Good morning, it’s thiry four minutes past eleven and I’m onto the second coffee. This means I have only just woken up.
Last night was the world premiere of Blind Man’s Bluff: The Musical, which was the film we entered into the 48hours film competition. It went as well as we could have hoped. People laughed at the right bits and the story was easily understood (unlike some of the other films). We hope that our strong story will make up for the missing music etc. There were a few good films that were ineligible for any prizes as they were handed in late.
There are seven heats, 57 valid entries and only twelve finalists for Wellington. So we might have a chance. Of course none of this was done for the glory of winning but rather the satisfaction of a job well done.
Our lighting man and documentarian Paul Campion (here and here) has put together a making of that I am dying to see. Apparently there is a scene of Mike and me writing which involves us staring into space for 15 seconds, not moving at all. It's a fair and accurate depiction.
Speaking of Mike, go and check out his website because he has updated his blog to include a cast and crew list with weblinks to everyone’s sites.
I’m a little worried about the search terms people are entering which find this site. Here is a quick list of some of them:
- Dirty Old Dyks
- Lovely Schoolgirls Free Photos [yeah I know these weirded me out too, that’s why no links]
Finally for this post (it feels like a multiple post day today), scientists in Israel believe they have discovered the part of the brain that deals with sarcasm. How great is that!? Wow, that is the best discovery ever!
In other weird news items (yeah, I know I said the last one was “finally”, sue me): examiners in the States have run into a problem with one of their maths questions. In an effort to make maths “real” for kids the examiners used a sports example for a question.
The question used an American football team and asked how what their average yardage was over the first six plays if: on the first play they lost six yards; on the second play the made three yards; on the third play they lost two yards; on the fourth play they made seven yards; on the fifth and sixth they made twelve and four yards respectively.
The answer they were looking for was: three yards. However, as all the football fans would have picked up instantly, after the first three plays the team faced 4th down and 15yards and only made seven yards which results in a turnover. So the fifth and sixth plays wouldn’t have happened. The examiners stated that the question was thoroughly checked for mathematical accuracy but not once for sports reality, and fair enough.
"It has nothing to do with football," Mildred Bazemore, chief of the state Department of Public Instruction's test development section [sic] said. "It has to do with the mathematical concepts that you're studying."
Too bloody right Mildred!
This is an annoying issue with the current system of the world. Long gone are the days when maths was fun because it offered a challenge to the brain, in the last 100 years we have had to make maths (and science in general) relevant to the world around us. There was an article on Campbell: Live about it last week, if you saw it you know what I mean (I actually missed it myself).
I remember when I was doing Sixth Form physics and our teacher had to come up a question about motion and inertia etc. He had to write it as a real world question but he couldn’t think of a real world situation where this type of thing would happen (i.e. no friction etc). So he said: “Mary is having a dream, in the dream…”
We all had a good laugh and then answered the question.
I understand the need to teach kids how to use “applied mathematics”, but it gets annoying when you always have to come up with a real world example for every topic. Imaginary numbers (see also: complex numbers) are always a favourite. To start with they are imaginary, they are purely theoretical, you can’t have 1+7i apples, a car does not cost $(500+82i). Try explaining to secondary students that you use imaginary numbers for electrical engineering or that e^(i*Pi)+1=0 and they’ll just give you a blank stare.
That’s as close to a rant as I’m gonna get today. There will probably be another post today, check back for it. In the meantime ponder this (sorry JC): what is a good real world example to show how a negative number multiplied by a negative number gives a positive number?