Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Day of the Doctor Review and Analysis (Spoiler-ful): Including comments on BBCA ruining it

I thoroughly enjoyed The Day of the Doctor, but I have some complaints, mostly about how BBC America really went out of their way to ruin the viewing experience.

Here's the Amazon link:
Hey, you can watch it in 3D if you have a 3D TV

Warning: This post will contain content that can lead to spoilers and outright spoilers of the show, so please do not continue reading if you want to have a spoiler-free experience. Please read my spoiler-free review if you want to get a gauge of the show before you watch.

The Day of the Doctor Review: Almost Perfect (Spoiler-free)

If you were at all reluctant to watch "The Day of the Doctor", let me assure you that your fears are unfounded.

Here's a cool shot of all 12 Doctors

And the Amazon link to the blu-ray:

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Monday, November 11, 2013

Best Shortcut First or How the Order of Operations SHOULD Be Taught

I once taught a class that used a book that defined the order of operations as "an agreed upon" order to do math problems!


As though there was some dark cabal of mathematicians meeting secretly across the world to decide how math works.

I cannot begin to describe to you how frustrated this made me.

...oh wait, that was sort of the point of this.

The Trencher Solution

Most people that like messy sandwiches and other food usually handle the leftover mess one of a couple different ways (note: by "mess", I refer here to the delicious innards of your sandwich that are exposed to the world through your voraciousness or I refer to the goopy remains of whatever sauces and condiments made up your meal):
  1. If there are breadsticks or other bread accompaniments, then you mop up the mess with the bread. 
  2. Eating the mess à la carte. 
  3. Throwing the mess away.
Now, clearly #3 is not only a sin, but is also heart-breaking after a good meal. It's akin to throwing away extra body parts after making a new human (...wait, that's not how new humans are made? Sorry, I missed that day in 5th grade when they explained it. I only have sci-fi and horror stories to go off of now).

Similarly, #2 can frequently be a disappointment after the climax of a meal that is more than the sum of its component parts, although rarely the remaining parts are worthwhile.

#1 then is clearly the best solution, and is also wonderful in that it awards additional breads, but it is not always appropriate. I wager that it is most appropriate when you are eating a gravy of some sort (whether that's turkey gravy, spaghetti sauce, or other). What then can we do in situations where only #2 or #3 seem to apply?

I recommend what I call, "The Trencher Solution".

Monday, November 4, 2013

OMA Free Again and first "Kindle Countdown Deal" on Arithmetic & Number Sense!

Every semester I try to make Overcoming Math Anxiety and How to Be Successful in Mathematics: The Language of Mathematics and How to Love Math Again free for a few days so all of my students can download it.

For whatever reason, several students said they did not get a chance to download it (even though it was available for THREE DAYS) and asked if I would make it free again.

That's OK though, because it gives me a chance to try out a Kindle Countdown Deal for Arithmetic & Number Sense: The "Basics" of Mathematics We Are Never Taught.
  • OMA will be offered FREE on Thursday and Friday of this week (Nov 7 - 8)
  • ANS will be offered for $0.99 starting on Wednesday for 36 hours (ostensibly, through noon on Thursday)
  • Then, ANS will be $1.99 for another 36 hours (through the end of the day Friday).