Follow US:

Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Hexaflexagon Safety Guide

Difficulty: 0

Hexaflexagons-- they're cool, hip, and hexa-fun

to play with, right?


Hexaflexagons are not toys.

With the increasing number of hexaflexagons finding their way

into homes and schools, it's important to be aware

of proper flexagation regulations

when engaging in flexagon construction and use.

Taking proper precautions can help avoid a flexa-catastrophe.

Do not wear loose clothing when engaging in flexagation.

If you have long hair, tie it back,

so it doesn't get caught in a flexagation device.

Ties are also a common source of incidents.

Stay alert.

Never flexagate while under the influence.

When using a hexaflexagon, sudden unexpected sides

may appear, and drugs like alcohol can slow reaction time.

If you aren't sure what kind of flexagon you're dealing with,

it's safer to temporarily disable the flexagon.

Flexagons can be disarmed by using scissors

to cut them apart.

You can cut across the original seam

where the paper strip was taped together,

which may appear on the edge or through the face

of the flexagon.

In an emergency, however, flexagons

can be cut apart right through a triangle, or on three edges

if you want to retain symmetry, or into nine separate triangles

if you really want to be safe.

You can even cut them in half down the length of the paper

strip like this, into two separate--

Once you cut your flexagon apart,

you can figure out what kind it is.

If it has nine triangles, that's 18 triangle sides.

So at six triangles per hexagon side,

that's three sides of trihexaflexagon.

Note that some flexagons might be

made from a double strip of triangles that have been folded

in half, so that marker doesn't bleed through.

Don't let yourself be fooled by the extra triangles.

Avoid danger during hexaflexagon construction.

If you're not working from a printed pattern,

you might start your flexagon by picking a point

on the edge of a strip of paper, folding that 180 degree

angle into thirds to create 360 degree angles,

and then using the equilateral triangle that results

as a guide to fold the rest of the strip of paper,

zigzagging back and forth.

Without proper attention and focus,

this could easily lead to becoming unreasonably amused

with the springy spring of happy triangles that results.

Always keep your hexaflexagon in good working order.

Pre-creasing all the triangles both ways

before configuring them into hexaflexagonal formation

will help your flexagon operate properly and avoid accidents.

Keep a close watch on the chirality of your hexaflexagon.

That is, whether it is right or left handed.

Notice how in this hexaflexagon, water flows

clockwise down under the flaps, even

if you flip it over or flex it.

Well, in this hexaflexagon, it flows counter-clockwise.

They're mirror images.

The chirality is decided when you fold and tape

your triangles into a twisty loop, and once taped,

it is impossible to change from one

to the other without cutting it apart,

at least in three-dimensional euclidean space.

A change in chirality could be a sign

that your flexagon has been flipped

through four-dimensional space and is possibly a highly

dangerous multi-dimensional portal.

With experience, a hexaflexagon master

can construct a hexaflexagon in mere seconds.

Some forgo tape and scissors entirely

by folding a double strip that's too long

and tucking the extra in.

This is an advanced technique that should not

be attempted without prior training.

Beware topological changes.

This family seems safe from this philosoraptor,

because they live on separate planets

with a cold, empty vacuum of space between them.

But after a single flex, the unfortunate victims

are now doomed, protected only by the inconsequential barrier

of their domicile.

Your stars might explode, your frowns may become smiles,

your most pointy of triangles might

become the roundest of circles.

Perfectly healthy snakes may turn into snake loops,

or worse, become decapitated.

Either state is fatal for the snake,

as having no head can lead to starvation.

This can be avoided by simply marking where connections will

be across neighboring triangles first.

Afterwards, the lines can be filled in however you like.

Be aware that with the trihexaflexagon,

there are two variations to each face.

So you can simply draw one side where triangles connect,

and flip and draw the other.

But in the hexa-hexaflexagon, the main three

faces each appear four different ways.

If you use hexaflexagons, keep an eye

out for signs of dependency.

Overuse can lead to addiction and possibly an overdose.

Some users of hexaflexagons report confusion,

mind-blown syndrome, hexaflexaperplexia,

hexaflexadyslexia, hexaflexaperfectionism,

and hexaflexa-Mexican-food-cravings.

If you find yourself experiencing

any of these symptoms, stop flexagon use immediately,

and see the head of your math department.

With proper precautions, flexagating

can be a great part of your life.

Follow these simple safety guidelines,

and you should be ready for a fun and safe hexaflexagon


The Description of Hexaflexagon Safety Guide