Celebration of Mind 2013— at Ye Olde Gamery


Welcome to Ye Olde Gamery... the spacious gallery of Kadon's playable art and recreational math puzzles. Kate's wrapped in fur on this chilly late-October day. See behind her the red checkerboard on the wall—it's the gameboard for Martin Gardner's Lewis Carroll's Chess Wordgame produced exclusively by Kadon.

For this final day of the 2013 Maryland Renaissance Festival season, we dedicated the entire day as a Celebration of Mind in honor of Martin Gardner (October 21, 1914-May 22, 2010).

Here's a better view of the banner and Martin's portrait:

Martin's writings on recreational mathematics had directly inspired Kadon's founding, work and mission. Our theme for this event was Polyform Puzzles—Portals to World and Mind—one of dozens of official Celebrations held world-wide on or around Martin's birthday.

Hundreds of visitors came and played and heard the story of Martin and math and puzzles. Many also received souvenir copies of the special MARTIN name puzzle Kate had designed for the occasion. (You, too, are welcome to print it out for yourself and solve it!)

Ye Olde Gamery represents the intellectual side of the Renaissance—an oasis of thinking, logic, math, geometric tilings, the fun of discovery and solving of beautiful conundrums.

All day long, large crowds of visitors engaged in lively play, instructed by the Gamery's well-costumed crew. Many audience members also arrived in costume, as the Renaissance Festival is not only a historical theme park but a massive role-playing game in its own right.

One end of the long counter is especially for kids. We love watching them deep in thought, waiting for the radiant smile when they have succeeded. Much laughter and applause are part of the atmosphere of a celebration of mind. See the background? 'Twas a rainy, muddy day out there that did not deter vast numbers of visitors to come out and make merry..

We had lots of profound conversations about recreational mathematics, how our work is based on the legacy of Martin Gardner, and the importance of math and puzzles in awakening and building the mind's capacity for problem-solving and critical thinking.

These are valuable skills to nurture in education, and they open a window for understanding how puzzles are really paradigms of all there is—matter and energy, the laws of physics, systems and evolution, even the logic structure of the mind. These are very intense topics and close to proprietress Kate Jones’s heart. Give her half a chance and she'll be off on one of her philosophical flights of deep and universal ideas.

Happy birthday, Martin Gardner!


See also:

  • Celebration of Mind 2012: "Polyform Puzzles—Combinatorics of World and Mind"
  • Celebration of Mind 2014: "Polyform Puzzles—Gateway to the Universe"
  • Celebration of Mind 2015: "Polyform Puzzles—A Renaissance in Puzzle Art"
  • Celebration of Mind 2016: "Polyform Puzzles—A Renaissance in Puzzle Art"
  • Celebration of Mind 2017: "Dissection Puzzles—The Art of Combinatorics"
  • Celebration of Mind 2018: "When are you?"—humorous time travel to historical games
  • Celebration of Mind 2019: "Birthday Cakes—Pentomino/Sudoku"

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