Two peachy Web sites

From: Nicholas Bodley (
Date: Wed Mar 28 2001 - 20:17:29 PST

One, which unfortunately I've lost the URL for, will accept any
rational number and, get this -- give you anything of mathematical
interest concerning that number. It's astonishing how many
interesting numbers there are, unless memory is really playing tricks
on me. I think the same site will also accept a series of a few
integers, and give you the general rule that defines the rest of the

The other site, The Famous Curves Index, is in my opinion one of the
true all-time classics that should be up for eternity on the Web. It
is a treasure of *interactive* mathematical curves, which allow you
to use your mouse pointer to define a point in relation to the curve,
and create another derived curve (or family of them), based (quite
often) on where that point is in relation to the original curve. I
had probably just heard a hint about pedal curves, but here, you can
see them recalculate as you move your defining point. They are often
of considerable esthetic interest, occasionally taking on shapes more
like parts of animals. The caustics seem to defy physical reality at
times; I'm sometimes puzzled by them.

There seems to be a lack of instructions, but after not too long you
can figure things out. Fairly sure the site loads a Java application
into your machine before you run anything; security worries should be
minimal. Plan on setting up screen capture for any particular
goodies. In M$ Windows 95, the Print Screen key is likely to take a
snapshot of your screen, and put it into the clipboard. You can then
paste the clipboard's contents into Paint[brush]. Easy to do! The
freeware program IrfanView can manipulate images to some extent; it's
a peach of a program. Try to get the latest version.

Have a look, too, at my favorite mailing list,

(I hope I have the e-ddress right!). They are a group whose primary
interest is trying to help science and other teachers understand
modern technology. (Just lately, I have been neglecting my e-mail
horribly, though.)

Nicholas Bodley |@| Waltham, Mass.
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