Sunday, January 31, 2010

Cranbourne Rodeo Photos

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Every Cowboy in town wants to get a look at this blog post!

Big Passy took a big break from computing and headed off to see his first ever Rodeo yesterday. It was awesome, the excitement of the Cowboys in competition was jaw dropping. I am definitely going to do the Rodeo thing again sometime soon.

The new Panasonic ZS3 Lumix camera worked a treat, and the sports action mode was superb at capturing all of the action. Night time mode for the post rodeo carnival was also quite reasonable.

The following Wondershare Slideshow contains 27 photos taken at the Cranbourne Rodeo. When you get through the whole show, the last picture should be of a little kid Cowboy. If you missed any pictures then click on the arrow when the slideshow ends.

Note that we can click on the bottom of the slideshow on the "Manual Play" option at any time. We can then advance through the photos one by one at our own pace. This allows us to stop for longer on the photos that we really like, and quickly bypass the ones that we are not interested in.

(Push the Play button arrow below if the slideshow is not already running).

If you would like to see the above slideshow full size, then click on this link:

If you are ever in Melbourne around the end of January, then a visit to the Cranbourne Rodeo is a must.

Anyway you know it's getting near the end of the Blog Post when the little Cowboy gets to singing:

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If you would like to get your own copy of "Wondershare Flash Gallery Factory Deluxe" (for just under $60 US) then click the following link:


Big Passy Wasabi

Friday, January 29, 2010

Funny Mathematics Friday

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Okay, mathematics is usually something that will drive most people into a sense of humor failure. But for today's lesson let's try to apply some integer multiplication to reverse that outcome.

Perhaps the fun factor destroyer in Mathematics is the perpetual bouts of the "New Math". The "New Math" is always so complicated (thank goodness for calculators on mobile phones!).

And let's not forget all the fun of learning Algebra:

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But how about we spare a thought for the plight of those poor individuals that have to teach Math. This is wonderfully demonstrated in the following scene from the "Black Adder" series:

I guess things have just always been this way:

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It is not only the teachers struggling to teach. There are also fundamental flaws in the students' learning as demonstrated in this video:

We need to better understand the students' learning difficulties, so let us look at some more of their flawed answers:

Maybe we can blame this all on today's students using too many computers:

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Here is a marvelous video all about a young boys love of Trigonometry.
(So refreshing to see a young person so passionate about mathematics).

Maths Jokes from the Internet

What does the zero say to the the eight?
- Nice belt!

What is 2k + k?
- 3000!

Why do you rarely find mathematicians spending time at the beach?
- Because they have sine and cosine to get a tan and don't need the sun!

What do you get if you add two apples and three apples?
- A high school mathematics problem!

What is the difference between a Ph.D. in mathematics and a large pizza?
- A large pizza can feed a family of four.

How does a mathematician induce good behavior in her children?
- He says: "I've told you n times, I've told you n+1 times..."

A math professor, a native Texan, was asked by one of his students: "What is mathematics good for?"
- He replied: "This question makes me sick! If you show someone the Grand Canyon for the first time, and he asks you `What's it good for?' What would you do? Well, you kick that guy off the cliff!"

Three statisticians go hunting. When they see a rabbit, the first one shoots, missing it on the left. The second one shoots and misses it on the right.
The third one shouts: "We've hit it!"

A mathematician organizes a raffle in which the prize is an infinite amount of money paid over an infinite amount of time. Of course, with the promise of such a prize, his tickets sell like hot cake.
When the winning ticket is drawn, and the jubilant winner comes to claim his prize, the mathematician explains the mode of payment: "1 dollar now, 1/2 dollar next week, 1/3 dollar the week after that..."

How can you tell that a mathematician is extroverted?
- When talking to you, he looks at your shoes instead of at his.

The mother of already three is pregnant with her fourth child.
One evening, the eldest daughter says to her dad: "Do you know, daddy, what I've found out?"
"The new baby will be Chinese!"
"Yes. I've read in the paper that statistics shows that every fourth child born nowadays is Chinese..."

Why did the chicken cross the Möbius strip?
- To get to the other - errrr..ummm....errrr....

Did you know that Lumberjacks make great musicians because of their natural logarithms.

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So have a great weekend everybody, and be careful not to spoil it with too much Mathematics.


Big Passy Wasabi

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Wall Wisher Integer Mathematics

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Temperature values are just one example of positive and negative numbers that are often called "Integers".

In a week or so, Big Passy will be teaching some 8th graders all about Integers, and so it was time to build another WallWisher website. Here is an iframe window into this brand new "Integers8" web site:

If you would like to see the above wall full size, then click the link below:

Click here to see the Integers Wall full size

If you would like to know how to build your own Wall of links to items that all follow a particular theme, then check out our previous blog post on this here:

Integers are important when we examine opposing forces. A classic example is rally car driving where the turning force of the car needs to be negated by the grip of the tires:

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This traction balance is often a very delicate mathematical equation to replicate in computer games.

Here is a very "Hill Billy" Introduction to Integers, that is a bit left of center:

Here are some SlideShare presentations that we found on the web about Integers:

Introduction to Incredible Integers:

Adding and Subtracting Integers:

Multiplying and Dividing Integers:

One item we have included on our wall is this great little Integers song:

So hopefully some positive outcomes will result from all of this Integers stuff.

And speaking of outcomes that we need here at Passy World:


Big Passy Wasabi

Sunday, January 24, 2010

How to Use Google Alerts

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Google Alerts is free and can be used to track very specific information about any topic on the Web.

The webpage address is:

According to Google themselves:

"Google Alerts are email updates of the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc.) based on your choice of query or topic.

Some handy uses of Google Alerts include:
  • monitoring a developing news story
  • keeping current on a competitor or industry
  • getting the latest on a celebrity or event
  • keeping tabs on your favorite sports teams"

A musician friend put me onto Google Alerts. He uses Alerts to find the names of his songs appearing on websites. He then finds out if these sites are supplying illegal downloads of his music, and takes action accordingly.

We can create an alert by filling out this very simple form on the Google Alerts page:

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If you already have a Google Account for Gmail, Blogger, Analytics, etc then you can sign into Alerts using this same email address and password. We can then modify alerts later on when we need to.

Our aim in using Google Alerts here at Passy World is to try find out what websites are linking to information that is on "Passy's World of ICT". Also we have setup Google Alerts on the name of "Big Passy" and on our other website "Passy World", to see what sites are referencing these, or using information from our websites on their sites.

We should also be able to find out what sites are linking to any of our materials.

The specific alerts we have set up for Google to find for us are these terms:



"Big Passy Wasabi"

"Big Passy"

"Passy's World of ICT"

"Passy World"

It is so easy to set up Alerts on the Google page, that we do not need to explain anything, other than to show you this:

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Note that when setting up Alerts, it is very important to include the quotes.
Including quotes ensures that the whole term is checked for by Google.

Eg. For "Big Passy" we don't want Google to alert us to every new page on the web that has either the word "Big" or the word "Passy" in it.... the result of this would be way too BIG!

It certainly did not take time for results from Google to start rolling in.

Here is a typical Alert email from Google that we have received recently:

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When we clicked the blue link supplied in the email, it took us to a website called "".

This site has thousands of PDF and other docs on lots of topics that have been harvested from the web and
now have links supplied to them. So it is basically a site that contains thousands of links to docs that are on the worldwide web. It also has its own engine for searching to find docs on a given topic.

Eg. The edocfind search easily found and supplied links to plenty of downloadable documents when we typed in: "Guitar Power Chords".

We promise to try to stay alert, and we will let you know in future Blog Posts if Google alerts us to anything
else really interesting.


Big Passy Wasabi

Saturday, January 23, 2010

How to Cook Nerd Curry

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Okay, let's do something different and share around a great curry Recipe.

Someone recently emailed, and asked what nerds like Big Passy eat to create a BMI battle with themselves. So here is just one of many possible answers.

Chicken Curry Tamil Nadu

This is an Indian curry from the southern "Tamil Nadu" state of India. It is neither sweet nor sour, and has a unique rich creamy flavour. Big Passy developed this recipe by fusing together a few different recipes from some Indian cook books.

This chicken curry is his son's favorite, and A.J. says it tastes as good as Indian restaurant food. (He even eats up all of the vegetables that are in it!)

So let's get into how it is made. I will mention some brand names here, which might not exist outside of Australia, but equivalents should easily be found.

What we need: The Ingredients

Around 400g of diced and crushed tomatoes. You can buy a tin of these, but they will usually be very salty, and make the curry very acidic and even sour. This will need to be balanced out by adding some soft brown sugar to taste near the end of cooking. It is much better to buy 6 or 7 medium sized tomatoes and make our own diced tomatoes like this. Prick all of the tomatoes about 8 times with the tip of a sharp pointy knife, and then drop them into a bowl of boiled water. After about 5 minutes, we should be able to peel off and discard the skins, and cut out the cores. (Use a fork to spear and hold them, and a knife to peel off the skin). Slice up these peeled tomatoes in a casserole dish, and then use a potato masher to completely mush them up.

Three or Four large chicken breasts need to be cut up into bite size chunks. Put these raw chunks into a shallow sealable contained, add 2 heaped table spoons of Maharaji brand Tandoori curry paste, and stir the chicken chunks so they are all coated in it. Leave these in the sealed container for at least 2 hours in the fridge to marinate.

Combine the following spices in a mortar and pestel grinder and crush them all together with each other:

1 heaped teaspoon of fennel seeds
2 teaspoons of crushed ground black peppercorns
1 heaped teaspoon of dried red chilli flakes
One quarter heaped teaspoon of ground cardamom seeds
1 flat teaspoon of ground Nutmeg

Additional ingredients that are required:
1 heaped tablespoon of crushed Ginger (can use supermarket jar variety)
1 large brown onion sliced up into thin wedges.
1 Red Capsicum bell pepper sliced into bitesize pieces
1 handful of fresh green beans sliced up
5 leaves of Chard, Silver Beat, Spinach, or Boc Choy (to fill a small soup bowl)
1 x 400ml can of Trident brand Coconut Cream
(not the light type, but full strength).
1 x 140g tub of tomato paste, but only use about 80g of it.
2 x Star Anise to add into the curry while it is being simmered

Some Rice cooked separately:
2 cups of water and 1 cup of Basmati or Jasmin rice that needs to be cooked by absorption method.

How we cook the Curry:

We need to use a cast iron pot, or a Wok, or Electric Frypan that we can cover with a lid while the curry is simmered. I like to use a Sunbeam brand Electric Frypan.

Cook the chicken in some oil on high heat in 2 batches, and set aside on a plate.

Now cook the onion until clear, then add in the beans, red pepper, and Ginger and only cook for 1 or 2 minutes. Now add the cooked chicken, the ground spice mix, and the crushed up tomatoes, the tomato paste, and stir together.

Next add the coconut cream, the 2 star anise, stir together, and then simmer for 20 minutes with the lid on.

After this, add the Chard or equivalent green leaves, stir them in until they shrivel up. Now simmer for 20 minutes with the lid off, until the chicken is tender and the sauce has thickened.

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Serve on the boiled rice, and bon apetit.

(So easy that even nerds can make it).

Now if you really want to learn to cook all sorts of interesting things, then check out these great web sites:

"The Pioneer Woman" website at:

as well as "Kim's Concoctions" at:


Big Passy Wasabi

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Friday Funny with a Moo to You

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This week we're going way out in left field; into a field full of cows actually, and that's no Bull.

We have been inspired by a recent trip that Big Passy and his son made out to a friend's farm in the country. It was quite an experience being away from computers and guitars for a few days, and we had to mingle with the cows as our alternative source of amusement.

So since returning home, we have been on the net, and had a cow of a time finding anything really hilarious to do with cows. So this week's Friday Funny, might be more of a Friday Funny with the Fresians, or maybe a joke with the
Jerseys, or perhaps a happy smile with the Herefords.

First up we have some You Tube Videos involving cow humor, from TV ads through to music videos and techno remixes.
Smile and say Cheese, and let's get into it.

Here is one of my son's favourite books when he was a youngster:

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Here are some "out there" cow inspired Music Videos.

Hope you enjoyed that one, because here is another one that is a real off the wall original.

And finally we have one more essential cowful masterpiece from YouTube:

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Q: Why did the blonde buy a brown cow?
A: To get chocolate milk.

Q: What do you call a grumpy cow?
A: Moo-dy

Q: What do cows do for entertainment?
A: Go to moo-vies.

Q: What do you call a sleeping bull?
A: A bull-dozer.

Q: Why don't cows have any money?
A: Because the farmers milk them dry.

Q: What do you call a cow that doesn't give milk?
A: An udder failure.

Q: What do you call cattle with a sense of humor?
A: Laughing stock.

Q: What happened to the lost cattle?
A: Nobody's herd.

Q: Why can't you shock cows?
A: They've herd it all.

Q: What is it when one cow spies on another cow?
A: A steak out.

Q: Where does a cow stop to drink?
A: The milky way!

Q: What does an invisible man drink?
A: Evaporated milk!

Q: Where do cows go for lunch?
A: The calf-eteria.

Q: Where do cows go on dates?
A: The moo-vies!

Q: Where do Russians get their milk?
A: From Mos-cows

Q: What does a cow ride when his car is broken?
A: A COW-asaki MOO-torcycle!

Q: Where do cows go on their space vacation?
A: The moooooon!

Q: What are cows favorite party games?
A: MOO-sical chairs!

Q: Why did the cow jump over the moon?
A: To get to the Milky Way!

Q: What do cows like to listen to?
A: Moo-sic!

Q: What do you call a cow eating grass in a paddock?
A: A lawn mooer.

One day two cows were chatting over the fence between their two fields. The first cow said, "I'm telling you, this mad cow disease is getting pretty scary! I've heard it's spreading so fast that it's already on Farmer Rubin's land just down the road!"
- The second cow replied, "So what? It doesn't affect us chickens!"

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Cow-a-Bunga, and all that sort of surfing jive, have a cow of a weekend, and make it back here alive, standing upright on all hooves.


Big Passy Wasabi

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Make a Contact Us Webpage

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This post is part of our continuing series about how to build your own website using Adobe CS3.

Making a "Contact Us" page involves creating a webpage that includes a "form" for people visiting the page to fill in with their comments or questions. We can build this using Adobe Dreamweaver.

We then need to also create a "PHP Script" that will run on our web hosting server, and can collect the information from the form, and then mail it to an email inbox of our choice.

Creating the webpage involved using Fireworks to make the background image for the page. We then set this as the document background in Dreamweaver and followed a tutorial from the internet at: to create the feedback form onto the page using Dreamweaver.

Obtaining and modifying some PHP to do the emailing on the host server proved to be a bit difficult, but with help from our webhost, and using some of the PHP from we got there eventually.

The details are all documented in the PDF document below.

If you would like to have your own full size copy of this PDF, then simply click the save disk icon button on the PDF viewer, and you should be able to save it to your own hard disk.

Alternatively, you can view or save the full size PDF by clicking the link below:

If you would like to go to our Passy World site and test drive the "Contact Us" page, then click the following link:

Keep an eye on our blog for some further posts on our "Passy World" website building project. We still have several more pages that we need to make on the site over the next few weeks.


Big Passy Wasabi

Monday, January 18, 2010

Dolphin Street Guitar Lessons

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Robert Renman runs a fantastic online guitar lessons site called "Dolphin Street" at

Here is an iframe peak into his website's Home page. You can use the above weblink to go there and check it out "full-size".

Robert is an excellent Blues guitar teacher, and has plenty of free lessons and material on this site. The free lessons are mainly under the "Guitar Video Lessons" tab at the top of his homepage.

Here is a really great beginners Blues Guitar song by Robert:

Here is a "Jump Blues Guitar Lick" Lesson playing in the style of Brian Setzer.
It features some really cool pinky finger pull offs, that are really well demonstrated and explained by Robert.

Robert also has premium lessons available that cost around $8 U.S, and are around 30 minutes long on video. He usually also supplies a PDF and backing track to play along with, as well as Guitar Pro 5 tab files. So considering the quality and detail of material he gives to you, these are excellent value.

Here is a trailer for one of these premium lessons:

On his website there are lots of other goodies and freebies, such as some very nice downloadable backing tracks to jam along to at:

There is also a forum, where fellow guitarists share ideas around at:

To finish off, here is an excellent free 8mins 30 secs lesson about a 10 note blues lick, using the E minor blues scale that you can repeat often:

So check out Dolphin Street, and get yourself into playing some really nice Blues Guitar music.


Big Passy Wasabi

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Summer Photos of St Kilda

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The above is a photoshopped image of "Luna Park" which is a famous landmark in the city of Melbourne Australia where Big Passy resides. I have been out and about with a good friend, using my new Panasonic Lumix ZS3 camera, to none other than St Kilda, which is the famous suburb of Melbourne where Luna Park is located.

I have also been using Adobe Photoshop "Filter Gallery" to reprocess some of the Photos into abstract art works. Using Filters in Photoshop is very easy and lots of fun using the presets that are provided. If you can afford the price, Photoshop is a great product for working on photos.

The folowing Wondershare Slideshow contains 36 photos taken around St Kilda today. When you get through the whole show, the last picture should be of two women walking down the famous Acland Street. The first picture should have been of a very abstract painting of the beach and buildings. If you missed any pictures then click on the arrow when the slideshow ends.

Note that we can click on the bottom of the slideshow on the "Manual Play" option at any time. We can then advance through the photos one by one at our own pace. This allows us to stop for longer on the photos that we really like, and quickly bypass the ones that we are not interested in.

(Push the Play button arrow below if the slideshow is not already running).

If you would like to see the above slideshow full size, then click on this link:

Here is some information about the fabulous suburb of St Kilda from Wikipedia:

"St Kilda has many distinctive local landmarks, most centred around the St Kilda Esplanade and foreshore area, several featuring domes of a Moorish architecture theme established at the turn of the century. Perhaps the best known is Luna Park an early 20th century amusement park with its famous "Moonface" entry and its historic scenic railway roller coaster.

The St Kilda Pier is another local landmark and major tourist attraction. The pier is terminated by the St Kilda Pavilion, an eccentric Edwardian building in the mould of English pier pavilions which is considered of high cultural importance to Melburnians. It was recently reconstructed and listed on the Victorian Heritage Register after burning down. The pier has a long breakwater which shelters St Kilda Harbour and hosts a Fairy Penguin colony The pier is also the starting point for a ferry which runs between St Kilda and Williamstown.

St Kilda Beach is a beach with gentle bay waves popular with swimmers and sunbathers during the summer months. It is often criticized by locals and visitors alike for its pollution, but significant recent efforts have been made by government organisations to keep it clean.

The St Kilda Sea Baths, also called South Pacific, a Moorish themed building was built in the late 1920s, and demolished in the 1990s. It was rebuilt in a Moorish style, continuing a history of sea baths in St Kilda dating back to the 1850s.

Acland Street is a shopping and restaurant precinct famous for its cake shops and cafes. It also features a number of public artworks."

If you are ever in Melbourne during the summertime, a visit to St Kilda with lunch at any of the fine cafes in Acland Street is a must.

If you would like to get your own copy of "Wondershare Flash Gallery Factory Deluxe" (for just under $50 US) then click the following link:


Big Passy Wasabi

Mathematics at the Tennis

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Okay let's talk about speed. Not the speed of a person's heartbeat as they watch an exciting tennis match, but how fast a tennis ball goes when it is served.

Big Passy has been very busy at the Australian Open Tennis Tournament, conducting some highly in-depth research for this blog post:

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(See the Wondershare Photo Slideshow at the end of this post for further details).

Tennis Serve Speed

At the 2010 Australian Open, IBM are supplying the serve speed technology.

From IBM's own website:

"For fans and players who need to know how serves measure up to Roddick's record-breaker in 2006, IBM provides the Speed-of-Serve Radar. Radar guns behind the server record the ball's speed within millimetres of it leaving the racket. The information flashes onto courtside screens in under a second, reaching the official Web site and the world's TV screens a second or two later.

  • The ball's speed is measured within millimetres of leaving the racket

  • The radar guns are positioned on the court in a static position behind the servers.
  • The speed of the serve is flashed up on courtside screens in less than a second.
  • Andy Roddick (USA) and Greg Rusedski (GBR) share the world's fastest serve clocked at 241.4 kph.
Data travels to the official Australian Open website in seconds. The integrated scoring solution is but one of the measurements used in putting together the match analysis DVD, to assist coaches and players improve their game".

The radar used in sports like tennis is basically the same as the Radar that Police use to measure speeding cars. The Radar typically locates a speed within 1/100 of a second after a target is put in motion. (Eg. Immediately when the player's raquet hits the ball). The radar then continuously tracks the target, producing a reading 100 times a second. This way it doesn't miss the fastest speed or the final speed.

How Does the Radar Work

The following information is from:
Go to that link to get a deeper discussion about radar guns as well as radar gun detectors, and more sophisticated ways of measuring speed using Lidar Guns.

A basic radar speed gun is just a radio transmitter and receiver combined into one unit. A radio transmitter is a device that oscillates an electrical current so the voltage goes up and down at a certain frequency.

This electricity generates electromagnetic energy, and when the current is oscillated, the energy travels through the air as an electromagnetic wave. A transmitter also has an amplifier that increases the intensity of the electromagnetic energy and an antenna that broadcasts it into the air.

Radar can be used to measure the speed of an object, due to a phenomenon called Doppler shift. You've probably noticed the pitch of an ambulance siren rise as it approaches, then fall once it passes. You're hearing the "Doppler effect".

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Note that the waves with the peaks closer together have higher frequency, and the further apart flatter ones have lower frequency.

Like sound waves, radio waves have a certain frequency, the number of oscillations per unit of time. When the radar gun and the tennis ball are both standing still, the echo will have the same wave frequency as the original signal. Each part of the signal is reflected when it reaches the tennis ball, mirroring the original signal exactly.

But when the ball is moving, each part of the radio signal is reflected at a different point in space, which changes the wave pattern. When the ball is moving away from the radar gun, the second segment of the signal has to travel a greater distance to reach the ball than the first segment of the signal.
This has the effect of "stretching out" or "flattenning out" the wave, or lowering its frequency. Based on how much the frequency changes, a radar gun can calculate how quickly the ball is moving away from it.

Okay, so how does the Radar measure the ball speed and ignore the speed of the player's arm moving?

Most radars detect the speed of the strongest return target and the speed of the fastest target. The strongest
return is usually from the nearest object, (like the player), and this speed is lower, and slows down much quicker than the ball speed. So it is very basic Maths to select the higher and longer lasting speed of the ball.

Anyway, thanks to electronics and computers to cheaply do the Mathematics, we can even buy "toy" radar guns for our kids. They can use them to measure speeds of bikes and skateboards going down big hills and the like.

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Movement Detection by Digital Cameras

There is also some amazing movement detection technology that is inside digital cameras these days.

I recently purchased a Panasonic Lumix ZS3 12x fully automatic 10MP Digital Camera. There are many special modes that the camera can be set to, including "Sports Mode". I have been very impressed with the quality of the pictures taken in sports mode. The camera is able to follow the action and stay in perfect focus without any of the blurring that I used to get with my old camera. There is also no need to use a tripod when at full zoom in this mode. The shake correction is absolutely brilliant. Watch out for an upcoming post that gives a full review of this marvelous camera.

Slide Show of Australian Open Photos

I have been very impressed with the Wonderhare Photo Gallery Maker
- See previous post on this at:

So combining the new camera and Wondershare, here is a slideshow of photos that Big Passy took as a special guest at the Australian Open Tennis.

Note that several photos have been cropped, and had the image contrast, brightness, and so on, auto adjusted using Adobe Photoshop CS3. Photoshop is brilliant for adding some Gaussian Blur to unwanted background items as well.

(You should have noticed a little bit of Photoshopping on the intro photo.
Eg. "Passy World" is not an official sponsor of the Australian Open).

And before we get another influx of emails about sexist content, let
me just clarify that the matches BPW attended were the "Ladies Qualifying Matches".
No men were playing, and hence no pictures of men were taken!

(Push the Play button arrow below if the slideshow is not already running).

If you would like to see the above slideshow full size, then click on this link:

If you would like to get your own copy of "Wondershare Flash Gallery Factory Deluxe" (for just under $50 US) then click the following link:

So that's another marvelous blog post served up,

Big Passy Wasabi

Friday, January 15, 2010

Signs of a Friday Funny

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There are a lot of signs on the internet that are quite amusing, and they are the source of this week's Friday Funny.

The following music video slide show contains an excellent compilation of pictures of silly signs:

Here is a PG rated video of signs on your computer screen in the form of Windows Error Messages:

Signs of Being a Vampire

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Sleepless nights, then bothered by sunlight; loss of appetite, but an insatiable thirst for raw energy; adrenaline rushes with the feeling that you can have bursts of uncommon speed & strength; the desire to stalk and watch the intended victim...

Ooops, I'm sorry... I've got these mixed up with the signs that you are worried about an upcoming first date!


Signs that You are a NERD

Now if you are worried about having seen some SIGNS that you are a Nerd, then you'd better take this Online test. This will fully verify the situation for you.

(Use the scroll bars on this window to move down to where the quiz starts).

SIGNS that You are a Social-Mediaholic

1. You have more friends in your virtual life than in real life.

2. Social Networks are your main points of contact with your friends.

3. You rather choose to hold on to your toilet urgency rather than to miss out on a status update.

4. You constantly check your friend’s status, tweets or IM availability more than 15 times a day.

5. You have installed Facebook, Twitter, Fring, IM and Skype on your mobile.

6. You no longer take pictures for preserving memories but for your next social networking profile portrait.

7. You have replaced “call me” to “Facebook me”.

8. When you hear a funny joke, your first response is to say the word “LOL”, rather than actually laughing.

9. You go through withdrawals when you cannot access your favourite social media site due to the server being down, the site getting blocked at work, or the loss of wi-fi connection.

10. You are seeing this post and nodding in agreement, and about to twit it to all of your friends.


Finally, a day without music is like a day without sunshine. So here is a happy little music video song involving signs:

Well I guess I had better SIGN off,

But just before I do, a quick reminder:


Big Passy Wasabi

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Mathematics of Healthy Weight

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Okay Big Boys (and Girls): Who's been spending too much time on the Computer ?

There is a very easy way to tell.

We simply do it mathematically by calculating how fat we are.

This involves calculating our "Body Mass Index" or "BMI".

My son and I both put ourselves to the BMI test, and found like most nerds, that we are definitely overweight.
(From doing too much computing!)

But all is not lost. There is another mathematical equation that can tell us just how fast we need to get our heart beating; in order to burn away those big body bits we need to get rid of. This is called our "Target Heart Rate" and is discussed later on in this Blog post.

Body Mass Index (BMI)

Body mass index (BMI) is used to estimate our total amount of body fat. It is calculated by dividing our weight in kilograms by our height in metres squared (m2). Or we can use Pounds and Feet if we are in the USA.

Differences in BMI between people of the same age and sex are usually due to body fat.

BMI and Children Under 21

The healthy weight range for adults of a BMI of 20 to 25 is not a suitable measure for children.

For adults who have stopped growing, an increase in BMI is usually caused by an increase in body fat. But as children grow, their amount of body fat changes and so will their BMI.

For this reason a BMI calculation for a child or an adolescent must be compared against age and gender percentile charts.

There is a special BMI Calculator for persons aged 2 to 20 years old at this web page:

BMI Calculation

We can use either of the charts below to work out where our BMI is.
We find our height on one axis, and then trace across until it matches up with our weight.

For Big Passy that is 185cm matching up with 97kg, which puts him as being definitely Overweight.

A couple of years ago at the peak of his Pizza eating and Computing addictions, Big Passy was actually 185cm lining up with a whopping 125kg = Very Obese.

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There are also Online Calculators for BMI at these websites:

This calculator also tells us the percentiles of Americans:

This calculator is for Children and Adolescents under 21 years of age:

Interpreting BMI Values

Once you have measured your BMI, you can determine your healthy weight range.

If you have a BMI of:

  • Under 18 – you are very underweight and possibly malnourished.
  • Under 20 – you are underweight and could afford to gain a little weight.
  • 20 to 25 – you have a healthy weight range for young and middle-aged adults.
  • 26 to 30 – you are overweight.
  • Over 30 – you are obese.

Risks of Being Overweight

(by playing too much computer games and being physically inactive):

If you are overweight (BMI over 25) and physically inactive, you may develop:
  • Cardiovascular (heart and blood circulation) disease
  • Gall bladder disease
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Diabetes
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Certain types of cancer, such as colon and breast cancer.

Risks of being Underweight

If you are underweight (BMI less than 20), you may be malnourished and develop:

  • Compromised immune function
  • Respiratory disease
  • Digestive disease
  • Cancer
  • Osteoporosis
  • Increased risk of falls and fractures.

Body Fat Distribution and Health Risks

A person’s waist size is thought to be a better predictor of health risk than BMI.
Having fat around the abdomen or a ‘pot belly’, regardless of your body size, means you are more likely to develop certain obesity-related health conditions.

  • Least risk – slim (no pot belly)
  • Moderate risk – overweight with no pot belly
  • Moderate to high risk – slim with pot belly
  • High risk – overweight with pot belly.

Waist Size and Health Risks

Waist measurement can be used to indicate health risk.

For men:
  • 94cm or more – increased risk
  • 102cm or more – substantially increased risk.

For women:
  • 80cm or more – increased risk
  • 88cm or more – substantially increased risk.

Genetic factors:
The tendency to deposit fat around the middle is influenced by a person’s genes. However, you can take this genetic tendency into account and do something about it.

Being physically active, avoiding smoking, reducing computer gaming, and eating unsaturated fat instead of saturated fat have been shown to decrease the risk of developing obesity.

BMI Information Source for all of the above:

Training Heart Rate

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Yes obviously we are going to have to get off the computer, quit the junk food, and do some serious exercise.

We need to start off slow though, and then work up to productive exercise where our lungs are burning, and our heart is beating out of our skin.

Anyone over the age of 35, as well as younger people who are overweight should check with their doctor or personal trainer before beginning any type of exercise programme.

There is actually a certain speed we are supposed to get our heart up to, for exercise to be beneficial.

This heart rate is often called our "Training Heart Rate", or "Target Heart Rate".

Our "Resting Heart Rate" is our normal heart beat when we first awake, or while we
are sitting down relaxing before doing our daily exercise.

To determine our Heart Rate in beats per minute, we can:

  • Take our pulse for 15 seconds, and multiply this answer by 4 or
  • Take our pulse for 30 seconds, and multiply this answer by 2

The heart rate we need to aim for during exercise, depends on our age, and is shown in the following graph:

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There is also a great target heart rate calculator here:

The basic mathematics behind this is that your Maximum Heart Rate (MHR) is 220 minus your age. You then need to workout below this rate at a "Target Heart Rate" of about 80% of your MHR.

There is a great web page that explains all of the maths and percentage rates about ideal Heart Rate here:

Remember to always use "The Talk Test"

You should be able to carry on a conversation while exercising. This doesn't mean you shouldn't breathe hard, but if you can't speak and can't catch your breath, that's too much exertion, so slow down!

Well that's it folks. Walk away from the Computer right now, and start your New Year's health kick!

But just before you do:

Big (Overweight) Passy Wasabi

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Make a Homepage in Dreamweaver

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In a previous Blog post, we made a design for a website Homepage using Adobe CS3 Fireworks. This design is shown in the picture above.

We have also created a Background Image for our Homepage in Fireworks that looks like this:

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If you do not have Adobe Fireworks, you could easily make this same type of background image in Adobe Photoshop, or any of several other image processing programs.

The next step is to make our design into a functional webpage using Adobe CS3 Dreamweaver.

We want to be able to mouse over each of the images.

Each image will have an alternate Rollover Image
(that is pink in color).

When we click a rolled over active image, it will take us to one of these sub pages:
Home, Contact Us, Our Pictures, Games, Music, Our Blog, About Us.

To create rollover images, we first need to have made a set of images to serve as links. These images could be pictures, clipart, or button images. We can make these ourselves, or use Google Images** to find images on the net we can use.

(**If we were making a commerical site, we would probably not be able to use images from Google found randomly on the net, because it would violate copyright laws. However, since we are using some internet images only for our own educational purposes in this exercise, we are probably unlikely to get besieged by copyright lawyers in most countries.)

For each of the images we find, we need to resize them down to be around 90pixels by 90pixels in size to fit neatly within our homepage. We also need to create a separate rollover version of each image that is somehow different
to the original image; eg. different color, or text added to it, or blurred, or a different picture, etc.

For our homepage we created the following set of images:

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We need to start off in Dreamweaver by setting up for the display of our 1024x768 Background image called "PWHomepage1.jpg".

This can be done by setting up the following code in the Homepage HTML:

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We can get some starting HTML to put the above code into by doing
"Create New > HTML" from the front start panel in Dreamweaver.

But if we have Adobe Fireworks, then we can use the Export HTML and Images function to have Fireworks create this initial starting HTML for us.

Once we have the background image setup, we then have to add all of the Rollover link images onto our page.

Placing the Image onto our Homepage, and then converting it to a Rollover link image is a fairly simple three step process in Dreamweaver.

  • First we insert a “Div” container onto the page that is the exact same size as the rollover Image.
  • We then move this Div box to the required position using the mouse.
  • We then insert the Image into its Div box, and set it up to be a Rollover link.

Because we have not built our other web pages yet, we will make all of our Rollover images link to an “Under Construction” page that we built using Fireworks.

Here is our finished Home Page :

The following PDF document provides step by step instructions on how to build a Homepage using Dreamweaver CS3.

If you would like to have your own full size copy of this PDF, then simply click the save disk icon button on the PDF viewer, and you should be able to save it to your own hard disk.

Alternatively, you can view or save the full size PDF by clicking the link below:

Throughout this month we will be building the sub pages for our revamped
"Passy World" website.

We will feature some blog posts about how to do this.


Big Passy Wasabi