The ‘F’ Word

I don’t like the way ‘F’ sounds

Eff. Phhhh. Phuh. Effeffeffeff.

It’s clumsy at the end of a word.

Makes rhyming difficult: like life

Only really rhymes with wife

And strife, I suppose.

Oh and knife – that goes.

‘F’ spoils beautiful

And starts that word we don’t like to say.

But it does have one redeeming feature:


Digitising the Frog

It’s been on my mind for a while that I have created a lot of stuff. My back catalogue includes songs, poems, cartoons, stories, games, letters and stuff that I can only describe as “stuff”.

My inclination is to continue creating. I like to blog and contribute to 6 blogs of my own creation. However my timing is inconsistent and ill-disciplined. I love to start new things – I find finishing things hard. Belbin would describe me as a ‘plant’. I like to be the ‘ideas’ person – providing a spark or an innovative solution and then moving on to the next thing. I like to think I’m a radical – laying the track for the train, but not being particularly bothered whether the train comes down it or not.

I am aware that in my role as deputy headteacher I cannot always afford to be this way. I have to see things through; to be there when the train passes through; my purposes I have to keep true; I want to be there for you.

Besides my role, I have been challenged in other ways last year. I have become aware that some of my responses to the various blogs that I read have varied in viewpoint. Like an educational butterfly I have found myself flitting from position to position to the point where I’m not really sure what I believe. I have found some of the blogging of @andrewolduk, Michael Merrick and Doug Belshaw to be helpful in beginning to secure a more stable educational philosophy.

A curious parallel to this is something I’ve been working on with my mentor. I described to him that I saw myself as a Jack of all trades and master of none, and went on to sum myself up as being quite good at lots of things, and by implication, not particularly good at anything.

The obviously solution to this would be to depart on a long journey of self-discovery to Tibet or some such place, but in a shocking break from tradition I’m going to do something quite different. I’m going to digitise my content. I’m going to curate it: keeping the good, destroying the bad and then archive what’s left.

I’ve been mulling over this idea for a few ideas under the working title: ‘digitising the frog‘. And that title has stuck.

So apologies if you’re reading this – it’s going to be quite a self-indulgent place. Worse, I’ve got the hang of this #project366 thing now – I’m supposed to make a contribution to the project everyday and that’s what I’m going to do. This is entry #1

I’m going to continue to write educational stuff over at Posterous.

The King of shapes: the stellated icosahedron


There’s nothing quite as good as mathematical toys for Christmas. After I had wrested this ‘geomac’ off the children, I made my very favourite shape – the stellated icosahedron.

I just love adding points to a platonic solid.

With 60 faces, 90 edges and 32 vertices, Euler’s formula still holds true: 32+60-90=2 (vertices+faces-edges=2 for all solids without holes in them).

The question for young mathematicians is “do all the 3D shapes you know follow this rule?” and following on from this “can you make a 3D shape that doesn’t follow this rule?” [clue: try making a donut out of geomac].