Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Life Cycle of a Box

We are busy moving house and have lots of fun with cardboard boxes. There is an entire world of interest behind the common cardboard box!

We got a whole bunch of boxes (like 20 or so) second hand from the Pick 'n Pay up the road. Turns out they have a whole container out the back, next to the loading area where trucks come and go, wholly dedicated to the sorting, distributing and recycling of cardboard boxes.

Once the omo, chips, whiskey, apples and cooldrinks have been removed from the boxes, they are ferried in elderly reject shopping trolleys through to this gentleman who rules over the box container...

He works from 8am to 7pm in the small, dark container, which makes loud farting noises if you tread on the floor in the wrong place. Anyway, you tell him what kinds of boxes you'd like (he's got lots - all the way from teeny tiny to enormous) and then he helps you to pull them out of the heap. He's really good at divining what size a box is just by looking at the flap that's sticking out of the pile.

After all that, it seems quite ungrateful just to take the boxes off, put them back together with packing tape and stuff a whole lot of books, crockery, clothes and kittens in them.

But of course once the kitten is tired of sitting in the box...

...he can always eat it!

"Look mom, I killed it!"

I'm not sure if this is a fitting end to such a noble creature as the cardboard box. On the whole I think it might be. 

Friday, August 26, 2011

Baby Tree - Big Tree

At the moment I am a Baby Tree. I still need support.

But one day I will be a BIG tree.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Room With a View

We're nearing the end of winter, and the pink flowers outside our window are finally giving up the fight for survival... soon they'll be reborn in a burst of colour.

Friday, August 19, 2011

most this amazing

i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky;and for everything
wich is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun's birthday;this is the birth
day of life and love and wings:and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any-lifted from the no
of all nothing-human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)
- ee cummings 

Thursday, August 18, 2011


I've been making a lot of soup lately. As in, a large volume of soup, not many different types of soup.

My recent soups have fallen into two categories:
1) Tomato soup: lots of tomatoes + garlic + a can of tomato puree + plenty of brown sugar
2) Pea and Potato Soup: split peas + lots of garlic + however many potatoes are turning greenish + plenty of Italian herbs, salt, pepper and other seasoning

What's quite fun is that even in our teeeeny tiny kitchen these soups can both be cooked at once in our two big pots - one on each stove plate. You have to be careful that the handles of the pots are angled away from each other though, because otherwise they don't fit after all.

The downside of this is that when they're both cooked and whizzed and generally ready to eat we then have upwards of six litres of soup and no matter how delicious that soup might be it is impossible (trust me on this) for two ordinary people to finish upwards of six litres of soup before the aforementioned soup goes funny. Not funny haha, funny yuchhhh.

But that's okay, because it's precisely why the freezer was invented. And there is something very satisfying and homely about a freezer full of soup in ice-cream tubs.

Not labelled ice-cream tubs, unfortunately. But once again it's okay, because tomato soup is RED and pea soup is GREEN. And in any case once you've defrosted one of them well that's the one you're going to have for supper so you might as well get used to it.

A Discourse on Purpose

For some reason today I realised that I haven't written a "proper" blog post for ages. My "hectic maths" label is becoming quite empty, and even photographs taken by myself have been pretty scarce.

Part of the reason for this is that I've started a cellphone experiment at school which involves being online with the kids a LOT, via twitter, class blog and so on. So I've been using up all my internet energy - or a lot of it anyway!

Another reason is that I've been thinking quite a bit about what the purpose of Daydreaming in Maths actually is. My class blog has a clearly defined purpose, but in some ways its purpose has eroded Daydreaming's.

Is this a blog for my students? Well, not really. But not NOT either.

Is this a blog for ME? Well, if its just for me maybe I should get a diary and stop filling the internet with random cr**p.

Is it a blog for the general public? Er...not sure if the general public is that interested in Maths and my crazy musings.

Is it a blog for other people that know me? Well in that case maybe I'm better off emailing them more regularly.

So what s the purpose of Daydreaming?

Aaaah...there's a question to please the soul of irony!

Message from the soul of irony (i.e. the brain):
Dear JJR - please note that daydreaming does not serve a purpose. It represents an absence of purpose. Therefore your question is irrelevant. Kind regards etc.
Well that's helpful...any suggestions from anyone else?

Message from the id:
Dear JJR -please note that this blog represents nothing more than a place to stash your ideas and impressions. The fact that it is open to the public simply provides you with an illusion of importance. Kind regards etc.
Not sure I like that answer - can I have another one please?

Message from the ego:
Dear JJR - please note that you are providing an extremely insightful and important service to society by writing this blog. If you stop, the world will surely be lacking that certain something. You fulfill a crucial role in the continuance of our cultural identity. Kind regards etc.

I'll shut up now...for now!

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Coolest School Ever

Random Quote for Monday

"It is our best work that God wants, not the dregs of our exhaustion. I think he must prefer quality to quantity."
- George MacDonald

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Monday, August 8, 2011

Random Quote for Monday

"When I'm a veteran with only one eye,
I shall do nothing but look at the sky" 

incredible artwork from...

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Profound Realisation

In the past few days I've spent a lot of time staring blankly out of my classroom window (which, by the way, I thought was purely the province of naughty children) while my students were writing tests, working on tutorials and exercises and generally getting on with things without my immediate assistance.

My profound realisation is this:  
distance lends grace

Interpret as you choose.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Limits of the Imagination

This evening I'm doing an "academic lecture" as part of a series at school. My lecture is going to be on "The Limit". Here's a preview:

Are we getting somewhere?

Maybe not...

When it comes to limits, expect the unexpected!

So let's create an accurate definition:

Any Questions?