The Quantum Pontiff

No Dice?

From a New York Times article describing the Nature Theater of Oklahoma’s production of “No Dice:”

“Poetics,” for example, was choreographed using dice. Each face on the die represented one of six possible gestures, and each appendage — two arms, two legs and the head — got its own roll of the dice. Dice determined where the actors stand and for how long. There are four actors in “Poetics,” but, alas, no such thing as a four-sided die. So, to determine who did what, the directors used a dreidel.

No such thing as a four sided dice? Obviously no one among the choreographers has played Dungeons & Dragons:


  1. #1 Xanthir, FCD
    January 3, 2008

    I am disgusted and appalled at this lack of dice knowledge.

  2. #2 gyokusai
    January 3, 2008

    Indeed, this is deeply disturbing! Then again, back in the days of oldfashioned pen & paper cons, I remember a friend of mine asking for “six-sided dice” in a mom-and-pop store around the corner, and total incomprehension ensued—until one of us slightly rephrased the question.

    (Just got here after reading the article “Blog life: The Quantum Pontiff” on, , and wouldn’t you know! The first posting I come across is about D&D …)


  3. #3 Ian Durham
    January 7, 2008

    I happen to be a collector of odd dice (as I think I mentioned in the lengthy probability debate). The strangest are two perfectly round dice that always show a number exactly face up (there’s a ball bearing rolling around inside and indentations into which it falls, thus forcing a particular number face up). I also have an interested pair of Kama Sutra dice, all the usual D&D dice, and plan to someday purchase a set of weather dice: I’ve also seen a huge (and unwieldy) 100-sided die once.

  4. #4 Ian Durham
    January 7, 2008

    Oh, I forgot to mention I also happen to own an old copy of the logic game Wff ‘n’ Proof whose game pieces are dice covered in logic symbols. (see

  5. #5 M
    January 7, 2008

    Really, though, a dreidl is most likely far better at achieving a random result than using a tetrahedral die – and you don’t have to worry about the dreaded “caltrop effect” with a dreidl!

  6. #6 Dave Bacon
    January 7, 2008

    I guess the later point would be even more important for dancers 🙂

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