Saturday, February 28, 2009

Inside the Hive

Sometimes humans work as hard as bees!

Today's Gratitude Item: No longer being stiff / sore. It only took two days, but I'm pretty much fully recovered from doing "The Crossing".

Friday, February 27, 2009

Tiger Triquetra

Both the tiger and the triquetra took a while to create. Hopefully the effort was worth it.

Today's Gratitude Item: Sleeping in my own bed last night! After four nights away, returning home was really wonderful.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Tiger Magic

Tigers can be rather magical - it all depends on their surroundings

Today's Gratitude Item: Having a safe and wonderful camp. The past four days have been rather busy - in a good way. Best thing about camp was the Tongariro Crossing. Its not one of the World's best one day tramps for nothing. The day we went up the mountain, the weather was perfect and the views were well worth the effort. Only downside is being *very* stiff after the 19.6 km journey up and over the mountain. I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Irish Red

Named for the subtle knot work down the side. Hopefully everyone likes this one as this blog won't be updated until Thursday night (see GI below)!

Today's Gratitude Item: Being ready for camp. Given that we leave at an insanely early hour tomorrow morning this is a good thing. Am hoping everything will go well and that the students will be well behaved.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Blue Arched Wave

This one was too complex to "take" a piece of clipart. Never mind.

Today's Gratitude Item: Data loggers with temperature probes! We got some brand new ones at school which work perfectly with our laptops. The plan for after camp is to show my 6th graders what happens (temperature wise) as ice is heated until it becomes boiling water. We will be doing a topic on "matter" and teaching them about solids, liquids and gases is fairly critical. The neat thing is that they will be able to see the temperature slowly rising and watch a graph of this being plotted in real time. Trust me, for 6th graders, this is actually quite exciting. The key thing I want them to see is that whilst the ice is melting, the temperature stays at 0 degrees and then when it starts to boil, the temperature does not go above 100 degrees. When they did the "boiling water" experiment themselves, the class thermometers were not properly calibrated so some of them were getting readings of 102 and 104 degrees (whoops)!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Deep Green Forest

This reminded me of either a close up of a leaf or a tangled forest.

Today's Gratitude Item: Getting hold of a pair of weather proof trousers that fit over my tracksuit pants - perfect for camp. Said trousers come in a nifty weatherproof bag so they are easy to store. My requisite 2L of bottled water for "The Crossing" is ready to go. Tomorrow I'll do some laundry and get most of my gear packed in preparation for an early start on Sunday morning. I'm looking rather forward to camp and am hoping it all goes well. The only downside is that I won't be able to blog, check email, create fractals or illustrate for four long days! Hopefully the photo opportunities will be worth the sacrifice.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Men at Work

At least they have some shade whilst they are "working".

Today's Gratitude Item: Getting to grips with the time lag on my camera. When taking "action" shots of sporty stuff, the trick is to push the button slightly before the event that one wishes to capture. Managed to get the hang of it and got some good reference shots of athletes competing in the "high jump" etc.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Subway Soccer

Pattern reminded me of the tiles one might see on the walls of a subway station. Sadly we don't have the population to make travel by subway viable (it was really great to use the subway in London and Washington DC).

Today's Gratitude Item: My first "follower". For a while blogger has had a "follower" feature where one can keep track of favourite blogs using blogger (rather than another service). Today, I noticed that I have one follower. This one's for you Neyer-93! I guess its a complement that he chose one of my fractals for his avatar :)

Hopefully my "regulars" / those who have been with me for a while don't feel left out. I *kind of* know that you are out there and love the comments and feedback, but this is the first time that I've been able to see a "follower" when logging onto blogger.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Pushing Through

Sometimes you just need to push your way through obstacles!

Today's Gratitude Item: New *woolen* socks! Bought them today for doing "The Crossing" at camp. My regular cotton socks are fine for the 5 - 7km that I walk each day but apparently they just won't cut if for an eight hour hike up a mountain.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Passinate Pink Flower

This one took a fair bit of tweaking to get right. The clipart also took a while to create. Hopefully it was worth it.

Today's Gratitude Item: Learning about linked 'xforms' which are a nifty feature of Apo 2.08 - it allows one to make some rather interesting images. A lot of playing may be required to get the hang of this feature :)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Waiting For Love

Dedicated to all of those who are still waiting!

Sometimes, we do not know what is sneaking up behind us!

Today's Gratitude Item: Getting to do a First Aid refresher for free. Technically not free as school paid for it, but it was really good and I learned a lot. For some reason, doing the CPR thing this time round was pretty easy. This may have something to do with the fact that my last course was over 15 years ago and things have been simplified quite a bit.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Twisted Slinky

Presenting a cross between a spiral and a slinky. Dedicated to all those of you out there who have ever played with what is basically a really cool spring (I have a plastic rainbow coloured one in my drawer for emergencies).

Today's Gratitude Item: Being loaned a whole lot of gear for camp. Camp is in about 9 days time and it should be fun - its a brilliant time to get to know one's tutor class and see the kids doing totally different activities. For most, its a highlight of the year.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Cog Triquetra

Just when I stopped trying, this triquetra appeared. I've wanted to create another triquetra after successfully making one years ago and then losing the params. People keep on asking if they can use that particular image (which is too small to be useful). Now I have something else I can offer instead.

Today's Gratitude Item: Its raining! After almost a week of insane heat / humidity we are finally getting some relief. Even better, I managed to walk before the rain. Of course I still got soaked but that's what happens if you're dumb enough to try and exercise when you'd be better of sitting still in an air conditioned room.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Blue Moon Cogged

This guy is ready for whatever life throws at him.

Today's Gratitude Item: Finding out where the gas tap is in the lab where I have two of my classes. Yesterday, could not get the bunsen burners to light due to a lack of gas - which meant a quick change of plan. Today, we got it working and my 6th grade class got to boil water! Its their first year working in a lab so we do some very basic stuff to get them used to the gear etc.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Beach Soccer

You can tell they are playing on the beach as there is a star fish nearby :)

Today's Gratitude Item: The Cow Eye dissection went even better than expected. One young man said to me "This is the best Science lesson ever". I don't get to hear that everyday!

Monday, February 09, 2009

Hoop Flower

You don't see these on normal soccer fields!

Today's Gratitude Item: Finding a brilliant website on Cow's Eye Dissection. Guess what we're doing at school tomorrow! I tell my students that sometimes slime can be good. One group of boys keep asking me when we get to do the dissection (they can't wait) whilst some of the girls appear to be dreading it. Gotta love Science.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

String Spiral

Every so often, my spiral addiction takes hold. Now is one of those times

Today's Gratitude Item: Figuring out how to get rid of the Norton Security Scan that kept on reinstalling itself on my system. Turns out that when I downloaded the latest Adobe Shockwave update, I neglected to untick the box that said it could install in the first place. You'd think that getting rid of Norton using the "Add / Remove" function would work - and it did, right up until I restarted my computer when it would appear again. Finally figured out that it was the Adobe Shockwave Update that was the problem (Thanks Google). Uninstalled the update which solved the Norton issue. Only then my computer complained that it could not find Shockwave (big surprise). Happily I had the installer in the trash so I re-ran the installer and this time remembered to untick the "Norton" box. It worked. No Norton (aka: crapware) and no computer complaints about missing Shockwave. Its slightly unbelievable that when a user removes something via the "Add / Remove" function, the software is able to reinstall itself and I'm distinctly unimpressed with Adobe right now. Almost as unimpressed as I am with Norton. Still, its all good now.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Circular Stairs

Looks like these guys are disagreeing about just how many stairs there are in this image.

Today's Gratitude Item: That tomorrow's Sunday :) I can get used to these three day weekends.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Flax Machine

Much prettier than the similarly named "fax machine".

Today's Gratitude Item: That today was as great as I'd hoped it would be. Got to do all the important things. Walk. Eat. Nap. Illustrate. Blog.

Life is good right now.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Fishing Hole

A fractal take on an old idea.

Today's Gratitude Item: That tomorrow is a public holiday (Waitangi Day). I've been looking forward to this all week.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Soccer Field

If only! Perhaps if the field looked like this, even more people would play the beautiful game.

Today's Gratitude Item: More toys for using with our smartboards. My updated "toolkit" now lets me create activities where students can drag and drop labels onto a diagram and be told if they are correct. Had a lot of fun making activities today and will try them in class tomorrow and see how it goes.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Giving a Toss

This one is for all those Rugby fans out there!

Today's Gratitude Item: A new mouse. The old one was making me crazy - slowly. Got a new one (thanks bro) and it seems better. Takes a bit of getting used to.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Spiral Scope

This one is a combination of a "cog" and spiral flame. Am pleased with the way it turned out.

Today's Gratitude Item: A skeleton in my closet! As in a plastic skeleton that I needed to create an illustration for a project I'm working on. Given that I can't really draw, I took a photo of said skeleton and traced it. It worked well.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Tu B'shvat 5769

Tu B'shvat is the Jewish New Year for trees. That makes it an excellent time to reflect on the value of trees and the amazing array of products that come from them. We've all heard the phrase "money does not grow on trees". Turns out that it *sort of* does. Sometimes, it just needs a bit of work to reap the rewards.

NOTE: This graphic should not be used for commercial purposes! The images at the bottom are not mine but were taken from the internet and are most likely subject to copyright of some sort.

You can access the large version of this graphic by clicking on the image above. Images that are related to Jewish Holidays live at the preceding link where you can browse by holiday and download the image in high resolution (for printing etc).

Continuing the "Tree" theme, one does need to be rather careful in New Zealand, at least according to the article below which was featured in the "sideswipe" section of the New Zealand Herald.

Today's Gratitude Item: Not being attacked by any trees lately :)