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In Memoriam 2015

January 1: Donna Douglas: Played daughter Elly May Clampett in The Beverly Hillbillies. (Age 82). 1: Mario Cuomo: Governor of New York (1983 to 1994) (Age 82). 2: James Cecil Dickens: Known as Little Jimmy Dickens, best known for his song May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up ...

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The disappearance of misc.activism.progressive and the emergence of Thought Crime Radio

Almost four years ago, the articles in the USENET newsgroup misc.activism.progressive ground to a halt, and moderator Rich Winkel has all but disappeared from the USENET, whom I learn resided in Harrisburg (up until 2010, at least), a half hour or so drive from his ...

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Sounding off on the end of CanCon and the CRTC

I guess with the recent decision to axe all cancon requirements for daytime programming in Canada, the CRTC is crawling toward its own irrelevance. Let's not be naive, Canadian culture is that much more weakened without the protection it partially enjoyed from American influence. With ...

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Eldred, Saskatchewan on the map … barely

Eldred, Saskatchewan on the map ... barely

I've written about obscure Saskatchewan communities before. Here is another community far to the north of Unity. My ancestors from France settled here. Many of my ancestors were pioneers that broke new farming ground nearest to a community called Eldred, Saskatchewan. Eldred was about 10 km ...

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Zero

Once upon a time, around the year 525 during the reign of Pope John I, a monk named Dionysius invented the idea of Anno Domini by producing a calendar which marked the time since the birth of Christ. The numbering of the years was adopted ...

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Fortune Cookies for Human Rights

Fortune Cookies for Human Rights

You know, I was minding my own business in this classy Chinese restaurant, engorging myself on their copious buffet, had my fill, and was handed the bill with an accompanying fortune cookie. This fortune cookie (the one to the left) really existed, and I never saw ...

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Getting f(x) notation to work in Maple

Getting f(x) notation to work in Maple

Maple is a robust math environment which can graph, solve equations, and solve for the unknown with the aid of its computer algebra solver (CAS), which is capable of computing exact roots of cubic functions, for example. I wanted to demonstrate for myself that Maple could ...

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Kudos to the 1050 CHUM Memorial Blog

Kudos to the 1050 CHUM Memorial Blog

Recently, I've been hit (my website that is) by someone possibly checking his plethora of links from his/her website, and when I back-traced it, I find this cool blog which acts as a convincing historical shrine to the late great 1050 CHUM Radio in Toronto. ...

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The Obfuscation of Electronics: The Behringer Xenyx 502

The Obfuscation of Electronics: The Behringer Xenyx 502

This is more like a meta-review. I have gone to Canada Computes where nearly the entire Behringer line is sold, and was impressed by the specs. But does it do what I want, the way I want it? I face a number of obstacles, being a ...

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How to spend an idle afternoon

Tweet Yesterday, I told another fellow computer geek an ’80s DOS joke about being prompted to “Enter any 11-digit prime number and press ENTER to continue.” She then suggested that a number with 11 1’s might be prime.  Having encountered this before in programs I’ve written, I warned her that you can’t assume all sequences of […] […]

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The Psychology Contrarian I: The obsession with IQ

Tweet When there are no serious researchers that would place any relevance on IQ and what it measures (indeed, what exactly is it measuring is itself a mystery: does intelligence even have a definition, or am I missing out on something?), I wonder why there are web sites which even go so far as to go […] […]

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Recreational Math I: Magic Squares: the “really good” kind – Part 6

Tweet I have met with some disappointment as to how a methodology for creating a 4×4 square should pan out, and instead I have come up with many different algorithms, each resulting in its own small sets of magic squares, but had stumbled upon a set of squares with similar “hyper-magical” properties which I called the […] […]

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Recreational Math I: Magic Squares: the “really good” kind – Part 2

Tweet Last time I introduced the idea of magic squares. I promised I would show you how to make one. In this post, I will begin by discussing “trivial” squares, or squares made by simple rules of following diagonals and wrapping. When I say a square is “magic”, I mean that all rows, columns, and diagonals add […] […]

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Version 2 of the TI Nspire operating system

Tweet My main complaint about the Nspire and Nspire CAS, the need to have some kind of input statement in its programmnig language, looks like it is closer to reality. I just have to fiddle with it some more to see if it can really place data in tables (or now, spreadsheets), and see if I […] […]

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Crappy Album Covers #190 — I Can’t Count

Tweet Hiroshi Uchiyamada (1936-2006) and The Cool Five are a Japanese group that proves that not knowing how to count is not merely a symptom of brainless white North American schoolchildren anymore, if it ever was. Determined to smash through Oriental stereotypes (after we sing a tune, join us for some Calculus!), the Cool Five have […] […]

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Programming on the TI-84, Nspire and Nspire CAS

Tweet The TI-Nspire comes with a great deal of programming tools, but after many updates, it is still crippled by the lack of an input statement. Without input, what you have is a collection of functions. You have to run and re-run functions with new parameters each time to enter a list. Of course they provide their spreadsheet, […] […]

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Binary adding machine using marbles

Tweet My marble adding machine in action. More at http://woodgears.ca/marbleadd What impressed me is not just the fact that it looks like it could be used as 1) a great woodworking project, and 2) a great computer science tool in grade 10. There is another video that explains the mechanics behind this adding machine a little better: […]

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The TI-Inspire is not what it is cracked up to be

Tweet This is the TI-Nspire, the calculator that promises to foment lazier minds in students than ever before. I teach math, and I look at all these new calculators with jaundiced eye. Ever see the new caclulators these days (non-graphing) which can come up with exact answers to sum and difference functions of trig angles? This […] […]

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Threes (by John Atherton)

Tweet I think that I shall never c A # lovelier than 3; For 3 < 6 or 4, And than 1 it’s slightly >. All things in nature come in 3s, Like ∴, trio’s, Q.E.D.s; While $s gain more dignity if augmented 3 x 3 — A 3 whose slender curves are pressed By banks, for compound interest; Oh, would that, paying loans or rent, My […] […]

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My Geo-Trig Poem

Tweet You take tan b and × sin(cos(q+y)) and just to make it more complex ÷ cot(Δx) And so then by csc(Θ) × angles π, ρ, η and show that they continue on by proof with δ – ε. Once tidied-up you then inspect and find the answer incorrect So then you do the question over Once it’s right you then discover You were to do the even […] […]

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