Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Finally Looked Up A Cool New Lichen I Found: Lecanora thysanophora

 Ok i finally looked up a lichen i found a few months ago in the woods on the way to arcadia park off the bike trail to easthampton ma.

Lecanora thysanophora, cool structure, i should get it under the scope and see what on earth it is doing. watching it grow wld be cool too.

I don't know why it grows that outer band of white fibers. the mealy center portion is where it comes apart in tiny bits to blow around to new tree trunks to grow on. These guys don't seem to be having any sex. I think this species rarely does.  Many lichens DO have sex.  In the pics of species from waysofenlichenment you see many with rimmed dots.  those are where two separate fungi critters are intertwined, having sex and making spores to blow off in the wind.

Remember, being a lichen, this critter isn't eating the bark or digging into the tree, it's just resting there letting it's internal captured single celled algae (Trebouxia) grow food for it from the air and sunlight.
Lecanora is a rather diverse genus, you have no doubt seen it. grows on wood and rock and stone walls.
(my photos)

oh by the way... those reddish crisscrossy veins... are a liverwort. i should make a post for them too eh? Frulliana species. here's some from underneath under the microscope. 

and here's a pic of one of their fruiting bodies springing out spores with their springy thingies. 

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

How long does it take light to travel around the solar system? Story and Experiments

A twitter Kindergardener asked how long it takes for light to travel to us from the sun, so I gave her mom some ideas.

Here is what she can do:  so pick something to bang together and she can hear it instantly, now walk maybe a couple hundred feet away (500? 1000?) i think it works with couple hundred and bang.

She should be able to notice it looks and sounds funny cuz the there's a delay between seeing you banging and hearing it.  There's the clue that sound actually takes time to travel to her.  Now for more fun:

When people discoverd 100s of years ago that Jupiter had moons, they realized they could use them like a clock, cuz they went round and round very regularly like the hands of a clock, (slower!) and so people started making tables of what times the moons would appear when!

Back then... clocks didn't work so well on sea going sailing ships and people hoped they could use Jupiter and a small telescope at sea, as a clock!  By consulting the tables.  But problems occured...

At some parts of the year the Jupiter moon clock ran behind!  About 20 minutes behind!  But some observant astronomers (like your daughter...) remembered hearing how funny it was when people bang on things far away and you hear a delay in the banging, cuz sound takes time to travel, so

they realized just like the delay in far away banging things, they SAW a delay in the jupiter clock hands when jupiter was FURTHER away from us, and so they reasoned that light itself took time to travel!  About 17 minutes from jupiter to earth.  This was an amazing discovery because seeing, light, seemed to be INSTANTANEOUS!  

And since Jupiter is REALLY far,

that means light is REALLY fast.  From banging far away you could probly, time the delay and figure out sound goes about 1000feet in a second.  For the speed of light it took a little while to figure out how fast cuz we needed to know how much further earth was from Jupiter every 6 months:

Distances a LOT MORE than a 1000 feet!

Earth is 200 MILLION miles further from Jupiter when it is on the other side of the sun, so

200million miles causes 20 min delay, so the light is traveling

10million miles a minute

a million miles in 6 seconds

sixth of a million in second, about 150,000 miles a second!

Dunno how much of that you can translate for your daughter, but I hope you can try the experiment with her.  Maybe with 2 people you help her watch and time it and other person bangs!  I've never tried it. I'll try it with a neighbor and try to measure it and get 1000feet per second!

If your daughter ever gets a chance to look at jupiter in a small telescope (binoculars?) maybe with a local astronomy club or something... someone can point out Jupiter and some moons?

I remember the day I was watching someone banging with a hammer and noticing the funny delay and a lightbulb went off in my head and I understood this jupiter clock story!

Finally!  This story gives us the answer to her question!  Because by looking at the delay in the Jupiter clock, they figured out it took light 17 minutes to go across the orbit of the earth, from one side to the sun and across, so HALF of that is how long light takes to go from the sun to the Earth, about 8 and a half minutes!

Monday, July 19, 2021

Ok, I Have Found The Mites!

Caviar on a leaf?  So, a few weeks ago, I found what I thought was a fungus growing on some leaves.  I think they are growing on downy birch, (Betula pubescens)  I thought the fungus was not mature yet.  also I wanted to do thinner sections of the leaf to see if the growths were INSIDE the leaf tissue

The little pink blobs are about a 1/2 a millimeter high on the surface of the half a millimeter thick leaf.

Little hollow trumpets with pink blobs at the top.  What will they grow into?  dunno!  I can't tell if the fungal tissue is growing INSIDE the leaf.  can't see leaf cells niether!  need thinner section.  don't see any cells in the fungus either!  maybe is NOT a fungus.  Time will tell.

I could see hints of vascular tissue (tubes for water and nutrients, the plant's circulatory system) in the cross section tho.  each tube is one cell thick.

I think the large circles are cross sections of Xylem, the tubes that ship up water from the roots.  The Phloem, the tubes that the leaf sends food back down to the plant in, should be below.  

Well I soon found out that they were NOT fungus.  

What i thought was a fungus on the tree leaves, turns out to be the leaves reacting to being fed on by an Eriophyrid mite! Mites are related to ticks. some, you have seen, like these cute velvety red ones: about a millimeter long. u see them crawling everywhere even under water.  If you look under leaves and in rotting logs and in dirt you find tons of little round mites of all sorts...

most, you don't see, as they are much less than a millimeter and hide, like hair follicle mites, house dust mites or plant gall mites. 4000 kinds of those. feed on plants and the plants get annoyed and make Galls around them.
Anyway, I've been told that my purple/salmon blob 'fungus' on (probly) Downy Birch leaves is the leaves being disturbed by 1/5th of a millimeter long mites, Acalitus longisetosus
I will have to look at the leaves closely and find the mites! tho maybe they are only active spring and fall!

 Update: (18 March 2021) I found the mites!  Here's one crawling around in the purple blobs.
And here is a beautiful shot lit fro the side with dark backround of the mite scraped off of its leaf.  Mites in the family Eriophyidae only have 4 legs (most mites, like spiders, have 8).  Look at those beautiful bands going down the mite!  I guess it has long setoses...

HAHA!  my first parasitic mite discovery!  Now I am on to them.

Friday, July 16, 2021

Wow, I Had Started To Write A Math Instruction Book a Long Time Ago... Should I Finnish?

 math review for physics:

measurements, units, comparing quantities, decimals, fractions and scientific notation


1) can you write down approximately the length, surface area, volume, mass, density, length of time of a coupla dozen things around the house?

give these without measuring, don't think too hard:
2) how many meters long is the house?
3) how many cm long are you
4) how many grams is a sugar cube
5) how many meters long is your foot
6) how many meters from the house to houston road
7) how many mm long is your index finger
8) what's the surface area of the floor in your room?
9) what's the surface area of your body
10) how many ccs of water fit in your cupped palm
11) how many liters fills the bath tub
12) how many mililiters in a gallon milk jug?
13) how many grams is a liter jug of soda
14) how many mm from fingertip to fingertip in outstrethced hands
15) how many kg are you
16) how many grams is a gallon of milk?
17) how many kilograms is a car
18) whats the density of water
19) what's the density of balsa wood
20) what's the density of a quartzite pebble
21) what's the density of a steel butter knife?
20) what's the density of the air in a balloon
22) how many seconds does it take for a pen to fall off the table
23) how many seconds in a hour
24) how many seconds in a day
25) how many seconds in a year
26) how many km is it around the earth?
27) how many miles is it?
28) how many km to the moon?
29) how many kg is the earth?
30) how many meters per second is 60miles per hour?  (this one you should calculate and memorise)

conversions: look up and memorise to 1 dec place:
how many cm in an inch
how many inches in a meter
now many feet in a mile
now calculate how many meters in a mile
and which is smaller a km or a mile
how many of the smaller one in the larger?  1.something...
how many grams in a cubic cm of water?
how many grams in a lb?
now you know how to convert lbs and kg


(memorize the conversions i give (starred) and also memorize how big each unit is (starred)

We will measure, length, area, volume, mass (related to weight), density, time, speed, energy, power


length is measured in inches, feet, miles, and in metric:
all sorts of combinations of meters, lets start:

an inch is about the width of two fingers***
and there are

12 inches in a foot. ***
 3 feet in a yard. ***

so how many inches in a yard?

there are 5280 feet in a mile. ***

if you use google maps you can see how far down the road 200 feet is, 500ft ('ft' is an abreviation for feet), 1000ft and a mile.

in american carpentry and machining we measure to 1/2 inch and 1/4" and 1/8" (the two ticks mean inches while one tick: 3' means feet), 1/16th and 1/32th of an inch.  you can see 1/2 through 1/16th inch on a ruler or tape measureer.

a meter is a little longer than a yard, 3ft.  ***
more accurate a meter is closer to 39 inches.  ***
learn to hold your fingers a yard or a meter apart. ***

at the time of the french revolution this system of measurement was invented to make measurement based on powers of 10 which makes alot of things easy.  (it's 1/10,000th  the distance between two degrees of lattitude?  check this).

now we base all our metric units on this.  there are 100 cents in a dollar so there are

100 centimeters in a meter***

your finger is a little more than a cm thick ***
so a cm is a little less than a half an inch!  there are close to
2.5cm in an inch  ***

so 10finger widths is 10cm ***

10centimeters is about 4 inches.  ***

so how many cm in a foot?  (30).  now 10 of these makes 100cm and that's a meter.

now visualize your meter with your fingers, divide it in half with your fingers and visualize that there are 5 of these 10cm lengths in it.

1/10th of a centimeter (cm) is a millimeter (milli a thousandth, i.e. in french mille is 1000), so:

one millimeter is about the thickness of your fingernail ***

10mm in a cm ***

1000mm in a meter ***

some single celled protozoa are a mm long.  most cells are smaller than this so we divide by 1000 again and get

1000 micrometers in a millimeter***

1000 nanometers in a micrometer***

many cells are 10s to 100s of micrometers.

DNA and proteins  are on the order of nanometers


1000 meters makes a kilometer (km)****

sometimes you will get confused is it 10mm per cm or 10cm per mm.  there is NEVER any need to get confused because you should always be visualizing things:

cm is finger width, mm is fingernail width.  can't be 10 fingerwidths in 1 fingernail width.

100 meters (arms breadth) can't = 1cm (finger width)!  km are how far down the road, meter is arm's breadth so can't be 1000km in a meter!  etc...



1) which is bigger, a km or a mile? well?  how many feet in a km?


now to do conversions we simply multiply by fractions and get one unit to cancell out and a new unit to appear, so:

1km *1000meters/1km (put the unit on the bottom in this case to make km to cancell out:

1000meters *3feet/meter=

(REMEMBER: it's 3feet per meter and not 3meters per foot, cause you can see before you 3meters is 3yards is across the room and a foot is only as long as your forarm!)

but a mile is 5280 feet.  so miles are longer (hence 60miles per hour is faster than 60km/hr!)

now lets convert between km and miles:

we can write out many conversion fractions one after another:

100miles * 5280ft/mile * meter/3ft * 1km/1000meters=

first of all see how all the units cancell out leaving km.

now cancell out numbers: divide 5280/3 to get approx 1420 and we have 100*1420/1000.  that's easy, cancell out 100 and we get 1420/10 and cancell out 10s and get 142.  so 100 miles is 142 km.  if you need more accuracy, use 39inches is 1 meter instead and multiply in more conversions:

12inch/foot * 1meter/39inches...

2) how many mm is a 1/4 of an inch?

(1/4) inches *

how do you do it?  write 1 inch / 4 on the left side of the paper.  write mm/1 on the right side of the paper.  you have to get from left to right.  so first turn inches to cm?  the conversion is 2.5cm per inch.  we can mult by 2.5cm/inch or 1 inch/2.5cm.  which one will cancell out the inches?

1 inch/4 * 2.5cm/inch

now we got cm, we want to get to mm so use the conversion 10mm/1cm.  which way to write it?

1 inch/4 * 2.5cm/inch *10mm/cm.  now we multiply and divide:  25mm/4= about 6mm.

in physics, we will sometimes always use meters or always centimeters.  so for instance if we have to do physics with something 1/4 inch long, we have to convert 6mm to meters.  Again, remember to visualize: 6mm is tiny, meters are big, so if i want to write how many meters are in a tiny 6mm, it's going to have to be a FRACTION of a meter, or in decimal, something like 0.001 meter, right?


6mm * 1meter/1000mm=

so now what is 6/1000?  use our decimal techniques: three decimal places to the left:

so it's 0.006meters.  that's a tiny fraction of a meter.


you can measure the area of your room in square feet or square yards.


1 foot is as long as your forearm
1 square foot is a SQUARE with 1ft on each side, like a floor tile
1 cubic foot is a BOX 1 ft on each side, or a square tile on the bottom and 1ft high.  or a box made of 6 sqare tiles (bottom, 4 sides and top)


you can add 1 foot and 1 foot and get 2 feet long.

if you have a floor 10feet long and 8 feet wide it's got 10*8 square tiles so it's 80 sqare feet (abbreviated: 80 sq ft or 80 ft^2)

now if you have a box with the bottom 2ft by 3ft, the bottom has an area of 6 square feet.  if the height is 2feet then it's 2feet * 3feet* 2 feet=12 cubic feet or 12 cu ft or 12 ft^3.

notice you can multiply 6 ft^2 by 2ft and get 12 ft^3.

it makes no sense to ADD 6 sq ft and 2 ft and get 8 WHAT? ok.


so, lets convert areas:  1 foot by 1 foot is a tile 1ft^2
2ft x 3 feet is 6 tiles or 6ft sq.

1meter X 1meter is 1meter^2 tile
3mX4m is 12 of those squares 12m^2

one thing you can do is keep track of diff between area and PERIMETER.  for instance you draw the 3m X 4m recangle and see: 3x4=12 squares inside and the perimeter is 3m +4M + 3m +4m = 14meters (not sqare meters)

is the perimeter a similar number to area?  hmm... try some different rectangles 10X10, 5X20, 2X50, 1X100, 0.5 X200...

now convert:  if you have a square 3ft X 3ft that's 9 square tiles and 9ft^2, but it's also a yard by a yard so 1 sq. yd.  hmm

if you have a lawn 10yds X 20yds, that's 200sq yds, but each sq yd has 9sq feet so it's 200X9=1800sq ft!

using our conversion fractions:

200yd^2 X 3ft/yd doesn't work, we need yd^2 in the denomenator, so we do this:

200yd^2 X (3ft/yd)^2 that comes out to:

200yd^2 X 9ft^2/yd^2 and the yd^2 cancells out and we get 200X9ft^2 or 1800ft^2

we can do all kinds of things:

how many ccs in a cubic foot?

1ft^3 X ?

12inch=1ft so: put ft on the bottom of the conversion:

1ft^3 X 12in/1ft

but cube it:

1ft^3 X (12in/ft)^3=
1ft^3 X 12X12X12 in^3/ft^3 ft cancell out and then ...

ah. 2.5cm in 1inch, put inches on bottom:

1ft^3 X 12X12X12 in^3/ft^3 X (2.5cm/in)^3=

1ft^3 X 12X12X12 in^3/ft^3 X 2.5X2.5X2.5 cm^3/in^3

cancell out the units and we have

12X12X12X 2.5 X 2.5 X 2.5 ccs

at least 10X10X10X8=8000 probably much more, use a calculator


convert 60mi/hr to meters per second!

60mi/hr X 5280ft/mi X 1m/3ft X 1hr/3600 s=

well calculate it!  now when they give you a problem with a baseball flying at 40m/s you can relate to how many mi/hr it's going

find a bunch of these in the physics book and do them.

1) how many meters is the circumference of the earth?  if it's 8000miles across, then it's pi times that for circumference, so 3*8000=24000miles and we convert to feet, it's 5280*24,000= 120,000,000feet.  /3 to get meters, 40,000,000meters.  1/4 is from pole to equator: 10,000,000meters, and divide by 90degrees of latitude from equator to pole and we get about 100,000meters.  is this correct?

next we got to do a bunch of these
do them without calculating

1) which is bigger, 1/2 or 3/4
2) which is bigger, 5/4 or 8/9
3) which is bigger 1/9 or 0.9
4) 1/3 or .3
5) what's half of 1.5?
6) what's 2/3 of 6?
7) what's half of 1/4
8) which is bigger 2/3 of 10 or 1/2 of 7
9) what's half of 0.25
10) what's 8/4=
11) what's 8/2=
12) what's 8/1=
13) what's 8/(1/2)= (don't calculate, give the obvious answer)
it's like 8 times 2 yes?
14) what's 200/100=
15) what's 200/10=
16) what's 200/1=
17) what's 200/0.1=
18) which is bigger 1.001 or 0.998?
on and on it goes, to be able to see at a glance whether a number makes sense or not

be able to convert between fractions, mixed numbers, top heavy fractions and decimals

1) what's a tenth of 100?
2) what's a hundredth of 2100
3) what's 0.1 times 30?
4) which is bigger 1.5 X 2.5 or 5
6) what's 100/100
7) what's 100/10
8) what's 100/1
9) what's 100/0.1?
how many of those tiny 0.1s fit in 1?  fit in 10?  fit in 100?
it's like 100X10, yes?
10) what's 100/0.01  even MORE teeny tiny 0.01s fit in 100



in decimal:

what's 100/10=
0.1/10=?  smaller right?  what's 1/10th of a 1/10th?

or 0.01/100?  really small right?  do everything by 10 at a time to get the decimal place to move right

so 13.2/10=1.32 yes?

and 13.2/0.1 like (9) above  
it's like 13.2 X 10, yes?

so multiplying by 10 makes bigger moves decimal place to the right
dividing by 0.1 makes bigger, moves dec place to right
mult by 0.1 makes smaller, moves dec place to left
divide by 10 makes smaller, moves dec place to left

so dividing by 0.001 is like multiplying by 10, 100, 1000?  so move decimal point right by 3


so what's
20/0.25?  well how many of those quaters fit in ONE?  so how many fit in 20?

or this:
0.01/12?  well we know that 0.01 / 10 is smaller move decimal point left 0.001 and dividing by 12 is even smaller.

what's a number a little smaller than 0.001?  0.0012 or 0.0008?

so if you have to divide
0.123/0.023... well 10 .02s fit in 0.20 yes? or 5 0.02s fit in 0.1...

then when you use the rules you won't get mixed up

another way:

you can multiply the top and bottom of a fraction by the same number yes and leave it the same

so if you mult 0.123/0.023 by 10 you get
1.23/0.23, and mult by 10 again
12.3/2.3  and again
123/23 and that's about 6 yes?



(10^2 means 10 squared, 10X10)


from one line to the next what do you have to do to the answer to get to the next answer? so what is



another way to see this:

what's 10^3 times 10?
and 10^4 times 10?
10^3 times 10^2 =

or do it this way:

10^3 X 10^2=
10 X 10 X 10 X 10 X 10

so anyway it's 10^5 yes?
even 10^1 X 10^3=10^4 yes?

so it looks like 10^a X 10^b = 10^(a+b) yes?

on the other hand, what's

(10 X 10 X 10) X (10 X 10 X 10)

(2X 2) X (2X2X2) is the same as 2 X 2 X 2 X 2 X 2 right? order doesn't matter

so (10^3)^2=10^6

and that's diff than
10^3 X 10^2


1) (2^3)*(2^2)
3) (10^2)*(10^4)
4) (10^3)^2
5) (2^3)^3
6) (X^2)*(X^4)
7) (X^2)^4

now negatives.

what's 10^3/10=
that's 10^3/10^1
and it's =1000/10=

and what's
and 10^3/10^3

and 10^5/10^3?

so it looks like 10^a/10^b = 10^(a-b), yes?

so what's  10^3/10^4
that's 1000/10000  hmm that's 1/10,  yes?
but it's also 10^-1  by our formula

now that we can do that

if 1/10 =10^-1, then
1/100 =10^-2 etc..

1) 10^4/10^2
2) X^2/X^2
3) X^2/X^4
5) (10^5)*(10^-3)
6) (10^2)*(10^-5)

so onto sci notation

which is bigger 0.000012 or 0.00000845?  hard to bloody see so we do this:

12/1000=0.012 yes?

hmm lets do it this way:

to turn 0.000012 into 12 we multiply by 10 6 times yes?

or to turn 12 into 0.000012 we divide by 10 6 times

so i'ts =12 /10^6

or 12 X 10^-6 will do the same thing, right?

only for scfi notation we make the number part between 1 and 10

so we turn it into 1.2X10^-5

how did i do that?  i made 12 smaller so i had to compensate and make 10^-6 bigger.  10^-5 is BIGGER than 10^-6 right?  10^-20 is really really tiny right?  so we are going in the right direction

where are we?

so the easiest way to do this is:

to make 1,312 into scientific notation we turn it into 1.312, to do that we have to make it smaller by a 1000 or move the decimal point 3 places to the left, so we compensate by saying
1,312=1.312X10^3  (1000? right)

to make 0.00043 into scientific notation we turn it into
4.3 and this is multiplying it by ... hard to think that so just count how much to move the decimal point to the right..  4 places so it's multplying by 10^4  or to compensate, we say


so those are simple rules.


multiplying is easiest:

1.5X10^2 X 3X10^6

that's 1.5 X 3 X 10^2 X 10^6

but we know how to do all that!

4.5 and add the exponents right?


so 1.5X10^3 X 2.09X10^-6  ?

well on paper or with calculator mult
1.5 and 2.09

but don't do the 10s on the calculator!  just add 3 and -6!

so it's about 3X10^-3

dividing is opposite:

4.5X10^8 divided by 1.5X10^2 is

4.5/1.5 and 10^8/10^2 we subtract exponents right?


adding is trickier:

1.5X10^4 +3X10^2  well it's a big number plus a smaller number... best to expand them

1.5 move the dec point 4 places: X10 X10 X10 X10..
and 3X10^2 is just 3 hundreds right:


adding and subtracting is a pain in the ass.

but you can see that

well that's a giant number plus a smidgen, maybe don't even bother?  depends on how many decimal places of accuracy you are using.

(oops we forget to talk about significant figures.  arghh)

hell, you can even do sqare roots!

sqareroot of 4X10^6 is

sqrrt(4) times sqrrt(10^6)
that's 2X sqrrt (10X10X10 X10X10X10)
or 2X sqrrt( 1,000,000)
oh, that's 2X 1000!

doing sqrt of 4X10^5 is trickier:

sqrt(4) X sqrt(10^4) X sqrt(10)
2 X 10^2 X well, sqrt(10) you got to look up or approximately 3.

basically, you can do any maner of complex math with these things with pencil and paper or even in your head if you just need it approximately!  which you shold do anyway before you plug things into your calculator

significant figures
should go after measurements

i forgot to ask problems like:

write the number of seconds in a year in scientific notation

write the number of km in an inch in scientific notation...

graphing basic functions

ok, lets get to this:

graph y=3x-2:

set up a table:

0...y=.. (don't forget negatives and zero)

do a few more points, x=1, 2, 3

now you know how to plot points on a graph?  (-2,-8), (0,-2) etc...?  x comes first (horizontal axis) y comes second (vertical axis)

so review y=mx+b, is a streight line with slope m, crosses y axis at b (y intercept)

review slopes between two points (x1, y1) and (x2, y2)


draw some lines with slopes of 0, 1/10, 1/2, 1, 2, 10, -10, -2 etc..

***you should be able to visualize these slopes instantly and be able to approxximate the slope of a line (or tangent line) that you see***

more on slope.  slope is rise over run, that is if you plot the point (3,2) and draw a line from the point down to the x axis, and a line fromacross  (0,0) to (3,0) and draw the hypotenuse from the origin to the point you got a triangle.  the slope is also the oposite length over the adjacent bottom length.

if i give you a point (3,2) and i ask you to make a line through that point with the slope of m=4, which is 4/1, you can plot (3,2), then go by 4 and across by 1 to the next point (4,6), do it again and get (5,10).  now you can draw a line through them.

you can make an equation for it too.

first way:

use y=mx+b.  we said that m=4 so we got

y=4x+b.  we also said that it goes through the point (3,2), so x=3 when y=2, so plug those in:


now you gotta use algebra:

2=12+b  oh well no you don't obviously b=-10.

so your equation is y=4x+-10

or y=4x-10.

now check it and see if the points (3,2) and (4,6) work in it:

6=4*4-10?  yes.

another concept is the y intercept.  a line hits the y axis when x=0.  if we plug x=0 in the equation we get:
y=4*0-10 or
y=-10.  so b is the y intercept.

see if the line you drew hits the y axis way down there.

next kind of problem: if i give you two points (3,2) and (9, 5) can we make a line?  yes draw it.

next we can get an equation for it.  fist find the slope: (y1-y2)/(x1-x2)

now we use the slope formula to make a new kind of equation for a line called the point slope formula:

m= (y1-y2)/(x1-x2)

using algebra mult by sides by (x1-x2) and cancell out and get:


now rearrange

now we let one of the points be variable and the other fixed:


now we can plug our point and slope into the formula:


move things around:

y-2=(1/2)x - 3/2

add 2

y=(1/2)x -3/2 +2

2=4/2 so 4/2-3/2 =1/2 and we get

y=(1/2)x +1/2

plug the other point into this equation and see if it fits.  see if your line has a shallow slope of 1/2.  see if the line you draw looks like it hits the y axis at 1/2.

now do these:


y=3 is a horizontal line, all the points have y value of 3.  what is it's slope?

x=4 is a vertical line all the pints have x value of 4.  so it has the points (4,0) and (4,2)  what's the slope between em?  2/0?  that's undefined, vertical lines have undefined slope.  and they aren't techically functions.  (advanced topic)

okl, go

BASIC MATH I    38103   EXAM #1



1) Y=X+2

2) 3X-2Y=-5

3) X=4

4) Y=-3

5) Y=-1/2X+2

6) Y=3/2X-3

7) Y=2X




10) 3X-2Y=8

do you remember the algebra?  add 2y to both sides


sub 8

3x-8 =2y



divide by 2

y=(3/2)x -4

11) 2X+3Y=4


12) (2,-4) AND (6,8)

13) (10, 5) AND (10, -5)

14) (-1,1) AND (0,0)

15) (4,4) AND (-6, 2)

16) (6,3) AND (-2,3)

17) (-1,-4) AND (-3,-1)

    THE POINT (-4,3).





22) Y=-3X+2

23) 4X-3Y=8

24) Y=-3X


x intercept is when y is set to 0, y intercept is when x is set to 0.  (so much to learn!)

25) 5X+2Y=4

26) Y=-X-1




    Y=2X-3  AND Y=-X+3

30) you should be able to look at a line drawn on a graph and find the y intercept and approximate the slope by dividing rise over run between two points.  then you can write an equation for it.


Do the same for y=x^2, make a table and plot points, don't forget to use x=-2, x=0 etc...  also plot x=1/2, y=(1/2)^2

1/2 X 1/2 =1/4 right?

plot x=1/4, y=1/16 etc..

note that x^2 is always >=0, positive!

note that the slope between the points keeps changing sometimes negative on the left, positive on the right and getting steeper

draw on the same graph with y=x^2, the streight line y=x.  they should intersect at the point (1,1).  notice the graph of y=x^2 falls below the line for 0<x<1
and y=x^2 is above the line for x>1


graph y=x^3-4x

note if yo set y=x^3-4x =0, you can factor:
x(x^2-4)=0 and set each =0

so x^2=4 (add 4 to both sides)
and so x can be both 2 and -2

so the graph should cross the x axis (where y=0) 3 times at -2, 0, and 2.  those are the zeros of the function


this time from right to left:

start with x=16, y=4
x=9, y=3
don't forget:
x=1, y=1
and even if x=1/4, then y=1/2!

x=0, what's sqrt(0)?  well 0X0=0 so sqrt(0)=0

now x=-1 what's sqrt(-1)?  can any number times itself be negative?  no!  -2X2=-4, 2X-2=-4, -2X-2 is defined as +4!  so the function is undefined for all x less than 0!  so we only get half a graph.  it should look like a sideways parabola.

again, draw on the same graph the line y=x and note where they cross and where the sqrt graph is above and below.

these facts about numbers are useful:

small number (<1) squared gets smaller
big number (>1) squared gets bigger
square root of a small number (<1) is bigger
square root of a big number (>1) is smaller


again start from right to left, graph
x=4, y=1/4
x=2, y=1/2
x=1, y=1/1
x=1/2 y=1/(1/2)  oh how do we do that?

1/(1/2) = 1 divided by 1/2 so it's
1/1 divided by 1/2, or
1/1 X 2/1 =2!

in general 1/(a/b) is = b/a

x=1/10, y=10!

x=0? y=1/0 ?  looks like it's infinity?

now from left side,

x=-4, y=-1/4

x=-1/10, y=-10

oh, the graph doesn't come together in the middle it looks like on the negative side 1/0 should be negative infinity!  damm it's broken!  so we say that 1/0 is undefined.  for real physical process, we almost never get to 0 so the universe doesn't usually blow up


this is exponential growth, i.e. a bacteria, 20minutes later 2 bacteria, 40 minutes later 4 bacteria, an hour later 8 bacteria!  so 2 hours later its 64 bacteria, keep multiplying by 2, how many bacteria after 1 day?  this is why the human body does not tolerate rampant bacterial growth!  of course it slows down because diffusion of food and waste doesn't grow exponentially as things get bigger...

ok, graph it:

start from right:

x=4, y=2^4=16
x=1, y=2^1=2
x=0, y=1 (remember?  from way above, we discussed this)

we can even do 4^(1/2)  becuase

4^(1/2) X 4^(1/2) we add exponents =4^1!=4

so a number times itself = 4, so the number is =sqrt(4)=2, so
4^(1/2) =sqrt(4)=2

and 8^(1/3) * 8^(1/3) * 8^(1/3) =8 so it's
so 8^(1/3) =2 the cube root!  and so on

hell if i had to calculate 7.4^1.3 i could do it on paper!

=7.4^1 X 7.4^.3
and that's 7.4 X the cube root of 7.4 and the cube root of 8 is 2 so cube root of 7.4 is a little less, maybe 1.8 and my answer is
7.4X 1.8

we dont have to RELY on calculators

onward to plot
x=-1 remember 2^-1 is 1/2
x=-2 and so on.

note that 2^something is never negative it's never even =0

so the graph is always >0

on the right side is exponential growth.

if i graphed y=2^(-x) then on the right side the positive xs would turn negaitve and the graph would get smaller on the right, that's exponential decay you find in chemistry (drugs get used up with half lives etc..) and in radioactive decay

we can graph y=2.7^x also

there is a special number in mathematics called 'e' which is equal to approx 2.7 and the function y=e^x is very important.  you can graph it the same way:

x=2, y=2.7^2 etc...
x=0, y=2.7^0 anything ^0=1
x=-1, y=2.7^-1=1/2.7 etc... it looks the same

we'll do log and sin and cos and tan next time

7) logs

when we are graphing functions like y=2^x or y=4*x^10  the points go way up the y axis quickly.  also when we deal with data that looks like this:

mass of organism vs life span:

0.0001 grams   20 min

0.1 gram     2days

1 gram   10weeks

10 grams  etc...

100 grams

100 kilograms

etc...  (think from bacteria to whale)

it would be hard to graph on x-y axes!  if you made it go from 0 to 100,000 grams all the points for the tiny critters would get squashed together near the origin.

notice i got them as powers of ten.  notice scientific notation uses power of 10.

i could make a weird x axis and label the x axis this way:  make marks one inch apart.  the origin is x=0, then the next mark is 10, next is 100, next is 1000, and so on  and backwards the mark to the left of 0 is 0.1, next is 0.01 etc...

so our graph is really showing the number 0f zeros to the left or ritght of the dec point.

or the exp0nent of the scientific notation number, i.e if its'  10^4 then our mark is really at 4.

the exponent of a number is called the logarithm.


if 1000=10^3 then we say that

log base 10 of a 1000 is =3.  or


in science and engineering log stands for log base 10.  and ln stands for log base e which is a number about 2.718... more on that later.

so log(10^7)=7

log(1/10) = log (10^-1)=-1.

notice that log(10)=log(10^1)=1
and log(1)=log(10^0)=0

what is log(0)?

well if 1000=10^3 converts to

log(1000)=3  then

log(0) = x converts back to:

0 = 10^x.

but remember our graphing exponential functions?  10 to the something never gets to 0.

there is no such x and log(0) is undefined.

you can graph y=log(x), the points are (10, 1), (100, 2) (1,0) (1/10, -1) (1/100, -2) right?  see how it goes infinitely down but doesnt touch the y axis.

the log function grows slowly.

now if you had to graph the data about mass and life expectancy with real data you'd have to do things like take the log(345)  that's the same as

arggh  i don't have time.  i'll do more later.


geometry, triangles, trig

so we start with:
draw a square 4" on each side. (approx)  now make a point on the top side on inch in from the right.  make a point on the left side one inch from the bottom.  join these two points.  draw a point on the bottom, 1 inch from the right side.  join with the point on the side.  draw a point on the right side 1 inch from the top, join with last point.  now join the poinits on the left and top.  label the line segments 'a' for the one inch ones and 'b' for the 3 inch ones.  and label the 'diagonals', 'c'.   'c' is the HYPOTENUSE of each of the right triangles.  Note they make a square in the middle.  is it a square?  at each corner there are three angles.  the center one surrounded by two different ones.  these differnt ones are however just the small angles in one of the triangles.  since all angles of a triangle add to 180degrees, the angle that's left is the same as the right angle of the triangle, so the thing in the center is a square.

how does 'c' relate to 'a' and 'b'?

well the area c^2 + 4 triangles is the area of the whole square.  lets join the triangles by rearranging:  make a square 4" on each side. draw a horizontal line through the square one inch from the top.  draw a vertical line throught he square on inch from the right.  the sqare at the top left is aXa, the one on the bottom is bXb and the two rectangles are made of the 4 triangles in the first square, right?

each big square is the same area.  take the 4 triangles (2 rectangles) out of each one.  so the areas that are left are the same.  a^2 +b^2 = c^2

now that we have that we can make some right triangles.  make one with 2 45degree angles and a 90degree angle.  so the two sides are the same.  so if the hypotenuse is =1, we have: s^2+s^2=1,
(square root both sides:)

that goes with 45deg triangle

make an equilateral triangle with sides =1.  since it's an equlateral triangle, each angle is the same.  3A=180, or each angle =60degrees.  drop a vertical line fromt he top vertex to the base.  call it 's'. it cuts the base in half. it also cuts the top angle in half (30degrees)  look at one of the small triangles: it has 30degrees, 60degrees and right angle.  and the base =1/2, the huypotenuse=1, what's the vertical side?

s^2 + (1/2)^2 = 1^2
s^2 + 1/4=1
take square roots

3) sin, cos and tangent

draw x-y axes.  make points on the x axis 1 inch on either side of the origin.  two points 1" from the origin on the y axis .  use em to draw a circle with center at origin and radius =1"

now draw a ray from origin to perimeter of circle with angle 45degrees from the horizontal.  and vertical line from the intersection point on the circle to the x axis.  (45 45 90 triangle on it's side).  the ray is the hypotenuse.  lable the angle at the origin alpha or theta or t or whatever.

we define sin(t)=opposite/hypotenuse.  since hypotenuse is =1, then sin(t) is the vertical side or even sin(t)=the y coordinate of the point.  (these are three ways to remember what sin is)

so sin(45deg)=sqrt(2)/2

do the same thing with a 30 60 degree triangle with smaller (s=1/2) base on x axis and longer side vertical, hypotenuse from center to circle.  60degree angle will be at origin.

so sin(60deg) = sqrt(3)/2

now flip the triangle over with long side on x axis and 30deg angle at origin.

sin (30deg)= smaller side = 1/2

if we made a triangle with 0deg, the vertical side would be even smaller, in fact nothing at all so

sin(0deg) =0

if we made a triangle with 90 degree angle at origin, the oposit side would go al the way up:

sin(90deg) = 1

arrange these in a series:

angle    sin(angle)
0        sqrt(0)/2    or     0
30        sqrt(1)/2    or     1/2
45        sqrt(2)/2     or    sqrt(2)/2
60        sqrt(3)/2     or    sqrt(3)/2
90        sqrt(4)/2     or    2/2=1

notice also that these weird things are really just numbers between 0 and 1:
sqrt(2)=?  well 1.5 X 1.5 =2.25, close!  so sqrt(2) is approx =1.4
sqrt(3)=?  1.6X1.6 =?  lets call it 1.7, so the pattern is:

angle    sin(angle)                in decimal
0        sqrt(0)/2    or     0            0.0
30        sqrt(1)/2     or     1/2            0.5
45        sqrt(2)/2     or    sqrt(2)/2    0.7
60        sqrt(3)/2     or    sqrt(3)/2    0.85
90        sqrt(4)/2     or    2/2=1        1.0

that's nice.

it's a very simple pattern in the second collumn, yes?  you should have NO problem memorizeing it!  do so.

now for each of those triangles, we define cos(t) as the adjacent side (side touching the angle which is lying on the x axis) divided by the hypotenuse.  so cos(t) is the adjacent side, or the x coordinate of the point on the circle.

so looking at each triangle we find:

cos(30deg) = sqrt(3)/2, cos(45)=sqrt(2)/2, cos(60deg)=1/2.  convince yourself that the table now becomes:

angle    sin(angle)                cos(angle)
0        sqrt(0)/2    or     0            1
30        sqrt(1)/2 or     1/2            sqrt(3/2)
45        sqrt(2)/2 or    sqrt(2)/2        sqrt(2/2)
60        sqrt(3)/2 or    sqrt(3)/2        1/2
90        sqrt(4)/2 or    2/2=1        0

you see that the cosines go in the opposite direction of the sines!  so in fact whenever you have to do sines and cosines you can sketch out this table from memory in 2 seconds.

look at the way we defined sin and cosine:

sin=opp/hyp, cos=adj/hyp

so sin(t)*sin(t) + cos(t)*cos(t)=opp^2/hyp^2 +adj^2/hyp^2
and this =

but pythagoream theorm says that the opp^2+adj^2 is     EQUAL TO the hyp^2, so we have

sin(t)*sin(t) +cos(t)*cos(t) = hyp^2/hyp^2 =1

we write sin(t)*sin(t) more compactly as sin^2(t)  [THIS DOES NOT MEAN WE MULTIPLY SOME QUANTITY CALLED SIN, BY ITSELF!  only take sin of t and THEN multiply]

so sin^2(t) + cos^2(t) =1

this comes in handy.

go back to the 30 60 triangle you have drawn with the 30deg angle at  the origin.  recall that  the slope of the line (hypotenuse) from teh origin is the rise over run!  so it's m=(1/2)/(sqrt(3)/2).  to divide flip the second fraction and multiply: m=1/sqrt(3)  [oops we don't like sqrts on bottom, multiply both top and bottom by sqrt(3):

1/sqrt(3) * sqrt(3)/sqrt(3)

we define tan(t)=opposite/adjacent.  it's the same thing as teh slope of the hypotenuse when the triangle is drawn this way.

but wait!  we defined sin as opposite and cos as adjacent, so
tan(t)=sin(t)/cos(t)  so now you can easily fill in the table:

angle    sin(angle)                cos(angle)        tan(angle)
0        sqrt(0)/2    or     0            1                0/1    =0
30        sqrt(1)/2 or     1/2            sqrt(3/2)            sqrt(3)/3
45        sqrt(2)/2 or    sqrt(2)/2        sqrt(2/2)            you fill it in...
60        sqrt(3)/2 or    sqrt(3)/2        1/2
90        sqrt(4)/2 or    2/2=1        0


angles bigger than 90degrees.  if i pick a point on the circle above the x axis and left of the y axis (x negative) and draw a ray from origin to it.  and i draw a line from that point to the point (1,0) right most point of the circle.  i now have a triangle with an angle bigger than 90deg at the origin.

no matter we can still define sin cos and tan.  the sides are funny, so we will use the third form of the definitions:

sin(t)= the y coordinate.  for angles between 90 and 180, these are the same as for the y coordinates for the smaller angles, so here sin(t)=sin(t) for the corresponding angle <90.  one way to say this is:
sin(180-t)=sin(t)  [see if that makes sense by trying t=45, 30, 60

cos(t)= the x coordinate.  this time the x coordinates are negative so cos(180-t)=-cos(t).

hell we can make angles even bigger so that the hypotenuse drops below the x axis, now both x and y are negative, and thus the corresponding sin and cos.  going further to the 4th quadrant, sin is still negative and cos is again positive.

why not keep going round and round?  sure.  in fact we should graph these buggers in a new way:

make x y coords.  label the x axis with 360 deg about 2" to the right of the origin.  cut it in half and we get 180deg mark.  again half and 90deg mark.  if we cut that in half we get 45, if we cut 90 in thirds we get 30.  2/3 along is 90.

this gets a little awkward so ... since all the way around is the circumference of our original circle, and the radius is one then the circumference is 2pi* r or 2pi, so:

60=180/3 or pi/3

place these (use the symbol for pi) right below the angles measures in degrees on your graph (along the x axis)

i don't know if you will use these units in your physics class.  if you were doing it with calculus, you would.  you might use them when you get to rotary motion.

onward.  from our chart you see that the values of sin and cos go between -1 and 1. make a mark 1" above the oritgin and call it 1, and -1 below.

now we graph sin:  it's 0 at 0.  use the chart to plot angles up to 90.  .5, .7 etc..  when we get to 90.. well at 135 (90+45) on our circle we see that the y value of the point on teh circle is getting smaller again and we said that sin(t) here is =sin(t) on the right side, so we plot .7 at x=135deg.

at this point it is easier to use the pi's.  if the x axis is marked off 2pi, half way is pi, half of that is pi/2, half way between pi and 2pi is pi/2 and pi/2 and pi/2 so it's 3pi/2.  between 0 and pi/2 is pi/4 and half way between pi/2 and pi is pi/4 +pi/4+pi/4 = 3pi/4, etc..

so our graph is .7 at 3pi/4.  continue towards 180deg or pi.  the graph is going down to sin(180)=0.  now sin goes negative.  at 3pi/2 that's 90deg, 90deg, 90deg, sin is the y value on the circle 1" down the y axis.  sin(3pi/2)=-1.  plot that.  finally we rise back up to sin(360)=0.  it makes a sine wave.  of course you can repeat the whole thing to make another 2pi!  for instance at 2pi+pi/2 = 5pi/2 it's one again.

even go backwards!  if you start at sin(0) on the circle, and go clockwise, y values going down and we call the angles negative, so our x-y graph has sin(-pi/2) = -1 and you can divide the x axis back there as -2pi, -pi etc... and get a sine wave going that way too.

notice that cos(t)=cos(-t)


tangent is weird.

these graphs will be useful for the chapters on harmonic motion.  (waves and springs bouncing up and down.

sin and cosine functions


Sketch Of Blurb For My Math Tutoring Students

                                                            1 Mar 2002

                   Math Tutoring With Barry Goldman


    You must give 24 hour notice if you need to cancell a session, and if your session is 5pm or later (these slots are in GREAT DEMAND) then call BEFOR NOON the day before.  there are usually other students who would like these slots.     

    If you don't do the homework i assign and we have to do the work in the next session, your progress will be very slow!  Do lots of homework and bring it with you so that i can see how you are doing.


    this course as specified is an entire semester of spelling, or a semester of piano lessons consisting entirely of finger exersizes and scales and you never get to play a song, and not even get a chance to hear what a song is like.  BORING!  Actually, impossible to really learn. (possibly, you can memorize it for the test, but what a waste of time, might as well retain a valuble skill, and knowlege base).
     I wish we had the time to do songs...  I will try here and there to bring in some of this material.  what would be the songs in algebra?  well, working out some of the patterns I have been trying to show you, some of the historical development, explaining or proving some of the rules and assertions.  i.e. where the square root of two comes from, why it was so important for the greeks and in fact most early civilizations to express numbers as fractions, and why the square root of two cannot be expressed as a fraction.  Or how mathematicians filled in the hole in the pattern and defined what to do with division by zero ( it also involves the square roots of negative numbers).   How some of this math is used in science. etc...

 what is its utility?  will it make you more capable citizens?

    I wish i could teach you how to grasp the world with quantitative skills, pattern recognition, but...

     Algebraic statement of concepts and then algebraic manipulation is a major tool of science, engineering, economics, business...  The use of the same rules for neg, 0 and positive numbers, the use of neg numbers, fractions etc for exponents and using the same rules for all, is another powerful abstraction.  algebra and the concepts of functions, operators, abstract algebraic systems, allows mathematicians to build layer upon layer, where eventually they can manipulate huge complexes of problems with the movement of a few symbols.
     plotting geometric problems on the x-y axes and then using algebra, is a powerful tool for solving geometric problems for which insight is hard to come by.
     In general, it is amazing that we have two alternate tools to solve problems, geometrical, and algebraic.  some problems will succumb to one approach or the other, or in the solution of a single problem we have at our disposal both approaches to complement one another.

    The process of working out algebraic and numerical problems, builds concentration,  attention to details whose meanings are not readily aparent, techniques for maintaining attention on a long sequence of steps and how to complete them without losing track.     It Trains us in the technique of breaking up a conceptually difficult problem into a long train of conceptually simple steps;  perhaps not the most spiritually advanced, or artistic way to solve a problem, but the development of quantitative measuring, mathematical manipulation, scientific experiment and the resulting technology has made western civilization the current dominant force on this planet, wether fortunate or unfortunate.

     USEFULNESS OF:  functions, graphing, solving systems of linear equations,


    The whole point of these courses is that we can make both algebraic, and geometric models of the same process, or structure.  Or not even that we can make models, but that we can engage both visual/kinesthetic and linguistic/logical abilities to help us solve and understand problems. Oddly enough almost every piece of algebra goes with a picture (even if it is 4 or 11 dimensional.) and almost every picture as some algebraic description.  Very odd that so much of the crazy algebra cooked up inside mathematicians heads like square root of minus one, and 4x4 matrices etc... are actually found by the physicists to describe our real world in some way.
     So don't forget to use graphs to help solve your problems or check them.


I will try to show you math in the contexts of other subjects, and in the functioning of civilization in general.  or suggest some light reading about math problems, history of math and science, famous mathematicians, scientists.  do math puzzles!  Perhaps learn some fun games, like GO, conway life, computer programming.


    work slowly and methodicaly

    tell story of math team,     break problem into many simple steps

    writing practice
    always be writing at first, don't let yourself stop and think for too long especially on a test or quizz!  If you don't know how to proceed just start sketching out something, this may jog your memory and then you will see how to do it.
     when first learning how to perform new problems, don't take too much time agonizing about wether you are doing them right.  Work through them quickly and see what the results are.

     take alot of space, have clean page, like well lit, well organized spacious kitchen to cook a major project in.  cramping of any kind causes tension, causes messups.  So: DON'T WORK AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE!!

     work row by row, going down the page ONE STEP AT A TIME, consequently: don't begin a problem at the bottom of the page.  further, leave enough room to complete the whole problem on ONE PAGE, having to flip pages or copy from one page to another lets in chance of error.
     Try to do only one operation per line, copying the rest of the line out each time; tedious perhaps, but by concentrating on only one operation at a time, things won't get jammed or confused and you won't make stupid mistakes even when you know what you are doing.  Also by writing out each step neatly doing only one operation  at a time, if you get distracted, you can easily come back to the page and see what the next step is.
     always write the original problem statement first.         

     write neatly and openly so it don't look like a mess of spiders wiggling all over the page.

     the goal is to have a sequence of easily readable steps, so that you can look down your work and spot mistakes and left out negative signs etc..

     Which brings us to negative signs.  watch the negative signs!!  write them boldly as if you mean them so that they don't disappear a few steps down.  treat them with respect, as if they were angry ferrets with sharp teeth.  When you get to one, be on the alert, something confusing is bound to happen.  The negative sign is relatively new in history.


    mathematics is about seeing patterns, getting the patterns laid down in your gut.  The use of calculators and computers in schools is largely a result of large industries bullying over and colonizing the educational establishment. In no way should all highschool students be purchasing those stupid $100 texas instrument calculators!  They are actually sophisticated graphic programmable computers that you could design moon flights on!  They do not lead to more effective learning, at least not used in the way they usually are.
     The calculator is a useful tool, once you have thouroughly mastered the understanding of the concepts and a developed a gut feel for what the results should be.  No machine has yet been built by us that comes close to the intuition of a trained craftsman.  It is your job to become a trained craftsman in the use of mathematics.  you should definitely not rely on the calculator to be the arbitor of wether your answers are correct.  It is our jobs to be constantly checking the machines around us for their correct function, after all we don't want them running the show.  Neither do we want to become dependent on tycoons like Bill Gates for our abilities to solve our own problems.
     once the craft is learned, the calculator becomes an excellent tool for performing repetitve dull sequences of calculations.  but beware that even in the process of performing long sequences of calculations, if we do them by hand we may gain insight into some patterns and ultimately learn to streamline the process or gain real insight into the problem at hand, something that might not happen if a calculator or worse, a computer were set to the task mindlessly.
    at anyrate, even though the homework seems like a boring sequence of problems, it is actually the occasion for you to embody skills.  If you let the calculator do the work, you will learn nothing.  when you are ready to build bridges and rocket ships or design vast marketing strategies, you can go ahead and use a calculator.
     So keep trying to learn the multiplication table.  If it is hard to memorize, you will just have to develop your own tricks of how to calculate or see the patterns to help you memorize.  That's what mathematics is.


    first step is to have a goal in mind.  what do you think the answer is going to be like?  How are you going to get there?  keep this goal in mind, keep in mind THE PURPOSE of each step while you are working and then it will be harder to get lost.
     on your way, if you've guessed what the answer is going to be like, you can check, does it look like you are going to end up there?

    when you are done, check your result!


    do the problem again
    do the problem later, when you might see something different     do the problem in a different way

    i.e. a different algebraic approach, with decimals instead of
    fractions, geometrically instead of algebraicaly.
    check it numerically:
         if it is an arithmetic problem, reason by way of the size of the answer you ought to get.  approximate.
         if it is solving an equation for a numerical answer, substitute the answer ALL THE WAY BACK IN THE ORIGINAL PROBLEM STATEMENT.

        if it is transforming one algebraic expression into another, substitute a value for the variable in the original problem and your final answer. now evaluate the two expressions, they should come out the same. Just in case you picked a special value, pick another one and try it.
         This particular tool is important to use all the time.  Suppose you are about to use what you think is a correct rule: (a+b)^2 = a^2+b^2.  Try it on some numbers first:

(3+4)^2 = 3^2 + 4^2 ? 7^2 = 9+16 ? 49 = 25?  nope!  that wasn't the right algebra rule.
     by developing these skills, you can become confident that you know what you are doing, that you are mastering algebra and not just following allong in a fog.

    Learn to approximate!!

     Keep practicing.  It's a physical skill.  It is said of musicians, dancers... that if you miss one day of practice each week you will notice difficulty with your skill, if you miss two days practice, others will notice...
     so, i suggest that you do a little bit of math EVERY DAY as apposed to alot of math at a shot each week.  Unless you are on a good roll, take a break once an hour, get the blood flowing, do handstands, cartweels play tennis, get a fresh view of what you are working on.  Try doing math at different times of the day, to find the time that you concentrate the best.

    as we progress in the semester i will continue to give review from the previous weeks work to keep in practice.  In math all skills are built on the ones that come before.  You have to keep them in practice.


    Work on ALL problems assigned even if you do not think you have the right answer.  Write your name, the date assigned, and the textbook exercise section number at the beginning of each homework assignment.  Write the problem number and the original problem statement for each assigned problem.  Write legibly and show all work!
     Instead of checking your answers with the ones at the back of the book, try to work on some of the ways i've described to check your answers on your own.
     more important for you to trudge ahead and try stuff that don't work so i can see how you are thinking than to write down the correct answer. then, come test time, there wont be any surprises.  When i look at your work i can discover what is holding you back, and help you move forward.

[on the other hand that is another technique i should use, just have them watching me solve problems step by step correctly and copying, build the muscles.  hmmm...]

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Eve and the Two World Trees Again, Tightened Up? fat chance!

i used to try to write weird shit

When Eve Chose The Fruit Of Imagining We Got Lost In The Labyrinth

before time began his journey

before Nous began his journey after PsuXe's fleeing ripeness, dripping his seed like the ticking of times clock

before time began his journey after PsuXe, ecosystems created the myriad beings.

before Nous began to spin the sad tale of his awareness of time's passage after PsuXe fled from his awakening, and he gave chase, there was only one creator.

She was Earth and she created the myriad beings within herself by letting in the seeds of random flux, letting them enter her own flesh and creating folds around themselves for wombs, letting them play against each other in the game of natural selection. Inviting birth and death into her own flesh generation after generation.

before the tale of time spun 'round the world tree

before the path of life and the path of death diverged, there was one world tree of birth and death around which the world revolved in timeless eternal orbit. at equilibrium. Then death, the giver of chance, of mutation, the giver of novelty, offered Eve the forbidden fruit.

And what fruit was it? The pomegranate, convoluted fruit like the cerebral cortex, in the image of mother Earth's folds of flesh around the seeds of creation. So Death offered Eve this convoluted fruit, mass of neurons, the pandora's box dense enough to catch the seeds of random flux herself and wrap wombs of thought about them, give them whole worlds of her own imagining to play in and create ecosystems

once Demeter, giver of live, fertility of decaying mud lost her daughter Persephone to Dis, deep in the dungeons of death. and Persephone ate of the seeds of the pomegranate in his garden in hell

once the daughter of life ate of the seeds of the knowledge of death in death's realm

once the serpent tempted Eve with the power of imagining, simulating,

just after the beginning of time, when Eve stole the pomegranate of ecosystem from the tree and gave it to man, he did not at all understand its nature. He feared not being able to consort with the dead. He feared the flight of PsuXe, he feared being alone.

When the serpent, twined about the one world tree, tempted PsuXe to eat of the fruit of convolution and it lodged into her head and she began to imagine, to dream, for the first time, stories of life and death, in fear she fled the embryonic oneness of her slumber and Nous suddenly separated from her embrace from the oneness of their flesh, for the first time felt bare and cold and felt the separateness of his flesh and yearned for the touch of her and he chased after her luscious ripeness and both of them running round the world tree, he, dripping his seeds and she naming them

and the world tree split with them and the tree of the making of good and evil split off from the tree of the wholeness of birth and death and the tree of making leaned toward their chase and slowly began its wobble about the world axis of the wholeness of birth and death

and thus the sun's path around that tree of knowledge separated from the path of consort with the dead, leaving the burnt milky way in its memory. And the path of the sun, the path of life no longer turned round the world axis but about that tilting one, and the sun sometimes dipped too low and sometimes soared too high and forced the changing of seasons into dry summers and cold deathly winters and with him the lord of the four quarters was now ever slowly shifting houses and the world order was ever doomed to endless repetition of binge and collapse of empire.

No longer could the people travel freely along the path of the dead and the path of the living. The living people thirsted to see their dead companions face to face, and the dead thirsted for the living, and as the memory of their consort with each other faded, they created gods and monsters.

And man lost suddenly in the labyrinth of convoluted cavern of brain under the dark sky vault. Yearning to find the oncetime slumber wandering throught the labyrinth, every time he wandered, the labyrinth being his very wandering became more convoluted and he became utterly lost.

the cavern he lived in grew large. The cavern of mind was empty with echoes. the vault of sky and mind was far away and every time man tried to apprehend those walls, they, being his very apprehension itself, swelled and grew more distant still.

When man was given the craft of creation he was so ignorant of its ways. He no longer remembered the connection of birth and death. He was ignorant of the role of chance as the source for all new ideas. He was ignorant of the craft of trial and error of natural selection on those ideas to hone them down.

it was a long journey to the knowledge of the craft of creation...

Friday, June 25, 2021

Some Critters Around The Neighborhood in June

 Tiny jumping spider came to visit back porch. About 6mm long.  Tutelina elegans.  I need a REAL camera.  those black and white stripes on it's head are cool eyebrows.

backyard bunny chillin'  Every evening.

Caviar on a leaf?  I think it's a fungus.  I think it's a fancy Birch tree.  I think the fungus is not mature yet.  will wait a few weeks for it to grow reproductive structures.  also I have to take thinner sections of the leaf it's growing on to see if it is growing INSIDE the leaf tissue.

The little pink blobs are about a 1/2 a millimeter high on the surface of the half a millimeter thick leaf.

Little hollow trumpets with pink blobs at the top.  What will they grow into?  dunno!  I can't tell if the fungal tissue is growing INSIDE the leaf.  can't see leaf cells niether!  need thinner section.  don't see any cells in the fungus either!  maybe is NOT a fungus.  Time will tell.

I could see hints of vascular tissue (tubes for water and nutrients, the plant's circulatory system) in the cross section tho.  each tube is one cell thick.

I think the large circles are cross sections of Xylem, the tubes that ship up water from the roots.  The Phloem, the tubes that the leaf sends food back down to the plant in, should be below.  

ok, update!  These are NOT fungus.  

What i thought was a fungus on the tree leaves, turns out to be the leaves reacting to being fed on by an Eriophyrid mite! Mites are related to ticks. some, you have seen, like these cute velvety red ones: about a millimeter long. u see them crawling everywhere even under water.


most, you don't see as they are much less than a millimeter and hide, like hair follicle mites, house dust mites or plant gall mites. 4000 kinds of those. feed on plants and the plants get annoyed and make Galls around them.
Anyway, i've been told that my purple/salmon blob 'fungus' on (probly) Downy Birch leaves is the leaves being disturbed by 1/5th of a millimeter long mites, Acalitus longisetosus
I will have to look at the leaves closely and find the mites! tho maybe they are only active spring and fall!