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The Golden Ratio in Lemon Slices

phi lemon

It will never be a secret that I’m in rabid love with the Golden Ratio Line, the Fibonacci Sequence, and other magically delicious morsels of mathematical awesomeness. It’s a topic of conversation that I’ve had many times with anybody interested enough to humor me, or, at the very least, gracious enough to pretend they’re interested.

One of those peeps is my old bro Mike Foster a.k.a. Left Dog. I just got the following Facebook message from him yesterday:

December 8 at 12:13pm
So here I am, cutting a lemon in half. Done this thousands of times. This time I begin to notice the natural symmetry of the (for lack of better illustrative example), the pizza pie shaped pieces. And what does my mind wonder? Whether or not the ratio from the outer parts of the slices closest to the rind (where the “crust” would be in a pizza) to the side walls of the slices moving towards center are another example of the golden ratio. Somewhere in the 1:1.618 realm. And damn it if ain’t somewhere near there.

Well, damn indeed. I grabbed a photo of a lemon slice and measured the thing in Photoshop. I kid you not, Mike is SPOT-ON. The math for the two segments was 52 pixels and 84 pixels, respectively. Above is a visual to make it more apparent, where a = 84 and b = 52.

Calculate it!: 52 x 1.618 = 84

This lemon example is by no means unusual; you’ll find the 1:1.618 thing everywhere once you start paying attention. It’ll actually get to the point where the challenge is not noticing it. In everything. You can’t turn it off. Once that happens, just give up. It’s no use. Take it from me; it’s got you for life, and you might as well surrender to it. It’s who you are. It’s what we are. Literally. I mean, have you ever analyzed the relative lengths of the bone segments between the joints of our fingers? 😉

(thx, LD)

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Busta December 10, 2008, 9:45 am

    Why have you kept your love for the golden ratio line and the Fibonacci a secret for so long? It’s time to let people know about your love for this, bro. Really…enough is enough.

  • jaced.com December 10, 2008, 10:14 am

    You’re right. It’s finally time for me to drag this dusty skeleton out of the closet, no matter how much it may surprise everybody.

  • Zak Claxton December 10, 2008, 10:40 am

    There’s really a much less mystical and mysterious reason for all of this. Keep in mind that you’re not only related to various apes, but stretching your DNA back far enough, you’re related to that lemon too. There should be commonality amongst many, many things you can observe in the universe.

    It would be weirder if there wasn’t.

  • jaced.com December 10, 2008, 10:50 am

    Exactly. What’s mysterious to me about all this isn’t so much the principle itself, but the fact that so few of us are obsessed with it.

    I embrace my desire to feel the rhythm
    To feel connected enough
    To step aside and weep like a widow
    To feel inspired
    To fathom the power
    To witness the beauty
    To bathe in the fountain
    To swing on the spiral of our divinity
    And still be a human.
    — TOOL, “Lateralus”