# Other

## Orderly Tangle

Aug 10th

I’ve posted about this orderly tangle of triangles before. But it’s a fun one to figure out how to put together, and it looks really cool in chrome, so here it is again! ðŸ™‚

Try putting it together yourself! You don’t need to use balloons; you could also use popsicle sticks. Whatever you use, just make sure they are the same length. If you’re interested in these types of structures, check out George Hart’s YouTube channel!

## Heart eyes emoji

Sep 12th

I first saw this balloon on youtube (see below), and thought it would be a fun balloon to make, especially for older kids. I hadn’t thought about making emojis before. I added one pinch twist on each side.

My husband didn’t know what this was, but my niece did!

## Heart balloon

Feb 13th

Happy almost Valentine’s Day! According to Wikipedia, Valentine’s Day is the second most celebrated holiday around the world.

Here’s a heart to make for Valentine’s Day, or for any day!

I saw this balloon on Michael Langerman’s YouTube video. It’s not too hard, but requires you to twist 79 bubbles.

**To make this balloon**, I used 1 red balloon and 3.5 pink balloons. You of course could use all the same color or any combination of colors. You’ll basically start by twisting loops of bubbles, just the same way you would make a necklace. The red outline requires a 15 bubble loop; you’ll also need two 20-bubble loops, a 12-bubble loop, and two 6-bubble loops. I used one balloon to make both the 12-bubble and 6-bubble loops, and used half a balloon to make one of the 6-bubble loops.

Try to make all the bubbles the same size. The more consistent the size, the better. And make sure to twist each bubble a good number of times so it won’t come undone easily.

After you finish making the loops, you’ll make a couple more simple twists and then put all the chains together carefully to make the heart balloon. (Check out the video!) This balloon is pretty cool. It’s 3D and the back is the same as the front.

## Orderly Tangle

Jan 26th

This is called an “orderly tangle” (or also “regular polylink.”) This particular tangle is made up of four triangles, which when woven together in a certain symmetric fashion form a stable structure. You may have seen tangles in the form of puzzles before. My college roommate was really into puzzles and had a bunch of wooden ones. I first saw tangles that were made from balloons on Vi Hart’s web site.

**To make this balloon**, I used four 260 balloons. I used my neon colors for a cool color combination. I left around a 3-4 inch tail (instead of inflating the entire balloon) as I didn’t want the final structure to be too big/loose. There are no tricky twists – it’s just four triangles. But it is a geometric exercise to figure out how to put it together. You’ll have to make each triangle one at a time as you figure out how to weave them. I added a 5″ round balloon in the middle for fun.

To learn more about these cool geometric structures, check out this video by George Hart, who has lots of photos and videos of really cool mathematical sculptures at his web site and YouTube channel.

## Balloon ball (icosahedron)

Oct 1st

Here’s a balloon ball. Sure, you could just inflate a round balloon, but this is cooler. ðŸ™‚

In mathematical terms, it’s actually an icosahedron – a polyhedron with 20 triangular sides. It may look complicated, but because of its symmetry and basic units, it’s actually quite easy to put together. I first saw this on Vi Hart’s web site, where she has posted great instructions for this icosahedron, as well as many other mathematical shapes, such as fractals, tangles, and other polyhedra! Check it out!

**To make this balloon**, I took three 160 balloons and cut each in half. Each section was then used to make one of the six units. (I wanted to make an icosahedron that wasn’t too big.)

If you’d like to read a mathematical paper written about balloon twisting, check out: Computational Balloon Twisting Theory: The Theory of Twisting Polyhedra, co-authored by Hart, Martin Dermaine, and Erik Dermaine (who was one of my college professors!)

## Vacuum Cleaner

Jul 3rd

Introducing a new line of vacuum cleaners…pocket-sized, colorful, and stylish!

I saw instructions for a vacuum cleaner in Marvin Hardy’s __Advanced 260 Balloon Magic book__ and it made me chuckle. (I don’t think any kids will ever ask me to make a vacuum cleaner!)

The blue one is the original design by Marvin Hardy. It is made using one blue 260 and one inflated balloon for the electrical cord. I made a couple other variations, using a different color balloon for the vaccuum cleaner bag and an uninflated piece of balloon for the handle. The two smaller ones were made using 160 balloons. I’ll post a graph description of my design sometime soon.

If only this balloon really worked – my room could use a good vacuuming!