The number of the beast

February 27, 2010

Two ways of writing the number of the beast. Upright, it reads χξϛ, which is 666 in old-fashioned Greek numerals. Inverted, it reads “Six 3,” also suggesting 666.


Insect metamorphosis: a four-way Chinese anagram

February 25, 2010

For ambigrams based on reflection and rotation, natural word choices include mirror, symmetryleft/right, up/dn, etc. With Chinese anagrams, though, different words are formed by rearranging the same components, and especially appropriate word sets would be those that reflect that idea. Insect metamorphosis — the seemingly impossible process by which the constituent parts of a mealworm or caterpillar are reassembled into a beetle or butterfly — is what came to mind. First I created a Chinese anagram of larva/pupa, which was an obvious and easy one. Then I realized that with a few modifications I could add adult to the mix — and then I noticed that, by pure serendipity, I could get egg as well with no re-working of the couch!*

So here it is — the complete holometabolic cycle visualized as a Chinese anagram:

Chemistry is another field with some very appropriate subject matter for Chinese anagrams — phases of matter, chemical reactions, that sort of thing. And of course there’s always Ovid.


Ares/Mars

February 23, 2010

Ares and Mars are the Greek and Roman gods of war.

And what can you expect to get from these two gods? That’s right:


Chinese Kufesque

February 23, 2010

This was inspired by Nagfa’s romanized kufic designs, but in this case it’s sinicized.

The text is the opening sentence of the Tao Te Ching: 道可道非常道 — “The Way that can be walked is not the eternal Way.”


Dante

February 23, 2010


Bee/ape

February 23, 2010

Ape is the Italian word for “bee.”


Virgil

February 23, 2010