The Best Way to Cut a Bagel Turns Your Breakfast into Mathematical Perfection
Have you ever looked down at your bagel and cream cheese and thought, “Gee, I wish my breakfast were more mathematical?” I can’t really say that I have, but thanks to this fun trick, I will probably never look at my morning pastry the same way again. With a little bit of planning and one calculated, continuous cut, you can turn your standard single-loop bagel into a pair of linked bagel rings. Who says grownups can’t play with their food? Not me!
The Daily Dot unearthed the incredibly unique bagel-cutting method by mathematical sculptor and designer George W. Hart via a post on a Tumblr called Mathematics & Nature (a fitting title — if there’s one thing I know about math, it’s that math is nature and vice versa). Given that it has been quite a while since my last math class and probably about 15 years since I took geometry, most of the terminology is lost on me; there’s a lot of talk about X, Y, and Z axes and a fancy graph that may as well be ancient Greek to me. Luckily, though, there’s also a diagram showing you exactly where to cut in order to create what’s called a two-twist Mobius strip:
Neat-o, right? Here's what it looks like when you pull the two rings into existence:
And even better, there’s a video tutorial for those who prefer their pictures of the moving variety:
It might be kind of hard to spread your cream cheese on it; but hey, as both the video and the original post point out, there’s slightly more surface area available on a bagel cut this way — which, in turn, means you can fit more cream cheese on it. I would imagine that this cutting method would work for pretty much any other other torus-shaped pastry — a donut, for example — although I suspect that the relative firmness of a bagel makes it the ideal candidate for a math-tastic breakfast.
Man. I kind of wish I hadn’t eaten already. Now I really want to try the whole thing out. Any volunteers?