Friday, May 4, 2007

no title today, sorry.

My silent tendencies are being aggravated by the responsibilities of having a blog. I am inclined to never write or say anything, but I am tiring of being that way. Sort of. As of now, my dear wife is the only one who knows that I write publicly, so it is still mostly an illusion for myself. There is something in the blog that thrills a need, not to be heard, but to speak. I guess it is not necessary for anyone to ever read this, but it somehow is necessary that I write.

Yesterday I used compass and straightedge to construct a pentacle inscribed in a regular pentagon, the symbol of the Pythagoreans, if I am not mistaken. I can do it very easily on the computer, but on paper there is an aspect of the problem that makes the error in the angle multiply. The whole exercise furthered my appreciation of those ancients who were able to perform with greater precision and less technology, the calculations that fascinate me so. After a few tries, I was able to get a very nice construction, with two unnecessary circles that I have chosen to forgive.

The students are even starting to enjoy the compass and straightedge unit. A few have even begun to pay homage to a few characteristics of what we in the business call 'nice workmanship'. Half my kingdom to the one who trisects the angle...

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