Author Topic: Flatland!  (Read 30535 times)

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Offline The Time Traveller

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Flatland!
« on: November 15, 2007, 04:21:18 pm »
Flatland is a very interesting and thought-provoking book about demensions that in my opinion is excellent.  There are several movies avaliable of it.

http://www.flatlandthefilm.com/FlatlandNovel_html.html

Full text avaliable here, it's not copyrighted anymore.

http://www.flatlandthefilm.com

Here is the website I got it from.  They have really funny chatbots of characters, and it was made by an amateur movie-maker who made one of the many films of it.

This is a place to discuss errors in the book and state your opinions on it.


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Offline Celdur

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Re: Flatland!
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2007, 04:36:55 pm »
erm this is completely offtopic but: didnt you get banned for some reason?

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That quote is actualy very witty, Celdur. I suggest you use that in your signature.

Offline The Time Traveller

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Re: Flatland!
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2007, 04:40:20 pm »
erm this is completely offtopic but: didnt you get banned for some reason?
That was for 30 days, and it happened a bit longer than 30 days ago.  Don't worry, I'm able to post again.
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Offline Inkling

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Re: Flatland!
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2007, 04:43:44 pm »
Ah, Flatland is a great book.  I somehow got the movie for my birthday, but I haven't watched it yet.
Probably not a Goat, either.


Offline Gungnir

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Re: Flatland!
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2007, 05:33:16 pm »
Love that book. There are two though. The new one isn't that good...it's by a different author.

Offline Inkling

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Re: Flatland!
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2007, 08:57:45 pm »
Yeah, what was it, Flatter Land or something like that? Not interested.
Probably not a Goat, either.


Offline Cool AN

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Re: Flatland!
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2007, 10:57:01 pm »
Sounds rather interesting, though I am not sure if I have the time right now to read it.

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Offline Gungnir

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Re: Flatland!
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2007, 01:43:42 pm »
It makes you feel kinda smart after you read it.

Offline emmet

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Re: Flatland!
« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2007, 01:50:20 pm »
I always wondered why outside and inside weren't considered dimensions.
No way dude, you're trolling me.

Offline Kcronos

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Re: Flatland!
« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2007, 04:48:25 pm »
They should make a Flatland videogame where your view is that of a flatlander.  It might take some getting used to though  :P
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Offline The Time Traveller

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Re: Flatland!
« Reply #10 on: November 17, 2007, 05:12:06 pm »
Actually, I don't think you could use sight to detect things.  The book admits that Flatlanders actually primarily feel things through a mist.
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Offline Gungnir

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Re: Flatland!
« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2007, 07:44:13 pm »
Ah, Flatland is a great book.  I somehow got the movie for my birthday, but I haven't watched it yet.

There's a movie?

Offline The Time Traveller

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Re: Flatland!
« Reply #12 on: November 17, 2007, 07:52:41 pm »
That's what the second link is to, and they in fact sponsored the first link and set it up.
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Offline emmet

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Re: Flatland!
« Reply #13 on: November 18, 2007, 03:00:23 am »
Flatland: The Movie seems much better in every way than Flatland: The Film.
No way dude, you're trolling me.

Offline The Time Traveller

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Re: Flatland!
« Reply #14 on: November 18, 2007, 07:18:32 am »
No, Flatland: The Movie PCs the original up, therefore changing it, by removing the notion that female Flatlanders are straight lines.  Also, the creators of F:TM are very pig-headed, and force you to pay extra money for the exact same copy of a DVD that you have the right to show to a class, an understood right of most DVDs anyway.
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Offline TotalSandwich

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Re: Flatland!
« Reply #15 on: November 21, 2007, 12:06:23 am »
 ::)
The moon is a sickle cell; it will kill you in time.

Offline PikMini

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Re: Flatland!
« Reply #16 on: November 22, 2007, 12:01:27 pm »
Sounds.................. Confusing  :(

Offline The Time Traveller

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Re: Flatland!
« Reply #17 on: December 31, 2007, 09:45:27 pm »
Sounds.................. Confusing  :(

Don't think like a Flatlander.  Don't be limited to your own dimensions.  I know how dimensions work.   I would love to play a game of 4-dimensional chess, but I can't figure out how to make the board, and can't find anyone who has ascended into unbiased mathematical opinions.
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Offline Kcronos

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Re: Flatland!
« Reply #18 on: January 01, 2008, 05:44:26 pm »
Despite how open minded you are, your brain evolved to cope with a 3-dimensional environment.  Thinking about 4-dimensions conceptually is possible, but you are unable as a human to truly visualize it.  Sad but true...
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Offline Brandonazz

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Re: Flatland!
« Reply #19 on: January 01, 2008, 07:28:21 pm »
Sounds.................. Confusing  :(

Don't think like a Flatlander.  Don't be limited to your own dimensions.  I know how dimensions work.   I would love to play a game of 4-dimensional chess, but I can't figure out how to make the board, and can't find anyone who has ascended into unbiased mathematical opinions.

If that doesn't make it glaringly obvious you don't understand 4 dimensions, nothing will.

Also, playing chess with a fourth dimension of time is simple. Simply take the piece out of play for as many turns as the squares it moves. That way, it is moving forward in space and time.

Unfortunately this constrains it like checkers in that the pieces may not move backwards in time.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2008, 07:31:20 pm by Brandonazz »

Offline The Time Traveller

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Re: Flatland!
« Reply #20 on: January 01, 2008, 07:32:16 pm »
I can understand four dimensions, I just can't go to them.  I am talking about a fourth spacial dimension.  Time is not a dimension.

Or, in other words, The Time Machine story might as well be cake.  The real way to travel in time, of course, is to promise yourself that when you make one, you will tell your past self how to make it.  It just works because the Casuality is constant.
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Offline Brandonazz

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Re: Flatland!
« Reply #21 on: January 01, 2008, 07:36:32 pm »
No. Time is a dimension. Bad Dumdum.

And you can't say you've "ascended" into "understanding" four dimensions. To humans, it's purely a mathematical function. You can't see in four dimensions or even comprehend it. Especially not you.

And that doesn't work. You need to be able to make it at some point, then begin the causality loop.

If at no point in any future possible timeline do you have the capability, the loop doesn't occur.

Offline Cool AN

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Re: Flatland!
« Reply #22 on: January 02, 2008, 05:53:15 am »
I still have trouble seeing time as a "fourth" dimension. Time isn't, as far as I could gather, an exact measurement since it is directly tied in with gravity and speed.

Then again I am no mathematician or physicist, so every thing I say is based on my very limited understanding of the subject matter.

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FACE: Not again! Quickly Palm, come to me!

Offline emmet

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Re: Flatland!
« Reply #23 on: January 02, 2008, 06:46:41 am »
Time is a dimension, HW.
No way dude, you're trolling me.

Offline stuck

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Re: Flatland!
« Reply #24 on: January 02, 2008, 08:09:14 am »
I still have trouble seeing time as a "fourth" dimension. Time isn't, as far as I could gather, an exact measurement since it is directly tied in with gravity and speed.


The spatial dimensions, by your logic, aren't dimensions because they too are affected by gravity and speed.

Lorentz Contraction

That might help. :)

Offline Cool AN

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Re: Flatland!
« Reply #25 on: January 02, 2008, 08:33:07 am »
I still have trouble seeing time as a "fourth" dimension. Time isn't, as far as I could gather, an exact measurement since it is directly tied in with gravity and speed.


The spatial dimensions, by your logic, aren't dimensions because they too are affected by gravity and speed.

Lorentz Contraction

That might help. :)


Actually I am not sure what I meant. Trying to explain something you don't understand is rather hard.

Anyway, I don't really understand this since I am not very good at math, or physics for that matter. I know that time is the fourth dimension though I wouldn't be able to explain why it is. Something about being relative to your position and the time, or something.

Quote from: /lurk
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FACE: Not again! Quickly Palm, come to me!

Offline Brandonazz

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Re: Flatland!
« Reply #26 on: January 02, 2008, 08:43:23 am »
http://revver.com/video/99898/imagining-the-tenth-dimension/

Watch that, it should clear quite a bit up.

Offline Cool AN

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Re: Flatland!
« Reply #27 on: January 02, 2008, 09:19:59 am »
Nice video, though there were some things I didn't completely understand. Some of the things I think were a little far fetched though, like the tenth dimensions sub atomic particles being the building blocks for all other dimensions. Though as the video says, it isn't an accepted theory.

Quote from: /lurk
PALM: Oh face, come closer. I've needed your touch since I heard that fundamentalist Christians were being stupid again.
FACE: Not again! Quickly Palm, come to me!

Offline Krakow Sam

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Re: Flatland!
« Reply #28 on: January 03, 2008, 06:11:08 pm »
Brandonazz, did you come up with the 4d chess idea yourself or is it alread an established variant?
Either way its a very clever idea, but it would be nigh-impossible to play if you didn't make notes to yourself about where pieces were.
Not to mention it wouldn't really be 4d chess unless it were played in a giant floaty cube of some sort... just like 'regular' 3d chess.
Sam is basically right, he's just cranky.

Offline Brandonazz

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Re: Flatland!
« Reply #29 on: January 03, 2008, 06:54:14 pm »
I thought it up myself. It was just to serve as an example.

I'm sure much could be done to make it better, though.

For example, you could choose how long into the future it moves based on how many spaces it may move.

If it can move four spaces diagonally, then you can move it three spaces that way and one turn into the future.

A turn is done by either player in the sense that you can have a piece reappear at the end of their turn.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2008, 06:56:33 pm by Brandonazz »

Offline Cool AN

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Re: Flatland!
« Reply #30 on: January 04, 2008, 07:17:39 am »
I actually had a discussion about this with a friend in philosophy class yesterday. After discussing something else I asked him how you would be able to travel faster than light speed. My suggestion was to bend the dimensions, and we started talking about flatlander and dimensions.

Quote from: /lurk
PALM: Oh face, come closer. I've needed your touch since I heard that fundamentalist Christians were being stupid again.
FACE: Not again! Quickly Palm, come to me!

Offline Yuu

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Re: Flatland!
« Reply #31 on: January 07, 2008, 05:02:28 am »
What do you think will happen if we were suddenly able to see a 4-Dimensional world? What would it feel like? Would it be like a blind person being able to see for the first time? :)

Offline Brandonazz

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Re: Flatland!
« Reply #32 on: January 07, 2008, 05:08:34 pm »
You couldn't see a four dimensional world under any circumstances.

This isn't infrared Yuu, it's another DIMENSION.

We're three dimensional beings, so we couldn't have an organ capable of detecting four dimensions.

Flatlanders can't exactly have an eyeball now can they?

Offline The Time Traveller

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Re: Flatland!
« Reply #33 on: January 07, 2008, 05:53:56 pm »
There is a book called Spaceland where a 4-dimensional creature genetically modifies a human to have a 4-dimensional eye.
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Offline Yuu

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Re: Flatland!
« Reply #34 on: January 09, 2008, 05:37:37 am »
There is a book called Spaceland where a 4-dimensional creature genetically modifies a human to have a 4-dimensional eye.
Somewhat near my idea. :) If we could feel what a 4Der or 7Der would feel, what would it be like?

Offline Krakow Sam

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Re: Flatland!
« Reply #35 on: January 09, 2008, 07:40:48 am »
On a somewhat related note, I had a discussion pertaining to this sort of stuff and we figured out that logically a 4d organism (That is, one which can move at will through length, width, depth and duration, while being dragged along through a 5th dimension) with intelligence equivalent to a human would need be only a fraction of the size (even factoring in its 'size' in time). Since the brain functions on connections and you can fit in more overlapping connections with each dimension you add.

A creature with a brain of 1500 cm4 (if time is indeed a spatial dimension then one should be able to measure it in cms, inches or any other length measurement), would be vastly more intelligent than us humans with out 1500 cc brains.
So perhaps 4d people live among us, but are really tiny  :P
Sam is basically right, he's just cranky.

Offline sltlamina

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Re: Flatland!
« Reply #36 on: January 10, 2008, 12:59:40 am »
I always wondered why outside and inside weren't considered dimensions.

Because they're still places bound to the 3 measurable dimensions (no time, no!) within our universe and can both be placed on the same map?

Offline Brandonazz

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Re: Flatland!
« Reply #37 on: January 10, 2008, 01:50:40 pm »
Time is a measurable dimension.

Offline blitzonator

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Re: Flatland!
« Reply #38 on: January 16, 2008, 08:36:44 am »
Off topic. Does this mean ancancion it a portal to 10D?

Sorry for bad spelling.

Offline emmet

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Re: Flatland!
« Reply #39 on: February 04, 2008, 01:06:28 pm »
If we were "dragged" into the 4th dimension, our space would become fourth dimensional, evealing a massive gap in our body, our organs would fall ata and we would die. :(
No way dude, you're trolling me.

Offline stuck

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Re: Flatland!
« Reply #40 on: February 04, 2008, 01:25:53 pm »
If we were "dragged" into the 4th dimension, our space would become fourth dimensional, evealing a massive gap in our body, our organs would fall ata and we would die. :(

Not really. Our organs would simply occupy the 0 point of the fourth dimension. So if our heart was at (1,12,12.31) before, it would be at (1,12,12.31,0) after.

Offline emmet

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Re: Flatland!
« Reply #41 on: February 04, 2008, 01:38:39 pm »
But if you brought a flatlander into the 3rd dimension and turned him sideways, are you saying his organs would stay put?
No way dude, you're trolling me.

Offline stuck

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Re: Flatland!
« Reply #42 on: February 04, 2008, 01:43:41 pm »
Well, you are moving him and therefore his organs. Really, all you'd be doing is performing a trasformation on him, for instance, if you lay flat a rectangle and stand it up, all it does is ditch one dimenension for another. Nothing magically plops out.

Offline emmet

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Re: Flatland!
« Reply #43 on: February 04, 2008, 02:02:34 pm »
Damn you and your understanding of how gravity affects lower dimensional beings in a higher dimension plane!
No way dude, you're trolling me.

Offline Neoskel

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Re: Flatland!
« Reply #44 on: February 10, 2008, 06:44:43 pm »
Quote from: Flatland
`Whenever you open your eyes, you see a Plane (which is of Two Dimensions) and you INFER a Solid (which is of Three); but in reality you also see (though you do not recognize) a Fourth Dimension, which is not colour nor brightness nor anything of the kind, but a true Dimension, although I cannot point out to you its direction, nor can you possibly measure it.'

And there you go. Time is not a dimension. Another dimension would have to be something we have no understanding of.

Course the analogy falls apart since geometrical figures have no sentience to speak of...
« Last Edit: February 10, 2008, 06:50:26 pm by Neoskel »

Offline Krakow Sam

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Re: Flatland!
« Reply #45 on: February 13, 2008, 06:24:51 am »
Quote from: Flatland
`Whenever you open your eyes, you see a Plane (which is of Two Dimensions) and you INFER a Solid (which is of Three); but in reality you also see (though you do not recognize) a Fourth Dimension, which is not colour nor brightness nor anything of the kind, but a true Dimension, although I cannot point out to you its direction, nor can you possibly measure it.'

And there you go. Time is not a dimension. Another dimension would have to be something we have no understanding of.

No, Time is a dimension, we have a little understanding of it because we still move through it, albeit in a linear fashion (unless 2008 turns out to be year 0 with and the activation of the Large Hadron Collider triggers a wave of visitors from the future >_>)
Sam is basically right, he's just cranky.

Offline emmet

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Re: Flatland!
« Reply #46 on: February 13, 2008, 03:30:45 pm »
Oh! I'll paint the "greetings from the past" banners, you bake a cake.
No way dude, you're trolling me.

Offline Neoskel

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Re: Flatland!
« Reply #47 on: February 13, 2008, 03:40:32 pm »
But Time is its own dimension, not the 4th spatial one. It effects every spatial dimension. The 4th dimension flatland talks about is a 4th spatial one.

Offline emmet

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Re: Flatland!
« Reply #48 on: February 13, 2008, 04:41:53 pm »
But it's still a dimension.

And if it really matters, it is very possible to think of time spacially. Every human would look like a long worm as everything they ever do is visible.
No way dude, you're trolling me.

Offline Neoskel

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Re: Flatland!
« Reply #49 on: February 13, 2008, 09:59:43 pm »
Time only goes one way. No spatial dimension we know of does. Is it a terrible leap of logic to say that time isn't a spatial dimension? Time is a dimension, but not a spatial dimension.

Offline emmet

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Re: Flatland!
« Reply #50 on: February 14, 2008, 03:44:41 am »
I know, all I said was it is possile to think of time as a spacial dimension. :P
No way dude, you're trolling me.

Offline shock223

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Re: Flatland!
« Reply #51 on: February 15, 2008, 07:44:24 am »
i read flatland.. made me brain hurt for a bit.

Offline Gungnir

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Re: Flatland!
« Reply #52 on: March 13, 2008, 03:27:13 pm »
Have any of you read the other flatland? The one in which a normal man is visited by a 4th dimensional creature?

Offline emmet

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Re: Flatland!
« Reply #53 on: March 14, 2008, 08:10:52 am »
It ain't written by the same guy, you know.
No way dude, you're trolling me.

Offline The Time Traveller

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Re: Flatland!
« Reply #54 on: March 14, 2008, 08:21:01 am »
Course the analogy falls apart since geometrical figures have no sentience to speak of...
Yeah.  In "A Brief History of Time", Stephen Hawking says that 2-dimensional creatures would be nearly impossible, as they would have to climb over each other if they lived on a planet with a 1-dimensional surface, and a digestive tract would split them in two.
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Re: Flatland!
« Reply #55 on: March 15, 2008, 07:59:25 pm »
It's an analogy though. So it doesn't really matter. Plus, they can't go over one another, since that would imply a depth dimension. That's not to say that 2D space in the real world is an impossibility. In fact, (I may have mentioned this before) electrons in between graphite sheets behave very much like 2D particles. I think the term for these special particles is anon.

Here's a picture to chew on.



This is called a Klein Bottle. It's like a Moebius Strip, in that it has only one side. However, you notice that it intersects with itself. This is due to the fact that it was "immersed" in 3D space, whereas in 4D space it would not intersect with itself, since the neck would be "lifted" into the fourth dimension and then placed back.