How Would Math Redirect Thought?

Ahh-yes! I love this one and why one might ask? It is definitely a real hemisphere splitter, a huge leap as it were, and a quantitative dance to be sure–really? You betcha!

Why do we have to take math? Why study something we’ll never use? What’s the purpose?

At one time either as a student, friend, sibling, teacher, or parent we’ve heard these three questions. Or even one or two of the three, if not all of them. So why do we? Do we ever use this stuff? Will I ever know the purpose? Read on…

Why do we study math? The most obvious reason is that if there is anything that is remotely close to a ‘universal’ language then it has to be math. We are here to tell you that everything from music to software, light to nuclear energy, even colors has its mathematical breakdown.

Ever see the film, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, ?

Interestingly the medium used for communication was: music, colors, and their relativity to math! Now you say, “What!” So here goes: For the most part the quantitative discipline starts with Algebra where we look at a problem one way and we don’t understand it. (Not too worry folks, it’s supposed to be that way!)

Most often this is when most younger American students say, “I don’t understand this…what does this have to do with real life?” The real life part of it is that when we look at something the first time about 98% of the population see it exactly the same as we do. However, there is that nagging 1.5% that sees something different, and then again a 0.5% that are seeing things that are not there at all.

Any time educators present material where they encourage or try and inspire a student to view a situation from a different perspective this in education terms referred to as “quantitative analysis.” Pretty fancy sounding; yet, what it means is to quantum leap from the left side of your brain to the right side. Mathematics is without question the best way to do this ‘hemisphere jumping.’ We are presented with a very ordinary problem and because of all the symbols and squiggly figures we just say no way!

Here is one I use a lot, it’s primarily used to show how easy it is to perceive an object in a different perspective. I start with drawing the symbols very carefully:   I X    Now, I ask them very carefully: “With one single line make this a 6.” ( — )

This will do for our demonstration today. I will ask everyone to attempt this assignment and we’ll compare answers tomorrow.



You’ve Just Got to Ask Yourself

I am writing this as an aside-you know those little bits that stimulate the mind and the only real way to get it off of one’s mind is either to discuss it or in my case, journalize it.

Have you every wondered why or what is so important, posh, chic, or desirous about something that people will go to the ends of the earth to get it? Let’s look at the Office of the President, here in the United States.

The way this campaign is shaping up is nothing shy of witnessing pure Hell. Just about everything I read in The Bible, especially the Book of Proverbs or Christ’s ‘Sermon on the Mount’ warns us against the carnage and lengths that others will do, or stoop to, even to obtain the party’s nomination. Ironically the portion of Proverbs I’m referring to is subtitled, ‘Contrast the Upright and the Wicked.’

I am referring to it now as the ‘Slithering Shimmering Snake’ simply because that is what it reminds of when people lose all sense of dignity and their own personal integrity runs so ragged that they are ready to run ruckshod over any person who gets in their way.

The latest acts of desperation I’ve seen or heard goes something like this: “Senator John McCain is to old to be a President;” Isn’t this ‘age discrimination’? Sure it is and before any of his opposition could collect his personal medical records, dental records, DMV, military records to literally pore through to find something to discredit him along with his age…

It has become the slogan of “Four More Years of Bush.” Now I’ve just got to ask myself these questions: What is it about the presidency that would have folks stoop to this level? What does a person gain when they completely forfeit themselves and their dignity in order to gain anything?

  Lord, please help me to never want anything so bad that I am ready to become as a snake and with my pithy tongue flapping this way and that way destroying everything in its path.



The Quick and the…Living

The Unfinished Journey is a conglomerate of musings, thoughts, experiences, fun times, Not so fun times, and basic day-to-day ongoings from the perspective of one who is in that journey.

From the best of my memory I believe that the notion of putting to print the activities of a young person has come from several sources. One of the first things we do as educators, mentors, or friends, hell even enemies, is to begin whoever we meet on the concept of journaling.

Got things on your mind? Journal it! Feeling some anxiety? Journalize it! Experiencing passion, angst, love, infatuation, shoes, cfm’s, got it yet? Journalize it…wherever; albeit, in the stall, at the bar, at the nightspot, even in church–just get it to writing.

Research study after study indicates that those who journalize, experience less anxiety, depression, doldrums, and quite the opposite happens. Yep! Having delt with the negatives, then we are free to explore the wonders of life! That is what ‘The Unfinished Journey’ is about.


Hello world!

This is my ‘Great Big Huge and Grand Hello World’ from our blog, The Unfinished Journey, and as part of that great introduction and welcome we thought we’d share this newly acquired information with you.

Every now and then someone comes up with the most ‘zany, wacky, and weird reasons for why we do the things we do. I was reading earlier today and just had to share it with you.

The main reason for my interest is multi-fold: I love music and I am a musican; I love linguistics and the study of language; therefore, reading something that deals with both was really cool. It’s called:

3 Smart Things About Music

1- The pitches in musical scales are likely derived from language. Turns out, aspects of spoken English and Mandarin correlate to the intervals between notes in a chromatic scale (the black and white piano keys in an octave). Is it music we love or the sound of our own voices?

2-  When musicians improvise, the lateral prefrontal areas of their brains – responsible for planning and self-censorship – basically turn off. Meanwhile, the medial prefrontal cortex – linked to self-expression and activities like telling a story about yourself – lights up.

3-  Getting “Eye of the Tiger” stuck in your head is the result of a glitch in your auditory cortex. This part of your brain processes sounds and stores them for later recall. It powers up and can start crooning uncontrollably after hearing just a few notes of a familiar tune. Want it to stop? Listen to the whole song or do some math.

Of the first part, very early on in music I learned that the human voice is the perfectly tuned instrument in the history of humankind. How many people go and enjoy the opera without knowing the language, yet have tears streaming down their faces?

Secondly, for many years many ‘experts’ from Timothy Leary to Dr. Phil have alleged that there are portions within the brain that are so creative, they may be uncontrolable at times.

Finally, I don’t know how much of the ‘glitch’ theory works for me; however, the notion of ‘crooning’ I have no doubt is true. Some call them jingles (commercially), slogans with music backgrounds, in fact, many of this is planned by many producers and song writers. I don’t buy the idea of working through the entire song insofar as for me, it just makes me want to do it again.

And the doing math part…makes perfectly good sense for me. Stay tuned and I tell you why!

3 Smart Things About Music hat tip to Wired Magazine

More later