Everybody is very nerdy about geometry

This is just a short post cataloging some occasions when people geeked out on me about geometry in non-mathematical contexts. I feel like everybody loves geometry.

  • When a family member explained to me how to fold fitted sheets. They were so, so excited to give me the big-picture concept of how, while the elastic fundamentally compromises the process of creating a perfect rectangle, the proper technique coordinates and isolates the elastic so as to minimize its impact on the overall effect.
  • When an old friend explained to me why you need to be more careful to cook thoroughly, from a food safety standpoint, when cooking hamburger than when cooking steak. They pointed out to me that with steak, the exterior of the cut of meat is at the most risk for developing bacteria before cooking, but it’s also the most exposed to heat in the cooking process. In contrast, with ground meat, exterior parts (bacteria risk) end up on the interior (protected from heat during cooking), hence higher total food safety risk. I don’t think I can do justice to how excited they were to tell me this.
  • When the person who sold me my bike lock pointed out that, if you put the lock through the part of the rear wheel that’s in the interior of the rear triangle of the bike’s frame, then the lock will not be hooked around the frame at all but it’s still impossible to steal the bike without going through the frame. They literally said, “it’s the geometry!!”

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