CSS: quotes

Tutoring web design, there are always new features to discover. The tutor mentions the CSS quotes property.

Let’s imagine you aren’t satisfied, for whatever reason, with regular quotation marks. For example, instead of

“I love pink jeans!”

you want to print

I love pink jeans!

Well, you can set the quotes to the club icon by enclosing the text in a q element, then applying the quotes style:

<q style=”quotes:’\2663′ ‘\2663′”>text in quotes</q>

Then, you can achieve the quotation marks you’ve really wanted all along:

I love pink jeans!

Nifty, eh?



Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

English: what does equanimity mean?

Tutoring English, vocabulary is always of interest. The tutor brings up equanimity.

Equanimity means calmness: a state of mental peace.

The politician faced the hostile reporters with equanimity.


Gilmour, Laura. Collins Essential Canadian English Dictionary & Thesaurus. Glasgow: HarperCollins Publishers, 2006.

Exercise: what is a met?

Lifestyle involves constant self-tutoring. The tutor brings up the term “met”, relating to exercise.

“Met” means “metabolic equivalent.”

One met is rest energy consumption. Five mets means you’re burning five times the calories you would be if relaxing.



Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Math: ideas about infinity: how an infinite series can have a finite sum

Tutoring math, you realize that infinite series can be hard to visualize. The tutor offers perspective.

An infinite series is a sum of terms that never end. An example is a repeating decimal, such as 0.2222222….., which means

0.2222222…. = 0.2 + 0.02 + 0.002 + 0.0002 + 0.00002 + ….

Perhaps surprising, at first, is that a sum may be of infinitely many terms, but have finite value. Yet, most people will agree that

0.2222222…. < 0.3
Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Lifestyle: the origin of “tin foil hat”

Tutoring, the origins of common phrases can make fun topics. The tutor shares the origin of “tin foil hat”.

A couple of years back, someone described a conspiracy theorist to me as “a tin-foil-hat guy…when he’s not dead right.”

I surmised what tin foil hat must mean, having never heard it. I thought it a funny, charming phrase, but wondered about its origin. Since then, I seem to hear it often.

Wearing a tin foil hat suggests paranoia. It derives from the fictional premise that wearing a metal hat can prevent thought-detection.



Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Math: what discount will exactly cancel the tax?

Tutoring high school math, you see financial word problems. The tutor gives an example.

Problem: At 12% tax, what discount will lead to paying exactly the sticker price after tax?


The final price, f, is as follows:

f = (1-discount)(1+tax)p

Where p is original price, and discount and tax are in decimals, not percent (eg, tax is 0.12 rather than 12%)

We need f=p, at tax=0.12:


Dividing both sides by p we get


Then, dividing by 1.12,

0.8929 = 1-discount

Rearranging we get

discount = 1-0.8929 = 0.1071 or 10.71%.

Apparently, at 12% tax, a discount of 10.71% is needed to equate the after-tax price to the sticker price.


Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Math: how far away is the goose?

Tutoring math, you notice that people like relatable examples. The tutor brings up his observation of a Canada goose.

Looking out over a lake in Nanaimo on Sunday morning, I saw an exceptional Canada goose swimming apart from the others.

The setting was so tranquil, even distance seemed irrelevant: I felt that, on a whim, I could suddenly scoot down to the water, plunge in, and join the goose if I wanted. Yet, how far away was it, really?

Holding my phone at 20cm, or 200mm, I observed the goose at about one-sixth of my phone’s lens port, which is 7mm across. So, to me, the goose appeared 7/6=1.17mm. Yet, a goose that prosperous would likely be about 60cm, or 600mm, from tail to breast. From optics,

object distance/image distance = object length/image length


d/200 = 600/1.17

Multiplying both sides by 200, we get

d=200(600)/1.17 = 102574mm or about 103m


Bull, John and John Farrand, Jr. The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Birds, eastern region. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1977.

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

School supplies: mechanical pencils vs wooden ones

Tutoring math, you see the pencils students use. The tutor makes some observations.

I’m a fan of mechanical pencils:

  1. You needn’t sharpen them.
  2. One will last for weeks, months, or even longer, depending on usage.
  3. You can retract the lead when the pencil is not in use.
  4. There are many, many kinds to choose from.

You can buy a nice mechanical pencil and then lead refills for it, but packs of disposable ones can be great. I’ve typically used disposable Bics or Staples ones…there are many other kinds available that have cute features.

Last year, in grade 9, my older son started using mechanical pencils; he prefers them now. My younger son, starting grade 8 this year, still prefers wooden ones. They both share that having your own sharpener, if you use wooden pencils, is preferable.

Wooden pencils have a great feel when they’re sharp. However, they don’t stay sharp on their own. Hence, mechanical pencils seem more practical (to me, anyway).

Starting with a mechanical pencil, a student may be a bit heavy-handed, so a 0.7mm pencil is probably best. However, after getting used to it, the student might try a 0.5mm one – the finer lead appeals to some people.

PS: Although a pencil typcially comes with an eraser on it, a dedicated eraser is needed.

I hope everyone’s enjoying their last day of summer vacation:)

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Business: what do Carly Fiorina and Martha Stewart have in common?

Tutoring, you’re interested in education. The tutor brings up two business titans from the late ’90s/2000s: What were their first degrees?

In their time, I followed both Carly Fiorina (CEO, Hewlett-Packard, 1999-2005) and Martha Stewart through the headlines. Both were tremendous achievers – that’s an understatement.

Interestingly, both have arts degrees (among others). Carly has a BA in philosophy and medieval history from Stanford; Martha has a double major in history and architectural history from Barnard College.

Some people say it’s hard to succeed in business with an arts degree….:)




Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Math: Excel: entering complex numbers

Tutoring differential equations or complex variables, you might use a spreadsheet sometimes. The tutor gives a hint about entering complex numbers on Excel.

Excel does, indeed, handle complex numbers. Formulas for them are among the Engineering ones.

Apparently, to enter a complex number, quotes are needed around it. For instance, to obtain the product of 6-i and 2+i, you would enter


Hopefully you receive the answer 13+4i.

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.