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Q & A: clever cuts

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Most recent answer: 10/22/2007
Q:
I had a guy tell me that you can take a 3x5 index card and cut it so that you can fit your whold body through it with out the card being taped or glued or otherwise put togther after cutting. Do you know how you would do this so that when opened up it would accordion like into a circle that you could put around your body?
- gary (age 17)
Marsh VAlley High, Arimo Idaho
A:
Yeah, i think i can see how to do this. It would be a lot easier to describe with a picture, but I'll try with words.
The area of the card is about 100 cm^2. To go all around you, you need a loop of about 100 cm length, if you’re average size. So you need to cut the card into a strip smaller than about a cm, maybe using an exacto knife. What pattern? Try cutting a slit down the long-direction middle out to near the edges. Then from it cut a series of short-direction slits out toward the edges, but not all the way. Halfway between those slits, cut slits in from the edges, but not all the way to the middle slit. I think this will make your card into one loop, long enough to go around you.

Mike W.

(published on 10/22/2007)

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