you <i>can</i> use it in real life!
The academic journal Mathematical Intelligencer has published its first crochet pattern. What's it of? Chaos, of course! From PhysOrg.com:
It is not often that a serious mathematics journal contains a crochet pattern, but the current issue of the Mathematical Intelligencer has instructions on how to crochet your very own model of chaos. It looks like a large Christmas decoration.
Here's a lengthier description from Newswise.
And if you want to make one for your friends, here's the full article (PDF). Bonus points if you read the whole thing first.
**Update** Here's the best article I've seen thus far.