|Not really a blog, but more some random thoughts. Some of these have been excised and transferred to Random Writings. Otherwise you might like also to look at:|
Well, it was much more expensive than we thought, in part because we booked late, but not late enough to get the seats they are desperate to sell, and in part because the price quoted was nothing like the price paid. Once you paid for checked luggage (OK, we didn't have any) and check-in (OK, so we checked in online and that was free) we then had a confusing experience with selecting seats, and for some reason seemed to get charged because we had chosen some seats. How we could avoid doing that I'm not really sure, but I digress ...
Then we had to pay to get from CDG to central Paris, which turned out to be Euro 8.70 each, each way, so that adds more, but I digress ...
The real major bmibaby fail was that they've sent me an email advertising something or other when I specifically, explicitly, every time I was asked, clicked the box to say "Do not email me your special offers."
I'm not going to complain to them, evidence suggests it would be useless, and given that they haven't listened to me yet, why would they listen to that. So I'll tell people - bmibaby will email you, even if you ask them not to.
Thanks, bmibaby. Fail.
OK, so at no point did I ever think maths was no fun |
but this limerick was too good to pass up ...
What more |
can I say ...
This is a bona fide rant, with very little basis in research, or
indeed in facts at all. I've ranted based on random snippets I've
heard, and a degree of frustration that I get second hand from some
of the teachers I have the honour of working with.
And I don't say "honour" lightly. I get to work with dedicated teachers who are occasionally struggling against the odds to impart an eduction despite the best efforts of the students, the parents and the system. Indeed, sometimes against the best efforts of their colleagues.
This is not a rant against teachers, it's a rant on their behalf. If I've got it wrong, email me and tell me. I'll definitely be listening.
To me, it just seems to be surface area, but you only count some faces of the item in question. For a cylinder you don't count the top or bottom, for a prism you don't count the top or bottom, for a pyramid you don't count the bottom, and there is no top.
What about a frustum? That didn't seem clear. What about a hemisphere? I found no mention of that.
Perhaps the thing to do is to teach areas of faces, and then separately decide that sometimes we don't want some of them, such as the top or bottom. Then the students can work out which bits should be computed, and which bits to ignore.
But no doubt the students will say "Just tell me the answer!" and won't want to think about it. Thinking is hard, and to be avoided at all costs.
" Just give me the answer ! "
No wonder so many people are left with the impression that maths is just a bunch of disconnected, unmotivated and arbitrary rules. After all, that's what the student actually ask for.
Finally the 21st Century is drawing me in, like some simile a good writer might use. I've started to use twitter and Facebook, and so my extraordinary amounts of spare time (snort) have found another sink.
Recently I mentioned to James Grime that 10! seconds is exactly 6 weeks, and the response has been surprising. It seems that this is new to people, and it's been re-tweeted and re-tweeted. If only I'd thought to tweet it rather than just mention it in random conversation.
So I've started to tweet these random things. There are many more to come, but I've just mentioned that there are pi seconds in a nano-century.
But now there's a problem. I need to write these things down somewhere, and then cross them off when I've used them. I'll look stupid if I repeat too many, and it's daft to bring them all out at once. I need somewhere to write them down and keep track. I need an external brain.
Recently I've started to use these web pages for exactly that, but I can't use them, because then people will find them.
Argh! Perhaps I'm just paranoid, perhaps it's all too complicated, perhaps I should go back to pencil and paper.
Perhaps I should worry less and get on with life ...
ADDED LATER: OK, I've now got a Random Factlets page ...
I've just been visiting the National Rail web site to try to get train times. Giving the number of talks I do I often have unusual requirements, so I torture the site somewhat until it confesses. On this occasion, though, I am stumped.
I'm going to Hemel Hempstead, and so I asked for trains from my local station. No problem. I wondered if there was any difference if I went via London. The options given were similar. Then I wondered about going via Liverpool instead of Chester, so I asked for services via Liverpool.
When it gave me the same options as before I was curious, so I asked for details. Sure enough, despite asking for a train via Liverpool, I got trains via Chester.
Useless. More than useless, it gave me the wrong answer, and took 10 minutes to do so.
Then I went to the scheduling service on a German web site:
Don't bother with the National Rail web site unless you're happy not only to be bombarded by ads, and give them your money, but also to give them 30 minutes of your life for the wrong answer.
(Actually the "quotation" isn't, but it would be nice if it were.)
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