Archive for May, 2008

Slice & Clone – experiment deployed

Wednesday, May 7th, 2008

Today another experimental module was deemed “good enough for subjects”. This time we’re teaching the idea of common denominators through the task of dividing up one bar into equal sized parts, then cloning one of the parts a number of times to achieve a desired length. I’m proud of this experiment even though the only part I had in making it was the server, database, and framework for showing the problems and collecting data. Problems were designed by Zipora Roth, and problem presentation was done by Warren Longmire. Credit where credit is due. It’s come together into something quite nice.

shambolic

Tuesday, May 6th, 2008

My word for the day is shambolic. It means “disorderly or chaotic” and is mainly used in British slang.

I love this word. The conceptual shape of the word and its parts is rich with texture and nuance that most words lack. It feels like there’s so much going on in there. The “sham” prefix makes me think of people deliberately trying to pass off or ignore the “shambles” alluded to by the word’s “shambol”. It’s also very nearly “symbolic”, with the “y” simply swapped out for “ha”, making the sham or shambles a sign of the times.

It’s not often I’m reminded of what wonders language can do, but it’s truly a wonder when a gem like this catches my attention and makes me marvel at the depth and complexity that can be embodied in a single word.