Tuesday, May 30, 2006

A Post for Every Day of the Year

Three Hundred Sixty Fifth Post: A Post for Every Day of the Year

This is the 365 post! Now there is a little idea for every day of the year. I won’t quit the Blog, but I will stop posting every day. I just think the ideas will be more meaningful and make it easier to come up with content.

So it is the 365th Post, I have to make it a good one. Here is something that will be posted on the photo gallery of Constructor’s Corner

The Road Ahead

This is a simple, yet thought provoking shot of an abandoned rail road trail. The lighting gives it its warm feeling. All of the sudden everything is put into perspective. At the same time everything is moving ahead.

There are many old railroad tracks like these in Pennsylvania that have been converted to trails. This picture has the track removed but hasn’t been converted into an official trail.

Also note the little sign in the middle left. It is a fiber optic cable. This trail is about knowledge. Knowledge that goes on behind the scene. While someone goes for a walk, they are clearing their mind and maybe even getting some inspiration. Just as the technology of the fiber optic cable remains unseen, the thoughts of the traveler are great yet concealed withing themselves.

Life can be compared to running down the trail. It is all about setting your pace. Like a highschool coach once told me: “Run your own race!”

Monday, May 29, 2006

New Jingle

Three Hundred Sixty Fourth Post: New Jingle

Oreo Jingle – Past Deadline

Twist It - Lick It - Dunk It - Then Crunch It

Taste is good when eating alone but there is stories to be told when good friends...

Twist It - Lick It - Dunk It - Then Share It - And Finally Crunch It

That is my Oreo cookie jingle. It didn’t make the deadline. As you can tell it stinks. I just wanted to try this music thing out. In grade school I got unsatisfactory grades in music. Try writing a song or a jingle once and you will see how difficult it is.

Well the network is up and running. We just need to replace the main network cable because it doesn’t work. Today my project was to build a bench that folds into half a picnic table. The plans were simple and I had already cut the boards. It was just a factor of the holes and bolts lining up. An 1/8 inch off is too much. I had to re-drill a hole to make it straight. Then I used the universal tool to line up bolts, that is the rubber hammer. After some mighty pounds of the rubber hammer everything fell in place. Tightening the bolts even made it more solid. Add a coat of paint and the projects done. Of course it took some time.

But until I post pictures of the bench... May the Creative Force be with You

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Networking Concluded

Three Hundred Sixty Third Post: Networking Concluded

Well we put up the Wifi antenna today. The difficult thing with working with these antennas is the connections. It is easy to build a homemade antenna, but hooking it to the wireless access point is the trouble. Every brand router has their own style of connections. In less than an hour we had the antenna placed and connected. What was the boast in signal? About 450 ft and an solid wall away, through the window I got a signal that ranged between 25% and 55% on the second floor and on the first floor I got a signal of 60%. That is as strong as you could expect inside the house of the wireless access point.

The steps now are to get a cheap access point that can act as a repeater. Hook that into a switch and you have broadband throughout the entire home. The key to the network was to plug an access point directly into the main router.

I’m glad the wireless project is done. Now it is on to the next project. But until then... May the Creative Force be with You

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Network Solutions

Three Hundred Sixty Second Post: Network Solutions

I’m finished planning my network. After 3 days of experimenting with different settings and typing in WEP code after coded I’ve tried my last attempt. Tomorrow I will hook up an access point directly into the router using a land line. From there I will run a coax cable from the access point to an outdoor antenna.

Originally I was going to try and bridge the access point with another access point, but as I learned from the boards of www.scienceforums.net this generally doesn’t work. You have to have a router that repeats the signal. The settings are tedious and it would be hard to configure it.

I have tried the bridging setting and there is no way to tell if the router you are connected to is picking up the other routers signal. There is also an IP address problem.

Networking has gotten much easier. The routers are pretty much plug and play. Then you set the security. The trouble is when you try to extend the signal through a longer distance. That is when you have to get creative and start learning all the settings.

But until tomorrow when I hope the antenna works... May the Creative Force be with You

Friday, May 26, 2006

Nerd Network

Three Hundred Sixty First Post: Nerd Network

I am still try to solve this network project of mine. I want one router to act as a bridge and transmit the signal from another router. One acting as a router and the other acting as the bridge. The firmware of the router give little “clues,” when you change settings. There is a menu that describes what each setting does. My problem is trying to get on router to broadcast the signal of another. Did I mention I hate networking. You work for hours fixing settings and are still at square one with no connection. The trick is to isolate the part that is causing the problem. The hard part is finding it, because after so many changed settings it is hard to find that particular setting, or chain of settings.

As far as the contest goes, I hope that some of the readers of Constructor’s Corner are interested. The site has had over 2000 visits.

You know, why do they call it wireless when it has wires connecting it to the computer. Tesla clammed to have a way to deliver electricity wirelessly. Someone would adjust the setting to high and get a bolt of lightning come their way. I remember reading somewhere about work in molecular computers. Using molecules to act like a transistor only smaller. Well it wouldn’t be hard to magnify the effect and create a super computer. The researchers say it isn’t as user friendly as MAC, but still has less security holes than Windows. (LOL) :)

You see I have been watching too much Late Night with Conan O’ Brien. I have stopped watching it the last 2 days to do computer stuff, but after watching Conan you start to pick up weird moves. That is his funny moves. Next comes jokes.

But until I get over my Conan withdraw... May the Creative Force be with You

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Tangled Network

Three Hundred Sixtieth Post: Tangled Network

Well I was getting a 54% signal from my house to the neighbors. Today when I tried again I couldn’t get a steady signal. It could be the way I had the router set. It can be a router, a network, or a bridge. After I switched the settings I couldn’t get it to read the IP address.

I am researching settings to make the signal go about 500 ft. and still be strong. I have read about passive repeaters which is basically 2 antennas connected together to transmit a signal. I don’t know the science behind it. I want it to magnify the signal, but I don’t know if it can be used in that way.

I was reading the MakeShift 06 Challenge. This one has a bit more freedom as far as equipment to work with, but the fact that the details aren’t filled in for you makes it more challenging.

Well it is back to networking, but in the meantime... May the Creative Force be with You

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The Passive Repeater

Three Hundred Fifty Ninth Post: The Passive Repeater

It seems from the book “Wireless Hacks” from O’Reilly that it is possible to create a passive repeater to relay a signal between two points. (The book is quite good. Although, it does have some advanced hacks.) The book talks about sending a signal 4 miles. My Netgear doesn’t go 50 ft. I would not recommend Netgear. I am using 2 different routers now.

So if you construct an antenna from an old Directv dish or from a Pringles can. I am not sure what antenna to use for the repeater. That would be a powerless repeater. I don’t know the physics behind it. I didn’t know you can magnify a signal with a powerless antenna.

Back when I was in the Reserves we had a weekend about learning the radio equipment, the Singars. We had a little encryption on signal hopping. But for all the advanced encryption, the signals were not very strong. They are almost useless in mountainous terrain. To get a signal over hills in real life situations. A relay point would have to be set up on a hill.

That is definitely one task I wouldn’t want to do. Just think if the enemy hasn’t spotted you, you have just announced your location. If they see a relay antenna they know the group isn’t far behind.

When people think of new military technology, they usually think about the Navy. The Navy has aircraft and ships with radar, lasers, and missile guidance. But modern conflict have shown we need to support the men and women on the ground. We have seen this with armor and communications.

But until are Men and Women of the Military get better equipment... May the Creative Force be with You

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


Three Hundred Fifty Eighth Post: Cramming

Once a teacher ask me if a would rather learn one subject really well or be more diverse and study many subjects briefly. What he meant was if I would rather be specialized in one job or have a broader, but less descriptive, knowledge in order to decide what I would like to do in life. He was talking about grades 9 through 12th .

I told him that I would pick a specialized curriculum because I was a Senior. He thought that I would pick a more diverse classes. His reasoning was to find what the student wants to do in life. I saw his point. His way would be a good way to learn. However when you start to find out what you want to study in school, military, or job after high school, I believe the time has come to concentrate on becoming an expert in your field.

But we cram all the knowledge of a job into 4 years or even months. The truth is you don’t become an expert overnight. You can study for months but the little things are learned over time. For example learning to use an advanced, graphing calculator overnight is a difficult task. But over the course of the semester, the student learns it gradually in increments will completing the assignments.

In math and science classes it is clearly visible that the amount of knowledge is too vast for any one student to learn. The answer to this problem is to teach problem solving skills. If the student doesn’t know the answer they research it. And if it is unknown they experiment.

I like that about the maths and sciences. Some disciplines look at math and science as uncreative and mostly being book work. That couldn’t be further from the truth. There is an art form to math and science because not ever answer is written down. The answer has to be found. That is the creative side of math and science. The fact that the answers are not given is what fosters creativity.

Now what other discipline has as much creativity by lack of answers or at least a brief description of the end result. After thinking for a while I would say... would say... “art.”

May the Creative Force be with You

Monday, May 22, 2006

The Parabola Code

Three Hundred Fifty Seventh Post: The Parabola Code

Now the movie The Da Vinci Code is huge across movie theaters. I am unfamiliar with the book and movie. Is there an actual code behind the theories or is it just a work of fiction? I saw in the preview that Tom Hanks character had a cylinder that had numbers and letters on it. Even if the story is just fiction, it does manage to present some interesting questions.

In 1997 there was a book that I think was called The Bible Code. Supposedly as the author proposed, there was a mathematical code behind the Bible. At the time I wasn’t interested in any code. But is there any code that supports any truth to either book that can be explained and summarized just as any other math theory?

Speaking of codes if you are familiar with Constructor’s Corners math problems, you have seen the Parabola Circular Key problem. There is a reason why I called it the parabola key and that is because I thought that it could be used for encryption. This is not my area of expertise and I would have to research it. However, I thought that maybe if someone was interested in the contest on Constructor’s Corner that they could use the parabola (and how it relates to a circle) to create a hidden code. It is something to think about.

But until then... May the Creative Force be with You

Sunday, May 21, 2006

More Discussion over the Contest

Three Hundred Fifty Sixth Post: More Discussion over the Contest

Here is an excerpt from a post a put on a message board. I used it because it is pertains to the contest. Here it is:

Durer was also an amateur mathematician. In the painting in the math book he etched:

16 03 02 13
05 10 11 08
09 06 07 12
04 15 14 01

"This is known as a magic square. His painting is filled with math symbolism." {excerpt from the book "Learning MatLab 6.5"}

I think one of the reasons people have trouble with math is that you are always given to many instructions, descriptions, and symbols all at once. There is no way to understand it without going through each equation, theory, or instruction one at a time. It takes a lot of work.

If you could simplify the description and use graphics the concept is more easily understood. Math builds on all the previous knowledge. That is why you can't look at an advanced math book and understand the formulas.

The artistic view usually is that math is to complicated because they can't read the symbols the way they view a picture. A picture they can relate too. They can turn the view in the mind and get a good mental image. A mathematician might approach a painting in the same way they would view formulas. That is logic and patterns. They think drawing is hard because they didn't practice. It is like giving a person the task at drawing a bridge. Some people say they can't draw because they can't visualize a bridge for "scratch." Even though most artists would use some aids to help them draw. They are taught how to draw from life and use reference. They have a foundation in art and practice just as the math geek did in math.

So maybe the reason math and art are not usually combined is from our experiences and what we’ve been taught. It is probably possible to learn both. The only thing separating the to disciplines is curiosity. Artists have great imaginations and passion. There are is more expressive than just plain drafting. (Although drafting can be an art form.) Mathematicians use there imagination to solve problems. The method and product are only different.

That is what the contest on Constructor’s Corner is all about.

(By the way, this is just my experiences. I was a graphic artist for a short while. I also have some knowledge of mathematics. Admittedly, my drawing isn’t that good. I found this site in an attempt to improve my drawing. When I was working as an graphic artist I found that if I only knew how to draw I could make some great products. An artist was definitely needed. Maybe this topic will start a good discussion.)

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Going for the Big Invention

Three Hundred Fifty Fifth Post: Going for the Big Invention

I was reading an interview with Deam Kamen on makezine.com . The interview has been their for a while, but I just got around to reading it. Kamen said many interesting things but the most important piece of wisdom he had was working toward the big invention.

He said that he walks into a store and you see thousands of items for sale in packages. They are complete with art and fitted packaging. To him the arrangement represented a lot of effort and large numbers of people working. This effort should be channeled and used a different way. That is if this amount of effort were used on the “big problems” much of the problems of the World would be solved.

That isn’t to say that the little problems are important. Kamen is just explaining how he goes about approaching problems. Of course he stands out. It is a difficult thing going after the big problems. Going after the big problems is how Kamen accomplished all he has.

We all face some “big problems” in life. The question is do we have what it takes to solve them.

May the Creative Force be with You

Friday, May 19, 2006

Lessons from American Inventor

Three Hundred Fifty Fourth Post: Lessons from American Inventor

In last nights show (05-18-2006) of American Inventor, we saw 4 quality inventions. All had their strong points. But what was it that made the car seat win? In a contest that a proposed invention is given the chance to be mass produced and make money, why did people vote how they did in the competition?

I think that people voted based on what they felt was the best invention not just what they would by in the store. The key to winning is having the best use for an invention. There are many gadgets and answers to everyday problems, but until the invention emerges as having a use to humanity, the gadgets are going to be unsuccessful.

The car seat is an example of this. On first inspection it looks to big for the backseat and has an ugly appearance. Then it is tested. And these tests find that it could save the lives of many children. Instantly the viewers opinion changes from an ordinary idea to a product that enhances child safety and saves lives. So the difference between a good idea and a great invention is what the invention is used for.

Do you have any ideas for the next American Inventor? I don’t. It would be hard to come up with something that you haven’t spent some time on. Although, it is still possible.

But until the use of your invention is above the rest... May the Creative Force be with You

Thursday, May 18, 2006

American Inventor 2006

Three Hundred Fifty Third Post: American Inventor 2006

Well American Inventor 2006's final show was tonight. I voted for the car seat. At least every contestant got to talk to a manufacture. Now it is time for contestants to work on next year’s contest. But how about a video game being entered. We need some shows for video games. Not to mention a challenge of creating a math problem. But the thing about math is that it would make for a boring show. The show needs something tangible. It needs something that can be manufactured.

Tough luck for the mathematician. Just think about how hard the job is to get. We’ve had a lot of math factories close due to career oriented education. So it is a hard course and a hard course to get into. But seriously to be a mathematician you must first be a teacher of some sort. Well it makes sense to work with ideas to show some progress by teaching others. Gone are the easy days of sitting under an apple tree, relaxing and having a math problem just fall out of the sky. No, today it is teaching, writing and then thinking.

That is why we have a lot of amateurs. Working a steady job and running a math making business on the side. They know that dreams are made up of very valuable things. The dreams need only be organized into a useful form. Mathematics is all about organizing things that would be too complicated to explain any other way.

Just like steel mills, math factories are in fewer numbers today. However there are plenty of dreamers and thinkers waiting for the job. And in the meantime with computers as their machine shops, we will see what the amateurs can create.

May the Creative Force be with You

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Weapons of Mass Destruction

Three Hundred Fifty Second Post: Weapons of Mass Destruction

Gene Roddenberry must have been the first person to use the concept of a self destruct system. The concept is ingenious. Now every science fiction show uses it. In Star Trek: First Contact, Captain Picard was reluctant to blow up the Enterprise. Kirk on the other hand would threaten to blow up the Enterprise every time there was a standoff with another alien.

Of course in one of my favorite original Star Trek episodes Kirk lied about having a weapon that could reflex any weapon used on the Enterprise and reflect and magnify the energy back to the enemy ship. “Not chess Spock, Poker”

But the technology behind Star Trek is researched. Those things could actually exist. One of my favorite technologies on the show was the shields. The Federation always had the worst shields. But within the shields in a mechanical properties and electrical theory. When the shield is hit, its protective force is based on the power and the shield harmonics. So if you hit the shield in the right area, the shield can be defeated.

I wish I new how to build such fields. But a start would be how to determine the power of an alternating current wave. I have posted on Constructor’s Corner a possible application for finding a chord. Knowing one chord length on the voltage sine wave makes it possible to find many of the properties of the entire graph. The same is true with the current. However finding the power proves to be a little tricky. And that’s were an interesting problem starts.

Maybe your describe electricity in the contest. But until then... May the Creative Force be with You

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Vote Yes for Math Wiki

Three Hundred Fifty First Post: Vote Yes for Math Wiki

Well today was voting day. Hopefully you voted. Here they have those new electronic machines. They are quite easy to use. The thing to remember when registering to vote is always pick a party whatever it may be. You can still vote whatever way you want. When I first registered I didn’t pick a party. At the primary I could vote even though there were things on the ballet that were voted for by all parties.

Well we were facing the possibility of having a drought about 3 weeks ago. Now there is nothing but rain. The farmers can’t get there crops in. I was planting roses bushes today and with each step I would slide down the hill. The whole spot where I was working is nothing put foot prints.

Oh yes, the math Wiki is still a possibility. I have been posting math on Constructor’s Corner in a new format. Those are the “Math Hunches” section. I still need to get LaTeX and explain the math with better graphics. The new format is much easier to print out. I will continue to update the math section. It may give users more ideas either to join the contest or post feedback.

But until you vote “yes” for a math Wiki... May the Creative Force be with You

Monday, May 15, 2006

Answering Questions

Three Hundred Fiftieth Post: Answering Questions

I was talking with a friend and we were discussing how to set up the wireless networking. I did some thinking and realized the wireless access point is meant to transmit and not relay a signal from another router. The question of this type of a connection is not uncommon. There is a site that offers expert knowledge. However the is one catch and that is you have to pay to see the answer.

Paying for an answer. It isn’t a bad business, but I don’t want to do that because the Net is based on the idea of free information. Besides if someone buys the answer to every tech problem they have they will be broke fast. If I needed an answer instantly I might buy the answer. Maybe even use a problem like Google’s Answers. But to learn sometimes you have to get your hands dirty and experiment. Then you will be the person selling answers on the Net.

Until I get a 250 CAT 5 cable... May the Creative Force be with You

Sunday, May 14, 2006


Three Hundred Forty Ninth Post: Networking

Today we put an encryption key on the router, so that I was not giving broadband to the whole area. It is quit simple to do. Well the router has a range of 400. And it does do that easily even through walls. But a design problem was presented. I want the signal to reach 450 feet to another house. (Encrypted of course) We figured the best way to do that was through router to access point. So the wireless access point would look for signals and not just relay them. Admittedly, networking is not my thing. I am not sure of the setup. It is something that takes some research and figuring out the correct settings.

Oh, I am going to add some more math to Constructor’s Corner. A fifth way to solve the “Arched Doorway” problem will be added. Hopefully it sparks some interest in the art/math contest.

Anyway, I was hoping you could network with your friends and tell them about the contest.

But until then... May the Creative Force be with You

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Constructor’s Corner to the Infinite Power

Three Hundred Forty Eighth Post: Constructor’s Corner to the Infinite Power

Today I finally got broadband. It is the satellite receiver. There have been many technology upgrades to satellite. Besides there will never be cable or DSL in my area. Satellite was only $25 a month more than dial up. I have been told there is some lag with FPS games. I want to try the role playing such as Star Wars Galaxies and City of Heroes.

What does broadband mean for Constructor’s Corner. It means that I will be able to increase the multimedia content such as Flash and movies. The site will still be designed to work fast but certain areas will have larger files.

Good news since I posted the “Parabola Key” math problem on Constructor’s Corner, I was wondering if it held true for all values. Well today I graphed it on my calculator to test larger values and it does work. I now that the vertex of x^2+8x+16 is at (- 4,0). However if you take a relative x distance from the vertex it works every time. The x value being the chord and the y value being the radius. I know the values of the radius get bigger fast when dealing with large numbers, but remember we are working with chords. The whole theory is quite impressive.

Well I know they say baseball cards have lost their value. But since the popularity is down now, today’s cards may be worth a lot in 60 years. (LOL) Maybe some baseball cards will make it to my contest prizes.

But until I reach the end of the Internet... May the Creative Force be with You

Friday, May 12, 2006

Reason behind the contest

Three Hundred Forty Seventh Post: Reason behind the contest

There is a reason behind the math/art contest on Constructor’s Corner. And if enough people enter the site should get a lot of new ideas. But I know there are many reasons to combine math and art. However there is one important reason to combine them. Do you know what that is?

If this contest works there will be future contest. However, this one is the most important. I was thinking of having a monthly challenge with little junk prizes. The prizes would be small, but uncommon things such as baseball cards and old software that can’t be bought anymore. Basically it will be just junk. But the point of the contest is the challenge not the prize.

I read in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette about how baseball cards have lost there value. A card that was once worth $140 sells for $30. I can understand why they don’t sell. Card packs are so expensive. I think it is better to collect comics and original art. Comics also aren’t valued very high. That is the ones from the last 15 years. But even if they don’t raise in value you still have a story and some good art.

But now it is back to working on a math problem. So until then... May the Creative Force be with You

Thursday, May 11, 2006

American Inventor

Three Hundred Forty Sixth Post: American Inventor

I was studying some math but I just had to take a break to watch American Inventor. I liked three of the four inventions. I didn’t care too much for the board game, but maybe that is because it is hard to present. You would have to play to see if it was fun. I think the bicycle and the catching trainer tie in their rankings. But the best is the car seat. Why? Because it has the most important and practical application. It appears the physics behind it work. What sold me tonight was the commercial. All the other products had complex, morphing graphics and left out the most important part of showcasing the invention. Only the inventor of the car seat went with his own idea and succeed in conveying his message.

Of course invention is the most important area where math and art are one. If your looking for a reason to study both subjects, invention is the answer. Of course math and art aren’t the only subjects. Everything you learn helps in your discovery of new and exciting work.

Creativity and invention is so important that there have been studies on what helps people become creative. There are also studies of the top scientists, artists, and other creative people in different fields. Although it has been studied no one can really explain it. But isn’t that what makes it magical and exciting. Not being able to explain how it is done kind of makes science sound like an art. But maybe what is more important as how we are creative is the act of creativity itself.

But until then... May the CREATIVE Force be with You

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Some Assembly Required

Three Hundred Forty Fifth Post: Some Assembly Required

Today I was working on building my bench/picnic table and ran into a few problems. The boards were cut beautifully, exact match to the template. The problem occurred with the next step of drilling the holes. I checked and double checked there placement, but when I went to put the bolts in to join the two boards it didn’t line up. My solution was to pound the bolts in with a spare 2X4. It is hard to line up 4 hole on each board. The pounding worked on one joint, but to fix the other side I will have to make drill new holes by lining up the boards. Not the best solution, but you get a little respect for furniture from the store that has to be assembled. They have to get everything right from the instructions to the holes.

Another thing that comes with instructions and has to be assembled is a math problem. I did a quick description on the electric sine curve as an math problem application and put it on Constructor’s Corner yesterday. I know it sounds complicated, but like most the math on Constructor’s Corner the explanations are simple enough to follow along and learn something. People tend to get confused with pages of formulas. If math is put into words explaining what the author is trying to find or solve, it can be understood by anyone. Better yet is converting math to graphics. Again when you put math into graphics everyone can get an understanding of the concept without knowing complicated formulas. It is these graphics that bridge the gap between math and art. Admittedly, these graphics may at first sound more technical than an artistic expression. But art and math are two ways of thinking and explaining the World around us. In nature you do not see divisions among art and math. They are none. For instance music is an art, an expression. Does it make music any less fantastic by the fact that notes can be explained mathematically?

The thing that does differentiate math an art is the way a person goes about thinking and doing them. For example, math has a reputation for being about logic and analysis. Art is associated with creative thinking and passionate feelings. Admittedly, this is a significant difference. But if math and art coexist in nature should we not try to experience both worlds? Imagine the possibilities. For instance, the same person how designed the car’s engine could design it’s body style. It would just foster creativity. It is all about the passion, understanding, and enlightenment. Those things are simple ways to improve the World.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Math Application

Three Hundred Forty Fourth Post: Math Application

Ok so we have the “Arched Doorway Problem” and the “Parabola Key” but other than finding a chord’s encompassing circle and hence the radius is there any application? Is there an application that the contest on Constructor’s Corner is based possible? And the answer is very simply yes. As the people work on entries to the contest, I continue to work on my own to create more interest.

In with alternating electric current there is a current and a voltage wave. It is described by a sine wave and measured in angles. But what if you only knew one value on both the current and voltage graphs (both occurring at the same time)?

Well with the “Parabola Key” (if it works) and the other methods for finding the radius of a chord, you would be able to find the radius that encompasses it. (The chord on a power graph will always be less than the radius.) Once you know this one radius the other parts of the sine graph can be determined because you know the time of when the chord occurred versus the difference of length from the radius.

Find the radius of both the voltage and current graph and determining the phase angle by the positioning of that radius, you know have the knowledge to determine the power. If you were to find the area of both the voltage and current by the formula 2*pi*r^2 (two pi r squared), you would have a complete description of the power so that voltage area + current area = new circle = total power. And the perimeter (2*pi*r) around this power circle would describe the power at various instances. Much the same way as the hysteresis loop describes magnetic power.

So with 2 single chords we have determined the radius, phase angle, and power. We have also added the voltage and current graphs. This was done since the area under the sine curve is equal to the area of a circle with the same values.

I’m am still working on this but this is the main idea behind my work. It will be posted on both the Blog and message board.

So with new and interesting ideas... May the Creative Force be with You

Monday, May 08, 2006

Hand Tools

Three Hundred Forty Third Post: Hand Tools

Well I got plans for a picnic table that folds into a bench from a garage sell a few years ago. The plans are nice and simple. It comes with a template for the holes and cuts. I believe the materials cost about $40 to $50 for to benches (one table). But these things are in high demand. Everyone wants me to build them one. Unfortunately for them I am a slow carpenter. I am still cutting out pieces. But a picnic table can cost between $200 and $400 dollars. So I guess they’re have to wait for me.

The nice thing about building this table is that I have a good saw. Every since I was a kid we have had junky hand saws. Your muscles would burn and wear out before the cut was half way through. This time a got a Stanley hardened steel teeth that cuts through a 2X8 with ease.

We are going to have to buy more than a saw though. Our hold tool box has tools that are over 35 years old. My dad has hit them with hammers, pried with them, and improvised and used the tools in ways they weren’t intended. They have tar and rust. Somehow, I don’t know how, they still get the job done.

I did have to buy a $30 set of screw drivers however. We had new ones but the slots stripped. Also the length of the screw drivers were to long or to short. I just wanted a regular size screw driver.

Anyway if I could mass produce these benches I could make a lot of money. (LOL) But until I finally assemble the bench... May the Creative Force be with You

Sunday, May 07, 2006

What I learned in Soc. 101

Three Hundred Forty Second Post: What I learned in Soc. 101

It has been several years now, but I am thinking back to what I learned in Sociology 101. It is just a core credit all freshman had to take. It doesn’t relate to anything dealing with math or technology, does it?

Even though there was nothing to learned that you would see done by Macgyver on his show, (Is there?) I found the class interesting. If you are a freshmen in college you should value all your classes. And even though Magyver’s improvised solutions aren’t taught, the values and ideals behind Macgyver are.

In sociology you learn how people interact. That includes how they work, how they form relationships, and how problems develop in the world. These problems are the very things that Macgyver set out to fix. (Well that is enough about Macgyver for awhile. You get the point.)

Sociology is fun and if you learn its lessons you could learn about things that apply to every job, such as leadership. There is a theory in sociology (I can’t recall the name.) where a person is eventually promoted into a job they are not meant for. There was a study of children making masks with the instructors using a different type of leadership. Each different leadership style lead to different quality and quantities of masks. (Again I can’t recall the studies name.)

My instructor once did a little study with middle eastern students. He gave them a test. The funny thing was that everyone in the classroom was cheating on the test. He didn’t know what do think at first. He was watching them, but they didn’t mind just cheating right in front of him. Here it is part of the culture to work together and help each other in all that they do. Anyway, it lead to an amusing story.

Morals and values are also an important part of sociology. But lets apply it to computers. With the availability of information the Internet has many of its own societies. The illegal activities such as pornography to the sharing of vital information for noble reasons are all things relating to values. And sociology helps us understand it all. And once we understand it then we can make it better.

Now if you were Einstein or Nicola Tesla would you have your own website? Einstein worked up until the end of his life working on a unified theory. With a little help from a message board with thousands of physicists could he have finished it? And what about his theories that weren’t released to the public? Would this information bring the knowledge hundreds of years ahead of its time? Think of the sociologic impact of the “open source” information, how it would influence the world, and what people could learn from each other.

May the Creative Force be with You

Saturday, May 06, 2006

More PT

Three Hundred Forty First Post: More PT

I have one of those recumbent exercise bikes. I position it sideways near the computer desk and pedal as I surf. It is quite convenient even though it is hard to type. I was burning nearly 300 calories and decided to search how many calories are in a pound of fat. The estimate is not exact, but close estimates are 3500 calories to 1 lb. of fat. Also consider that when you exercise a little more than 1/4th of the calories are fat calories. Now that is a lot of exercies!

Also I have noticed a youngster I know who is still counting on there finger to do multiplication. In grade school students are taught to memorize everything, including times tables. To an extent it is memory combined with familiarization when you use them. But here is a little trick I know that teaches kids about series of numbers and the meaning behind the multiplication. When I was a kid there was this man on the news who could do the four basic math operations in his head faster than a calculator or at least as fast. When ask his secret he said he couldn’t explain everything because it was in his mind, but he did have some math tricks that go against what is usually taught in school. When adding he added left to right as opposed to right to left. And here is a little simple and easy trick for multiplication.

We know that 70*10=70 and 10-7=3 and 3*10=30 and 10*100=100 and 100-30=70

What should we note 10-7=3 so that (10*10)-(10*(10-7))=70 or (10*10)-30=70 or 100-30=70

Looks confusing than it really is. I might have more on this in another post. But when you are multiplying in your mind, it is sometimes easy to work with 10s and smaller values.

But until the lost dog comes home... May the Creative Force be with You

Friday, May 05, 2006

Contest Updates

Three Hundred Fortieth Post: Contest Updates

I updated the contest with a clear, simpler, and much better explanation. Now not only can you write math using equations, but graphics can be submitted. (Graphics meaning any art medium such as drawing, painting, or computer graphics that relates to the math in some way.) I still need a way to judge the contest fairly. I have some ideas such as a grading system with factors such as skill level, originality, correctness, creativity, etc. But the first thing is to get the word out.

I decided to go ahead with both an art and math contest because of the more interesting the entries would be. It allows for a more creative expression in by the participants. I noted in the description that there have been many ways to express math in art. Some might view mathematics as uncreative and a more technical field when compared to the arts. This couldn’t be further from the truth. And I bet the participates in the contest will prove that.

So until the fusion or art and math explode with creative ideas... May the Creative Force be with You

Thursday, May 04, 2006

To Catch a Dog

Three Hundred Thirty Ninth Post: To Catch a Dog

Today I tried to catch the neighbor’s new dog, Patch. He was in the field to the right of the house. Our dogs were barking and I looked out the window and their he was. I called him and when he didn’t come I chased after him. There is no way to catch a four month old dog when he is scared. He ran into the woods. The owners searched for him all night, but I don’t know if they had any luck. He is staying in the general area. He’ll come out when he is ready.

But it leads to a question: How do you catch a dog without a net or tranquilizer gun? Until he comes out of the woods by himself, no one is going to catch him.

Well I watched the show “American Inventor” tonight. The car seat won. The only problem is that its size is too big. It spins the car seat in a circle to reduce force of the seatbelt. I think it would still be like riding a roller coaster. It would be interesting to know the physics simplified explaining how it works.

Until someone invents a better dog trap... May the Creative Force be with You

Wednesday, May 03, 2006


Three Hundred Thirty Eighth Post: Camo

Ever read something in a book that stood out. And you take a mental note thinking it is important and will easily be remember. Later you find that you remember the important fact, but you need to look at the book to get more information. The problem is by that time you have read so much and weeks have passed and the important information is camouflaged by thousands of other words and facts.

That is the problem I have faced with remembering a fact about electricity. I remember that there was important explanation, I just can’t find it. With computers we can search for a certain keyword. The traditional way of text takes a little more work.

What am I searching for? It has something to do with adding more math content on Constructor’s Corner. This extra content will be useful for the contest. However, it doesn’t mean to wait for the extra content. Part of the challenge is to use the math theory/problems in your own way, adding to the content in ways that would otherwise be unseen.

So until you work on your entry... May the Creative Force be with You

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

More about the Contest

Three Hundred Thirty Seventh Post: More about the Contest

I tried to get the word out about the contest on Constructor’s Corner today. It has been posted in at least 8 groups. I know the subject is hard, but I will try to give clues and ideas on what to work on along the way. If there are any questions just email me.

I also updated the website with pictures of the kittens that I have blogged about previously. I’m still deciding rather or not I’m keeping one. They pretty much take care of themselves. I once had a cat called Mario. He followed me around like a dog. Usually cats are independent, but this cat was always around people. He was an outdoor cat. I had him for almost 2 years. He got lost though and I never found out what happened to him. That is another argument to keep the cats inside. So I guess if I keep the kitten I want, it will be inside.

Anyway here is a pic of the kittens. So until they are ready to play... May the Creative Force be with You

Monday, May 01, 2006

Contest Started

Three Hundred Thirty Sixth Post: Contest Started

The contest on Constructors Corner started today. Basically you take any of the math theory, problems, or hunches on the site and turn them into something else. You find the perfect application for the theory. I know it is quite challenging, but your clever enough to do it. I have some ideas on theory and application of my own. Don’t forget to spread the word. We want a lot of participation in the contest.

Well a few days ago a friend brought a cat and 5 kittens to my sister. The things are cute. I said I would take one, but I was thinking of keeping it an outdoor cat. My sister says it belongs in the house. But that raises the question should a cat be outside or inside? I think cats like to explore, discover, and play. The only thing bad about the outside is the cold winters. What do you think should cats be inside or out?

Until I catch J’s monologue... May the Creative Force be with You