Monday, June 29, 2015

Car Stories

A well-known plus to renting a car now and then is one gets in a time machine and travels to the far future, the present, 2015 (as of this writing, duh).  Normally I drive a 1997 Nissan, a quality vehicle that I still appreciate.  But it needed a new mass airflow sensor and so I called up Enterprise and booked a car for a day.

The rental was a 2015 bright red Toyota Corolla with a lot of frills, including radio controls on the steering wheel, rear view camera, great mileage (to Salem and back on a quarter tank).

Carol and I both caught something probably contracted by Lindsey in her air capsule coming from China to Bay Area.  Or who knows anymore.  In addition, I'm susceptible to seasonal allergies in these hot summer days in the 90s (F-scale) so I'm likely to be a basket case anyway, given the right pollen mix.

I tried Sudafed and Claritin both, but stayed pretty miserable and tried not to get too close to people at the Salem Meetinghouse.  Carol was likewise in a state, and as a guest speaker, co-appearing with Dr. Linda Richards, she actually had a workout, whereas I was just an audience member.

We'd started the day with Paul Barker at the Stark Street meetinghouse, so two meetinghouses in one day.  I'd call us dedicated circuit riders.

However mom and Linda were not on strictly Quaker business, more were representing Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) to Followship for Reconciliation (FOR).

Carol's specialty is demilitarization whereas Linda teaches history of science.  Both have given excellent Wanderers presentations at the Linus Pauling House in Portland (connected with ISEPP).

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Math Avoidance?

The accusation of "math avoidance" comes from those claiming our K-12 maths curriculum (using the UK plural) is too watered down, too diluted with geegaws and gizmos.  It's just "toy math".

Whereas I'm sympathetic to the accusation, I do need to ask if it's "math avoidance" to simply bury all the late 20th Century innovations documented in architecture, regarding the relationship of geodesic spheres to the virus and buckyball both.

Is it wise to be so ignorant of this heritage?


Fig. 988.12 Icosahedron Inscribed Within Octahedron: The four-frequency tetrahedron inscribes an internal octahedron within which may be inscribed a skew icosahedron. Of the icosahedron's 20 equiangular triangle faces, four are congruent with the plane of the tetra's faces (and with four external faces of the inscribed octahedron). Four of the icosahedron's other faces are congruent with the remaining four internal faces of the [ octahedron ]. Two-fifths of the icosa faces are congruent with the octa faces. It requires 24 S Quanta Modules to fill in the void between the octa and the icosa.

Readers of Synergetics already know of the volume 20 VE, which contracts to a volume 18.51 Icosa by Jitterbugging.  That's our s-Factor at work i.e. (Svol / Evol) to the -1 i.e. Evol / Svol.

20 * (1  / sFactor) = 18.51...

As seen from the excerpt below, from a Python program, these two volumes come with "S + s3" and "E + e3" expressions for volumetric decompositions.

In this case-sensitive notation, S:s3 == E:e3 == Phi ** 3 i.e. the linear dimensions of s3 are 1/phi those of the S-module, ditto e3 vis-a-vis the E-module.

The S-module has a tetra-volume of pow(phi, -5)/2.
print("VE:         ", 20,                 420 * Svol + 100 * s3)
print("Icosa:      ", 20 * sFactor ** 1,  420 * Evol + 100 * e3)

With output:
VE:          20 19.99999999999996
Icosa:       18.5122958682192 18.512295868219162

Another Icosa-to-Cubocta relationship involves not Jitterbugging, but keeping the faces flush, eight of them, though only partially overlapping, as shown in the figure below:

Fig. 988.00 Polyhedral Evolution: S Quanta Module:
Comparisons of skew polyhedra.

We could call this a "skew" relationship and applying 1/sFactor twice to the 18.51 icosahedron takes use to what Koski affectionately calls the "Small Guy" cubocta, of volume ~15.86065.

What is it's frequency, assuming Icosa edges = 2? Recalled 20 * F**3 is our formula:

print("Small Guy edge:", 2 * pow(sFactor ** -3, 1/3))


Small Guy edge: 1.8512295868219202

What's interesting about that number, a linear dimension, is that it's 1/10th the volume of the jitterbugged icosahedron's.  The differences in the ending digits above have merely to do with floating point error margins.

So what is the volume of the Icosa within the volume 4 Octa of Figure 988.12?

Clearly it's 4 - 24 * Svol or 4 - 24 * (pow(phi, -5)/2) = ~2.917961.
In Python again, and using David's decomposition formula:
>>> Svol = pow(phi, -5)/2
>>> s3 = Svol * pow(phi, -3)
>>> 60 * Svol + 20 * s3  # S + s3 form

Applying the reciprocal of the sFactor twice more, to this tiny Octahedron-inscribed icosahedron, nets us the volume of its "skew mate": the volume 2.5 cuboctahedron, i.e. 1/8 the volume of the cuboctahedron of volume 20, faces flush with the same Octa of volume 4.

>>> baby
>>> baby * (1/sfactor) * (1/sfactor)

Monday, June 22, 2015

Inside Out (movie review)

Yes, I too admired this film for its cleverness and compassion.

As she gets older though, and even while young, I think those five archetypes don't quite cover it.  Maybe we would find some mutant sixth and seventh crew members in different people?

We take only a small sample, with N only > 10 towards the end, if it ever gets that high (cross species, nice touch).  I'm talking about how we look in on different control rooms.  Always the same five?

This Disney / Pixar movie is the paradigm "control room" movie, taking the meme right to its psychological roots, as a source of core memories feeding complexes ("military industrial" or whatever).

Shades of Woody Allen right?

Long term memories get visited later, by an estranged headquarters pair, seeking to get back to the helm.  Not giving too much away.

She's a ship in choppy waters, our girl, and through an extended and elaborate set of interlocking metaphors, we get an excursion through a detailed mind map.

Either that (more crew) or each of these five might need to stretch a bit more, to take in new territory?  The subconscious covers a lot of ground... I'm maybe just unclear about the plumbing. 

I admit the prospect of a sequel somewhat scares me.  What if the series catches up and passes me?  It gets scarier doesn't it?  San Francisco is just the beginning.  Maybe The Zero Theorem fits here?

OK, I'm angsting a bit, have some concerns of my own.  Maybe I'm a tad envious of little girls and the problems they get to have?  Sniff.  You've gotta admit she has it pretty good, just having so much joy for starters.  Her parents have benefited, a stress point right there.

Hey, I'm looking forward to Minions.

Twas fun to see this on a big screen with a friend in an audience.  I had my book on cryptography and Poe along, taking the bus, got a ride back in a new Mercedes.

We get more from a spontaneously shared event in a dark movie hall, than watching on a flat screen home alone.

Not that I don't welcome the more kicked-back option; I do that too.  I'm glad I have the option to choose.  Did I mention seeing Jurassic World with Alexia?

This is one I'd gladly add to my collection.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Villa Touma (movie review)

Thanks to a heads up from Dr. Tag, I was able to bus over to 16th & NW Glisan to McMenamins Mission Street Theater & Pub just in time for this fundraiser for Palestinian Childrens Relief Fund (PCRF).

This showing of Villa Touma, a film by and about Palestinians, was an event designed to launch a  new PCRF local chapter.

An orphan girl, of an eligible age (almost 19) is taken in by her aunts, who live in the past and want to marry her off to someone judged to be of high social class.

The Palestinians I was watching this with found lots to laugh about, but questioned the realism of the premise.  "No one is really like that, it's not true" one of the audience members commented.

But then the film is a spoof, gently mocking those who try to live in the past.

That these sisters take themselves so seriously only adds to the comic element.

We get a window into a dollhouse inhabited by these sad clown ladies, a dog, and a caretaker.  The atmosphere is purposely claustrophobic, redolent of the dead ends these lives have become.

Badia does bring some light and joy into this household, slowly lifting spirits, but her oppression is severe and she fails to meet the unrealistic expectations of her silly aunts.

From my angle, the film was a lot better than the nasty and shallow review by Jay Weissberg in Variety.

As a movie reviewer, Jay has perhaps proved his talent elsewhere, but his panning of this film is flat and unmodulated, deriving from a failure to recognize that he's dealing with a comedy of manners, not a compelling political analysis of anything.

Faulting a film because one guessed wrong about the genre is more a reflection of viewer immaturity than anything to do with the film itself.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Gender Pride Day

:: gay pride 2014 (rerun) ::

I'll call it that, given today is Gay Pride Parade in Portland, and Prairie Home Companion, on the radio now, has been appropriately Seattle / Northwest based.  Is this a rerun then?  As of yesterday, sure.  Dang but Garrison is good.

He just advised a guy to go for same-sex marriage next time, funny marriage counselor skit.  All morning were poignant "dad" stories on NPR, well made.  I found myself admiring radio as a medium again.

That's right, unlike last year when I photographed Gay Pride on a somewhat rainy day, capturing Congressman Blumenauer and some others, this year I'm kicked back in an easy chair ("... of computer science") with my dog and the radio.  Having a case of Achilles tendinitis (self diagnosed) is a contributing factor to my relative inactivity.

Carol wanted to walk home from Stark Street Quakers (SSQs).  I drove her there at 9:40, bright sunny day, great for a parade.

"Gay" does not even begin to cover the full pantheon of "Queer" or as some say "Pan", the parent class, most inclusive, from which the subtypes derive.  Remember that genders turn off and on and that the asexual dimensions are often the most textured and nuanced.

"Turned on" states, even friendly-flirtatious, often feed the exaggerated caricatures more easily, so those working against stereotypes will often do so in a more business class persona, at least around Portland, which has an eclectic Central Business District (CBD) and everything.

Bend gender at work, where it matters, not at the bar, where no one cares (in a liberal town like Portland, it takes a lot more work to get stares, so your mileage may vary).  That would be my advice to gender activists.  However, work includes business lunches and being out in public, so I'm not drawing a hard line.

While kicked back, I'm conversing with other math-teachers, or debating in some cases, on the issue of multiculturalism (is that an issue?) and "technology in the classroom", both perennial themes.

Last night I was catching up on work-related studies around Cython, the basis of Sage, and I-Python Notebook in synergy therewith.  Cython is a hybrid Python + C that "compiles" to C code that in turn compiles using a C compiler.  Sage is developed in this language.

In this mode of work-study, I have Safari open on the Samsung tablet (Galaxy 3) and an I-Python Notebook on the laptop.  Same chair ("... of computer science").  I'll read for awhile, then tap tap on the computer, read some more and like that.

Nor do I have a working camera this year, as of yesterday.

The Fujifilm XQ-1, black, which I adore, suddenly no longer powered on, after a bright morning of fun shooting.  Taking pictures is such a big habit of mine that I was almost right away on the phone to Camera World, where I bought it under a year ago.  An hour later, I was downtown at the store, having it shipped for repairs under warranty.

Good timing for seeing Ex Machina, before driving home.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Opt Out App

Patrick is excited to have access to some real electrical meter data from actual households, broken down by appliance (e.g. wine cooler) a level of detail he doesn't currently need.  His goal is to harness input patterns and feed them to a Numenta bot that may prove capable of anticipating what's next to some degree, better then current technology can.  Crystal balls are always in vogue, even if they see ahead only one or two minutes.

I just registered for OSCON again, so am looking forward to Patrick's talk.

Speaking of parents with families, an Opt Out app is about opting out of specific kinds of recruiting the Constitution doesn't say you need to accept.  Once opted out, you may also choose to report violations.  I've brought this app to the attention of the Portland Peace Program.

Civilian services, such as scouting in its various forms, which involves instruction, investing in infrastructure, winning merit badges, is likewise in need of more people willing to Opt In.  Scouting and coding have merged on many levels, as mathematics becomes more of an outdoor sport, thanks to geocaching etc.

Saturday, June 06, 2015

High School 2.1

I don't know how directly Nexus architects were influenced by Scott Gray, maybe not at all, directly, however the similarities are striking, between the Nexus and "user active" philosophies.

A percentage of the instruction these students receive could be from mentors such as myself, propagating Python skills over the wire, responding individually to students within my caseload.  Every mentor, from senior to rookie, is working a beat, which will be defined by track and language of instruction (English or...?).

If students need to take supervised tests i.e. we need to seriously authenticate they're who the say they are etc., the Node (say a Nexus) provides the venue.  If they're inspired and want to pursue their learning off site, e.g. from home, the same distance learning portals are there.

I'm upbeat about this new model for high schools and encourage more states besides Michigan to show off their imaginative next versions.