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
3. Box
4. Improvisation

MM = Mills Mess BM = Boston Mess BB = Burke’s Barrage RR = Rubenstein’s Revenge

Siteswap notation

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.


3 Responses to Juggling

  1. dtrasler says:

    Very nice. Not seen footage of Rubenstein’s Revenge before. If you’re interested in the link between juggling and math, check out some site-swap notation. It’s a method of writing down juggling patterns that evolved to the stage of people creating patterns that were technically possible but physically too demanding. I’ve never progressed beyond Mills Mess, but I did manage the four ball Mills for a while….

  2. papertigerpress says:

    Bryant, great video! Puts me in the mind to get some new patterns down. Juggling is a great thing, especially when you get the feeling you can do something different, you try it-and low and behold it works!

  3. […] fantastic year. In the first term I revived my interest in sailing by taking the games half. I also started juggling again, made some youtube vids, shifted my bouldering red point from V0 to V4 and onsighted a couple of […]

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