[Edu-sig] (egyptian fractions...) the turtle part: chaos.py

Edward Cherlin echerlin at gmail.com
Thu Jun 2 07:09:38 CEST 2011

On Wed, Jun 1, 2011 at 18:56, Kirby Urner <kurner at oreillyschool.com> wrote:
> On Wed, Jun 1, 2011 at 2:59 PM, Edward Cherlin <echerlin at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Baseball stats and turtles? That's something I have been wishing for.
>> I think that the best way to interest children in probability and
>> statistics is sports, including published data and the book Money
>> Ball. Also Nate Silver of the New York Times Five Thirty Eight blog,
>> one of the best analysts of political races (though not of policy),
>> started out in poker and sports.
> Yes, I remember your interest.
> Several of our courses touch on SQL here and there, and when it comes
> to having some canned, pre-existing tables on the back end, I can
> think of fewer richer data mines that the aggregating pool of
> baseball stats.  I've floated this by other staff and know I have an
> ally in one of the editors.  Question is:  are baseball stats available
> for MySQL in some open source format, or locked up under lock
> and key by proprietary dot com pay-per-view services?

Major League Baseball asserts copyright ownership over everything to
do with the American and National Leagues that has not passed into the
public domain. For books that means almost anything since 1922. I have
no idea who owns rights to the Negro League data and to the data from
other countries. I don't know the rules for databases in any detail,
although I have heard of court cases declaring that facts cannot be
copyrighted, only their specific expression, and that not always. You
can buy the complete set of data for US baseball, going back about 150
years, on a CD-ROM.


has commercial products for seven sports, at $70 or so.

We would also need soccer and cricket, at least, which this US company
does not offer, and no doubt other sports and games. The Elo
international chess rating system is a major work. It has spun off
systems for many other tournament games. I have no idea who owns what
internationally, given the vast interlocking structure of
international governing bodies, leagues, and tournaments.

> In a Norman Rockwell future where America gives lip service to
> appreciating education, there'd be no problem freely accessing all
> these numbers, copying them to the home hard drive.  Maybe
> this already exists.  I'm in the beginning stages.

Some of it is unquestionably available.

>> I would like to see your work, and discuss with you and various other
>> people creating an OER with it in the Sugar Labs Replacing Textbooks
>> project.
> I'm trying to condense a lot of concepts into a dense compacted
> set of modules that aren't too daunting to read, and that don't hide
> a lot of functionality.  The metaphor of a Turtle has been replaced
> with a Tractor in a field (ascii 2d matrix / array).

Have you considered Unicode?

> This isn't about
> displacing turtle graphics, it's about creating an analogy that's
> even simpler (more primitive).

It should still work for teaching many CS topics.

> Kirby

Have you ever looked at Befunge, a 2D programming language with a
mobile instruction pointer and instructions for changing its
direction? It has been described as "a cross between FORTH and
Lemmings." ^_^

Edward Mokurai (默雷/धर्ममेघशब्दगर्ज/دھرممیگھشبدگر ج) Cherlin
Silent Thunder is my name, and Children are my nation.
The Cosmos is my dwelling place, the Truth my destination.

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