Month: July 2015

Python: string indexing

The tutor gives a Python example of string indexing. In computer science, a string is a word which can include non-alphabetical characters. An example of a string is “desk17”. Let’s imagine creating the variable thestring with the value “desk17”, as

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Python: the power function

The tutor focuses on Python’s pow(x,y) command. Back in my post on May 3, 2014 I pointed out that In the left expression above, c is the root while b is the exponent. Some might also call b the “power”.

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Chess: kingscrusher

The tutor mentions an inevitable Web discovery for a chess enthusiast. I heard about kingscrusher from Sean Godley at Killegar Chess. Kingscrusher’s site is likely appealing to chess enthusiasts who have short durations to spend watching. The reason is that

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Python: (lack of) punctuation

The tutor comments on a possibly surprising characteristic of Python. Unlike Perl or Java, Python doesn’t use semicolons at the end of statements. Furthermore, it doesn’t use braces around loops. A loop body is indicated by indentation: for i in

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Plant identification from field guides: oceanspray

The tutor, continuing with his identification of familiar plants, shares another find. One guide compares the creamy clouds of flowers on oceanspray (Holodiscus discolor) to lilacs, but they’re less structured than some lilac flowers; I’d say their stems are softer

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Calculator usage: linear regression on the Staples BD-6120G

The tutor focuses on the Staples BD-6120G, which has some convenient features. Overlooking the Staples BD-6120G might be easy: I can’t recall any of my students using it. Yet, I picked one up from Staples’ abundant shelves; someone must use

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Plant identification from field guides: the common sow thistle

The tutor continues a survey of the wild plants in the yard. I’ve been looking for other plants to identify. There is one in some gravel; I’d say I’ve pulled it up many times. Yet, it persists. This time I’ve

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Plant identification from a field guide: fireweed

The tutor shares a discovery from his yard. We have a lawn, but also a bark-chip area in front of our house. During a season, I let parts of it grow more or less freely: some very colourful blooms populate

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Python: a few comments about the print command

The tutor seeks to clarify some ideas about Python’s print command. I refreshed Python on one of my computers yesterday; I uninstalled Python 2.7, then installed Python 3.4 instead. To do so, I went to I was using a

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Chess: advancing the king’s bishop pawn

The tutor continues his exploration of chess. Since I always play Black, the king’s bishop pawn’s home square is f7. Advancing that pawn, especially in the opening, potentially weakens Black’s king side, especially if White still has the white bishop.

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