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Showing posts with label Random Office Supplies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Random Office Supplies. Show all posts

Saturday, November 30, 2019

How to make a Mobius Strip


Möbius Loop


 How to make a Möbius Strip

Making a Möbius Strip is a fun and easy project you can do, using everyday household items, in three easy steps.

  1. Cut a strip of paper the long way, one and a half inches wide
  2. Put a half twist in the paper
  3. Tape the ends of the paper together

OK, I know that was a little complicated so I will break it down for you.  Also, if your keyboard lacks the ö character, you can just make a Mobius Strip.  Same difference.

How to make a Möbius Strip
The first thing you will need is a paper cutter.  In this case, plain old scissors will not do.  You need a way to cut a perfectly straight line.  I used our school-room paper slicer.  If you do not have one of these, they can be easily obtained during an elementary school parent-teacher conference.  Simply have your spouse sit down on one of the tiny chairs at the two quadrant sliced conference tables in the back of the classroom, with the teacher in the center cored-out part of the table, while you pretend to look for your kid's art work on the wall.  Put your hands in your pockets and whistle while you do this, to look less conspicuous.

When the teacher pulls out the kid's writing folder and starts pointing to random words, thereby demonstrating that your kid knows how to write, slip the paper cutter under your shirt and quickly announce you have to use the restroom, really badly.  Walk quickly (do not run and do not look back - both are signs of guilt) and put the slicer in your car.  If anyone stops you on the way out and asks what you are doing, say, "Nothing?"

Or better yet, you can buy a paper slicer at an office supply store like we did.

Next, remove a standard 8.5 x 11 inch piece of paper from Tray 1 in your printer, like my kids keep doing.  They know where we keep the paper.  It is in the office supply closet, just outside the downstairs bathroom.  But that closet is a whole fourteen feet away from the printer.  Why spend the extra six seconds round trip when you can deplete the cache of paper in the printer prematurely and make me late for a meeting when I am trying to print something at the last minute and get out of the house but I need to stop and reload the printer?  Right?

How do you make a Möbius Strip?
Place the sheet of paper on the slicer and cut about a one and a half inch slice, the long way.  The exact width is not important, as long as the resulting strip is thin enough to get the twist in the next step, in there, but wide enough that you can later cut it in half a couple times, like in this Möbius Universe article.  If you use the metric system where you live, 1.5 inches is just smaller than the maximum depth of the edge of a Cricket bat.  Cheerio!

Do not discard the wider, remaining strip of paper.  You can use that for additional experiments.  One experiment I always like to try at home is to take a piece of scrap paper like that and write the new password to the WiFi on it.  Then I fold it up and put it inside the new roll of toilet paper sitting on the back of the toilet.  Then I wait to see which comes first, someone replaces the empty roll hanging from the wall with the new roll on the back of the toilet or someone asks me for the  WiFi password.  It is great passive-aggressive fun!
Random Office Supplies

Next, get yourself a clear tape dispenser.  I call it Scotch Tape.  It is a name brand, I know.  That makes it kind of like calling tissues Kleenex but that is what I call it.  Scotch Tape dispensers are commonly found in offices.  Do NOT steal one from work, you will get fired - unless you own the company, like I do.  Then, take whatever you want.  My tape dispenser is always empty because the kids always use it.  I bought them all their own - Costco sells them in multi-packs.  But what the kids do is when the dispensers run out of tape, they remove the empty roll and throw away the little spindle that holds the roll in the dispenser, rendering the dispenser inoperable unless you jury-rig it with a paper clip.  At least they are attempting to reload it (see toilet paper rant, above).  So then they have to use mine and I have to say things like, "Kids!  What leaves my desk?"  And they reply, "Nothing!"  And I say, "That's right!"  And then my tape dispenser disappears.

Half TwistDispenser in tow, take the smaller strip of paper you cut and make a loop out of it, like as if you were making daisy chains for your first grade class Christmas tree.  I am assuming the reader is and adult and that most schools no longer have Christmas trees in the classrooms.  My kids' school does not.  I guess at some point in the past few decades someone in Academia realized that not everyone celebrates the birth of Christ and we should not require kids to dress up a dead bush intended to represent him.  But when I was a kid, no one had yet figured that out.  So the boys cut strips of paper and chained them together to make our own garland and the girls sewed popcorn onto long strings of sewing thread.  My first grade teacher was very keen on making sure boys did boy jobs and the girls did girl jobs, whatever that meant.  🙄  Then we adorned the bush with our creations.

One Sided Three Dimensional ObjectImportant - do not tape the loop together without first making a half twist.  This is what makes an ordinary loop into a Möbius Loop.  It needs that half twist.  See the picture.  Be careful not to put a crease in the paper when making the half twist.  Then, put the two ends together and tape them in place.

Voilà!  You have a Möbius Strip.

Some people would also say, "Walla!  You got you a Möbius Strip, there, Buckshot."  Either expression is acceptable.





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