Who or what is a Fibonacci? Can you eat it? Do you listen to it? Is it a bird or a plane? Is it a fashion designer?
Whatever the truth of this, although I am as ignorant of fashion as to be fashion-comatose, I am in fact aware that Versace was a designer. I also have the impression that he was a nice guy. I don’t know why – maybe because he was friends with Elton John and Princess Diana; maybe because I saw him interviewed at some point. Anyway, I was curious enough about his death, which was eerily close to that of Diana, to click on to the first episode of a new BBC drama, ‘The Assassination of Gianni Versace’. Assassination might seem a little over the top, but ‘over the top’ is something of a theme here as is evident from the first scene where Versace is shown waking up and going through his morning routine in a Miami house decorated like a tackier version of Versailles. So far it’s a highly compelling drama with some similarities with The Talented Mr Ripley:
A serial killer meets and murders Versace because – well, we don’t quite know why, and that’s the intrigue. With murder there must always be one element of mystery: either we don’t know who has been killed, or (more commonly) we don’t know who killed them. But far more interesting are the why mysteries: why on earth did a guy who’d had a casual fling with Versace then go to his house and shoot him in cold blood? Will he be caught? And if so, will the police discover why he did it? Will the courts? Will we? Therein lies the intrigue: I can’t believe I have to wait till Wednesday for the next episode.
Now, as I’m sure you all know, a Fibonacci is None of the Above – neither a fashion designer nor an Italian dish nor an opera singer: it’s a sequence of numbers, sort of like Pi, which seems to be present in nature as well as geometry and architecture.
Like Pi it is a never-ending sequence: I’m not sure to how many decimal places Pi has been calculated now but the Fibonacci sequence goes on forever and is much easier to calculate, being a mere matter of addition. It goes like this:
Starting with one, each number is the sum of the previous two.
So, starting with one, you get one again because you’re adding one and zero, and then it goes:
2,3,5,8,13,21,34,55,89,144… and so on. Add infinitum (lol).
What’s the point of it? Well, it occurs in many natural objects: spiral shells, for one; cauliflowers, for another.
It also has applications in geometry and architecture: this slide sequence also covers the Golden Ratio which has applications in both classical architecture and in the proportions of the human body, and uses the number Phi (I said it was like Pi):
And in an exciting new development I have decided to use the Fibonacci series in my latest novel ‘Tapestry (a picture of modern Britain’.) This means that the first two chapters will have 1000 words each and the last chapter about 48,000. I have no idea if it’ll work, but it’ll be interesting to see.