Sheer Fluke

The other day at work I needed to draw a circle on the whiteboard. I did it freehand and without thinking about it too much.

Not Quite Giotto
Not Quite Giotto

It looks pretty good, even if I say so myself. It’s a plan diagram of a car’s turning circle. The class were given the circumference of the turning circle and they had to work out the kerb-kerb distance even though in reality the question wanted the wall-to-wall turning circle distance.

Giotto did far better than me [so says the legend].

Alternate Views

There’s a competition where I work involving the still image. I have entered with one of the following photographs. I have been meaning to take a collection of photos of the place for a number of years. There are certain aspects of the buildings that I find curious and interesting. I think they would make good images if taken from the correct angle. Sneaking in to take these photos has been on my “holiday to-do list” for a number of years but I’ve never got around to it.

Anyway. Here are four shots I took this week. No explanation, just interesting images IMHO.

Ready Status
Ready Status
Reflections Of Grandeur
Reflections Of Grandeur
Hidden Places
Hidden Places
A Railway
A Railway

Arc Light

00:26:04 – Arc Light. – What’s up?

00:26:07 – B-52 strike. – Yeah?

00:26:10 – What’s that? – Arc Light.

00:26:11 I hate that. Every time I hear that, something terrible happens.

00:26:15 Charlie don’t never see them or hear them, man.

One day, a momentous day for colour, I happened to think the place of work was particularly lovely. Fortunately I have a camera in my pocket and so recorded it for posterity.

Orange Grammar
Orange Grammar

My phone didn’t really capture the colour well as it auto-corrects the white balance and can’t cope. So, the above image, which I don’t process apart from cropping, is not really what it looked like. With that we could get into a lovely discussion about how we experience things and human memory but it’s probably best not to. Just to act as a contrast to the relaxed lovely image above, here’s what my work normally looks like:

What Work Looks Like
What Work Looks Like

This is the dullest part of my work. The best bit is seeing learning and understanding along with challenging views of people and trying to create a more progressive society that is accepting of all.


Here’s the thing. Where I work has some rooms with lovely views. Here’s the view from my normal classroom:


As you can see, the view from my classroom is dominated by mud. Mud and the sports hall. In terms of view, this room rather sucks. However, the selling points of the room are plentiful.

  • Cool in the summer
  • Cool in the winter
  • Nobody passes the room, there’s nowhere to go
  • Occasional wildlife, cats, squirrels, pigeons, dog
  • Quiet, there’s no where to go after my room and so I don’t get people walking by
  • Far away from anything else


This room is in the same building and actually has a positive altitude in opposition to my room. The view over Maidstone is lovely and should be worth the effort of changing rooms. However, there are downsides to this room:

  • Hot in the summer (faces east)
  • Hot in the winter (faces east and at top of building)
  • Too bright
  • People can walk past the room to go to other rooms
  • Sometimes the view is just more interesting than the classroom.

The compromise is that although I would love a good view from my work room I value the other good things about my room more.

Pigeon Check

This is a picture of the building where I predominantly work. You can see I have labelled certain parts of the building.

Over the last few years I have been here I have become aware that before I enter the building (through doors labelled A) I check the roof line (labelled B) for pigeons. This is because they poop over the edge of the building and I don’t want to get any of that on me. If I look at the floor underneath the eaves I can see a distribution of pigeon poop along the length of the building. If I spot pigeons directly above the doors I will adjust my approach to the building. In the picture the birds sitting quietly (labelled C) would not be considered a threat unless it was a windy day.


Pigeon Check
Pigeon Check

Don’t get me started on the seagulls on the other buildings!

Mathematics – the path to understanding

Science is about observing our world, making predictions and then seeing if we are correct. What a wonderful and beautiful method for understanding our world. Much preferable than relying on an ancient book and a mystical bearded man in the sky.
Mathematics is the key to science. Understanding mathematics gives you the tools to probe scientific models and to make predictions. It’s also how we know what we know and allows us to decide what works. Bit by bit our models of the natural world change and improve and feed on the evidence presented by our research.
Be good at mathematics, or at least be hard working. It can be rote learnt but it’s much better to have the flair and natural ability. This system is rather hard on those who can’t follow the maths, but there are plenty of people willing to popularise science in TV shows and books. There’s just not an excuse for trying, or trying to find out.

I advise my students to listen carefully the moment they decide to take no more mathematics courses. They might be able to hear the sound of closing doors.
James Caballero

Time Consuming

Just managed to upload the parish website version 2. This was started in about 2004 and then I had a re-imaging in about 2010. There’s quite a but there. I was really proud of it and like the colour scheme. Some pictures are missing and I doubt I’ll find them as I changed computers in that time, whoops.
Link here.
It brings back some wonderful memories and what you can do when you have the time and aren’t running around after two kids.