Friday, May 29, 2020

Ripple Wood

The pattern in the middle sort of reminded me of drift wood.

Today's Gratitude Item: My speakers at school are finally working again. Needless to say this is a big deal and it makes my life infinitely easier.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Shavuot Sameach

Shavout Sameach everyone! The image below is shamelessly recycled from last year (with minor changes).

Today's Gratitude Item: A truly amazing lunch. It's Samoan Language week at school and some of our Samoan staff members shared the love (and by that I mean they fed us some really delicious food).

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Fees vs Coffee

This post is a bit different to my usual offering. The short version is that here in New Zealand, teachers need a 'Practicing Certificate' to be able to teach. The fees for said piece of plastic are set to almost double. Schools don't pay the fee on behalf of their teaching staff so as teachers we are expected to pay to be able to do the job we love.

As one might imagine, the outcry has been quite loud. The Chief Executive of the Teachers Council tried to tell us all that the total fee equated to the price of a $3 coffee each week. This is the oldest trick in the book - where someone who should know better tries to convince others that an expensive item is not so bad if it is broken down into small chunks. Of course, this is what is known as a false equivalence - as there is a big difference between optionally treating oneself to a hot beverage and paying a compulsory fee.

Below is an infographic I made to highlight the situation.

Today's Gratitude Item: That our school network which was 'down' before school this morning came back up in time for my first class. No network = no possibility of anyone in my room doing any work (which is not good).

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Beach Fence

This is something that might surround a holiday home. It's funky and bright.

Today's Gratitude Item: That I live on an Island where it has been possible to contain COVID-19. It has not been easy but we are down to 22 active, known cases and have had no new cases for a number of days. Here's hoping things continue to improve...

Monday, May 25, 2020

Tight Mat

Weirdly it took ages to get the 'weave' of this one 'just right'.

Today's Gratitude Item: Knowing well in advance that the school network will be 'down' last period on Friday. Whilst this is far from ideal, at least it gave me the option of letting parents and my students know that they would need to bring paper-based work to that class so that the time was not completely wasted. I'm looking at it as a way to ease in to the long weekend.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Blue Eye Spiral

Originally the outer spiral was a weird pale purple colour. In this case, removing most of the colour worked well.

Today's Gratitude Item: A post lock-down haircut. It feels great!

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Ripple Connection

In a fractal world, this is an x-ray of a knee joint.

Today's Gratitude Item: An easy, simple, relaxing day. The past week has been exhausting and it was great to have time to recharge.

Friday, May 22, 2020

Let's Roll

Rendered mostly because it was quite pretty and has a nice sense of motion.

Today's Gratitude Item: Coffee with a colleague :)

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Topsy Turvy

A surprise design which has that "we've been here before' feeling.

Today's Gratitude Item: Rediscovering Thorium. This is an ePub reader which plays embedded video - something that has been surprisingly hard to find. My colleague reminded me of its existence :)

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Windswept Sun

Symmetry is usually a good thing but in this case, removing the symmetry worked well.

Today's Gratitude Item: Getting actual paper books from the library. It's been eight long weeks since we have been able to access this service due to COVID-19. EBooks are great but I prefer paper for a number of reasons.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Diamond String

It took a while to find colours that worked with this one.

Today's Gratitude Item: My favourite snack food was on special and now I'm stocked up again :)

Monday, May 18, 2020

Disc Ripple

Perhaps this one should have been called 'sideways infinity'.

Today's Gratitude Item: Being back at school. Whilst today was exhausting, it was great to be face-to-face with students again. It's much easier to motivate / encourage kids when they are in one's classroom compared with distance learning where all too many did not engage for various reasons.

Sunday, May 17, 2020

String Barrel

As in a barrel made up entirely of string.

Today's Gratitude Item: Being almost ready for school tomorrow. The best part is that I no longer have to teach 8th grade Mathematics and instead get to teach 8th Grade Digital Technology. Guess which is more fun for both me and the kids :)

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Spinning Hamentashen

A fun design that looked a lot better with most of the colour removed.

Today's Gratitude Item: Sushi for breakfast! It's been eight long weeks since I last had sushi and the re-opening of my favourite sushi shop after our COVID-19 lock-down is cause for both gratitude and celebration. If only my local library were as accommodating (Shame on you Auckland Council).

Friday, May 15, 2020

Electric Weave

Reminded me of power pylons - hence the name.

Today's Gratitude Item: This blog turns 16 years old tomorrow! If it were a young person it would be old enough to get it's learners driving license in New Zealand. Happily, this blog requires a lot less maintenance compared with the average 16 year old human.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Art Deco Forever

This one has an 'art deco' feel and an infinity symbol - so giving it a suitable title was easy.

Today's Gratitude Item: Being at Level 2 for COVID-19. This means that a lot more businesses are now able to open and walking outside has become easier because people are not blocking the sidewalk while waiting to get their morning coffee.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Diamond Spike

This one was really ugly until I made the design 'almost white' on a background of the original colour.

Today's Gratitude Item: Motivated students who not only want to learn but want to support their friends as well. My 10th graders have set up a Discord server to help each other out and there are some great possibilities there. Thankfully I know the students really well and they are surprisingly mature and responsible which is good.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Diamond Dance

An experiment which worked out quite well.

Today's Gratitude Item: Wining some chocolate and cupcakes from school. The short version is that each week staff who go 'above and beyond' are nominated and then they go in a draw to win a small prize. I was unexpectedly on the list for running some Google Classroom PD and got lucky. Needless to say, winning stuff always feels pretty good. Am looking forward to sharing the prize with my colleagues at morning tea (probably at some point next week).

Monday, May 11, 2020

Spiro Spikes

Like spirograph, only spiky.

Today's Gratitude Item: Going down to 'Level 2' which means being able to go back to face-to-face lessons. The biggest issue with distance learning has been that only a third of my students appear to have engaged / done the work for various reasons. Getting back to regular classes will hopefully mean that everyone will be able to make at least some progress.

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Geometry Crowd

I liked the geometric feel of this one but am wondering if it is too crowded...

Today's Gratitude Item: Not being sore after making quite a large number of pastry cases. Suffice it to say, this involved prolonged use of our trusty rolling pin.

Saturday, May 09, 2020

Double String Curve

The only thing better than a single curved string design is a double curved string design.

Today's Gratitude Item: Ice cream. A rare treat that hit the spot :)

Friday, May 08, 2020

Shadow Frond

A koru / fern frond which turned out quite well.

Today's Gratitude Item: Getting to the end of a surprisingly long work week. I'm more than ready for a break!

Thursday, May 07, 2020

String Scales

In a fractal world, this is what street art might look like.

Today's Gratitude Item: A reasonably relaxed day. In some ways this feels like the calm before the storm...

Wednesday, May 06, 2020

Spiral Lens

This one only 'worked' when I post processed - a lot. Having said that, the 3D effect is quite satisfying.

Today's Gratitude Item: Having some really successful zoom sessions with some of my students. With COVID-19 and remote learning, I have roughly one third of my class working well via distance learning. This is quite scary as I'm not clear on what will happen to the majority of students who for various reasons have not been able to get all that much done. At least those who are motivated and well resourced have been making the most of our time off-campus.

Tuesday, May 05, 2020

Square Spin

If you spin a square around in my world, this is what happens.

Today's Gratitude Item: Hot cheesy buttered bread for lunch, fresh from the oven. It simply does not get better than that.

Monday, May 04, 2020

Squared Away

A geometric experiment which went better than expected.

Today's Gratitude Item: That the parsley we planted about a month ago has grown enough to be able to be harvested for making more falafel (with heaps to spare).

Sunday, May 03, 2020

Splendid String

I played with this one a bit in GIMP. The 'windows' were not part of the original fractal.

Today's Gratitude Item: Realising that it is possible to get repl.it to do what I want it to do (ie: have a number of files in one place and specify which file should be run when the 'run' button is pushed). Next job is to work out version control / git integration. It's an adventure where once again, things are probably harder than they need to be.

Saturday, May 02, 2020

Subdued Shamrock

This one makes me feel lucky.

Today's Gratitude Item: That quickly deleting unwanted emails in my 'sent' box in gmail was extremely easy. Turns out there's a search option that lets one select email from before a given date and then remove it if desired.

Friday, May 01, 2020

Infinite String Diamond

Named for the string and the small diamond in the center.

Today's Gratitude Item: That we now have access to shared google drives at school. This will make sharing (and keeping) teacher created resources really straight forward.

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Extra Stringy

Like melted cheese, some fractals turn out to be extra stringy.

Today's Gratitude Item: Finally understanding how Christofides algorithm works. This great little interactive was the key. Everything else I looked at used unfamiliar terminology which made trying to understand this fairly simply idea much harder than necessary. Now I know how my students feel when they met new concepts!

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

String Pansy

This one was a bit of a disappointment but it was not quite ugly enough to bin.

Today's Gratitude Item: Getting through a rather busy day and managing to do *most* of the stuff on my list. There are still a few things that need attention but the hope is that tomorrow will be less frantic.

Monday, April 27, 2020

Yom Hazikaron & Yom Ha'atmaut

This image would be a lot more relevant if we were not in the grip of the COVID-19 epidemic. Maybe next year...

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: Getting at least some of my 'to do' list sorted. It's been a day for a mix of work and chilling out. Needless to say, the chilling out was a lot more fun than the work.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Mechanised Splash

This one has a nice mechanical 'feel' to it.

Today's Gratitude Item: That tomorrow is a public holiday meaning that technically I don't have to work. It certainly takes some of the pressure off (distance learning during COVID-19 is not as stress-free as one might think).

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Neptune's Necklace

A nice woven, wave design that turned out reasonably well.

Today's Gratitude Item: Being able to access previously disabled Chrome 'add ons' from my school account. This required some changes to the permissions and it does take up to 24 hours for 'new' add-ons to appear but being able to do this is massively useful (and quite exciting).

Friday, April 24, 2020

Pointed Possibilities

I liked both the colours and arrows so decided to keep this one.

Today's Gratitude Item: Getting confirmation that from next week on-wards I'll be teaching 'all Digital' again. It's a long story with a very happy ending!

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Smooth Ocean Storm

It turns out that waves can sometimes be smooth.

Today's Gratitude Item: Finally finding all the errors in a piece of student code. It took a while but is hopefully worth it as the student in question is working really hard and being able to go through the code and show them how to fix it should be massively helpful in terms of improving understanding. I hope!

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Candle Stick

Of the woven variety.

Today's Gratitude Item: Finding an eBook of short stories that are quite different to what I usually read. Switching to digital books has its pros and cons. One of the advantages is finding new authors that one might not otherwise know about.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Channel Waves

As in there is a channel / ditch in this ocean.

Today's Gratitude Item: Getting quite a lot done today. Doing the whole 'distance learning' (or should that be 'distance teaching') thing is quite challenging. I'm grateful that at least some of my students are making progress and they are getting reasonably good at asking questions. Unhappily there are still far too many who don't appear to be doing anything (yikes).

Monday, April 20, 2020

Yom HaShoah 5780

This image contains 1,986 names of those who perished in the Holocaust. *Most* of the names are from the Central Database of Shoah Victims' Names.
The sixteen names that are highlighted in gold on the tree nearest the yellow badge are my relatives including one of my great grandfathers, his siblings, cousins and other members of the family.

You can access the large version of this graphic by clicking on the image above. Here is a document with links information and all of the images in this series.

Today's Gratitude Item: Finally being slightly inspired. I've been uninspired for far too long - a mix of going into winter and being locked-down.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Flower Freeze

Sometimes if you take fractal flowers and freeze them, the result is quite pretty.

Today's Gratitude Item: Not having to get up extremely early in the morning. Whilst lock-down is not exactly fun, there are some advantages. Getting to 'sleep in' during term time is one of them. Now if only all of my students would actually do the whole 'distance learning' thing, it would be pretty great.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Column Curve

I like my columns with a bit of a carved curve.

Today's Gratitude Item: Not having as many emails as feared after quite a busy day on Friday where I contacted all the students in my classes and their parents. The less good news is that far too many of my students don't appear to be getting the hang of distance learning with many doing nothing / very little (yikes).

Friday, April 17, 2020

Unfolded Origami

Which basically translates as 'stack of square paper'.

Today's Gratitude Item: Finally finding a way to help my students understand (and generate) Minimal Spanning Trees. It's been on my 'to do' list of quite some time.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Full-On Flower

This one might be a bit blue - even for me.

Today's Gratitude Item: Bread! Whilst I like matzos, it's nice to be able to have bread again. It's amazing how good it tastes after an eight day 'bread free' period.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Ocean Border

This one is worth a closer look.

Today's Gratitude Item: Getting to the end of an insanely busy day. In some ways providing content and supporting students via distance learning is MUCH harder than simply going to school and teaching my classes.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Pirate Musings

Does 'x' mark the spot?

Today's Gratitude Item: Getting a surprising amount of work done. I'm *almost* ready for the start of Term 2 which begins tomorrow (we're remote teaching during COVID-19 lock-down which is something of an adventure).

Monday, April 13, 2020

Angel Ascent

Or perhaps - nontraditional angel.

Today's Gratitude Item: Completing a poster / project that has been on my mind for quite some time. The end is definitely in site with this resource - there are a few more videos that need making and then I'm done!

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Bottled Up

This one was a huge challenge. The original image had a horrible green tinge that took ages to remove.

Today's Gratitude Item: A balanced day which involved some work and some play. I need more of these...

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Curve Crack

As in a curve which looks a bit like a crack.

Today's Gratitude Item: Not running out of eggs. It was a close thing but the situation has been resolved. Needless to say, I remember the time when we could go to the shops without having to queue just to get in / keep a distance of 2m from everyone else with great fondness and nostalgia.

Friday, April 10, 2020

Forest Jewels

The pattern reminded me of an ornate chain.

Today's Gratitude Item: A blissfully peaceful day which involved, food, a long nap, a walk and minimal schoolwork.

Thursday, April 09, 2020

Gentle Curves

It turns out that when it comes to curves 'gentle' is the way to go.

Today's Gratitude Item: Living in New Zealand. According to this article we are the third safest country in the world when it comes to the Pandemic (behind Singapore and Israel).