Elena and I recommend movies to each other off of Netflix. We have both enjoyed the fact that we can just drag them down from cyberspace and watch on the computer when we want to.
We have decided to try out a new idea on the blog, We will announce a movie and dedicate a thread to it a week later. Those who want to watch and discuss, great. Those who don’t, no problem. We will suggest the first film and hopefully contributors will suggest additional films that they have enjoyed. The only rules right now are that it has to be a film that you can watch instantly on Netflix.
This week’s film: Constantine’s Sword
The thread will go up next Monday for discussion.
Let us know by comment what you all think of this new blog twist.
Any ideas? What do most people thing? Is it possible that we are not alone? How about Roswell? Was that a hoax or a huge government cover up? How many people really believe there are alien UFOs but don’t want to admit it because they don’t want to be seen as kooks or conspiracy theory nutwings?
And on the subject of bizarro world, there was a 6.x earthquake in Japan this morning. Aren’t there a lot of large earthquakes happening recently? It seems like a big one occurs once a week somewhere. What gives?
Today is March 14 and it is a day filled with mystery because of ∏ (Pi). Pi is often represented as 3.14 or 22/7 although we KNOW that isn’t really accurate. We haven’t had a totally geeky topic for a while so here are a few brief facts about ∏. A big thanks to Gainesville Resident for sending the article to me.
Pi, the ratio of circumference to diameter of a circle, has captivated imaginations for thousands of years — perhaps even since the first person tried to draw a perfect circle on the ground or wondered how to construct something round like a wheel. Approximately 3.14, the number has its own holiday on March 14 — 3-14, get it? — which also happens to be Albert Einstein’s birthday.
The holiday has gained popularity worldwide every year during the last decade as enthusiasm has spread on the Web, said David Blatner, author of “The Joy of Pi.”
FACTS ABOUT PI
Geometry:Half the circumference of a circle with a radius of 1 is exactly pi Record for calculation: 2.7 trillion digits (by Fabrice Bellard, December 2009) Record for memorization:67,890 digits (by Chao Lu, 2005) How random?There are no occurences of the sequence 123456 in the first million digits of pi
Source: “The Joy of Pi,” Pi World Ranking List
One of the oldest, if not the first, established Pi Day celebrations is at the Exploratorium in San Francisco, California, which boasts 22 years of pi mayhem. The day is even recognized by the U.S. government: Last March, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution supporting Pi Day and encouraging schools to teach children about the number.
and still more…
Despite efforts to calculate pi by everyone from Archimedes to Sir Isaac Newton to present-day mathematicians with supercomputers, there is still no formula that would allow you to figure out, in base 10, any digit of pi without having to calculate everything that came before it. In other words, if you wanted to know the 24,000th digit, there’s no way of figuring that out without putting down all 23,999 numbers before it. Such calculations can be done in binary, but it’s not so interesting to know whether it’s just a 0 or a 1.
Mathematicians know that pi is irrational — it cannot be represented as one number divided by another — and transcendental, meaning it is not algebraic. That means, theoretically, that its digits will continue on indefinitely without ending in repetition — in other words, the digits won’t suddenly continue infinitely as 5s after 3 trillion digits (Pi’s digits were calculated out to a record 2.7 trillion places in December by French computer scientist Fabrice Bellard).
More can be found out about mystery number Pi at CNN.com
And speaking of NCLB on steroids, the President announced his intentions to overhaul NCLB and our education system. From the White House:
The President discusses his blueprint for an updated Elementary and Secondary Education Act to overhaul No Child Left Behind, the latest step from his Administration to encourage change and success in America’s schools at the local level.
Another “feels good/looks good on paper” unfunded mandate on the horizon, it sounds like. As titillating as Texas Hold ’em on Texas objectives is, this situation is far more serious. This appears to be another huge, omnibus education plan where one size fits all.
When the politicians and the ivory tower gang admits that not every child learns at the same rate, the same depth, the same material, and for the same reasons all kids will be better off. This concept is not rocket science. Cookie cutter expectations must stop. A kid with a reading disability is expected to learn the same material that a gifted child learns, in the same amount of time. What’s wrong with this picture?