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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Maths from scratch

I was recommended a blog on Maths by a colleague that I am thoroughly enjoying. The author Steven Strogatz is taking his readers through mathematics from 1 + 1 = 2 to as far as he can go. It is engaging, charming and stimulating. Here are the first three articles:


While I'm at it, an interviewee recommended a wonderful blog about teaching in an inner London comprehensive, To Miss With Love. Equally brilliant

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Last week, it being half-term, I took my daughter and her best friend and family to well known amusement park near Paris.

I feel like I ought to pause to allow the magnitude of this fact to sink in. I am not someone who ever thought they would allow themselves to be mugged by a grinning rodent and I have caved in before my daughter is even six.

Needless to say the experience was an unpleasant one. While standing in a queue for over an hour for a roller coaster ride that lasted less than five minutes, I found myself calculating how much it was costing us to wait. The answer was about £50 an hour, which gets even more interesting if you add that to the cost of the (and I hesitate to call it this) "food" that they served.

Much as I would love to continue moaning about the experience, the point is that my daughter and a large number of people in the park loved it. And I mean really loved it. They didn't notice the queues, weren't worried about the absence of nutrients, they were just having fun.

I am forced to wonder if my obvious prejudice against the place created my reality. And this leads on to wondering about whether the same is true for other areas of my life. Am I really a sceptic?