Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year

I took these using Program Mode and the colors are brighter, the details are clearer. I am in love with these squirrels. Their trails are all over the yard and field. They pop up all over.

Please take the time to view these full size. Click on them and they will open in a new window.

Thank you all for visiting me so often this year. It's been a great blogging year. I look forward to more this coming year.

It's been a great winter so far: lots of snow, lots of squirrels to keep me busy. I'll be getting my new camera in three months, and that is very exciting. I expect a lot of other great things this year personally and professionally.

Happy New Year!


Saturday, December 29, 2007

Life In Orleans County

produced by Johnson State College
Vermont History Class of Senator Bill Doyle

videography by Vince Franke

on sale for $15 at
Old Stone House Museum.
See other photographs of areas you have seen on this blog.

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Photo Hunters: Messy Red Squirrels

I'm having a lot of fun learning about red squirrel behavior in the winter. I have blogged about them frequently this season. In these photos, which will open full size in a new window when clicked (and I do think you should take the time to do so!), you see the squirrel digging with snow flying about. The yard and woods are full of the holes the squirrels use for moving about under the snow and those that they dig locating food.

You see the tufted ears popping out of the snow frequently. More humorous is when you only see the small, bushy red tail sticking up out of the snow. We can't see them if they can't see us?

Thank you for visiting.
Click to view more participants.


Wild About Math!: Fractions and Their Decimal Expansions

Fractions and their decimal expansions: An exploration>> Fun Math Blog
While working on this problem tonight, I decided to share these patterns of decimal expansions. A couple of these I had never paid attention to before. Can you see the interesting patterns? The second set of thirds, sixths and twelfths may be more difficult and may require pencil and paper.

Of course, both images will open full size in a new window if you click them.

Friday, December 28, 2007

The Math Less Traveled: Carnival of Mathematics #23: Haiku Edition

The Math Less Traveled: Carnival of Mathematics #23: Haiku Edition
Drop by and peruse the 18 articles that were submitted (yes, one of mine is there, too). As always, they are fascinating. Two posts about fractals, which is my new thing to play with. And one I have to read: interesting things about the number 2008.

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LOL Cat Bible: Lectionary Readings for the First Sunday of Christmas and My Thanks To All Holy Cats

My thanks to Hunter, Zed Monster, and Daisy for joining us this year for our weekly lectionary readings. We hope to have many other Holy Kitties featured next year. Please e-mail your photo to me at meeyauw[at]gmaildotcom with the subject "Holy Kitties."

Sunday, December 30, 2007
First Sunday of Christmas
Isaiah 63:7-9

Psalm 148
(Ps. 148:13)

Hebrews 2:10-18

Matthew 2:13-23

These are the only verses that have been
translated from this week's readings:

Matthew 2:13-23
Da eescape to teh ejiptz0rz

13 And wen dey were gone teh angel of teh Ceiling Cat appeareded to Joe and sayed "Hai, get up nao, and taek ickle kid and his mom into Eejippt, and stay dere till I sez, cos Herod is lukin for teh ickle kid and he's gonna pwn him!"
14 And he got up and taeked ickle kid and his mom into Eejippt at nite:
15 and stayed dere till Herod was "lol *dead*", so ting wud be liek teh profet sayed wen he sayed "Out of Eejippt I done called mah son"
16 Den Herod, wen he saw teh wies men was lollin at him, was rlly pissed, so he went out and pwned all teh ickle kiddes dat was in Bettlyhem, and teh beaches round dere, dat was under 2, cuz teh ickle kid he waanted to pwn was dat age.
17 Dat was teh way teh profet Jeremiah sayed
18 In Ramah dere was a voice herd, lamentatin and weepin and great mournin, Rachel weepin for her ickle kiddies, and wud not be comforted, cuz dey iz gon.

Da return to teh Nazreth
19 But wen Herod wuz "lol *dead*", and angel frm Ceiling Cat came to Joezef in a dream
20 sayin "Hai, j00 can go home nao, Herod am dead, lol"
21 And he went home to Izreal wit teh ickle kid and hiz mom.
22 But wen he herd dat Archie'lolz was n00b king nao afer his dad Herod, he was fraid to go dere; also, Ceiling Cat sed, "hai, joo dreemin, but n00b king still wantz pwn joo." So he went Gallalee insted:
23 and he moved into Nazreth, so teh profets wud be rite wen dey sed "Ppl gonna call him a Nazreen"

Be sure that you visit LOLCat Church every week.
So Kitteh Can Has Reelijin!

Get ready now cuz the wild weekend is coming!
Board the Friday Ark at The Modulator (submit your post here)

Weekend Cat Blogging New Year’s Edition: Kashim & Othello at Paulchen’s
(see the week’s host to enter your WCB post in the comments for the weekend roundup)

Bad Kitty Cats Festival of Chaos is at Zed Monster at Bad Kitty Cats Festival Home
Optional Theme - Feathers or Birds
(submit your post here)

The Carnival of the Cats is going home to the
King of the Catbloggers, Laurence Simon,
Sunday Evening
(submit your post here)

Our Winter Life

We sleep a lot. A real lot.

We wake up grumpy.

Best friends play a bit too rough and cause bad feelings.

Such rudeness causes really bad feelings.

Buddy opens one eye to see what's going on.

Scout is woken from her sleep.

At the end of the day, Sophie wants to sleep under her warm blanket.


Thursday, December 27, 2007

Futility Closet: Bread Alone

Bread Alone |Futility Closet
Andy and Bill are traveling when they meet Carl. Andy has 5 loaves of bread and Bill has 3; Carl has none and asks to share theirs, promising to pay them 8 gold pieces when they reach the next town.

They agree and divide the bread equally among them. When they reach the next town, Carl offers 5 gold pieces to Andy and 3 to Bill.

'Excuse me,' says Andy. 'That's not equitable.' He proposes another arrangement, which, on consideration, Bill and Carl agree is correct and fair.

How do they divide the 8 gold pieces? . . . 
This could be a great portfolio problem. I'll have to play with it to see.
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Nin, Mount Washington Observatory cat, Retires

Amy and Wingnut bought me photos of Nin a few years ago when they took the clog rail up to the summit. I have his photo on my refrigerator. I also have a large print of one of his predecessors in my laundry room. So this article was of great interest to me:

Associated Press
MOUNT WASHINGTON, N.H. (AP) _ New Hampshire's top cat is retiring.

Nin, the black-and-white house cat who for a dozen years patrolled the Northeast's highest peak as the Mount Washington Observatory's mascot, was officially retiring Wednesday and moved off the mountain to a valley home.

Scot Henley, the nonprofit weather observatory's executive director, said Nin's failing health was the reason for the retirement. Nin suffers from a number of age related ailments, and a recent infection claimed the last of his teeth.

"He's 17 or 18 years old, so he's getting up there. We wanted to do the most humane thing for him," Henley said.

Nin, a former stray, has been popular among visitors to the summit. His photo and a short profile are included on the staff section of the observatory's Web site.

"I am the latest in a long and famous line of Observatory felines (hey - when do I get my own poster?)," the profile reads. "I like it on the summit - I get pampered and coddled, and have to do very little in return, curl up on the occasional lap and so on. I have been up here for several years now, and find it very unnerving to head down the mountain (especially since they only take me to the vet's!)."

Wednesday, Nin made a final trip down the mountain during the weekly shift change of weather observers and volunteers. Nin is moving in with friends Diane Holmes and Mike Pelchat, both rangers at Mount Washington State Park, at their home in Gorham where he will be close to his veterinarian, Henley said.

Cats have been a part of summit life for a long time. A number of cats lived at the peak when observers clocked the 231 mph wind, the fastest aboveground wind speed ever recorded, in April 1934.

The observatory isn't expected to be feline-free for long. The Conway Area Humane Society is evaluating successors for the job, said Henley. He said they are looking for a new cat who is friendly, not spooked by bad weather and has the wits to know when to come in out of a storm.

"We'll probably have a new cat sometime in late January," Henley said.
On the Net:
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bootstrap analysis: deer browsing and songbirds

click on the graphic to view it full size
Graphic from the New York Times

bootstrap analysis: deer browsing and songbirds

I am not sure how this article about the effect of deer browsing and song birds applies to the deer and birds here in the woods. My inclination (without any scientific evidence to refute the Audubon Society) is that white-tails are now on the demonization list of the Audubon, as are domestic cats. In my defense, I haven't seen any scientific evidence from Audubon, either. Only numbers of birds in decline, or numbers of birds eaten by cats (millions and millions?). You can't give me numbers of bird kills or bird habitat lost without telling me how you collect and interpret your data. However, the above graphics are extremely interesting. I have a one in 133 chance of hitting a deer in my car in Vermont, the highest in New England. I am thinking that this "statistic" is derived by making a ratio of the deer population or deer collisions to the car population. Of course, no information is actually given on how this "chance of hitting" number is calculated. Obviously , white-tail overpopulation is a problem — for the deer. In Vermont, the deer are large and healthy. In other states, I am horrified at the condition and small size of the herd.  I hope the quality of communicating the problem improves. 


Diary of a Black Mathematician: Mathematics Professors' Video About Mobius Transformations Is a YouTube Hit

Diary of a Black Mathematician: Mathematics Professors' Video About Mobius Transformations Is a YouTube Hit

An informative and beautifully produced YouTube mathematics hit. There is a YouTube link, where you will find a link to the original source of the video. You can download the video to your own drive. You really should watch this, even if you don't like math (gasp).

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Ms. Whatsit: Teacher Potluck Carnival: Winter Break

Ms. Whatsit: Teacher Potluck Carnival: Winter Break
Recipes, thoughts about food, food for thought and teaching notions. All in one post! My favorite is the White Lily Buttermilk Pie which I hope to make for New Year's Eve. You have to check it out.

"Love your family and friends this holiday season. The next Teacher Potluck Carnival will be hosted HERE (at meeyauw) on January 1, 2008. Please send your submissions to meeyauw[at]gmail[dot]com or via Blog Carnival by New Year's Eve." Please submit immediately!
Where there are teachers, there is food!

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Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Amazing Hug

The woman in the video found this lion injured in the forest ready to die. She took the lion with her and nursed him back to health. When the lion was better she made arrangements with a zoo to take the lion and give him a new and happy home. This video was taken when the woman, after some time, visited the lion to see how he was doing. Watch the lion's reaction when he sees the lady. The video and text was sent to me by BG. Thank you.

My apologies for the Flip4Mac watermark on the video. I "upgraded" my .wmv viewer for Mac and this is what happened. I'll fix it if possible.

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Why I Oppose Wind Farms 2

An actual ad placed in a paper in Wisconsin sent to me via e-mail.
Click on the image to read it full size.
Related post: Why I Oppose Wind Farms
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Red Squirrels In Snow Squall

They are able to pin their ears down for warmth.

I swear that I saw this guy shivering.
He was keeping his paws warm in his fur in the bitter wind.

They often eat with their eyes closed.

All photos will open full size in a new window when clicked.
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Squirrel Fight

Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without family squabbles.

Please be sure to click on the second photo to see the snow about the feet of the squirrel in the foreground. Notice how the little squirrel in the background has flattened her ears.
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Monday, December 24, 2007

LOL Cat Bible: Lectionary Readings for The Nativity of Our Lord, Christmas Day

Our Christmas Angel, Daisy the Curly Cat

Nativity of Our Lord (III), Christmas Day

Isaiah 52:7-10
Psalm 98 (Ps. 98:3)
Hebrews 1:1-4 (5-12)
John 1:1-14

Hebrews 1:1-6

Bebbi Jesus pwns teh Hovercat Anjuls

1 Hey Joos! In teh olden dais, ur olden dais kittehs speakd bout ur Ceiling Cat at bunchiz of tiemez in bunchiz of wayz,
2 But, in thees lahst caturdais Ceiling Cat haz speakd to u wif his Baby Jesus, hoo will haz all teh stuffs, n hoo haz helpd Ceiling Cat mak all teh stuffs,
3 n hoo iz holdin togethr all teh stuffs, cuz he's all liek, "Mah werd iz pwnage!" Baby Jesus iz teh beemz from teh Celing Cat's flashliet, n iz teh spittin imij of teh Celing Cat. He iz represtin! He haz sit down wif Ceiling Cat in teh Ceiling chair cuz he haz all done wif givin teh soapz for cleanin mah 3vilz and ur 3vilz.
4 So, he iz haz bettr n all teh anjulz liek his nayem iz haz bettr n all teh anjulz. He haz teh reputashun iz 999 exaltd in teh Ceilingz.
5 Cuz teh Ceiling Cat sez, "UR mah kitteh! srsly!" Celeing Cat never telld dis to teh anjuls. He only sez dis to his king kitteh on teh earthz, fer realz.
6 Furdermorz, when Ceiling Cat brungded his bestest to from teh Ceilings to teh earthz, hez all likes, "Yo anjulz! Dis mah kitteh! Yoos worship mah kitteh! Thnx."

John 1:1-14
Teh Cat Macro Becamded Flesh

1 In teh beginz is teh cat macro, and teh cat macro sez "Oh hai Ceiling Cat" and teh cat macro iz teh Ceiling Cat.
2 Teh cat macro an teh Ceiling Cat iz teh bests frenz in teh begins.
3 Him maeks alls teh cookies; no cookies iz maed wifout him.
4 Him haz teh liefs, an becuz ov teh liefs teh doodz sez "Oh hay lite."
5 Teh lite iz pwns teh darks, but teh darks iz liek "Wtf."
6 And teh Ceiling Cat haz dis otehr man; his naem iz John.
7 He tellz teh ppl dat teh lites is tehre, so dat teh doodz sez "OMG." or mai b taht shud b "OMCC."
8 Him wuz not teh lite; he jsut sez teh lites is tehre.
9 Teh tru lite--iz lotz of lite--iz comes, k?
10 He iz liek, "Oh hai, I mades u," but teh wurld duznt sees him.
11 He iz comes to his stuffs, but his stuffs sez "Do not want!"
12 And sum guyz did want, and sez "Teh Ceiling Cat pwns," and deez guyz iz liek his kidz—
13 But not liek reel kidz, k? Iz liek teh Ceiling Cats kidz.
14 Teh cat macro is becomes Visible Man (omg) and he is lives wif us. We is sees teh glorie taht is frum teh one n only; him come from teh dad wif teh grace and teh truth.

Be sure that you visit LOLCat Church every week.
So Kitteh Can Has Reelijin!

Merry Christmas

Four Christmas Trees

Christmas Star

My fractal gallery.
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Christmas Eve Woodpecker Visit

These shots are slightly out of focus. I had to react instantly when the woodpeckers perched side by side this morning in the feeder tree. I am thrilled they were together in one spot. What a wonderful Christmas gift.

These are downy woodpeckers. The male has the red blaze. The female is much smaller and has no red.
A long shot showing them together.

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Sunday, December 23, 2007

Review: Ian Stewart: Letters To A Young Mathematician

Letters to a Young Mathematician (Art of Mentoring) by Ian Stewart is a short, quick read with many interesting ideas. Ian Stewart wrote a series of letters to his niece, Meg, as she grew from a high school student to a tenured professor of mathematics. The book is his "attempt to bring some parts of A Mathematician's Apology up to date, namely, those parts that might influence the decisions of a young person contemplating a degree in mathematics and a possible career in the subject."

The book kept my interest because Stewart scatters his ideas about teachers throughout it. Otherwise I may have stopped reading. There simply is not enough mathematics of substance in it for me. Except in chapter five, Surrounded by Math, where he discusses "bird crystals" and about which I posted earlier. And except in what I call the Doublets chapter (chapter eight: Fear of Proofs).

Lewis Carroll invented the game of doublets in which you take a word (such as WARM) and change it, one letter at a time, to another word (such as COLD). Each time you change a letter you must have a real word. Stewart proves that at some stage you must have a word that contains exactly two vowels. There was a time when I played doublets, so this proof interested me. You have to consider W and Y to always be vowels in order for this proof to be valid. What interests me, and this is something Stewart never addressed, is that in all of his examples, the vowels are double vowels (OO, AA, etc). I spent some time finding doublets games on the Internet and while all the words in each game have two vowels, they are not necessarily double vowels. For example, WARM — WORM — WORD — CORD — COLD: if you accept that W is a vowel (see page seventy-three for Stewart's explanation), then WARM and WORM do have two vowels.

I found other examples where the vowels are not positioned next to each other:


Strictly speaking, these are examples of Stewart's proof. But he never offered one of these as an example. Perhaps he should have.

Stewart writes about teachers: "The best teachers will occasionally, perhaps more than occasionally, make you feel a bit stupid." I am not sure, despite reading his rationale, that this is true. Other statements that he makes concerning teaching ring very true with me: "You'll find that teaching math to others improves your own understanding. But it's only natural to be a little nervous, and I'm not surprised that you think you are 'not at all prepared' for your teaching responsibilities. . . But the nerves will vanish as soon as you get started." I experience that "stage-fright" at the beginning of every college semester and public school academic year.

One reason that I enjoy teaching developmental mathematics at the community college is that I may be able to help someone discover that she can succeed at something she used to think beyond her ability. Stewart points out that we need to put ourselves in the student's position and help her understand the material. "[W]hat seems perfectly obvious and transparent to you may be mysterious and opaque to someone who has not encountered the ideas before." I have learned, through experience, that mathematics instruction must be kept simple: " Stick to the main points, and try not to digress if doing so requires the students to understand new ideas that are not in the syllabus, however fascinating and illuminating they may seem to you." That has been a difficult lesson for me to internalize over the years. There seem to be thousands of interesting side roads that we can take in every lesson. Keeping our course objectives in front of us at all times can prevent us from straying off course and bewildering our students.

Validation by Stewart of what I have learned about teaching was not reason enough for me to read this book. It is math-lite. I suggest that if you are interested in it, that you wait for your library to purchase it.