Sunday, July 1, 2007

open forum 3

I can't believe July is here already. Here comes the heat.

There have been times when visiting other blogs that I wanted to ask the blog owner a question off topic, but never really knew how to proceed. I didn't want to be rude and bust into a comment-conversation.

So- This post is the opportunity for any of my readers to broach a subject, ask a personal question, bring up a topic, whatever is on your mind...

The ball is in your court.


Russ said...

Fiery Ewok,
Some questions for you:

What's the latest book you've read?

What's your favorite area of science?

What's the most recent thing you can think of where evidence new to you has forced you to accept a new understanding of an idea or to simply discard an old understanding?

What one fact about the natural world do you think would benefit humankind the most if it was known by every person on the planet?

Who is your favorite male beanie model from down under?

Can you prove?: for an arbitrary integer greater than zero, the sum of its digits is evenly divisible by 9, if and only if the integer itself is also evenly divisible by 9.

Fiery said...

Latest book- The book I most recently finished was John Holt's Why Children Fail an amazing condemnation of public schools and the methods used to destory a child's natural desire to learn and experience life.

I am currently reading another book by John Holt called What Do I Do on Monday? I'm starting to see some potential problems with his system of educating children and it's going to take reading some more books and research to develop my own personal methods for the up-coming school year.

I am also reading Holy Blood, Holy Grail the research book used for the Da Vinci Code. I haven't gotten to the part where they justify why the heck the Priory gives a rat's patootie about the bloodline. Apparently it is coming up next.

My favorite area of science- when I took science in highschool I loved chemistry- balancing equations and such. I took physics in highscool and loved manipulating the variables to find the solution to the problems.

I use the Saxon math series with my kids and am currently working through the series myself so that if and when the kids have questions, I'll know how to work the material. (I'm about half way through Algebra 2, just Advanced Math and Calculus left to go).

Looking back on it, I'd have to say that I, personally, love the math aspect of the sciences the most.

Fiery said...

New evidence, New Verdict
I would have to say the book that most profoundly influenced my life and "forced me" to change the way I looked at things was hands down Julian Jaynes The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind a fascinating book on a theory of how and why the concept of gods developed. It removed all the remaining god belief in me.

I would have to say that being on atheist blogs and especially websites like Evil has really helped me to realize that there is no way I would even want the christian god to be real.

You see before I started blogging, I always regretted my lack of belief and my newfound atheism. After really digging into that website and reading a variety of great atheist blogs...I no longer have the remotest desire for a god that would create hell and condemn people to eternal suffering to be real. Any god capable of permitting eternal suffering is an evil god and I will refuse to worship it should it exist.

beanies When I first read this question I thought you were asking me about Ty Beanie Baby Stuffed Animals. And I had to go back and reread to figure out what the heck you meant. THEN the light dawned.

Ahhhhh you are wondering about my fascination with Sean. :-) *blush* Yeah, guys with accents "do it" for me. Let's see...Sean Connery, Ewan McGreggor, James Marsters as Spike, Orlando Bloom, Heath Ledger... I love listening to them talk. Something about British Isles/Aussie accents that just lights me up. But you see, Russ, none of those blokes will chat with me. Sean, on the other hand...:-D

If I misunderstood your question and you wanted to know my position on beanies, I think they should only be worn in the winter time. And any or all of the guys mentioned above can put on a beanie fashion show with naught but the beanies and I would SO be there.

Good grief, is that what you wanted to know????? lol

Fiery said...

math hmmmm I refuse to google this and am going to attempt to muddle through...

hundreds place + tens place + units place= 9

then hundreds place, tens place, units place / 9

if X = hundreds, Y = tens and Z = units, N = any whole number

if (X,Y,Z)/9= N

then X + Y + Z = N/9

for example
(9,8,7)/9= 109.66 - not N
9+8+7=24/9= 2.66 - not N

(5,3,1)/9=59 N
5+3+1=9/9=1 N does that work?
hmmmm it doesn't look like a proof but that's all I've got.

Poodles said...

The above comment just made my head explode...*boom* There are reasons I was an arts major. :D

Poodles said...

Oh, and I actually do have a question? What needs to be done to homeschool your children? Do you need to notify the gov't or can you just do it?

Fiery said...

Hi Poodles!!!

In answer to your question, it depends on the state you live in. For example, in Minnesota, (off the top of my head)

The parent must
- submit a form with the intent to homeschool
-provide proof of immunization or sign a religious objection
- submit quarterly report cards
- provide curriculum upon demand
- have child tested yearly with a norm based standardized test

Some states have no requirements, some are much more stringent.

If you want to click through a few states, out of curiosity, to see what it takes to homeschool in one of them. I've found this site to be enormously helpful. The list of states is off on the left.

I have no idea if my math "proof" is correct. Looks good though, huh? :-D It probably doesn't evenn count as a "proof" it's just a silly formula you can use to solve the riddle Russ posed.

Fiery said...

shoot, and I forgot the answer to this one for Russ...

most beneficial fact hmmmmm...My first reaction is to say that there is nothing that occurs that is "supernatural". There are no miracles. A rock will never be an elephant. Everything that happens is responding to a law of nature. We may not fully understand the law, but it exists and it does not respond to the whim of individuals.

Poodles said...

Thanks for the information. I was always curious. My homeschooling consists of a squirt bottle and doggy snacks. :)

Fiery said...


For really bad infractions try white vinegar. It worked with my cat, big time! :-) Apparently she HATES white vinegar.

Russ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sean Wright said...


Holy Blood and Holy Grail, opened the fissure in my thniking that eventually led to my atheism. Not the worlds greatest book but it suggested possibilities.

BigTex71 said...

Russ, you need to get yourself a girl.


Sean Wright said...


Careful man. You might get me interested in Maths again.

Poodles said...

I think I need a wet nap now.

Fiery said...

Wow. I've never seen math porn before.

You seem to be obsessing about Sean there dude. ;-) While I am a member of Sean's groupies, seeing another dude (you are a dude aren't you Russ?) writing Sean, or at least a Sean-like Math Whiz into some soft-core math porn...

WOW!!!! :-D That was pretty wild.

Never had a math lesson like that before. Will have to sit down with a pencil and paper tomorrow and figure out what the heck you were writing about. ;-)

Russ gets the "most unique comment on my blog" award. I'm thinking it will be a life-time achievement award.


Russ said...


It's only about the math.

I'm not personally obsessed with Sean, but I do like his writing, his town and his country. I just thought that since many of the women in this blogging sphere I find myself in, respond so well to Sean, I could leverage his popularity as a sex symbol and Aussie icon with a pre-existing following into a mathematics teaching moment.

By the way, Fiery, the mathematics is sound, and if you work through it, you will see that Mmmm wasn't steering you wrong.

It's only about the math.

If you prefer, Fiery, you can delete the comment and I'll write you a more stripped-down version.

Fiery said...

Russ- no worries. You took me by surprise is all. :-) Why would I delete a comment that has garnered nothing but wry amusement and enjoyment for my readers?

Anyone that comments on a blog knows if they step over the line because the comment will either be gone (usually done to spam) or the readers and blog owner will absolutely SLAY the idiot who dares to post something obnoxious. Provided the commentor isn't ignored completely.

Blogs function very much along the lines of natural consequences.

Fundies that shoot their mouths off on atheist blogs, often are left falling from the sky like victims of the Red Baron.

To reiterate- You took me completely by surprise. Hadn't thought I would ever in my life read math porn. You get the award for most original comment.

I'll take a close look at the math tomorrow.

On a side note, are you going to continue the discussion over at Rule of the Worm? I was really interested in seeing how you would respond to Lord Leto.

Fiery said...

When you say you are working on your personal methods for the up-coming school year, what does that mean in terms of what you see as teaching and learning challenges?

I want school to be more enjoyable for my punkins. I want them to look forward to classes. I'm not expecting them to jump and cheer every day at the thought of sitting down to do school. Nor am I expecting them to absolutely be devoted to every class that we cover.

What I would like is to light a fire of excitement about the learning process itself. To get them excited to learn something new and different. To allow them to follow some of their own interests in class, taking advanted of (for example) my daughters love of horses. This can lead to any number of possible ideas for classes and unit study type arrangements.

must sleep. more tomorrow

Poodles said...

I have a book from my college days that is a teaching book for theater (I was a theater education major) and for the life of me I am drawing a blank on the name of the woman who wrote, or the name of the damned book for that matter (it is 4:15 am here and I am at work in my defense) I find it when I get home. She writes some wonderful stuff about teaching in general that garners interest in students. Excellent stuff.

Fiery said...

Poodles, I think it's so cool that you visit my blog while you're at work. Kind of like I got to stop by on your break and have a visit. :-)

My mate was a theatre major, though his emphasis was in performance.

I would absolutely be very interested in knowing title/author of the book you mentioned.

Have a good one!!! :-)

Russ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fiery said...

While going over Russ' math ...lesson... I noticed this comment he made about it.

I could leverage his [Sean's] popularity as a sex symbol and Aussie icon with a pre-existing following into a mathematics teaching moment.

I can hear Sean's ego inflating as he reads this. lol

If you turn the news on tomorrow and they are talking about the reconfiguration of Australia as a giant doughnut with the whole in the middle, we'll know that Sean's ego has finally reached critical mass.

SILly Sean

King Aardvark said...

Wow, I missed a lot here over the weekend - Canada Day and all.

"While I am a member of Sean's groupies, seeing another dude (you are a dude aren't you Russ?) writing Sean, or at least a Sean-like Math Whiz into some soft-core math porn..."

Hmm. Kinda glad I missed it.

Attila the Mom said...

You people are scaring me. LOL

Fiery said...

*pointing at Russ*

He started it!!!!!!!

Fiery said...


I understand that the conversation with Lord Leto has taken a turn you didn't suspect. He seems to be responding to every point that you bring up. He looks to be trying to redirect you to what he considers a fundamental problem, where the problems you are addressing are ...further up the tree.

I would recommend dealing with him directly. If you think he is not playing fairly- call him on it.

From what I read, it seems like you didn't really read what he wrote, just restated your own case.

I've had a few conversations with Lord Leto. I think that you two could learn from each other.

Have at it. :-)

Pissed Off Pete said...


I am afraid that there has been a severe miscommunication somewhere. I guess I haven't been clear enough in my disagreement with you.

You say that I freely acknowledged that if people get off their dead asses and do the work the system appears to function well. I do not remember acknowledging this. I look back and cannot find this. I do not think that the system works well at all. Period.

You talk of millions of successes in public school. I do not see this at all. What do you consider a success? Passing grades? Passing grades given out for lower and lower standards? Even students that get good grades in today's school system are not properly educated and are not "successes" as I was attempting to point out on the first post between us on my blog. (here)

Even on your first post on Atheist Homeschooler you were not talking successes which is why I said I agreed with most of that post. I agreed when you said "Somehow something has gone tragically, horribly, agonizingly wrong in the social perception of what it means to be educated." and "public schools don't appear to provide a breeding grounds for social development that is in any way better than its alternatives” and "it [public schools] now degrades or destroys much of what it touches" and "This is a disgrace. I once saw insane defined like so: continually repeating the same action while expecting a different outcome. Public schools sure seem to fit this version of insane." And you had other great stuff in that first post.

That was why I first commented to you saying that I liked your post and agreed with most of it. The part I didn't agree with was that it couldn't be fixed. That is why my posts and comments have dwelled on why public school has gone so horribly wrong and what needs to happen to fix it. You have stated you disagreed with what I said about John Dewey so I posted more about why I believe he does have much to do with the decline of public schools. Then you commented that we didn't disagree about the power of ideas and then went on to say that you still didn't think Dewey was responsible for education's woes. This struck me as a contradiction, especially as you went on to state 3 scenarios that showed that you did not have a grasp of how philosophy and ideas work in a culture. That is why my next comment was on that very topic. How ideas from philosophy affect the culture and what is needed to fix this situation. Still the very topic that I started with, just a different aspect of it.

I am perfectly willing to let it go and leave you in ignorant peace, but not when you make false claims about me "freely acknowledging" things I did not acknowledge accuse me of using debate tactics to change subjects when I have not been.

Maybe you write better than you read and didn't notice that I responded directly to your posts on topic. Maybe you regret what you wrote in your first post that I liked. After all you said later that you were drunk at the time of that post and now in newer posts you make opposite statements. For example see the quotes of you above from earlier and compare them to "the system appears to function well. We see this among the millions of public school success stories each year." If drinks are the difference, then I prefer the drunken Russ's posts.

On a side note, motivation is obviously important but if you truly think that resorting to porn to motivate people to want to learn math is the way to go, then I am glad you are not teaching my children.

You have a lot to learn about philosophy in general and philosophy of education in specific. I have already provided suggestion as to where you can look to find the information you so obviously need.

I hope my direct and aggressive tone in this post will help you to clearly understand it. When I saw my more benevolent posts so grossly misunderstood, I realized I must try a different tone.

Fiery, I would like to thank you for coming to my defense with your comment above. I just felt I could not leave it at that and hence this lengthy comment. Thank you again for this forum.

Ginny said...

I can't believe it's been days and days since I was last at your blog and I've been missing all this fun. :)

I have nothing to add other than I need to catch up! Any questions I might have for ya...I'll send it in email lol. ;)

Fiery said...

you missed the math porn? for shame!!!! This is a happenin' blog!

Who else on the internet is hosting math porn?

That'll teach ya!

I look forward to hearing from you!

Sean Wright said...

Wikipedia :
Sean the Blogonaut rose to fame in the first stories of the ground breaking "Math Porn" genre. While it is debated as to whether or not he was cast as the main character...

Sorry guys just went off on a tangent there, daydreaming.

Fiery said...

rofl omg wouldn't that be a hoot! Jeez we could link my blog, Sean's blog, Russ's blog, everyone else that commented here on their thoughts of math porn.

BWHAHAHAHAHA!!! We'll all achieve world renown for being part of the ground breaking math porn industry.

Ok- who knows how to add something to wikipedia???


Fiery said...

and the "tangent" comment was a terrible pun Sean. Terrible.

I LOVED IT!!!! :-)

Russ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fiery said...

ummm, wow guys. This isn't really where I wanted to see my blog go.


Rick said...

The Math Blog?????????I missed that one too.Gotta start looking more often.What direction do you think your blog is heading?I might be interested!LOL!!!