Sunday, February 28, 2010

Unplugged Project: Spirograph

You know me — I live to teach and that is why I love the Unplugged Projects. They motivate me to learn and share what I learned. I seem to be naturally attracted to spirals. I create them in my fractal images and once I even re-created a proof of the existence of irrational numbers that creates a spiral using the Pythagorean Theorem. When I get that paper scanned, I will add it to this post. I especially loved this Spirograph project for February. Spirographs are mathematical constructions. I'm not going to go into the mathematics of a Spirograph image. I will be using some vocabulary and images that demonstrate some basic mathematical knowledge that are important and are being taught in elementary mathematics classrooms now. I would like your children to be curious enough to explore and research the topics on their own while they play. They will retain their new knowledge when they follow their curiosity.

I began my Spirograph exploration with the Phun 2D Physics Sandbox. With this beautiful, free software you can explore cycloids with your children. I created some cycloids with Phun's cycloid demo. You can manipulate points on the wheel to create different cycloids:

Because I am a math teacher, I know a cycloid when I see one but I couldn't define it for others. So I went to Wikipedia and got some public domain images:

above: A cycloid generated by a rolling circle
(think of the rolling circle as a bike wheel)


above: The red curve is an epicycloid traced as the small
circle (radius r = 1) rolls around the outside
of the large circle (radius R = 3).


above: Evolutiion of a typical Spirograph pattern.

The Spirograph project is beginning to be more fun now! I know some words so now I can talk to other people about my new knowledge so that we can share information and teach each other. I've seen some neat designs and I understand how these words and designs relate to bike wheels turning on a flat surface. I have a glimmer of how all of this information relates to the Spirograph now. I'm really not interested in the mathematics but I want to know more.

I then went to David Little's Spirograph Applet (just click the link and it will open in a new window).

At this site, I found this image that helped me more (even though I may not understand the math!). This image looks like my Phun cycloid! Click the image to read it and you will see it full size in a new window:

I then clicked on the applet window on the browser page and I played for hours with the controls. I learned to click on the right or left ends of the glider controls instead of sliding them. In that way, I had more control over my images. I began my exploration by sliding all the controls far to the left. I then slid one to the right, a click at a time, to see what happened to my image and what happened to which circle. After I played with each glider, I began to combine gliders and I got some great images!

This is great stuff! You can see why I was thoroughly enjoying myself while I created beautiful images. I wanted to see if there was another applet to play with and I found the Amazing Spiro Applet Version 2.0. I could play in my browser or download a stand-alone version to play any time. This applet has many of the same controls. But there are more and I had to figure out these controls all over again. I learned a lot that I want to share with you to make it a bit easier for you. I hope these instructions are clear!

1. Click in middle of the screen to set the center of your drawing

2. Using the default circle under "type and size", make the circle smaller by typing 400 in the "of size" box. Click draw

3. Click pen color and select another color

4. Click in the middle of the cirlce on your screen

5. Change circle size to 500

6. Change rotations to 500

7. Each time you change parameters, click in the middle of your screen before you click draw

8. When you are finisihed, select your background color; you may have to play with the background color several times until you find a color that shows off your art.
Play and have fun!

I'm having problems saving my drawings but I did manage to save one image that I made:

I want to leave you with my favorite February poem. And I would like you to think: why is February the perfectmonth for Spirograph images? Why is the Spirograph below my favorite image that I created for this project? And who would you give this poem to next February?

You dis-integrate my differential,
You Dislocate my focus,
My heartbeat goes up like an exponential,
Whenever you cross my locus.
Without you sets are Null and Void,
Would you be my Cardioid?

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Saturday, February 27, 2010

I ♡ Buddy

. . . so I made a collage of some of his photos with Shape Collage. This heart shaped collage has a transparent background, which unfortunately shows black here. Shape Collage is free, very fast, makes collages in any shape you want, and there are online and Facebook versions. Get it. Now.

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Friday, February 26, 2010

LOL Cat Bible: Lectionary Readings for the Second Sunday of Lent, February 28, 2010

Second Sunday of Lent
February 28, 2010

Genesis 15:1-12, 17-18
Psalm 27
Philippians 3:17-4:1
Luke 13:31-35 or
Luke 9:28-36, (37-43)

Genesis 15:1-12, 17-18

1 An den, Abram can has dream of Cieling Cat, and he sez
"Don be fraidy cat Abram,
i blocks teh attacks,
and den you can has cheezburger"
2 but Abram wuz liek "Cieling Cat, i has no kittehs to giv mah homez and sandboxz and littrbox and such
3 with no kittehs, my servants can has mah homez and stufs
4 Cieling Cat sez "STFU Abram, i can givez you a kitteh to play WoW with"
5 He takes Abram outside and is liek "look at teh starz and hevenz, if yous can count them, so is ur kittehs"
6 And Abram was liek srsly? All cause Ceiling Cat is Righchus
7 He also says "I iz Ceiling Cat, I give you lots and lots of urfs to has"
8 Abram was leik "But how Ceiling Cat, teh horde alredy has possesions?"
9 An Ceiling Cat was leik "Bring me moocow, goat and rams but only 3 yeerz old with a white burd and baby pidgun"
10 Abram brought teh moocow and teh got and teh rams but he cutted them in half. Teh burdz and pidgun were not.
11 Tehn evil burdz came from the ceiling and eated dem. Abram no liek and says you no can has.
12 Abram has sleep as sun goes down, but no good, lots of nightmares (poor Abram).
13 An Ceiling Cat was liek, "ur kittehs will be not knowed in nayshuns they no has, they will be pwnt and slaved, tis bad, but dey will come out with cheezburgers"
14 Ceiling Cat says tho he will "make unwanted invisible buttsecks with nayshuns dat make ure kittehs pwnt.
15 u is not bad tho, u can has death at old age with papa kittehs
16 but ur great-great-grand kittehs will come back here, cuz then sinz of Amorites reach critical mass"
17 Then it gots dark out, and there appeerz a bucket with fire
18 An Cieling Cat sez "i give all dis sandboxz and littrboxs to your kittehs, and their kittehs kittehs and so on and so forth

funny cat pictures

Psalm 27
Of David.

1 Oh, hai! CEILING CAT is my cheezburgr.
who i iz scard of?
CEILING CAT is my kitteh bed—
who i iz scard of ffs?

2 Wen skript kidehs DOS me
to nok me offline
when trols n lusers atak me w/ teh BFG,
tehy wil trip on it.

3 If a crew raid me,
I not chikn;
even if tehy stole my bike,
i stil rulz!

4 One thing I askz 4, O CEILING CAT, plz,
this is what I luk 4. Ready?:
evry dai, srsly,
yumy laik CEILING CAT's beleh fuz
cuz cheezburgrz bring me closer 2 u kthx.

5 For wehn Brian Peppers cums 4 me
CEILING CAT keepz me sayf;
he hidez me in his tabby-nacle
n putz me on top of book shelf.

6 Then i iz lookz down on nmes
above the nmes taht suround me;
at his tabby-nacle I will sacrifice a mouse w00t!;
I will sing "We Are teh Champyons" 4 CEILING CAT.

7 Hear me meow, O CEILING CAT,
DO NOT WANT u 2 pwn me. Hit me up on mesenger plz.

8 I getz feelin i sposed 2 fynd ur fuz face r sumptin,
Ur fuz face, CEILING CAT, I luks 4.

funny pictures of cats with captions
Philippians 3:17-4:1

17 Kittehs, get otha kittehs an bee liek mee.
18 (Iz keepz repeetin mysef, but now Iz cryin. Lotz of teh kittehs are stinkeh aginst teh cross of Jebus.
19 Ceiling Cat be eated them, k? Dey luv cheezeburgers more den Jebus, an are all liek "I love invisible error! Iz so greatz! Lookz at my new hat, kthkbye".)
20 Butz weez talk in teh ceiling. An Jebus cums to saef weez.21 Jebus iz full of win an ken maek weez liek him. Den Weez be full of win, too, k?
1 Hai mai kittehs dat ai luvs, mai sunbeamz! In dis way stai firm in teh Bigcat.

funny pictures of cats with captions
Luke 13:31-35
Jebus Criz Bowt Jerusalem

31 Den Fariseez sez "GTFO, or Herod will liek ttly pwnz0rz u! Srsly!" (Herod wuz liek prezident or soemthink too, liek Pilate. So der wuz sevrl prezidentz n Bibel timz. Srsly!)
32 But Jebus not being scairded. Him sez "Tel dat n00b dat I pwnz debils todae an I fixted hurted kittehs tomorow an day tree I be teh l
33t haXorz!!!!33 But I gotz to keep on walkin cuz evrybodee noes dat profits gots to get deded in Jerusalem."
34 "Poor Jerusalem! U bad sitee and maeks deded all profits. But I stil lieks u. Srsly!
35 Ur howse be all pwned an den I not coem bak til u sez 'Yay Jebus!'"

funny pictures of cats with captions

Luke 9:28-36, (37-43)
Teh Ceilin Clowd

28 Liek ate dais leitr, Jessus wentz up mawnten to prai to Ceiling Cat, wid Peter an John an James.
29 As he praided, he startd lookin wierd an hiz clothez turnded wite.
30 An too ppl sed to him, Moses an Elikhat,
31 an dey sed he shuld leve at Jerusalem.
32 Peter an teh otter doodz wer tirded, but dey keppt aweik, an dey saw teh amazinness of Jesuss and teh too ppl wit him.
33 Peter sed to Jesus, "Letz us meik tree boots, wun for all ov u."
34 An a clowd apered, an dey went in teh clowd an wer scraed.
35 An Ceiling Cat's voize caim frum teh clowd, an he sed, "Dis iz mai sun, u will lissen too wut he sai."
36 An wen voice finissed sain, Jesus wuz found aloin. An dey wer kwiet, an didnt tell enniwun.
Jesus haits demnz
37 Neckst dai, wen dey caim daown, lawts uv doods metz them.
38 An a man sed, "Plz lookz fro mai sun, cuz he be mai onlee sun,
39 an a speert grabz him, an he screemz, an he shaiks till hez got rabiez, an breakz him into peezez, an wont leavez.
40 An i assked ur doodz to thro it intu trash, but dey culdnt."
41 Jesus sed, "U pplz r messed. Bring ur sun heer."
42 Wen he caim, teh demn shuk him. But Jesus sed "U suk demn. Stoppit." An teh boi gotz betterz, an went bak to hiz dad.
43 An teh pplz wer al amazzeded bai teh majesty uv Ceiling Cat.

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

Weekend Cat Blogging
#247 Feb 26-28 Nikita Cat
(see the week’s host to enter your WCB post in the comments for the weekend roundup)

Bad Kitty Cats Festival of Chaos
Edition 113 | Mar 07, 2010 Kitties at House of Chaos
Optional Theme
(submit your post here)

The Carnival of the Cats
#311 – Sniffie and the Florida Furkids
(submit your post here)

How Did You Spend Your Snow Day(s)?

Chicken chili and Walter Sands' Bread
  • Wednesday: I did my chores, made bread and cooked the chicken chili recipe that Faith gave to me. It took an awful long time to cook this but it was worth it. I was very happy and fulfilled all day.
  • Thursday: learned Apophysis and worked on photographs and old RSS feeds. I solved a problem with the coding on two blogs and e-mailed a couple of folks..I felt a bit of discontent and kept looking out the windows at the weather to see when it would clear.Ended up napping with the cats.
  • Friday: shoveled the deck for the cats. Cats don't care; they ignore me and won't move any longer — just sleep 24/7 waiting for the storm to end. I'm feeling the beginning of withering boredom.. Thinking of going for a drive to see the widespread devastation that must be out there to cancel school for three days now.
One of the many plowing outings.
  • plowed
  • plowed
  • plowed
  • plowed
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Friday Fractal: Nautilus

This is my fractal flame creation in Apophysis 2.09 (the version for Windows 7 which renders hours faster than version 2.02). I used a tutorial that I found. After hours of manipulation, I was satisfied with this helix (a type of space curve, i.e. a smooth curve in three-dimensional space. It is characterised by the fact that the tangent line at any point makes a constant angle with a fixed line called the axis Source: Wikipedia).

If you use Apophysis, it will serve you well to use the tutorials that are available. Fran's Tutorial is great for version 2.02 and offers a lot of basic information.

Below is my very first Apophysis (2.02) flame. I call it Laughing Penguin.

I found a series of six Arthur C. Clarke videos about fractals, The Color of Infinity, on YouTube. This week I'll feature the first 9 minute video:

I will no longer link to the Macintosh OS X fractal flame software, Oxidizer. If you need information for it, click on the "fractal flame" tag at the end of this post. I hope you try your own fractals or flames and join us on Friday Fractal. I would enjoy having enough participants to justify using Mr. Linky! Thank you for stopping by.

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Thursday, February 25, 2010

New England Weather Live

Our weather has been nasty this week. UMapper lets you create weather maps or any area you want. The maps are live, with radar. The viewer can choose F or C scales, also. You have to click and drag the map in the window because it is too big. I told you these maps were eating up my time!

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Twitter Maps

Northeast Kingdom of Vermont Twitters

You can create your own Twitter and weather maps at UMapper. It's a site I just discovered. It's robbing me of all of my time! You can enter your own Twitter search term in the text window. My Twitter icon is the cat's eye (which is poor little Turnip's eye). I'm in the New Hampshire map. Go and play. It's free.

Lakes Region of New Hampshire Twitters

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Monday, February 22, 2010

Cats on Tuesday: Possum's Portrait

Click on the photo to see a large photo in a new browser window.

Hi again everybody! I'm back! And I've been missing this group. Here's Possum. I got a new camera to backup my Canon DSLR (which I almost killed when I fell into the river kayaking — but it's been fixed). This was taken with an Olympus Tough 8000. On the day that I took the photo, I was learning how to use the new camera. And Possum was cooperating for once and looking beautiful as always! Below is her footprint in the snow. It's interesting because usually you don't see cat claws in their tracks. I think she was trying to "hold on" since the snow offered little traction to her little cat paws. I am looking forward to visiting all of you tomorrow evening!

Thank you for stopping by!
To visit other participants, visit Gattina


Centering Thought of the Week from Mary Oliver

Each Sunday, our minister publishes a Centering Thought of the Day in the bulletin. I try to focus on the thought for the week. The photograph is of a hay field behind Barton Mountain in Vermont. It is illustrative of the places where I find meditation easiest.

The centering thought for this week is:
Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

The line is from The Summer Day by Mary Oliver. Poetry 180 writes that this poem "holds that the act of attention is a form of prayer." Paying attention to the needs and hopes of others is vital in our lives. Paying attention to nature brings us closer to God.

I hope you find the poem valuable.
May you have a peaceful and attentive week.

The Summer Day

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean —
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down —
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

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Macro Monday: My Primula

I'm going to enjoy this meme. I love macros! This is my houseplant, a primula. In the past my house plants have always died. But two years ago I was given a geranium by the mother of a student and it is still alive. I now have a couple more plants, including this primula. Primulas are primroses. Primroses, I read, are "herbaceous perennials." I have no idea what that means yet! I'm learning as I go and loving every minute of it!

To view more macro images, see Lisa at Lisa's Chaos.

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