Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Phantom Tollbooth & Fibonacci

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster is a brilliant classic and a riot to read. Serena loves the endless puns and wordplay; the Doldrums and its Lethargarians, the Island of Conclusions, the Mountains of Ignorance, Digitopolis, Dictionopolis, the princesses Rhyme and Reason... have now entered into our daily vocabulary.

We watched the 1970 movie in which Milo, the main character in the book, mentioned "fibonacci". While Serena would likely be a loyal subject of King Azaz The Unabridged at Dictionopolis, I would pledge my loyalty to the Mathemagician over at Digitopolis. Hence I felt obliged to seize the opportunity and enlighten Serena on the fascinating fibonacci sequence.

Thankfully we have learnt from Milo's adventures that both words and numbers are important, and "the process of seeking knowledge" is not "the greatest waste of time of all" as Milo thought in the beginning. The fibonacci sequence is one proof that math can be seen in the beauty of nature and life.

"As Pilgrim's Progress is concerned with the awakening of the sluggardly spirit, The Phantom Tollbooth is concerned with the awakening of the lazy mind." (Excerpt from The New Yorker's review of The Phantom Tollbooth, 1961)

Related Readings:
"Blockhead: The Life of Fibonacci" by Joseph D'Agnese
"Wild Fibonacci: Natures Secret Code Revealed" by Joy N. Hulme
"Growing Patterns: Fibonacci Numbers in Nature" by Sarah C. Campbell

1 comment:

  1. Must have been an interesting read!!!!
    Love Nanny & Papa