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Comment Re:Uh... let me think about it (Score 1) 503

The last time I listened to a GPS, it saw a large bend in the interstate in Colorado Springs and had me exit the highway, drive twenty blocks through downtown traffic, and get back on the highway. There was no highway accident or slowdown, it was just trying to shave off half a mile or so.

Admittedly, this was maybe 8 years ago. They've probably come a long way since then. The same unit later that day had me take a left at a light and then perform a U-turn, rather than simply turning right.

Comment Re:Many books are already available ... (Score 1) 119

Huh. I wonder if one of the old Atari books from my childhood would be there. I spent many curious hours reading one that my godmother gave me, full of games and other programs for the Atari. Only reading, you see, because the Atari I owned was the 2600 game console, no programming possible. I still enjoyed reading the book and imagining playing the games, though.

Comment Re: How accurate is this? (Score 1) 41

just play the damn game for an hour/day and you'll get all the gold you need.

Blech. I don't have an hour a day in perpetuity to keep up. Honestly, after a couple of weeks of playing, it gets boring. So I take a few months off, and I'm behind. I grind for a week or two, pick up a few things, get bored, take a few months more off, and I'm further behind. I've never touched a bot, but some way of keeping up with the never-ending stream of stuff would be nice.

Alternately, Blizzard could recognize that ever-increasing gulf and find other ways for players to catch up. Dramatically drop the crafting price of cards more than a year old. Let you get 2-for-1 on really ancient packs. Give away the common and uncommon cards from really old sets. I know, they want my money, so it probably won't happen. I'm not going to give them my money, so they lose me as a player.

Comment Re:Journey to the Center of Dearth (Score 1) 218

Yep. Once I got out of the car, I sat down and wrote out the proof, which was indeed pretty simple algebra. Then I played around with some visual representations of the squares and other multiples using graph paper, which was briefly entertaining but not as educational. The main thing I kept from it was the mnemonic trick for occasional shortcuts. Sometimes it's easier to remember perfect squares or do a little subtraction in your head than to multiply large numbers.

Comment Re:Math education turns students off! (Score 1) 218

I would imagine it varies a lot from person to person. I really liked patterns, for one. Any time a sequence or series came up, I really enjoyed it. And the shapes, in geometry, but absolutely not the proofs. One of my favorite moments came in 5th grade, learning about different bases, and converting from one to another. I told myself then, "This is so much fun, I wish I could do it as a job." Curiously enough, a decade later I landed a job doing web design and did get to occasionally translate between decimal and hexidecimal for HTML colors. You could call it a dream come true, though I think some of the joy of converting bases had faded by then.

Comment Re:Journey to the Center of Dearth (Score 1) 218

I didn't have it quite that bad, but vaguely similar. My 6th grade math teacher realized I didn't need to be there and assigned me self-paced algebra instead. I was lazy, but eventually worked through quite a bit of the book. Then 7th grade came, and I was back in pre-algebra, before 8th grade had algebra again. I dealt with the boredom by reading novels through all of 7th and half of 8th grade (before it got ahead of where I had been) math. The teacher for 7-8 had mixed feelings, sometimes just letting me space out, other times pestering me to pay attention. She at least liked me, and supported me in the after-school math program, where I was an enthusiastic participant.

Random mathematical inquiry that you might enjoy: I once spent a road trip mucking around with a system of turning multiplication problems into subtraction problems, using the average and difference of two numbers and their squares. Perhaps better explained by example: I noticed that a pattern held where if you started with a number and squared it (for instance, 8 x 8 = 64) but then shifted the numbers up and down by 1 (9 x 7) the product was 1 less than the perfect square. If shifted by 2 (10 x 6) the product was 4 less, if shifted by 3 the product was 9 less (11 x 5 = 55), and so on, and this pattern held no matter what number you started with. Maybe a pointless trick, but a neat pattern, and I figured maybe someday I could win a bar bet by knowing that 254 x 258 is exactly 4 less than the square of 256 x 256, or that 195 x 205 is 25 less than 40,000.

It doesn't work so well if the numbers aren't an even number of steps apart, though, so most of the time was spent inventing placeholder techniques to compensate. For example, with 9 x 6 do I drop down it to an 8x6 problem and then make a note to add back in an 8, or do I bump it up to a 9x7 problem and then make a note to subtract the 9?

Comment Re:You must be new here (Score 1) 1834

I generally agree. I'd rather have more stories available, and then just ignore the ones I don't care about, than limit the selection. I even like the occasional borderline offtopic controversy, just because the discussions are generally interesting. It may be mostly unproductive, but even political flamefests are at least better argued here than most other places I visit on the web, and occasionally I learn a little something.

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