Sunday, October 18, 2009

Playing with Pythagoras

Geogebra is an amazing (free) tool for creating interactive math applets. I downloaded it yesterday, spent a few hours going through some tutorials and managed to create this applet related to the Pythagorean Theorem. Which I was pretty excited about. I would have liked to include sliders to change the size of the angles but I couldn't figure out how to link the slider to the angle. Anyone know how?

Not only that but it's super easy to add this to a Moodle web page. Which I've done.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

There's a Large Empty Spot

There's a large empty spot in my living room (and a smaller one in my heart) where my piano once stood. I sold it to a colleague whose 7-yr old daughter is just learning to play.

My first piano was purchased by my paternal grandmother when I was about 7. I just remember that it had a lot of chipped keys. When I was 12 we moved and the piano didn't move with us. In Port Moody my parents purchased another piano - a reconditioned one that I've had ever since. I played it all the way through to Royal Conservatory Gr. 10. When I got married I asked that my parents give it to me as a wedding present. Our first apartment (at UBC) was way too small for the piano but when we moved to 12th and Granville the piano came up the stairs thanks to a bunch of strong friends (and pizza/beer). When we moved to Vernon, it had to make its way (sideways) up the elevator into our apartment, then a few months later into the lower floor of our first home. Ten years later it came with us to our present house and has occupied the same spot for 20 years.

It's been a wonderful companion but lately has been showing its age. It has become more difficult to keep it in tune, although the technician that came over last Sunday to look it over, did a fabulous job of tuning it and fixing up a few things. I'm playing it less and less and when I do play it's usually when Ross is watching some sporting event on TV which probably irritates him. An electric keyboard with headphones will solve that.

So now I'm shopping for a keyboard. [I do have a small Casio hooked up to my computer so I'm not totally keyboard-less.]

I hope, Isla, that you get as much enjoyment from it as I have for 40+ years. I've obtained, not just enjoyment, but a pathway to a career, a lifetime pastime/hobby and my musical skills have led to many friendships. Getting that piano when I was 7 changed my life in ways I could never have imagined. I hope it does the same for you! Mastering it will not be easy - but it could be one of the most important things you do.

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