Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Algebra One with Python

click here for the high resolution version
Links: mentions of this video clip on math-thinking-l.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

More Pro Python Propaganda

click here for the high resolution version
Links: mentions of this video clip on math-teach, on edu-sig.

Friday, February 23, 2007

A Letter in Math Forum

Hi Dom --

Thanks for the link.

I read the editorial.

I was drawn to the mixing of blood between cheap specimen athletes, trying to figure out what again, about performance enhancing drugs? That's a polynomial exactly how? He stops short of explaining.

My strategy has been more to share, in the open source tradition, big pieces of what other countries are planning and implementing, plans to whip America's ass in the globalization game, unless big dummy decides he's entitled to enslave using brute force, which would require the demise of the USA as a value system, so with what army?

So it's not like Sputnik, where we just overnight launch this bleep bleep bleep thingy and everyone panics and tries to learn base 5.

No, I "leak" like the journalists like, talk about how the RSA is building a pipeline around personal avatar software, complete with on-line think tanks, very safe because sourced in and by the schools.

We're not talking exposing the kids to cybercreeps in some uncontrolled Internet environment. Telecasts, optical fiber... of course not every city gets to be Baghdad.

And still the Americans wallow, not lifting a finger to save themselves from their fate. Must be destiny or somethin', to have Big Dummy Textbooks (BDTs) around your necks, no A & B modules, no MITEs, and throw yerselves off a bridge, or whatever it is you're up to (I think the world would like to know some days -- looks idiotic, whatever it is).

Anyway, modeling is important. But the emphasis on closed form differential equations based in some axiomatic understanding ala e = m c c, just isn't the way to go in a lot of knowledge domains. You need a more neural network like approach, plus all these bit buckets with tweakable feedbacks like in Sims. It's almost like tuning a theramin (or a not-a-theramin), i.e. some analog musical instrument, but it's digital these days, maybe written in Python (more likely the engine is written in something faster, but with Python bindings for modelers wishing to use that language).

Here in Portland, there's a lot of emphasis on modeling stemming from Jay Forrester's studies at MIT (remember the Club of Rome?), more recently manifest in such affordable modeling apps as Stella. We've had statewide championships among modeling teams, showing up at OMSI to showcase their animated flows, of the prison population for example, which swells in proportion to our not teaching any modeling, or other math worth learning, in too many schools (yours for example?).


Monday, February 19, 2007

Today's Pix

giant cell phone

family picture

hooded traffic lights

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Welcoming the New Year

Asia's New Year's celebrations got off to a good start in Saigon, according to my Sony WEGA (no BRAVIA yet), attuned to some satellite frequency on the Comcast end.

As we're on the Pacific Rim, have Chinese and Japanese Gardens, we have some focus on this holiday in Portland, Oregon. Two of the kids I'm interviewing for Princeton this year begged off doing anything on Monday.

Carla and Scott are due to fly in, joining up with Sam and Judy, plus my mom, Carol, flew in on Friday.

I caught some dot gov Supreme Court exchanges with Congress on CSPAN last night (Anthony Kennedy... Orrin Hatch), after taking in the 1953 version of The War of the Worlds (I'd never seen it before, believe it or not, at least not to my recollection).

Here's from the CSPAN website regarding the above exchanges:

Justice Kennedy Testifies

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Judicial Independence & Security. This is the first time in modern history a sitting United States Supreme Court Justice testifies before a Congressional Committee on legislative matters. This hearing is chaired by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT).

This morning Dawn and I went to breakfast at No Fish Go Fish on Hawthorne, but it was closed, so we went to Tom's on Division, where the waiter was practicing his French.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Neighborhood Improvements

Our neighbors have won city approval for a modest addition to the back end of their house. Today they pour a foundation, using this yellow truck as a source of concrete (these so-called concrete mixers travel between quarries and construction sites).

If you check Google Earth after awhile, and compare, you'll find this change, one of a million like it happening every day. Like, the neighbors behind us have likewise made changes to their properties (all very much to the better; we have good taste around here).

In our case, we just changed the house color recently. Harold Long, the Frank Lloyd Wright trained architect, and number one ex of Maureen's, did some drawings for our garage awhile back. I implemented some of his ideas, but there's still room for improvement.

I'd rather be doing greenfield development around Earthala though, and not just in Blender.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Homeland Security

Our library borrowing history might be scrutinized by a Big Brother or Big Sister someday, if we don't legislate our rights to privacy. What little men lurk behind such puppet Big Siblings, claiming rights to scrutinize and do we have the same rights vis-a-vis them?

On the other hand, historians chafe when records are denied them, as their access to history depends not only on good record keeping, but on gaining access to those records.

So, as a nod to historians, here's a dump of my current borrowings from Multnomah County Library:

AUTHOR: Humphreys, J. F.
Numbers, groups, and codes
CALL NO: 512.2 H927n
BARCODE: 31168032272310
Central DUE: 02-17-07
DATE CHECKED OUT: 01-27-07 12:27PM

AUTHOR: Conway, John Horton.
TITLE: The book of numbers
CALL NO: 512.7 C767b
BARCODE: 31168053507867
Central DUE: 02-17-07
DATE CHECKED OUT: 01-27-07 12:27PM

AUTHOR: Trefethen, Jim,
Wooden boat renovation : new life for old boats using modern methods.
CALL NO: 623.8207 T786w 1993
BARCODE: 31168056429143
Central DUE: 02-17-07
DATE CHECKED OUT: 01-27-07 12:27PM

AUTHOR: Tattersall, James J.
Elementary number theory in nine chapters
CALL NO: 512.72 T221e 2005
BARCODE: 31168089787939
Central DUE: 02-17-07
DATE CHECKED OUT: 01-27-07 12:27PM

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Bridge Concept

The similarities between these book covers helps remind me of the deep connections twixt networking, in the sense of graph theory, and polyhedra, also in the networking sense.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Happy Developments

Dawn was discharged from the hospital today. I'm so glad to have her back home with us, after an unexpectedly long stay (but worth it in the long run I'm thinking).

I'm puttering around being domestic. Like I finally got around to processing my $50 rebate on KTU3, plus requesting my Vista upgrade kit for about $10 shipping and handling. Laundry, paying bills, all that good stuff.

Tara got good grades this period and dropped the hint that Sims Nightlife might be a fun reward. I'm open to such cues, even though I sometimes appear not to be. She got Sims University for Christmas. Tonight, she and Lucy are taking in a musical version of A Midsummer Night's Dream put on by students at Grant High School.

I'm glad to have some space on BFI's home page these days, talking up aerospace livingry, hypertoons, other content.

I also scored really high on the free trial Luxor 2, which I hadn't played since Santa Fe. I'm tempted to buy it. Tara likes Insaneaquarium.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Wanderers 2007.2.6

Our presenter tonight was from one of our sister NGOs in the building, Cascadia Wild.

Dave Shapiro shared a sacred geometry card game his group has developed out of a need for nighttime infotainment on camping trips.

One of the cards: Periodic Table, spiral view.

Players included (but were not limited to): Micheal Sunanda, Nancy, me, Jon, Glenn, Barry, Steve Bergman, Michael Bolus, Lynne, Don.

Dawn is still in recovery at Providence. Tara and I enjoyed American Dream pizza before visiting this evening. Gayle also came by and I mentioned wanting to get her Yes Men! for her birthday, thinking Tom might also enjoy it.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Virtual Office 2.0

disposal tools


desktop icons

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Another SuperBowl

:: razz on level d ::
Lots of screens today, most of them not flat. Chaffeuring a lot, in Razz (I'll be posting her picture again). Tara watches Grey's Anatomy, with the rest of America, but then her daytime world ain't that different: same hospital hallways, elevators, our patients, doctors and staff. Family.

√Člise, Tara and I all bought media at Art Media downtown. Dawn has enjoyed a steady stream of visitors and callers as a patient recovering from routine surgery.

I do plan to catch the game [catching it now...], or most of it. Sometime. Remember the time difference.

:: deep hole ::