Every now and then I run into something that provides a new way of looking at things and that makes me say: "Wow! How Cool!"
I just took possession of a rather amazing book called Univers Revolved. This is really rather cool . . . let me elucidate (don't worry, it won't hurt, I'm a professional). Years of practice perusing all sorts of printed matter since we were kids means that reading tends to come easily to most of us. Consider the following, for example:
Obviously there are no problems here. But what happens if the letters are reversed? For example, consider the following:
This is a little trickier, isn't it? In fact, most of us find reading back-to-front like this to be a tad difficult. I know that when I look in my car's rear-view mirror, I can spend ages trying to determine what's written on the front of service vehicles (other than "Police" and "Ambulance", with which I am familiar, of course).
The point of all this is that a really clever guy called Ji Lee has come up with a cunning way of rotating uppercase letters in such a way as to generate three-dimensional (3D) representations that appear identical in the horizontal plane (from left-to-right or right to left). Ji's 3D library is as follows:
Univers Revolved alphabet (courtesy of Ji Lee).
Ji has also generated a font based on these representations, and you can download this font from his Univers Revolved website. For example, consider our original "COOL BEANS" example presented in Ji's font:
And now consider the mirror imaged version as shown below. With a little practice, it becomes easy to read this font from right-to-left or left-to-right or . . . as we shall see . . . top-to-bottom (and so forth).
Now, returning to Ji's fully 3D representations, it's possible to use these to create all sorts of visual puzzles; for example:
One of the word/picture puzzles from Univers Revolved
(courtesy of Ji Lee).
In fact, Ji has created a book of these puzzles called Univers Revolved which is available from Amazon.
Personally, at only $19.95, I think this is a bargain based on the amount of fun and mental gymnastics involved. The book contains only 64 pages, but it's well worth the price of admission. In addition to graphically illustrating how the 3D alphabet is created, the majority of the book comprises visual puzzles based on this alphabet (the example shown above is one of the more trivial examples).
The solutions to all of the puzzles are presented via an inset to the book, but it is strongly recommended that you spend some time trying to work them out yourself (start with the simpler ones and work up to full two-page-spread monsters).
Also of interest at Ji's site is This Page from whence you can order custom posters (with your own words) and limited edition blown-up prints of selected puzzles from the book (I really want to get a copy of number #2 – the "Space Station").
Questions? Comments? Feel free to email me – Clive "Max" Maxfield – at email@example.com). And, of course, if you haven't already done so, don't forget to Sign Up for our weekly Programmable Logic DesignLine Newsletter.