates a few of the possibilities, and indicates where more information can be found. We define a Variant Generator as a set of instructions that will generate all the variants of a given opening. Openings F, N and X are then introduced, and Variant Generators are provided for the 24, 24 and 78 variants of these openings. A system of notation is introduced for identifying all these variants. Noble, Inverness, Scotland pages - The history of string figure recording owes a great debt to the Rivers and Haddon step by step recording process, and yet the very precision of description can lead to misunderstandings.

    String figures are best understood as a flow of movement that has been internalized and memorized involving the entire upper body. Most usually they evolve as a series of meshwork forms extended between the hands, and spread out by the fingers. In any particular culture the string figure repertoire appears to become relatively fixed when a number of figures have been developed, named and repeatedly taught. By specifically paying attention to the body movements in the making process, a greater understanding of the elements involved in string figure formation is gained.

    Recent developments suggest that many more figures await discovery. The construction of these figures is described. The film shows 23 different string figures and tricks. The present paper presents transcriptions of the construction of these figures, along with a short introduction and comparative notes. Only two of the figures have not been encountered among the Inuit before.

    The construction of several of the figures shows small peculiarities. In or a small group of immigrants from Canadian Baffin Island arrived in the region. It is likely that they influenced the local string figure tradition, but the collection of string figures presented here shows only a few traces of such an influence. Some Harvaqtuurmiut String Figures, as made by Tatanniq in by Stephan Claassen, Best, Netherlands pages - Eleven different string figures are presented as they were made in by Tatanniq, a Harvaqtuurmiut Inuit, and filmed by Eugene Arima.

    Comparative remarks follow each figure. One figure Baker Lake 8 is probably presented here for the first time. The construction method for another figure Baker Lake 10 has been recorded previously. The collection contributes to our still limited knowledge of the string figure tradition of the cultural groups collectively known as Caribou Inuit. Some String Figures from Vanuatu by A. Bernard Deacon , and Mark Sherman, Pasadena, California pages - To date, substantial collections of string figures from all island groups in Melanesia have been published, except for the New Hebrides group Vanuatu.

    In , the Bishop Museum published instructions for making ten figures collected by Dickey from New Hebrides immigrants living on the Hawaiian island of Kauai, but almost nothing else has appeared since then, even though at least four scholars have subsequently collected string figures in Vanuatu. Cambridge anthropology student A. Bernard Deacon learned string figures while doing field work in the New Hebrides in , but his string figure field notes were never published and attempts to locate them in publicly accessible archives have been unsuccessful. Recently, however, it was learned that the notes have been in private hands for many years.

    The notes include instructions for making thirty-two string figures learned from informants from four islands, namely, Santo, Ambrym, Malekula, and Tanna and are published here, as originally written in Rivers and Haddon nomenclature, for the first time. In a second section of this article the editor provides corrected instructions rewritten in standard ISFA nomenclature, as well as photographs of the final designs extended on the hands. A partial distribution analysis is also included. Text by John Cohen and Terry Winters.

    On Cats and Sailors: Where is the Cradle? As a practitioner of both art forms, the author explains how imagination plays a key role in the interpretation of both string figure designs and haiku poetry. The price includes media mail postage within the US. For shipping costs outside the US please inquire.