Blog

Page 2

This is my blog, I call it, The Gospel According to jden, I write about my projects, obersvations about technology and the arts and cultural sector, with a specific focus on the Australian realm.

Subscribe to the newsletter to recieve an email once a week with new blog posts.


Filter the archive by: year, category, or by tag.


A deep dive into and folded paper and copyright

The poster child of this project is the actual origami design that will become the poppy. Previously I said when I first tried to make an origami poppy there was nothing online, well it appears that has changed. A search on Google reveals there is a whole bunch of origami poppy paraphernalia.

Google Search for origami poppy

I also found my origami poppy that I made in 2009, I told you it has a way of making it self known when I need it—or the more truthful answer: I was cleaning my desk and I found it.

Origami poppy

I have contrasted it with a proper poppy that you can buy around Remembrance Day, overlaid on my somewhat dirty keyboard.

Camellia

These origami poppies were not available when I wanted to make mine, so I had to choose a different design that I could fake as an poppy. The design I found was for a flower called camellia. The origami instructions are in the public domain as the design is listed as traditional and not copyright to any individual, which is useful. The design is not easy to build, but also not that complex, just very repetitive.

Japanese camellia

The camellia can look very similar to a poppy in real life.

Poppy flower

Origami Poppy©

There is a website called Poppy Time devoted to learning activities related to poppies, and there is a section on origami poppies.

Poppy Time

Looking at the designs the website links to we have one created by Katrin Shumakov on Oriland. Which looks allot like our camellia design from before, except this one is much more complex to build. Not ideal when the target audience will be children in primary school.

Origami poppy form Oriland

Another nice design is from Aileen Edwin.

Aileen poppy

I quite enjoy the look of these poppies, they look allot like the commercial ones you can buy. However, it is copyright and once again fairly complex.

There is another interesting one, that starts off with a hexagonal shaped piece of paper by Joost Langeveldor

Joost poppy

Choosing the right design

I have an affinity for the original camellia design, even though its not technically a poppy, I think it has a nice geometric look and is reasonably easy to make. Crucially it has no copyright and is freely available in the public domain. I am starting to think I will need two designs available, on that is very easy to construct for the younger ones. The skill required for the camellia is low, but still high enough that I think it will be an issue with the younger students. I have been looking for flat origami flowers, but have not really found the right design that is both easy to build that also looks like a poppy. This Spanish Eye design comes close and might be the one I choose if I cannot find anything else.

Spanish eye


Competition Time

A friend of mine works at the Adelaide Film Festival and linked me to a competition they are running for screenplay writers. I decided to enter.

This was helpful because it set a hard deadline for completion of the screenplay. A hard deadline I did not make, ☹️. The deadline was Wednesday the 3rd of May and at the time of finding out about the completion was about 2 weeks away. I still had two-acts to write, and was really getting bogged down with the Act II—spoiler alert, I still am. The reason I talk about this is because the day before it was due, I actually read the submission details and low and behold I only needed to submit the first 15-pages along with a synopsis and longline. And believe it or not I have (over) 15-pages of screenplay.

Alas I needed to write a one-page synopsis, I have never written a synopsis in my entire life and naturally I left myself with 5-hours to write it. Furthermore, I needed to write a logline, this was a word that was new to me. Basically it is a one sentence overview of the screenplay—the premise. Screen Australia has a really nice guide to help you write a synopsis and various other overviews of your screenplay. I had to a one-page synopsis, at first I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to fill up an entire page, but as these things go I had about 3-pages I needed to little down to one. I won’t go into detail about actually writing it all, it’s not very exciting at all, but I did find the process useful and it got rid of some of my writers block.

Oh yeah, I also need to come up with a title for the screenplay to submit it. I have been trying to come up with a title for sometime now, but have been putting it off as much as I could. I still don’t really have a title, but I went with SUPERHUMAN (it’s my Fringe show, gasp): subject to change.

SUPERHUMAN

A down-on-his-luck and wanna-be superhero is confronted with his antithesis in the form of a girl who he must convince of his worth and validate his place in the world.

Synopsis by

[redacted]

“SUPERHUMAN” is a drama told over three thirty-minute acts that run in real-time. Set in an alternate present day Australia where superheroes are common place, the story of two characters with mundane and unremarkable superpowers are told simultaneously one in chronological order and the other in reverse chronological order.

Marcel Mercury is a man who has fought his way through life burdened with power to be able to always turn the shower on to the perfect temperature of 44.6º no matter the shower. Working as a cleaner at The Department of Superheroes and Emergency Services he is subservient, hateful and jealous of the traditional superheroes known as ‘The Calvary’ who keep law and order. Marcel’s antithesis is Bryn Bridgette a perky manic-pixie-dream-girl-esque university student who travels through life like a warm knife goes through butter. She has never waited in traffic her entire life — the lights turn green in her presence — unaware this is a superpower she like most people idolise The Calvary. They both suddenly find themselves in the middle of an emergency situation. Rather than wait like Bryn for The Calvary Marcel takes the opportunity to right a lifetime of wrongs as tries to save the day but — as his life has taught him — falls short (literally) of being the hero.

Act II opens with an older Bryn being shepherded by her friend Kate to attend a meeting of Superheroes Anonymous, an anti-superhero support group founded by Marcel for those with mundane and unremarkable powers. Bryn begrudgingly joins the meeting where she meets Marcel for the first time. The two quickly realise they are diametrically opposed in almost every way. The meeting serves as the boxing ring as they yield their words as weapons and trade blows of perfectly crafted sentences that would put the Harvard debate team to shame. The melee of word vomit ends with Marcel storming out of the room unable to control himself.

The final act begins with Marcel as a child being bullied by a group of boys who would go on to become The Calvary. This childhood trauma is what causes Marcel to hate superheroes and start Superheroes Anonymous. At the same time we see a graduate Bryn who is thrust into an emergency situation that begs uniquely of her powers. This is the emergency from Act I, where Marcel failed to save the day, because it was Bryn that moment was made for. 

Am I super impressed with my synopsis? No. Am I super impressed with my logline? Not really. But I had a deadline and I wrote (day and night) like I’m running out of time (because I was) and submitted it. Now before I could even submit I had to become a member of the Australian Writers’ Guild who run the competition in partnership with the Adelaide Film Festival. I should probably give the name of the completion it is the INSITE Award billed as,

Established to unearth unproduced feature film screenwriting talent, the Award is presented to the writer of a screenplay which has not yet secured a producer or funding. INSITE’s proven formula will see the 2017 winner meeting industry directors and producers with a view to moving the project forward and onto the screen.

The winner of INSITE will receive:

  • A three-day pass to the Adelaide Film Festival, as well as flights (interstate) and accommodation to attend the Festival.
  • A minimum of three meetings with producers to discuss their script.
  • Eligibility for entry onto AWG’s Pathways Program.

I already live in Adelaide, so I don’t get the flights ☹️.

I joined the AWG (I am member 17422 #baller) as a student which meant my joining fee was waived and my annual fee is reduced to $85. Upon entering the completion I had to pay an entry fee of $50 also, it was quite the costly endeavour. Nevertheless I am now entered I should probably finish the rest of the screenplay just incase they like it and I need to submit the the full thing.

In preparation for entering I also went through the first 15-pages and made some notes and adjustments. I sat myself down at my favourite coffeeshop (Cafe Bang Bang) and entered a new state of hipster as I edited my screenplay inside a coffee shop. I had my iPad Pro and Apple Pencil out ready to make notes, which as a side note: was quite enjoyable.

being a hipster As you can see I can’t even spell properly.

Small shoutout to PDFExpert which I used to write all over my pdf. Also, please admire my penmanship.

pdf expert screenshot

If you would like to you can read my 15-pages here and download my synopsis here. There are some other competitions I may enter, and I will keep you updated if I do.


It's gunna be May

It is now May 8th, I was hoping to do work on another project this month and was waiting for an email to confirm some details. However, the email came and was not positive—at least for now. So for the month of May I will create a non-for-profit organisation.

This is an idea I have had for about 7 or 8 years, something I used to do in high school. Overtime I have developed it into something quite interesting and hope to this year launch it. In Year 9 (I think) it was November 10 and I hadn’t got a poppy yet for remembrance day, so I decided to make one—out of origami no less.

What I thought would be a readily available design was not to be the case, turns out there is not really a design for an origami poppy. Instead I searched for various flower designs and chose one that was close enough to a poppy-esque flower to work. It was quite nice, and people seemed to enjoy the whimsy. In later years I would reuse the same poppy, I still have it somewhere, miraculously every November it exposes it self on my desk despite the literal metric ton of shit that calls my desk home.

So what does this all have to do with a non-for-profit I hear no one ask. It’s an educational piece, in primary school the foreign language we learnt was Japanese, which mean lots of our learning was bootstrapped to some form of origami. I also went through most of primary school never been explicitly taught about The World Wars in any meaningful way. In Australia, Anzac Day falls on a school holiday every year which really only leaves Remembrance Day as an ‘event’ to use to teach students about the Anzacs. I do remember (no pun) each Remembrance Day having a minute of silence at 11 AM. This project serves to create a curriculum and lesson plan for the two hours preceding this. A Trojan horse to teach younger students about the tales of sacrifice and horrors of the wars that have occurred and continue to occur. I have lofty ambitions to partner this with other established organisations and help raise money for veterans causes such as RSL clubs and the like. I hope to create a resource that can be used and expanded upon by individual teachers all with a shared common goal.

Let’s see how it goes.


It's (a)live

I still have some more posts to write about the April project to make a maths blog, but it is now May 1 and the due date is now so the blog is now live. Check it out, www.themaths.blog.

For the most part the development side of things is complete, I need to clean up the code and get rid of all the commented-out lines from the development and rollout the LaTeX-style CSS into a seperate project called MathsBlog.css. As far as content goes there is a little bit I had hoped to write but don’t have live yet. This includes the podcast, some long-form pieces, and the style guide. I had also hoped to have some post lined up in the queue so I don’t have to think about content for a few weeks. These things are easily fixed and can be knocked out when I have a free day to spend on it. Overall, I am happy with it and glad I have an outlet for the nerdier things to write.

Screenshot of TheMaths.blog


Buy me a ☕ Button (made with ❤️)

A trend thats popping up on websites these days is the “Buy me a Coffee ☕” in the footer of websites. It’s basically the Web-hipster.0 (that was a Web 1.0/2.0/3.0 joke, if that wasn’t clear) version of the Donate button. Kind of like how everyone all of a sudden had “Made in [city] with ❤️”. Naturally I wanted both of these on my new website.

Buy me a ☕

There is of-course a start-up that provides this button as a service, with an equally start-upie name, Ko-Fi. The button looks like this,

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

It’s pretty nice and appropriately Web 3.0 looking. However, I have issues with it. It’s just a link to a website, and the website has allot going on.

Screenshot of Ko-Fi profile

Like, I’m not sure why there is an option to add comments as if it was a Facebook wall. Being an external link it’s jarring and reduces any incentive for me to give money. I was hoping the website would be a super minimal and just a simple form to donate a few bucks. It also uses PayPal as its payment platform, and if I can avoid it I don’t want to ever use PayPal again. Then it dawned on me, I was hoping it was a Stripe dialogue (click the button).


This is really what I wanted when you click the “Buy Me a Coffee” button. So I looked into adding Stripe to my website, while it is pretty easy it’s not as easy as it is to add say a PayPal button. There is some server-side code required and the Stripe documentation is more targeted to making an e-commence platform, I just want to take one-time payment and not store customer details. And honestly, I didn’t want to add cognitive load I have to implement Stripe on my server. I will eventually probably make this button but for now I wanted a service to do this for me.

I started looking for Stripe-based-buy-me-a-coffee buttons, but sadly they don’t exist. There was a few out-of-date Wordpress plugins. Instead I looked for Stripe-based donation buttons that I could adapt into a button. Eventually I found DonorBox, a service designed for non-for-profits to accept donations. It ticks the right boxes, Stripe integration and has a lightbox style pop-up for donations—rather than an external link.

I’ve added a “Buy me a Beer 🍺” option as well, because that seems to be the new trend as well. All of the prices are in multiples of π. There is an element of customisation available for the box, I made it black and white and added emoji to the descriptions. I like it, it works well for minimal effort and is free to use until get over $999 a month in donations, which I don’t see happening anytime soon (if ever).

Made with ❤️

I also wanted to add a “Made in Adelaide with ❤️” thing to my footer. There is a nice website that makes some code for you called MadeWithLove

Made with ♥ in Adelaide

I wanted to make a custom one. Where I live—South Australia—has a new brand that I quite like, it’s called imaginatively Brand South Australia. I have used their logo in many of my other projects such as posters and marketing collateral adding a small logo on a website is the next natural progression.

A little nosing around the website I found the favicon. What a nice little logo our state has. Brand South Australia

Finally putting it all together we have.

Made in by jden redden with ❤️.

And this is what it looks like on TheMaths.Blog.

TheMaths.Blog footer


Dynamically numbered headings with CSS

When designing this maths blog I wanted it to have the look and feel of a real academic mathematics paper. I have talked previously about the standardised use of LaTeX in maths and how to include literal mathematical expressions on a website, but what about the rest of the paper? MathJax does not typeset anything outside the maths mode delimiters \( ... \), LaTeX is much more than just maths.

I wanted to have numbered headings, numbered theorems, lemmas, definitions etc. This is something LaTeX does automatically for you. You could of course name the headings and theorems manually, but what happens when you need to make structural changes to your document? Or if you have to break a theorem into two lemmas? You then have to go back and re-number everything in your document. I went searching for a LaTeX layout equivalent online and didn’t find anything. So let’s take a look on how we can do this with CSS.

Let’s do it

I wanted to impose some requirements to make it feel like writing in LaTeX, below are elements required for a minimum viable product.

  • Automatically number headings at least 3 levels deep
  • Optionally have the headers un-numbered.
  • Automatically number theorems, lemmas, definitions, and similar in a continuous counter under ‘Section’ headings.
  • Optionally have the theorems, lemmas, definitions, and similar un-numbered.
  • Only use CSS and no Javascript.
  • Not require <ul> or <or>.
  • Follow the style and layout of amsart in LaTeX.

CSS Counters

Since CSS3 there has been these things called CSS counters they’re basically a way to programmatically make custom ordered lists except without <ol>, but you can use it to override <ol> as well.

Pulling from the W3Schools website, to work with CSS counters we will use the following properties:

  • counter-reset - Creates or resets a counter
  • counter-increment - Increments a counter value
  • content - Inserts generated content
  • counter() or counters() function - Adds the value of a counter to an element

I’ve decided to have everything default to being un-numbered and only when you add the class numbered to the element do you get numbers. For simplicity I have the same class name numbered for everything that can be numbered. Which will add some complexity to the code, but will result in simplicity over time when writing.

<h1> is reserved for the page title, so we start with <h2> which serves as a LaTeX ‘Section’, with <h3> a ‘Sub-section’, and <h4> a Sub-sub-section. With numbering as follows:

1. Section
1.1. Sub-section
1.1.1 Sub-sub-section

To do this we have three counters that we name h1, h2, and h3 and reset the h2 counter in the body and reset the rest in a nested fashion. The basic code is:

body {
	counter-reset: h2;
}

h2.numbered {
	counter-reset: h3;
}

h3.numbered {
	counter-reset: h4;
}

h2.numbered:before {
	counter-increment: h2; 
        content: counter(h2) ".\002002";
}

h3.numbered:before {
	counter-increment: h3; 
        content: counter(h2) "." counter(h3) ".\002002";
	font-weight: normal;
}

h4.numbered:before {
	counter-increment: h4; 
        content: counter(h2) "." counter(h3) "." counter(h4) ".\002002";
	font-style: normal;
}

We are using the white-space character of a en-dash to be semantically correct, which in CSS encoding is \002002.

The usage of this in the HTML would be:

<h2 class="numbered">This is a numbered section</h2>
<h3 class="numbered">This is a numbered sub-section</h3>
<h3>This is an un-numbered sub-section</h3>
<h4 class="numbered">This is a numbered sub-sub-section</h4>

which renders like:

For completeness the LaTeX style CSS for headers is:

h2, h3, h4 {
    font-family: "Computer Modern Serif", serif;
	font-size: 12pt;
	font-weight: normal;
	margin: 0.5em 0;
}

h2 {
	font-variant: small-caps;
	text-align: center;
	font-weight: normal;
}

h3 {
	font-weight: bold;
}

h4 {
	font-style: italic;
}

In a later post I will describe how we do the same but with theorems and lemmas.


Dissociative Screen Disorder

Dissociative Identity Disorder Noun, psychiatry

  1. A psychiatric disorder in which two or more distinct personalities exist in the same person, each of which prevails at a particular time.
  2. multiple personality disorder.

Don’t stress out, I haven’t written a story with MID as the plot driver—I have written however a story with split-screen scene. Which begs the question:

How do you write split-screen in the screenplay format?

Answer: I have no idea. So let’s find out.

When searching for answers online it became pretty clear that there is no widely accepted ways of doing this, however, many people point two the Expectations/Reality scene—which has subsequently graduated into an internet meme—from (500) Days of Summer.

	EXT. SUMMER'S APARTMENT BUILDING - DUSK

	The song continues to play. Gift in hand, Tom stands at the
	foot of a four-story walk-up building, looking up at the
	roof, which is wrapped by a halo of white Xmas lights. It's
	already bustling with activity.

	He's going up. As he does, the screen splits.

	On the left, we see Tom going upstairs. This side is labeled
	"Reality".

	On the right, we also see Tom going upstairs. This side
	labelled "Expectations". There the same image for a beat.

    INT. SUMMER'S APARTMENT - SAME

	But then "Expectations" arrives first. Summer invites Tom
	inside. She gives him a huge embrace. She kisses him, right
	where the lips meet the cheek. Very close to a full-frontal
	lip kiss. (ECU the point of kiss contact).

	"Reality" arrives soon after. She comes over and gives him a
	huge embrace. She kisses him, but her kiss lands firmly in
	the cheekville. (ECU the point of kiss contact).

	Both Toms give both Summers the book as a gift. It's
	"Architecture of Happiness". Both Summers accept it eagerly.

This style continues describing each side of the split screen by prefixing the line of action with “On the right” or “On the left”. It should also be noted in the formatted script these prefixes are underlined. And the “Reality” and “Expectations” are boldface.

	EXT. ROOF - SAME

	On the right, Summer introduces "Expectations" to three or
	four guests. The whole party is maybe six people total and
	Summer takes "Expectations" Tom to the side so they can be
	alone.

	On the left, Summer introduces "Reality" to a circle of seven
	or eight people. (NOTE: This is the scene we saw on p. 51
	52). The party is actually quite large, with 30 or 40 people
	Tom has never seen before in his life. Summer's friends,
	without him.

The split screen ends with as many words—all caps, underline—and continues into traditional screenplay.

	INT. SUMMER'S APARTMENT - SAME

	Summer pulls "Expectations" into her apartment and shuts the
	door. They fall onto the bed. END SPLITSCREEN.

	INT. STAIRWELL - SAME

	"Reality" Tom comes running down the stairs and exits the
	building.

Some other examples have the split-screen presented like dual dialogue would, with each side of the split screen being dialogue on the respective side. While this is probably the best way to visually represent the idea of split-screen in reality it not the easiest way to write (especially if you are using Final Draft). It’s also contrary to meaning of side-by-side dialogue, which indicates both sides should be speaking simultaneously. For the most part the split-screen scenes will have focus change between each side and not simultaneous (main) action or dialogue. So to format it corrected you would have to leave vertical white space in the dual dialogue—which is only half size—at which point you may as well revert back to normal dialogue for space reasons.

In Kill Bill Quentin Tarantino writes dual dialogue style for the action elements of split screen.

					SCREEN GOES TO SPLIT SCREEN

		    LEFT SIDE                         RIGHT SIDE
	The BRIDE listening to them            Orderly's Reeboks walking
	getting closer. WE HEAR the            down the hospital
	STEP...STEP...STEP...in time           corridor.
	with Orderly's sneakers.

										   CAMERA MOVES UP TO
										   Orderly's face, leading
										   two TRUCKDRIVERS.
	The Bride HEARS BILL'S
	VOICE SPEAK FOR THE ORDERLY;


			 BILL'S VOICE                   ORDERLY
			(in time)                              (in time)
		She's right in here.                She's right in here.


					SPLIT SCREEN FINISHES
				STAY WITH The BRIDE'S SCREEN

This is the only instance of split-screen where there is dialogue in Kill Bill the dialogue is formatted dual style aligned with the action of the scene.

For my purposes I chose do go with the (500) Days of Summer approach, I think it hits the right balance between ease-of-writing and how well it conveys the writers intent.

This is how I enter the split-screen.

							  KATE
				 I'm not like you.

							  BRYN
				 Stop saying that.

							  KATE
				 It's for you not me.

							  BRYN
				 Well I don't want to be here so
				 it's really for you.

	From the left hand side of the screen, the following scene
	slides in as we start a SPLIT-SCREEN.

	On the right, we continue to follow Bryn and Kate. The audio
	mix changes to--

	INT. AA ROOM - CONTINUOUS

	--which is on the left.

	Inside the dingy community centre room, we have MARCEL and
	WILSON setting up chairs in a circle.

	WILSON, 23 year old, Asian male. Conspiracy theory nut, a
	little on edge and constantly looking over his shoulder.

							  MARCEL
				 So we have a new member joining us
				 today?

							  WILSON
				 Oh yeah?

							  MARCEL
				 A girl.

And how we exit.

	ROBO-MAN grabs BRYN's hand...

							  ROBO-MAN
				 C'mon, lets go.

	As BRYN and ROBO-MAN walk away, we pan around to KATE who
	stands motionless as the waiting room comes to a rest.

							  KATE
					  (mouths)
				 Good-luck.

	We follow them through the door.

	INT. AA ROOM - CONTINUOUS

	On the left, we pan around to the same vantage point as the
	right, the divider starts to fade as both sides frame the
	same image and we end SPLIT-SCREEN.

	The rest of the act continues in one continuous shot.

							  ALL
					  (muffled talk)

There’s no right or wrong way, as long as what you see in your head is written down in some vaguely comprehensible way I think we can call it a success.


Typesetting mathematics on a blog

One thing every maths major will eventually learn is the importance of LaTeX—a mathematics type setting language. LaTeX lets you write your maths papers in plain text and then have it compiled into a beautifully typeset document.

Typesetting turns out to be a pretty complex problem to solve and is quite computationally expensive for what we think is quite simple. For years customers would complain about the typesetting in Amazon’s Kindles before they re-wrote the typesetting engine in 2015.

LaTeX does not exist on the web, however there are a few other ways of writing maths on the internet.

Plain Text

The simplest and easiest way to communicate mathematics on the internet is just using plain text. It makes for very verbose reading and is a bit of an eyesore. The following are examples of maths written with plain text.

  • sin(x)
  • x = -b +- sqrt(b^2 - 4ac) / 2a
  • f'(x) = lim h -> 0 ( f(x + h) - f(x) ) / h
  • int 0 to pi/2 1/x dx = DNE
  • [a, b) = {x in R : a <= x < b}
  • forall n in N : n^2 > n
  • I = [ 1, 0; 0, 1 ]
  • sum i from 0 to n = n(n + 1)/2
  • x + 5 = y + 2 <=> x + 3 = y

For the most part it makes for machine readable formulae which you can write into Wolfram Alpha and Matlab, its also the the quickest way to write something down and send it to a college or a friend.

LaMeTeX

This is a term that I have coined—it’s basically an enhanced version of plain text. It is still plain text but it uses some of the symbols that are not commonly available. A whole slew of mathematics based symbols are included in the Unicode specification such as; superscripts, subscripts, integrals, plus-and-minus, constants, and a whole lot more. I went through the Wikipedia page and added TextExpander snippets for common maths symbols.

  • sin(x)
  • x = -b ± √(b² - 4ac) / 2a
  • f'(x) = lim h → 0 ( f(x + h) - f(x) ) / h
  • ∫ 0 to π/2 1/x dx = DNE
  • [a, b) = {x ∈ ℝ : a ≤ x < b}
  • ∀ n ∈ ℕ : n² > n
  • I = [ 1, 0; 0, 1 ]
  • ∑ i from 0 to n = n(n + 1)/2
  • x + 5 = y + 2 ⇔ x + 3 = y

You can see it slightly enhances the readability of the maths and is just as portable, every major OS has a typeface that supports these symbols and they work on webpages that don’t or can’t have javascript.

LaTeX

The gold-standard when it comes to writing maths. When learning LaTeX it can look pretty crazy, but its so widely used and widely accepted that it is my preferred way of communicating maths even when its not compiled. For example, when talking to university friends we would write LaTeX over text message because it’s objective and everyone understands what is being said. For the examples below we will be using LaTeX with the amsmath package installed, which extends LaTeX with useful mathematical constructs.

  • \sin(x)
  • x = -b \pm \frac{ \sqrt(b^2 - 4ac) }{2a}
  • f'(x) = \lim_{ h \to 0 } \frac{ f(x + h) - f(x) }{h}
  • \int_0^{ \frac{π}{2} } \frac{1}{x} dx = DNE
  • [a, b) = \{ x \in \mathbb{R} : a \le x < b \}
  • \forall n \in \mathbb{N} : n^2 > n
  • I = \begin{bmatrix} 1 & 0 \\ 0 & 1 \end{bmatrix}
  • \sum_0^n i = \frac{ n(n + 1) }{2}
  • x + 5 = y + 2 \Leftrightarrow x + 3 = y

MathJax

MathJax is a javascript framework that will actually typeset LaTeX input and use CSS and custom fonts to display it on webpages. For the most part you can take unmodified LaTeX code and add this snippet <script src='https://cdnjs.cloudflare.com/ajax/libs/mathjax/2.7.0/MathJax.js?config=TeX-MML-AM_CHTML'></script> and you have beautifully typeset maths on your website. The only modification you may need to do is double escape LaTeX commands—\\{ is required for \{—and use \(...\) instead of $...$.

  • \[ \sin(x) \]
  • \[ x = -b \pm \frac{ \sqrt(b^2 - 4ac) }{2a} \]
  • \[ f’(x) = \lim_{ h \to 0 } \frac{ f(x + h) - f(x) }{h} \]
  • \[ \int_0^{ \frac{π}{2} } \frac{1}{x} dx = DNE \]
  • \[ [a, b) = \{ x \in \mathbb{R} : a \le x < b \} \]
  • \[ \forall n \in \mathbb{N} : n^2 > n \]
  • \[ I = \begin{bmatrix} 1 & 0 \\ 0 & 1 \end{bmatrix} \]
  • \[ \sum_0^n i = \frac{ n(n + 1) }{2} \]
  • \[ x + 5 = y + 2 \Leftrightarrow x + 3 = y \]

MathML

Finally, MathML—meaning Maths Markup Language—is the W3C’s standard for maths on the web. It is very cumbersome to use and would not like to write directly to MathML, rather I would write in LaTeX and then convert to MathML for publication. It does come with the advantage of being a web standard and does not require a javascript framework, it’s supported in all major browsers. I won’t include all of the of the examples, below is what is required to write \(sin(x)\).

<math xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1998/Math/MathML">
<mtable class="m-equation-square" displaystyle="true" style="display: block; margin-top: 1.0em; margin-bottom: 2.0em">
	<mtr>
		<mtd>
			<mspace width="6.0em" />
		</mtd>
		<mtd columnalign="left">
			<mi>sin</mi>
			<mrow>
				<mo form="prefix">(</mo>
				<mi>x</mi>
				<mo form="postfix">)</mo>
			</mrow>
		</mtd>
	</mtr>
</mtable>
</math>

For this project I will be using MathJax, the ability to write (almost) standard LaTeX directly into blog posts and have it typeset and render with no work is easily the best way to have maths on your blog.


April: To infinity and a maths blog

From the March of progress we now enter a new month and with the new month a new project. For the month of April—part of 12 Months, 12 Things—I will be working on and launching a new blog-of-sorts on mathematics. It sounds boring and it probably is, but I am excited.

This is an idea I have had floating in my head for at least a year or so, probably more. The vibe will be a StackExchange cross ProofWiki a place for students to search for obscure and unnecessary maths proofs that they can use as starting point for tutorial questions and problem sets. I want to have essays and guides for mathematics students based at an advanced university level, a website not really targeted for beginners (I feel like there is already many of them) but for curious mathematics majors looking for something new. I want to have a reference proofs to those ‘left to the reader as an exercise’ questions that we all fumble to answer. Hopefully and time-permitting I will have an accompanying podcast. There is a lack of mathematical podcasts (that last any meaningful length of time) where I can host guest as they talk about their maths life and interesting maths—once again pitched at a higher level than the norm.

It is already April the second writing this post, but I have already bought another Digital Ocean (that is 12/10 a referral code, so like totally spend money with it) Droplet (it’s the $5 Droplet—which shows my total faith in success for this project) so we are off to a start. I fly to Sydney (from Adelaide) in 2 days which gives me a solid couple hours of boredom to really nut out some work. I am excited for this one and very keen to start working on it, when I first thought of doing 12 Things, 12 Months this was originally the January project.


The 'March' of progress

As March comes to a close (it is now the second day of April) I need to update you on the happenings of 12 Months, 12 Things—which I keep calling 12 Things, 12 Months. March has been an impossibly busy time for me; juggling the opening of a new show, finishing the run of another show, travelling 600 km for a one-off show, to writing a screenplay and working almost every other day. As a result it is now April and I still have lots to write about my Fringe experience and still have much of a screenplay to write all the while I should be starting a new project—and I am.

Throughout April there will be three streams of posts on this blog—I am telling this to the whole one-and-half persons who read this blog (not including myself).

  1. Finishing off posts from January/February Projects a.k.a. Adelaide Fringe shows.
  2. Updates on the screenplay and completing and submission into competitions—with helpful hard deadlines.
  3. The new about-to-be announced April project.

So that is the March of progress for this little project I am working on. Hopefully by the end of April this streams will be forming a nice big lake.