The Fitful Flog

March 19, 2005



It was by happy accident that I discovered the carromical properties of the Dollars to Doughnuts fold.

Look at the face of it. You have a 16-gon with creases going to every fifth corner – it describes the mystical decahexagram. Well, not so mystical, maybe, but wicked good at distributing stress. You whack this thing, it compresses and expands with not inconsiderable resilience. Hell, it’s an endless Roman arch with tensegritous tendencies – of course, it’s going to bounce. Most bodacious plink.

It also has stupid fresh part two skitter. Its contact with the table is pretty much just the edges of the 16-gon – the creases on the face slope inwards a bit and this gives it a sort of air-hockey lift. You flick one of these babies and it flies. When it hits another one, you get vector physics with a vengeance.

Carroms! You could play carroms with these on a bar for beer. Or re-invent the British game of shovegroat. Shovebuck for brewski. I see all kinds of possibilities. The MIT boys will be all over this one.

2 Responses to “Carroms!”

  1. 1
    Hans Says:

    That I like!! 🙂

    I am not good at origami. But I learned how to fold small shirts out of (dollar-)bills. They come out really good now. That is fun.

    I would like to learn how to fold these cute Carroms, as you call them.

    Where can I get hold of folding instruction for these ? Do you know?

    Best regards,
    Hans Hakansson

    Stockholm, Sweden 9 March 2006

  2. 2
    oschene Says:

    Hey Hans,

    My mother’s grandfather came from near Uppsala, so I’m always happy when Swedish flags pop up in my visitor logs.

    Carroms is a game played with plastic rings and is sort of like billards. (You might want to check out for more information.) The entry above is about how the fold described in the previous post can be used to play carroms. And the narrative part doesn’t make much sense in English, either. When I wrote it, I was relatively sure no one would ever read it.

    If you visit the Dollar to Doughnuts entry, you’ll find a crease pattern and a hints sheet. There are not, as yet, any diagrams to speak of.

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