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Mobius story: Wind and Mr. Ug

A cautionary tale. Other Mobius videos:Candy Buttons http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OOLIB3cjFqwMöbius Music Box http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3iMI_uOM_fYWikipedia links:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M%C3%B6bius_striphttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FlatlandThis is the book you should get if you want to know all things Möbius: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1560259523?tag=vihartcom-20This story was inspired by the novel Flatland: http://www.amazon.com/dp/019953750X?tag=vihartcom-20There's a pretty cool movie version: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1604615370?tag=vihartcom-20Me: http://vihart.com. Created by Vi Hart.

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Video transcript

Once upon a time, there was a small world. It was a flat world. And it wasn't very wide. In fact, it was so thin that if you weren't careful, you might fall right off the edge. In this world was a house. And in this house lived a triangle. Her name was wind. Wind lived all alone, and was sometimes sad about that. But she wasn't too lonely because she had a friend who lived just one house over. His name was Mr. Ug. Wind often went to visit Mr. Ug. She'd walked past the big rock, and the pine log, and the Beet Peel store, though she'd never seen it open, until she got to Mr. Ug's little yellow house. The problem with Mr. Ug was that he never seemed to be home. So Wind did what she always did, and left him a message so that he'd know that she'd been there. Hi Mr. Ug, she wrote. She hung around a little longer hoping he might come home soon, but eventually she gave up and walked back home. Past the Beet Peel store, the pine log, and the big rock, to her own little house. When she got back, she saw that someone had left her a message. It said, Hi Wind. Mr. Ug must have come by to see her while she was out trying to see him. She kicked herself for waiting around so long at his house, maybe if she'd gotten back sooner, she could've caught him while he was still there. She erased the message and decided to go back to his place since he was obviously heading back there as well. Their timing always seemed to be wrong. Whenever she went to see him, he seemed to be out visiting her. In fact, she never actually met Mr. Ug, but she felt like she knew him very well, because of the messages they were always leaving each other. When she got to his place, she saw that he had already read her message, erased it, and left again. But Wind was used to this kind of coincidence, so she simply continued their conversation by leaving another message. How are you right now, she asked, and turned around to go home. Her grammar and spelling weren't so good, because, after all, there was no school in her little world. Mr. Ug didn't always have perfect spelling either, but Wind thought that he had a lovely way with words. For example, when she got home, she found that Mr. Ug had already written a reply to her how are you. He said, Nomin' life, nom. She thought this was a beautiful metaphor, and felt lucky to have a neighbor who never answered how are you, with something boring like, fine thank you. But what she really wanted, more than anything, was to actually meet him. See his face for the first time. She decided to try another tactic. She erased his note and left one saying, back soon. This way, if Mr. Ug came to visit while she was out, he'd know to stay around for a while until she got back. The prospect of finally meeting him made Wind feel nervous and self conscious about how boring her messages always were compared to his. So she decided to get artistic and illustrated it by drawing a foot with wings on the hill. She then rushed back to Mr. Ug's house with all the swiftness of Hermes, to find that, indeed, he was, once again, not there. Though it seemed he had taken up a new project as there was a sign up for a Buck Zoo, complete with a picture of a fully antlered buck. Maybe he was out collecting deer for his zoo, but maybe, just maybe, he had gone to visit her and saw her sign, and decided to wait until she got back. So she dashed out a quick, hello, leaving. And then rushed back to her house with all the swiftness of Mercury. She approached her house, anticipating finally saying hello to Mr. Ug in real life, for the first time. But found only a message that said, revalue hello. It was an interesting message, and gave her something to ponder. Maybe she was spending too much time trying to greet and talk to Mr. Ug, and not enough time on her own projects. She thought about how often they seem to cross paths, and yet, she'd never actually passed him on the path between their houses. Maybe there was another path he used. Wind had never explored the world to the left of her house, but maybe it was about time she stopped obsessing over Mr. Ug and went on an adventure. Maybe, while Mr. Ug worked on his Buck Zoo, she could have a project of her own and work on exploring the world. So she went left, and discovered a few new places. There was a store which sold beef and beer, though unfortunately it seemed to have closed long ago. And a blue rod, and a lock pie, which didn't sound too appetizing to her. Before long, however, she found herself somewhere familiar. She was back at Mr. Ug's house, and as usual, he was not home. But now she knew why they kept missing each other. Their little world was a loop, and they were taking different paths from one side to the other. Wind was very excited by this discovery because now she understood her world a little better. Best of all, in such a small world, her and Mr. Ug were bound to meet eventually. So she went home and decided to start another project. Sometimes she worried that one of them would accidentally fall off the edge of the world, and she would never get to meet Mr. Ug. After all, she herself had fallen off the flat land where she grew up, which was how she'd gotten here. She'd thought about building a fence along the edge, but it had always seemed like too big a project. Now that she knew that her world was a loop, she realized she could actually finish this project and build a fence around the entire world. She started with the side below her house, and started around towards Mr. Ug's. She passed the big rock, and the pine log, and the beet peel store, until she got to Mr. Ug's little yellow house, her heart fluttering at the hope that he might be home this time. But she saw to her surprise that Mr. Ug was building a fence of his own on the other edge of the world. Maybe he had gone to visit her, and saw the beginnings of her fence, and decided to help out. Wind continued building her fence, thinking how sweet it was that Mr. Ug was helping with her project. She passed the lock pie, and the blue rod, and the beef and beer store. And when she got back to her home, she was pleased to see that her entire world was safe and she only had to build a fence along one edge of it. Secure in the knowledge that Mr. Ug wasn't going anywhere, Wind started pursuing other projects in the following days. For example, she got a pet dog which helped her feel a bit less lonely, and built it a dog house. She still wandered over to Mr. Ug's place on occasion, just to see how he was doing. It seemed that recently he'd gotten religious, because he built what appeared to be a small church. One day, Wind was out walking her dog when the ground started to shake. Suddenly, the ground began to split. It was an earthquake so powerful that it was ripping her world apart. Wind quickly got away from the dangerous new edge that was being torn through her world, but her dog was still on the other side. She ran trying to get past the crack, but the world was splitting right down the center, all the way around. She could still hear her dog barking, but the sound faded as the two sides of her worlds separated and drifted apart. Would she ever see her dog again? And what about Mr. Ug? I hate to end on a cliffhanger, but luckily for you, you can figure out the ending to this story yourself. Wind lives on not just any loop, but a Mobius strip, which you can make easily out of paper. Just cut out a strip, and instead of taping it into a normal loop, give it a half twist first. If you use a marker that bleeds through the paper, you can draw Wind's house and see it from the other side. But all that's essential here is that you draw wind and her dog. Cut a line down the center of the paper, all the way around, and you tell me how it ends.