Random musings over 3rd Coffee about Winter and Trigonometry

Random stuff that'd annoy my twitter stream to death:

  • The animation in He-Man and She-Ra is laughably bad.  Not "it's anime and they only shot one cel but panned across it for 2 seconds" bad, but "we reused the same sequence of he-man rolling 25 times in 5 episodes" bad.
  • Natural Gas heat furnaces are amazing.  My house is a toasty 70 degrees.
  • It's painful to start my Camry every morning.  That glowing "low oil pressure light" (while normal) goes out much more slowly in zero degree weather, and there's this groan it makes about 5 seconds after startup that I interpret as the car saying, "Really?  Again?"
  • Useless related factoid I remember from my childhood absorbing everything about aviation:  When pilots started flying in Alaskan winters, they preferred radial engines (no water cooling system to freeze) and they were careful to drain the sump oil from the engine on shutdown into a container, then heat-up the container the next morning and pour it (hot) into the engine.  Otherwise, past a certain temperature, the oil would sludge and the engine would seize.
  • Related:   In Minnesota and the Dakotas, it used to be common for people (especially those with diesels) to simply never turn their trucks off in winter.  Diesels run variable fuel/air ratio based on load (as high as 200:1 at idle, unlike the 14:1 or richer required by gasoline) so they used relatively little fuel and there was no danger of the truck being "dead" the next morning.

Dat Trig

Also, just to expand on a story I tweeted yesterday:  My eldest likes math, and he's quite good at it.  He loves puzzles, building things, and generally things he can get "lost in."  So, I'm up in our closet on a ladder coming down from the attic, having just changed our air filter in the upstairs HVAC, and he (apropos of nothing) holds up a sheet with this on it:

Joey:  So, I keep getting problems on our [insert alphabet soup standardized test] that look like this.  What does it mean and how can I solve it?

I nearly leapt off the ladder.  I think I freaked Joey out as I said something like, "WOOHOO! TRIGONOMETRY!"

The next good hour was me at our homeschooling whiteboard introducing Joey to Pythagorus, Pythagorean triples, how the pyramids were built, why circles have 360 degrees (Babylonians), and "soh cah toa".  By the end, he worked at Tangent problem ("How high did your rocket go if you measure an angle of 45 degrees and you're 100' from the rocket stand?") by himself.

Yesterday, I picked him up from school and the first thing he tells me?

"So, my Ti-35 can do trig, and the Sine of 30 degrees is 1/2.   Why?"

Love.  It.


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