My slightly random interest in juggling seems to have been revived recently by Stewart Brand who came to my school to give a talk on environmentalism and started off by showing the rather famous clip of Chris Bliss’ juggling finale (Golden Slumbers). Juggling might seem like a completely irrelevant and useless “skill”, and in many respects it is. But it seems like most of the people I know who juggle reasonably well are scientists or mathematicians (head of physics at my school, a biology teacher at my school, some guy on a poster in my maths teacher’ classroom), and there appear to be lots of fascinating parallels between juggling and maths. So in a way juggling is a unique activity combining skill, dexterity, coordination and performance with an intellectual allure irresistible to scientists and mathematicians … and for the sake of some hilarity I’ve made a Youtube vid!
1. Cascade, MM, BM, RR
2. Cascade, BB, MM, BM, MM, RR, (near drop), RR, Cascade, BB, MM, BM
MM = Mills Mess BM = Boston Mess BB = Burke’s Barrage RR = Rubenstein’s Revenge
There’s a pretty good article explaining what this is here that also investigates the maths of juggling; it’s basically a way of writing a juggling pattern that has mathematical curiosity.