# The Imaginary Vortex [Science Tattoo]

Margot, a zoo veterinary technician writes, “In reading ~~Carl~~ Charles Seife’s fabulous book Zero, he presents a graph of complex numbers which plot a changing exponent for the basic formula (X+*i*Y)^{n} in which X represents real numbers and Y represents imaginary numbers. If Y=1, the result is a circle. Y<1 creates a spiral inside the circle and Y>1 creates a spiral outside the circle. The logarithmic spiral is a very natural and fractal form, and being in the biology field and a fractal freak, I was captivated by this figure. Then the philosopher in me started seeing all the symbolism one could glean from this and it was all over. The other side of the story is that after 3 years of cortisone shots, physical therapy, surgery, more therapy and acupuncture to treat tendonitis in my right elbow, my arm is finally back to “as good as it’s going to get”. Unfortunately, my lifestyle as a zoo veterinary technician, musician, and mother all conspire to cause re-injury unless I am extremely careful. This tattoo is a colorful and metaphorical reminder to be mindful yet still live my life to the fullest extent possible.”