Thursday, February 28, 2013

Sine Wave

Dedicated to all those mathematicians out there.

Today's Gratitude Item: Realising that we are not stuck with the default "school" theme* in Moodle. As in each user can opt for a different theme if the wish, simply by editing their profile. My students can change how theirs looks too which is great as the default (ie: school) theme is really ugly and has loads of issues. I don't think our IT guy has realised that everyone can opt for a customised theme but what he doesn't know won't hurt him. In the meantime, it was fun / interesting to see how the girls all changed their theme but most of the guys opted for the default as they were afraid they would not be able to find their way around a new look (even if the new look was much nicer).

*"Themes" in Moodle dictate the formatting (colour / font / and even layout) of Moodle pages - so changing the theme is quite a big deal and can result in increased (or decreased!) functionality. It's a bit like applying a customised skin to your browser - only more so.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Encroaching Ripples

This one falls under the 'interesting' / fun to make category.

Today's Gratitude Item: Really delicious carrot cake for morning tea. It was a colleague's birthday today so he brought in food to celebrate (it's always good when that happens).

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Cross Currents

This one turned out better than expected.

Today's Gratitude Item: Being asked if I'd be interested in presenting a 45 minute session at an upcoming symposium for Digital Technologies teachers in Auckland. Said presentation would involve showing my colleagues how to create interactive .pdf's (long story). Might not actually end up doing it - but it's nice to be asked.

Monday, February 25, 2013

One Breath

This fractal is nice and simple. Just like breathing.

Today's Gratitude Item: That one of my students is running Word 2013 on his laptop. The student in my e-course had a template related question (she is also running Word 2013) and fortunately my other student was able to help shed some light on the matter. It's a great pity that Word 2013 deals with templates quite differently to Word 2010 (it stores them in a different place, making it hard to base documents on a user-made template from older versions / in a different location).

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Forever Flower

I revisited Fractal Science Kit and this is what happened!

Today's Gratitude Item: That the internet makes it easy to find artists / photographers so that one can ask for permission to use their work. Now if only the editor of a community magazine that I lay out would realise that photographs that appear in the Jerusalem Post are subject to copyright, life would be a lot easier. Having to continually explain to her why she is asking me to breech copyright is getting old - especially with the deadline looming.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Purim Sameach (5773)

This one took a lot longer to make than one might think. I tried resuscitating "Golden Guy" but that did not work and finally the open clip art library came to the rescue.

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).

Today's Gratitude Item: Gorgeous hot weather and a wonderful day off work. It doesn't get much better than this.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Paramecium Swarm

This one started off life as a tree! Then I zoomed in. A lot.

Today's Gratitude Item: A late afternoon 'power nap' - I should have gone for a long walk but was utterly exhausted. So much so that I did not even feel guilty for napping! Am feeling a lot better now but am still over-worked and need to start saying 'no' to things which are not all that important.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Magic Stars

Wrong colours and the wrong time of year. It goes that way sometimes.

Today's Gratitude Item: That my charger for my school computer is broken. This is a great excuse to avoid doing work tonight which means finally getting to sleep at a reasonable hour. Even better, it is something that is relatively easy to fix (as in the tech guys get to supply me with a new charger and I don't have to go to the hassle of organising it myself). Of course it would be better if the charger was not broken but right now, I'm into making lemonade from life's lemons.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Magic Squares

This one is a bit plain but I'm sure it will 'work' for someone out there.

Today's Gratitude Item: That school *finally* upgraded Moodle (our Learning Management system). For the first time ever, links on the page are now a different colour to normal text which means not having to manually underline stuff (long, very boring story).

Monday, February 18, 2013

Sun Tunnel

Sometimes artificial sunshine does the trick.

Today's Gratitude Item: The "replace all" function in Crimson Editor which lets you replace all instances of a given word / phrase / symbol in all open files. It's remarkably handy!

Sunday, February 17, 2013


Don't zoom in on this one. It looks better 'small'.

Today's Gratitude Item: Finding an on-line flashcard maker which will hopefully appeal to my students. It does not matter how they learn the content, as long as they learn it and getting them to do it electronically just might do the trick.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Funky Disco

Does this bring back a hankering for the '80's??

Today's Gratitude Item: Two really brilliant days on Shutterstock. Business was really slow at the start of the month and it's good that it has 'picked up'.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Funky Pink Tiles

These are way too pink for my liking! Having said that if you stare at them for a while, the design might grow on you.

Today's Gratitude Item: Finally getting the data that I need to be able to update the calendar for one of the websites I manage. It's been a long wait.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Sphere Wall

An old style revisited. The addiction had to be fed!

Today's Gratitude Item: Small classes - at least for today. It was "Athletics Day" for school and how it works for the seniors is that if they signed up for one or more events, then they were entitled to be out of class all day. A large number of our 'less than enthusiastic' (non competing) students did not turn up to classes and will almost certainly claim that they were 'out' supporting their friends on the field. Suffice it to say, only having to teach those keen to learn made today a most pleasant experience. Interestingly, some of the athletes made an effort to turn up to class between their events, even though they were entitled to stay away. Thus, those who were keen to turn up, did. Those who are just 'marking time' whilst at school did not.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Diamond 82

Named because it was created using 82 transforms! That's massive. Most of my work is done with 2 - 5 transforms. What was I thinking?

Today's Gratitude Item: That the video conferencing gear has finally been set up at school which means I'm 'good to go' for my very first e-class tomorrow. Let's just say that my first class was supposed to be last week but it did not happen due to 'technical difficulties'. The process of getting the gear installed and working correctly is best described as prolonged, agonising and painful (which is why it's a relief that everything is finally working).

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


This on is related to Diamond 82 (tomorrow's image). It has significantly fewer transforms though.

Today's Gratitude Item: Getting chocolate in the mail! My old dance teacher who moved to Australia sent it as a "Thank You" for the costumes we sent her towards the end of last year. She also enclosed a really lovely card which brought back a lot of great memories.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Kitchen Floor

Dedicated to those traditional people who have chequered tiles on their kitchen floor.

Today's Gratitude Item: Finding $10.90 on my walk today. This is a new record (and a surreal experience). The 90c was found on the way down to the ferry - someone had dropped two 20c coins and a 50c coin. I spotted the $10.00 note literally blowing in the wind on my way back home. This qualifies as a strange end to an otherwise ordinary day.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Frosted Star

This one is a bit 'dark' for my liking.

Today's Gratitude Item: That I managed to finish creating the resources that will be used by my web design class. As is so often the case, this particular job took far longer than expected.

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Oncoming Train

Sometimes it pays to be careful of that light at the end of the tunnel - it could be an oncoming train.

Today's Gratitude Item: Learning that if you 'place' an .svg file into Illustrator rather than trying to open it, the results are much better. It turns out that material from the Open Clip art Library is in the form of .svg files so being able to use these with relative ease is quite important.

Friday, February 08, 2013

Wonky Wall

It would be cool if we could make walls that looked like this. Not too sure about it's structural integrity though.

Today's Gratitude Item: That our 'whole school' assembly today was mercifully brief. I'm not sure if the ability to "zone out" / plan work whilst singing the national anthem is good / bad or just plain weird. It is amazing what one can sometimes do on 'autopilot'.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Julia's Field

Named because this is a close up of an apophysis fractal with a Julia final transform.

Today's Gratitude Item: That my database was not broken (again). When I wanted to add a new query yesterday, everything was working except that the option to add a new query was greyed out. The options to add new tables and forms were also out of action. Thankfully, a system restart fixed the problem. It was *probably* a weird Java issue which happily resolved itself. It's good when that happens.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Square Ripple

In my world, ripples are not always round.

Today's Gratitude Item: That at least dance went really well. The rest of the day would have answered to the name "Murphy" as in that which could go wrong, did.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Modern Maori

The pixelation is on purpose. Created to celebrate Waitangi day 2013. "Taonga" can be *very* roughly translated as "treasure".

Today's Gratitude Item: That tomorrow is a public holiday :) It does not really get better than that.

Monday, February 04, 2013

Glow Grid

Simple but hopefully effective.

Today's Gratitude Item: That 26 out of my 27 Information Technology students brought their laptops to class today.

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Flat Canoe

If you took a fractal canoe and squashed it, this would be the result.

Today's Gratitude Item: Getting better at using Screencast-o-matic's editing tools. These are only available to those with a license but given the amount of screen casting that I do, getting the license made sense. Happily the editing tools are brilliant as they allowed me to cut a too-long screen cast into shorter, manageable segments.

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Totem Ripple

Took forever to 'get' this and I'm still not all that pleased with it. It goes that way sometimes.

Today's Gratitude Item: Finding a tutorial on the easy way to set up Moodle quizzes. You need MS Word for it to work but it is 10,000 times better than using Moodle's interface.

Friday, February 01, 2013

Golden Geometry

Two fractals and a bit of post processing resulted in this.

Today's Gratitude Item: Learning how to transfer a Moodle quiz from one course to a totally separate course. Suffice it to say, setting up interactive quizzes in Moodle is somewhat time-consuming. It's worth doing because the kids get immediate feedback and questions are stored in a question bank so they can be re-used (in theory). I'm just happy that it's possible to make a quiz for my e-course and then easily recycle it for my regular class.