12 April 2006


There's a billboard advertisement for Cable internet in Idaho Falls. Nice BIG letters proclaim: "$29.95 per month!*" The * is clear at the bottom, and is completely illegible from the road. It seems like this ought to be illegal. Having seen their ad elsewhere, I know it's something like "*for the first 6 months."

Other news: my sword form is definitely improving. Don's corrections are getting pickier. For the non-practitioner, that means I've got the "choreography" down (mostly), but not all the fine nuances. Sort of like when you're sanding: you start off with a large grain to get off the roughest stuff, then progress to finer and finer grains. Well, I'm onto a finer grain sheet of sandpaper now. (I wonder if Don would appreciate being compared to sandpaper...? *shrugs*)

Not much else happening this week. We're looking at rational expressions in 025 (polynomials in fractions, basically), and ratios and rates in 015, and we're having a test over Fibonacci numbers and exponential/linear growth in 123. I decided to cover the growth stuff rather than Fractals mainly because there's more stuff there that they will actually use (interest calculations come to mind). We did take a tiny look at fractals, in the form of the Koch Snowflake and the Sierpinski Gasket. With the Koch Snowflake, you draw a triangle, then put another triangle in the center of each edge (should trisect the edge). Now you have 6 triangular points, and put a triangle on each of their edges. Now you have 12 points.... and keep going. The end result does look somewhat like a Snowflake.

The Sierpinski Gasket is similar, but opposite in the sense that you remove things rather than add them. Start with a shaded triangle. Find the midpoint of each edge and draw another triangle connecting those points. Erase the shading inside the "new" triangle. Now you have three shaded triangles inside your original. Find the midpoints of each side, connect them into triangles, and erase the shading. Now you have nine shaded triangles... Repeat ad infinitum.

There's a cool variation of the Sierpinski Gasket that gets to the same end shape through random processes. We didn't get to that in class, but I thought it was fascinating.

But now I suppose I ought to write said test, so that they can take it tomorrow night.

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