Friday, July 31, 2015

Coming Soon...

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(C)Copyright 2015, C. Burke.

This was actually a leftover 'surd' joke, but I couldn't do much with 'To Surd, With Love'.




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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Future of Metric?

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(C)Copyright 2015, C. Burke.

Imagine being base 10 in a base 2 world.




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Saturday, July 25, 2015

Off the Grid

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(C)Copyright 2015, C. Burke.

Bet you never knew how easy it is to get off the grid. Just go to the edge and jump off.

But, seriously, there will be a gap in comics for a while. As well as a gap in the usual places where I post updates. I'll be away and I don't know what access I'll have nor what (computer) tools I'll have available. And no one else knows how I operate any of the websites to run them in my absence.

Be back in a couple of weeks.




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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

(blog): Sporadic Posting for the Next Few Weeks

Once again, Real Life manifests itself in odd ways. Sometimes I work around it. Sometimes L post late or take a day or two off. Not this time.

A family trip (not a vacation) was going to take me off the grid (mostly) next week and the week after. However, other separate issues have come up that make the rest of this week unlikely as well. Where does that leave me?

Posting comics is out. I might be able to doodle on my iPad, but I won't be able to edit the pictures nor compose the text. Text posts are possible, but I don't know how much time I'll have to compose one that isn't rambling (like this post is). And with nothing on the blog, there will be little to post on Google+ or Facebook. (Maybe my personal Facebook page, but not the comic page.)

Basically, that leaves me with occasional tweets on Twitter.

If I don't post another comic before Friday, I'll see you in a few weeks.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

(x, why?) Mini: Surds

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(C)Copyright 2015, C. Burke.

Okay, I'm done now. Probably. Not entirely surd-ainly.

It's a fun, dumb word which will merit a blog entry when I have time for one.




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Saturday, July 18, 2015

Miss Probability Question

Today's Probability Question is a Real Beauty

1. If all outcomes are equally likely, what is the probability that Mr. Burke has his arm around Miss America 2015?

2. In your opinion, do you think Mr. Burke cares about the answer? Er, I mean ... explain why question 1 is not a reasonable question.

Obviously, in the real world, not all outcomes are equally likely to win the pageant, but if you were to, say, pull a photo of one contestant from a pile, or were to pick a sash at random, you could calculate the probability that the picture or sash belonged to Miss New York.

Also, in the real world, before this past Thursday, Mr. Burke would never believe he'd ever had a photo of himself with his arm around Miss New York (Miss Jamie Lynn Macchia). However, in the real world, if Mr. Burke should ever get such a picture, there is a 100% certainty that he's going to post it!!!

Friday, July 17, 2015

(x, why?) Mini: Boolean

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(C)Copyright 2015, C. Burke.

If (isfunny) then leave-praise-share else nevermind

Boolean is a logical value equal to True or False and is used in logic (such as in computer programming).

The interesting thing about them was when I found out that False has a zero value, but True isn't equal to 1. In fact, True is simply "not zero", literally any value other than zero (or possibly "null", which is something else and I'm not going there right now).

That means that in situations where you might write "If x != 0 then" (Note: != mean "not equal to" in many computer languages"), you could just write "If x then" because any value other than 0 (which we didn't want) would evaluate as True! This was great! ... except that my professors condemned this as "clever coding" which was harder to read, decipher and maintain, so Don't Do It.

I'm not a programmer by trade any more, but from what I read, clever coding could be the standard, for all I know, because it executes faster, and it's more of a feature of languages like C than it was of PL/I or Pascal.

Final note: "Boolean" is named after George Boole, so it gets a capital "B", like "Venn diagram".

Oh, and this is a bullion cube joke, if you didn't get that. You don't use "Boolean cubes", except maybe in roleplaying games.




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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Absurd

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(C)Copyright 2015, C. Burke.

The word "surd" is an absurd word.

For anyone who doesn't know what a "surd" is, I was one of you just a few weeks ago. I began brushing up on the Algebra 2 curriculum, in case I need to teach it in the fall, and I came across a page dedicated to the topic Surds.

Surds are just another name for radical numbers, particularly those that are irrational so the radical sign cannot be removed.

I checked with my son (the recent contributor and university student), and he hadn't heard the term. And then, a few days ago, a colleague in England, whom I follow on Twitter, posted some problems. The first response was "Surds! I love that topic!"

I admitted that I'd only recently heard that word, and the commenter asked, "Then what do you call them?"

The original poster responded, "Radicals!", so at least that term is known on the other side of the Pond.




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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Problem: Pythagorean Theorem and Tangent-Secant

There are multiple ways to solve problems with circles, but some will be more straightforward than others, based on the information given.

If a circle has a tangent drawn to it, then that tangent is perpendicular to the radius it intersects. In other words, a right angle is created. Generally speaking, that right angle will probably signal the need to use the Pythagorean Theorem at some point in the problem.

On the other hand, if the tangent is accompanied by a secant line, then a second theorem can be plucked from our toolkit: the Tangent-Secant Theorem. If the tangent and secant intersect at a point outside the circle, then the square of the length of the tangent from the external point to the circle will be equal to the product of the portion of the secant outside the circle times the length of the entire segment.

Consider the problem below:

Which of the two theorems do we need to use?

The answer is: either one of them.

The circle has three radii drawn, but only one is labeled. Write the "6" next to the other two segments.

You can now solve for x using the right triangle with legs 6 and x, and with hypotenuse 10. Or you can solve for tangent with length x using the secant with a length of 16 and an external length of 4.

If you choose to work both of them out, you'll find the same answer.

Keeping that in mind, look at this next problem:

Now you will see that you can make a diameter from the given radius, and create a secant. This gives you a second option for some for x.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Twitter Elation

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(C)Copyright 2015, C. Burke.

I appreciate all feedback, preciously. But when Pat Sajak responds, you're all dead to me.

This is my 2^10th comic, which had I realized it sooner, I might have noted it with a comic. 2^11th, for sure! (But don't hold me to that.)

This was a previous Tweet comic. There might have been others.




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Saturday, July 11, 2015

Quadrilateral Challenge

Here is a Quadrilateral challenge.

Step 1. Draw any irregular quadrilateral. Don't make a trapezoid or parallelogram or kite. That's too obvious. Draw something like this:

Step 2. Find all the midpoints of each side of the quadrilateral.

Step 3. Connect the midpoints to form a new quadrilateral.

Step 4. What kind of quadrilateral is form? Justify your feelings.

Step 5. Try it again, varying your shape a bit. Repeat the steps? Did you get the same (or a similar) result? Why do you think that happened?

Hint: Here's what my image looks like:

Friday, July 10, 2015

Imaginary Friend

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(C)Copyright 2015, C. Burke.

You can't expect rational behavior from an imaginary friend.




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