Tuesday, March 31, 2009

My New Car

I got my new car Monday! I bought a Volkswagen Golf which actually looks almost the same as my previous one. Despite the worldwide recession Volkswagen got a 15% profit rise last year and I had to wait for 3 months for the car. I can't even buy a Volkswagen and take it home from the store with me. I place the order and the car is assembled according to my wishes.

Here is the car just before I drive it out of the store. The picture is unfortunately a little blurred. I took it with my cellular and I have not learned to keep it steady yet.

Finland has a long tradition of vehicle inspection, dating back to year 1917. "Määräaikaiskatsastus" (periodic inspection) is required for all passenger cars, vans, trucks, ATVs and for trailers with maximum structural weight of more than 750 kilograms. Inspection interval depends on vehicle class and usage. For privately-used passenger car, inspection must be carried after three and five years counting from the specified date of first deployment and every year after fifth year.

My old car was bought by my son and he has to take it to the first inspection. According to the Inspection statistics Golfs registered 2005 are doing very well. Only 1.7% have been rejected. The statistics don't look good for Renault Laguna, of which 31% were rejected! I think my son got a very good and and after it was washed inside and out, it looked like new.

The new car is so cool! I seem to have to be careful because the car seems to go on its own (it has more power than the old one).

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

New Math Puzzles

Conceptis has added a new puzzle to their wide collection of weekly puzzles. The puzzles are named Calcudoku's. You can read more about them here

Here is the tutorial

It's all about math!

If you want to get a widget of your own, you can get the code here

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Fractal Snowflake Cupcakes

I found these cool mathematical cupcakes. They go well with my Sierpinski cookies.

read more | digg story

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Pi Day

Happy Pi Day for everyone celebrating it. Pi day is celebrated on March the 14th due to the American style of expressing dates, 3/14, and the fact that 3.14 is the approximation of Pi everyone usually knows. However we Europeans write the date 14.3.2009 and the idea of switching the day and month seems totally impossible. We could use 31.4 as Pi Day but April does not have 31 days...

The solution for us is Pi Approximation Day on July the 22th, due to pi being roughly equal to 22/7, an ancient approximation of pi.

I told my students about the Square Root Day 03.03.09 and they probably thought I was crazy. We don't actually have a culture for celebrations like this. Maybe I should start pushing them. We have numerous days dedicated to old Finnish culture figures. Let's add some mathematics to the culture!

Here is Lose Yourself (In The Digits) by Pi Diddy made for Pi Day last year.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Happy Birthday Piitu

Piitu is 2 years old today! She had a birthday cake this morning

She waited patiently until she was given promise to eat it.

The cake tasted so good!

First the plate was cleaned and the cookies were left last.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Now in Germany

Disturbing news once again, this time from Germany. From the Guardian

Police say a gunman dressed in a black combat uniform opened fire at a high school in southern Germany this morning, killing at least 10 people and injuring others before fleeing the scene.

He said the attacker fled the Albertville high school after the attack, and police were searching for him. The school was evacuated.

About 1,000 children attend the school, in a suburb 12 miles (20 km) north-east of Stuttgart.

Germany has had school shootings before

  • 2006 a masked 18-year old former student wounded 37 people before killing himself.
  • 2002 an expelled former student killed 18 people in Erfurt.

We had our own incidents in Finland November 2007 in Jokela and October 2008 in Kauhajoki.

This is a mad, mad world!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Teaching Mathematics in Finland with Japanese Puzzles

In the end of 2008 I had the chance to teach Japanese puzzles in my own school. Now my story has been published on Conceptis website :)I hope this gives ideas to other mathematics teachers as well. Some puzzles in the middle of normal work is refreshing and teaches logic reasoning. Logic is the foundation where mathematical thinking is built. I hope you enjoy the story.

read more | digg story