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I discovered pentominoes in Arthur C. Clarke's book Imperial
Earth. The GIF that you see above is one of the more than 2000 ways
to fit the set of twelve pentominoes into a 6 by 10 rectangle. One can
also fit them into 5 by 12, 4 by 15, and 3 by 20 rectangles. There are
only two 3 by 20 solutions, to the best of my knowledge.
The scanned-in picture above is of a set of Pentominoes that I made out
of Sculpey, then painted with acrylic. I've also made a set out of
agate. It's really beautiful, and a fun project for the amateur
lapidarian with access to the proper type of saw.
Here are some links to pentomino-related sites on the WWW:
http://access5.digex.net/~vyainsm/ Thanks to Bharat Purohit for
Gardberg / email@example.com