Gyre and Scroll, Curl and Roll

Be careful.

There are gyres out there.

I was doing some scullery work in the kitchen, had placed the last of the clean, wet items into the drain rack, when I noticed gyre patterns forming in the soap bubbles that were left on the surface of the slowly moving dishwater.

The currents in the container were showing themselves in swirls, curls, eddies and gyres.  Wow. Is there a computer alive that can duplicate, never mind forecast, the patterns made by bubbles in a tub of dishwater?

A search for synonyms of “gyre” yields the words curl, curlicue, ringlet, scroll, whorl, coil, and roll. Is it an accident that most of these words have in them the sound that we make with the curled tongue, the “R” sound?

The human mind has a wonderful ability to seek patterns. We can see pictures in the most random of images. What we see in the random can be indicative of who we are. Psychologists still use the Rorsach Blot Test, developed in 1921, to probe the nature of an idividual’s mind. Rorshach developed the test to determine whether a person was schizophrenic, but the use of the ten-image test was expanded to more general use, starting just before World War Two, and has experienced periods of great popularity.

Consider this Official Rorshach Blot. You could spend hours making up stories about just this one.

Rorshach Blot Number Three.

In the bubbles below, can you find the dancing mouse? Or is it the head of a chicken?

As water and bubbles in the tub are left to move without interference, the organization of the bubbles shifts from fine-grained smaller patterns to larger groupings.

The temptation to play with color in these photos was irresistible.

We live in a wonderful world.

What a blessing to have eyes.

Now it’s your turn to go play.

Enjoy.

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4 responses to “Gyre and Scroll, Curl and Roll

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