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At last…

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And so, a happy ending.

It always makes me smile to see things work out.

 
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Posted by on February 24, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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Back to School: Zombies, Ebola and some cool tunes

Ebola is in the news a lot right now.

Could this be The Coming Plague that Laurie Garret warned us about in 1994?

By the late 1980s, with the world shaken by the strangest and deadliest arrival of all – HIV and AIDS – Garrett traveled widely in search of understanding: Why did new viruses and bacteria appear, seemingly out of nowhere? Why couldn’t modern medicine vanquish HIV and other newly emerging microbes? How were scientists battling these diseases? Had hubris put the arrogant biomedical world of the late 20th Century at peril?

– from her website

A recent depiction (below) of the rise of Ebola cases and deaths (cumulative numbers) appears on the wikipedia site.

Diseased_Ebola_2014

The CDC is probably the most reliable source of information on the virus today. They provide a wealth of information about the virus, including that infection does not spread through the air, water or food (with the possible exception of some bushmeat – likely bats acting as a reservoir for the virus). And further, although Ebola does have a frighteningly long incubation period (of about 21 days), there is no evidence that asymptomatic persons can spread the disease.

When an infection does occur in humans, the virus can be spread in several ways to others. The virus is spread through direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes) with

  • a sick person’s blood or body fluids (urine, saliva, feces, vomit, and semen)

  • objects (such as needles) that have been contaminated with infected body fluids

  • infected animals

In recent news, two items sound eerily similar to those scrolling across the newswire in the game Pandemic 2:

August 8, 2014 – Experts at the World Health Organization declare the Ebola epidemic ravaging West Africa an international health emergency that requires a coordinated global approach, describing it as the worst outbreak in the four-decade history of tracking the disease.

August 19, 2014 – Liberia’s President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf declares a nationwide curfew beginning August 20 and orders two communities to be completely quarantined, with no movement in or out of the areas.

With all this in mind, maybe it’s a good time to pack up your emergency preparedness kit. And, while you’re at it, check out this comic from the CDC to help determine what you need to include:

Zombie_GN_Final

Imagine a ven diagram illustrating preparedness. How prepared should you be for flooding? fire? tornado? active shooter? zombies?? If you’re prepared for the apocalypse, surely you can handle a flood.

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While you’re huddled in the basement waiting for the threat to pass, enjoy some music to keep your spirits up.

 
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Posted by on August 20, 2014 in Education, Uncategorized

 

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The Returned is wickedly good

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I’ve fallen under the spell of the Sundance Channel’s ‘The Returned’ (Fr. Les Revanants).

What started as a slow-paced introduction to a small city in the mountains of France dominated by a large dam on the outskirts of town that provides power to the city and appears to be hiding some secrets.

What separates The Returned from other thrillers like it is that it introduces us to the Living Dead in a way that is entirely new, these aren’t horrors that are out to sate their appetite for human flesh, instead, they are just like the rest of us. Perhaps a little more confused and alienated, but really just trying to find meaning.

Why am I here?

The Returned don’t seem to know any more than we do. They once lived in the city, they died and now – they’ve returned. In the first episode we are introduced to Camille, a girl who died when her bus swerved to miss a little boy and left the road to plunge off a precipice killing all aboard. Camille walks back into town remembering nothing of the accident and thinking that it just happened, when in fact she had been dead seven years.

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Why Can’t I Leave?

I expected the rest of the bus’ occupants to make up the remainder of the returned, but I was mistaken. The rest come from a number of walks of life and they’ve died at various times. None seem connected at first, but some similarities do appear as the season progresses.

I’ve watched all but the finale, which I look forward to eagerly. Recently, the last several episodes have altered my expectations and given hints of a variety of influences. Apparently no one can leave, and a horde is amassing…

 
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Posted by on April 2, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Undead Mathematics

ImageMultiple Zombies, the second installment of the undead mathematics series is now available at the iTunes Book store. Get this book and the first installment, In Parts:Fractional Zombies, free for a limited time.

Both books are written for an audience of about 2-3rd grade. Multiple Zombies is specifically for those learning multiplication of numbers 0-10. As such, it introduces the concept of multiplication as addition of sets and includes practice problems tied to the evolving story. Each book requires an iOS or Mac device running iBooks to read and follows the story of two friends as they battle their way through a town suffering from a nasty case of zombies.

 

 

 
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Posted by on March 9, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Limited Time Promotion – 100% off

Until Sunday, my iBooks, The Thirteenth Labor of Heracles, In Parts and The Curse of Sisyphus are free in the iTunes Store. Click the titles for more information.

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Can I hez Brainz?!!!

 
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Posted by on July 19, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Coding Challenge

Recently, there have been a couple new revelations about number theory published in Science Within the article was a pair of theories about prime numbers that I had never heard before, one of which was:

Goldbach’s conjecture, [which] makes two assertions: that every even number greater than 2 is the sum of two primes, and that every odd number greater than 5 is the sum of three primes.

I thought it would be fun to start with the first part of this problem and write a program to accept user input in the form of an even integer > 2  and then look for the two primes whose sum is equal to the user provided:

Goldbach_partitions_of_the_even_integers_from_4_to_28_300pxprime1 + prime2 = user input

where prime1 and prime2 may be any prime number (even the same number twice)

I could easily see this escaping the processing power of my machine if the numbers get high, but I think it shouldn’t be too hard to at least write a code that could look for them and demonstrate whether this worked with known input.

Are you up for a quick challenge?

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Learn Fractions with Zombies

If so, submit your documented answer here as a comment. Feel free to use any language you would like (I just did it in C++, but I’m eager to see better answers than my own). My favorite submissions will win a free copy of  my iBook, In Parts, Tales of Fractional Zombies, which you can enjoy yourself or regift to a youngster in your life who wants a fun way to learn the concept of fractions.

You can use these links as resources to help check your work:

prime numbers       prime checker

If you are new to coding and are looking for a coding environment to work in, check out this posting for help setting up a C++ coding environment using Xcode (on your mac)

 
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Posted by on June 19, 2013 in Codecademy, Coding

 

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Bring Home a Zombie this Weekend

ImageIn Parts: A Tale of Fractional Zombies is available for iPad for free this weekend. Download a copy now from the iTunes book store.

Zombies in the Schoolyard!

Panic?!   No, it’s a great opportunity for two students to get some real-world experience in working with fractions.

 

In Parts tells the story of a zombie attack and how the teachers and students rise to the occasion to save their school. Help dispatch the zombie threat one part at a time. 1/4 … 2/4 … 3/4 … 4/4!

 

 
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Posted by on April 4, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Help the whole family prepare for the Zombie Apocalypse

FootballZombieRead ‘In Parts’, the story of taking apart zombies bit by bit as a way of learning fractions. Downhouse Software is offering this title for only $0.99 in the iTunes Store until Sunday night at midnight.

– By Request, the $0.99 sale has been extended until Friday! Click the graphic or the link above to download the iBook to your iPad / iPad mini.

Remember this weekend is the time-change! Better known as The Night of the Living Dead.

 
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Posted by on March 8, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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DownHouse Software Announces Release of a new iBook

hallway zombieZombies in the Schoolyard!

Panic?!   No, it’s a great opportunity for two students to get some real-world experience in working with fractions.

In Parts tells the story of a zombie attack and how the teachers and students rise to the occasion to save their school. Help dispatch the zombie threat one part at a time. 1/4 … 2/4 … 3/4 … 4/4!

 
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Posted by on March 7, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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CDC Urges Preparedness for Zombie Attack!

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Click Here For the CDC’s Zombie Preparedness Page

Coming Soon from DownHouse Software

DownHouse Software announces the coming release of the new eBook, “In Part: A Tale of Fractional Zombies.” This is the story of a zombie attack on an elementary school where children in the math class are learning fractions – Hey Zombies are Fractions!  – What a perfect opportunity to put their new skills to work in the real world.

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In Part… A Tale of Fractional Zombies – coming soon

 

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