Tuesday, August 15, 2017

21st Century Multimedia: Extreme Video Edition! What not to watch on TV 2017?

21st Century Multimedia: 
Extreme Video Edition! 
What not to watch on TV 2017?

Here's an update on my annual post regarding using apps, not TV, to watch the latest episodes of your fave genre TV shows! The pictures, links and videos in this post are related to the shows and apps that I recommend in the order that they are returning to the air.

Dark Matter (SyFy) 
Season 3 Starts Friday 6/9/17

I got rid of all my extra channels on my local cable bill and now just share a DirectTV and a Netflix account with my grown kids. I also have Amazon Prime. Watching shows on my Android Phone or Tablet or on Chromecast is a great experience now with all the streaming services, fast WiFi and HD hardware out there. Just ask my students about YouTube Wednesdays streaming HD videos from my tablet via Chromecast on my SmartBoard in the dark like a movie theater. All that's missing is the popcorn!

Game Of Thrones (HBO) 
Season 7 Starts Sunday 7/16/17

So, let's start with Summer Season! The Summer season has grown to include some great shows. Studios tended not to do too much in the summer, but all that has changed in recent years. A lot of series don't run Fall/Spring schedules with 24 some odd episodes anymore. Most shows run Fall or Spring with only 10 or 12 episodes. Some series will run Winter or Summer only. Producers used to experiment in the summer with such shows as Speilberg's Terranova (FOX) which failed or BBC's Merlin (NBC then BBCA) which thrived. Don't even get me started on Legends (TNT), Dominion (SyFy), Forever (ABC), Exorcist (FOX), Lucifer (FOX) or Damien (A&E).

The Last Ship (TNT) 
Season 4 Starts Sunday 8/20/17

Summer 2015 saw the end of 2 mainstays: Falling Skies (TNT) and Defiance (SyFy). Falling Skies, by Noah Wyle, was always top notch. I'm gonna miss it! Sorry, Wyle's Librarians just ain't gonna cut it. BTW, Falling Skies started the "After Show" tradition that Walking Dead is so famous for now. Will Wheaton hosted the Falling Skies After Show for 2 seasons and then it fizzled out. I like Chris Hardwick's After Show for Walking Dead, but I miss Will Wheaton! Also, Defiance started putting Comic Book stories on TV way before Walking Dead did. 

Nova (PBS: minimum $5/month donation) 
Season 44 Starts Monday 8/21/17

When Summer 2016 rolled around, I was wondering if it was gonna be a flop. Well, enter The Last Ship (TNT) and Dark Matter (SyFy). Both of these series started in prior Summers but escaped my notice. So, it was time for binge watching to catch up. All I have to say is: SyFy finally has some real SciFi back on the air! 

Outlander (Starz) 
Season 3 Starts Sunday 9/10/17

Oh, The Last Ship isn't quite a genre show (SciFi-Fantasy-Horror) but it's top notch! Eric Dane is great as the commander of the Nathan James and he's a great Producer too. He, like Noah Wyle, also started out on a prime time medical soap opera. Noah started out on ER and Eric started out on Grey's Anatomy. Both are fine shows and both are fine actors, producers, writers and directors! 

The Orville (FOX) 
Season 1 Starts Sunday 9/10/17

Summer 2017 is a great smash! Dark Mater was back in June. The long awaited Season 7 of Game Of Thrones started in July. Last, but not least, The Last Ship is coming back in August!

The Big Bang Theory (CBS) 
Season 11 Starts Monday 9/25/17

Ahh ... the pursuits of Summer! Finally, it's time for some R&R. I know, perish the thought, but its time for some non Math related activities! In fact, I'm off the whole Summer for the only the second time in 33 years of teaching! Can you believe it? I'm still pinching myself. I guess this is a practice run at retirement? 

Supernatural (CW) 
Season 13 Starts Thursday 5/18/17

Now I finally have plenty of time to devote to walking, biking, swimming and eating right! For me, the Summer is a spiritual time to regroup and fortify myself mind, body and soul for next school year. I like to focus on outdoor activities for exercise and a good diet. 

The Walking Dead (AMC) 
Season 8 Starts Sunday 10/22/17

It's also time for more soulful activities of Wood and Stone such as playing chess and classical guitar. I'm attending to some of my old hobbies such as gaming, reading and catching up on genre TV and film!

The Vikings (History) 
Season 5 Starts Wednesday 11/29/17

There are several shows that I loved last year that have not announced their plans for a new season: Nature (PBS), Bill Nye Saves The World (Netflix), Marvel's Agents Of Shield (ABC), Medici: Masters Of Florence (Netflix), Sense8 (Netflix), Star Wars Rebels (Disney XD), Star Talk TV (National Geographic), The Last Kingdom (Netflix), Victoria (PBS). Last, but not least, we're sad to see Reign (CW) end rather abruptly....

Nature (PBS: minimum $5/month donation)

I enjoyed all of last year's shows which I continue to recommend this year. However, some shows turned out to be a flop: Timeless (CW), Aftermath (SyFy) and Frequency (CW). Unfortunately, Timeless was a bit too predicable. However, Aftermath got really insane near the end of the first season! Maybe they ran out of ideas based on End Of The World mythos? Trying to outdo Supernatural isn't gonna fly! Frequency started out OK, but it's just a long drawn-out version of the movie from 1999 or 2000? 

Bill Nye Saves The World (Netflix)

I really miss good SciFi on SyFy ever since Babylon5, StarGate (SG1 and Atlantis) and BattleStar Gallactica ended! It's such a shame that the SyFy Channel is no longer the SiFi Channel! Now we get to watch WWF on SyFy, ST: TNG on BBCA and FireFly on History Channel? 

Marvel's Agents Of Shield (ABC)

Star Wars Rebels I discovered and binged on two Summers ago. It's very much like the original Star Wars movies. It has great characters and writers. I recommend it, even though it's animated. Maybe since it's animated, it has some great graphics! I wanted to catch up to this season, as one of my fave SciFi writers of all time, Timothy Zahn, is joining the writing team and contributing his Grand Admiral Thrawn character for good measure! 

Medici: Masters Of Florence (Netflix)

BTW, Reign, Vikings, Downton, Victoria and The Last Kingdom aren't really genre shows, but I highly recommend them if you are into historical fiction. In fact, get all the Bernard Cornwell novels you can, and read up on The Last Kingdom yourself!

Sense8 (Netflix)

Don't forget your fave webseries! Many of mine a Star Trek related like ST:ContinuesST:Phase2 and ST:Renegades. BTW, ST:Axanar is a new series that looks really promising! Webseries such as these are great to watch on your tablet or cellphone using an App called YouTube Downloader (not to be confused with the FireFox add-on) whereby you can download the next episode of your fave webseries from YouTube when you are near a WiFi Hot Spot and watch it whenever and wherever you want. Other webseries on YouTube you may want to look for are: HISHETEDIgniteViHartKahn AcademyGeek & SundryTable TopNerdist

Star Wars Rebels (Disney XD)

Now, most TV channels have an App. So, download the App for the channel that runs your fave series, login with your cable provider credentials and watch it on the road! You're no longer relegated to just the YouTube Downloader app. So, you have a lot more choices for content. You do need WiFi or 4G. BTW, in a pinch, you could always setup a WiFi hot spot on your cellphone! I'm using my Samsung Galaxy NotePro 12.2" android tablet nowadays. 

Star Talk TV (National Geographic)

FYI: I refuse to get a tablet with 4G. Why pay extra for such hardware when WiFi Hot Spots are so prevalent now? Remember the early days of the iPhone and iPad? That's Steve Job's legacy. You had to get 2 devices each with it's own data plan. So, you pay Apple twice as much as should be necessary: 2 devices and 2 data plans??? That was the business model that made Jobs rich! 

The Last Kingdom (Netflix)

BTW, you may be wondering about the 2000 MegaTon Ape in the center of the room??? Yes, CBS nuked (via lawyers) the whole Axanar idea. Now fans cannot make their own full-length episodes of Star Trek anymore since Axanar decided to raise over 1 Million Dollars in crowd sourced funds and decided to profit from their production. 

(PBS: minimum $5/month donation)

Also, CBS is starting it's own new Star Trek Series on TV. Or is it on TV? Well it is and it isn't. The first episode of ST: Discovery, some call it the STD, airs on CBS on Sunday 9/24/17. Guess who's boycotting it? Me, that's who! Why? Because all subsequent episodes will only be available on CBS All Access for $6/month. I don't watch anything else on CBS (other than Sunday Morning, 60 Minutes and TBBT, but I watch those live) so why should I pay $6/episode for the STD? I have never missed a first airing of any Star Trek episode of any series since the very first episode of ST: TOS on NBC at 8:30pm on a Thursday night in 1966! BTW, if you like Star Trek TV, you can watch all of them on Heros and Icons TV (sorry, no app). They show 26 hours of Trek every week! Sunday-Friday they have 5 hours of non-animated Trek (ST: TOS, ST: TNG, ST: DS9, ST: Voyager and ST: Enterprise). They also have 2 half-hour episodes of animated Trek on Sundays. No Trek on Saturdays, I'm afraid. Well, I guess you can't have it all, now can you? Anyway, I bet The Orville will be a better STD than STD!

Reign (CW)

CBS has been removing free content for some time. You can still get scenes of Sunday Morning and 60 Minutes on YouTube, but the CBS Rewind archival site is all gone. CBS Rewind is now part of CBS All Access too! So, if you want to watch the Morley Safer interview with Admiral Hopper from the 60 Minutes archives, for example, you better cough up your $6/month! Note, that $6/month comes with ads. If you don't want ads, you better make that $8/month.... 

Now, go enjoy some of your own Extreme Video Streaming adventures!

Generally Speaking,

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

LAC 2017: Power Series, DiffEqus & Euler's Identity!

LAC 2017: 
Power Series, DiffEqus & Euler's Identity!

Welcome to Life After Calculus 2017 (LAC2017)! Yes, there is life after Calculus! If you don't believe it, take a look at this blog's sidebar for evidence. This year must be the 9th LAC I've recorded on YouTube and BlogSpot. 

DAY01: 2017 AB2

The first 3 days were about solving the latest AP Calculus Part IIA Free Response Questions (FRQ) which are calculator active.

DAY02: 2017 AB2BC1

These FRQs are meant to be completed with a Graphing Calculator (GC). Now-a-days said GC would most likely be a TI84C or a TI nSpire CX CAS.

DAY03: 2017 BC2

However, our LAC final project was about using coding to solve these sorts of questions instead. So we used Python and the latest version of SAGE. SAGE is a Computer Algebra System (CAS) based on python with lots of other FLOSS math utilities built in to solve problems in Calculus and even higher order Mathematics. BTW, I use FLOSS every day, don't you? FLOSS stands for Free Linux Open Source Software.

DAY04: Arithmetic

So, on the fourth day I went back to basics and talked about the 7 arthimetic operators that Python is based on: addition, subtraction, multiplication, decimal division, integer division, integer remainders and exponentiation. Python also has conditional and looping syntax that's very easy to learn and use. In fact, if you are working with sequences and series, Python's List data structure is very useful!

DAY05A: Complex Powers

It soon became apparent to me that some of my students didn't really know how to exponentiate. My students were fine calculating powers as long as the exponents were real. For example, 2^2 aka real^real, (2i)^2 aka imaginary^real and (2+2i)^2 aka complex^real were all familiar operations we could do by hand sans technology! Then I showed my students powers with imaginary exponents and complex exponents on SAGE and asked how we could accomplish these calculations by hand?

DAY05B: DeMoivre's Theorem

On the fifth day we derived Euler's Identity using McLaurin Power Series and used said identity to compute each complex power mentioned above by hand! I was running out of school days so I didn't get to DeMoivre's Theorem (Day05B) which is a nice extension of Euler's Identity making powers and roots of complex bases very easy. That would have been our sixth day but I had to skip it. See the video above for completeness sake!

DAY06: DiffEqus & Power Series

On our sixth and final day in LAC 2017 we talked about solving Variable Separable Differential Equations (DiffEqus) without separating the variables and without Anti-Differentiation! In fact, all we did was differentiate known McLaurin Power Series! Then we found we could solve non-variable separable DiffEqus the same way. We even solved 2nd order DiffEqus!

DAY07: Vectors

This year we had a lot less time after the AP Exam since ETS moved our exam to the second week. Also, we had our annual Math Movie Marathon every Monday and Friday. I had planned for 12 Days Of Calculus after the exam using SAGE. So here's the rest of what I planned for your viewing pleasure. Maybe we'll try this version of our final project again next year.

DAY08: Matrices

Since we covered Calc I and Calc II this year, most of my students will take Calc III (Vector Calculus) next year. That's why I was planning to cover Vectors on Day07 and Matrices on Day08 using SAGE (should be 2 or more days each).

DAY09: Surveyor's Formula

Finally, the ninth day was going to be devoted to a cool application of Vector Cross Products in 3D, namely the Shoelace Algorithm aka the Surveyor's Formula aka Gauss's Method of Polygonal Areas. Please see the video above for my proof of this algorithm. Like I said, my proof is based on Vector Cross Products. I don't think I've seen this proof anywhere else!

That reminds me, if you want to see the Free Fall Model with Air Resistance DiffEqu Solution, by hand without tech mind you, we did that in the Physics LAC listed in the side bar. I've never seen this solution anywhere else either! Don't forget my preCalc video on graphing Rotated Conic Sections in Polar Mode on a GC which isn't in any textbook I've used either. Aren't you lucky, getting all these original mathematics concepts here for free?

DAY10A: Encryption By Hand!

The tenth day was going to be devoted to a cool application of Matrices, namely Encryption! We were going to make our own version of the Enigma Device cracked by Alan Turing during World War II! This lesson was to have a non-tech half (Day10A) as well as a tech aka SAGE half (Day10B). I just recorded these two screencasts for the first time so you can see what I mean!

DAY10B: Encryption By SAGE!

Since I broke this up into 12 videos, I think of this as the 12 Days After Calculus! I hope to find 12 days to do this project justice next year as we only really completed 6 days. We did have fun with our Math Movie Marathon too including: Hidden Figures (Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan & Mary Jackson), The Imitation Game (Alan Turing), The Man Who Knew Infinity (Srinivasa Ramanujan), Proof (Fiction) as well as Stand And Deliver (Jaime Escalante). So we did justice to our Math Movie Marathon. Somehow we didn't get to A Beautiful Mind (John Nash), but there's always next year! Maybe we'll through in The Martian (Fiction) for fun!

Hope you enjoyed our final project!

Have a great rest of the Summer!!

Happy LAC2017!!!

Teaching With Technology,