Saturday, October 6, 2012

Khan Academy

In this post, I'll tell you about a really cool new site I found: Khan Academy.

Khan Academy is basically a bunch of free tutorials for school subjects like mathematics, history, science, and just about anything else. And not only that, but they also have a special practice page that offers exercises, and when you complete enough of them you get points.

And here's one of my favorite things about it: they have a special section just for computer science, so I can write programs (mostly video games), and everybody else can see and play them. So far I've only written one program, but it's pretty good for my first (even though it's not finished yet). But one of the coolest things about that programming feature is that you can embed the program on a web page:

Super Ball

Another nice thing is the badges you get for accomplishing certain things. There are 6 types: meteorite, moon, earth, sun, black hole, and challenge. The easiest to get are the meteorites, and the hardest are the black holes (you don't even know how to get the black holes!). The challenge badges are just extra stuff. You can display up to 5 of your badges on your profile page for everybody else to see.

So check it all out - go to www.khanacademy.org! If you ever forget the link, just check my Links page.

Monday, October 1, 2012

A Blue Moon


Blue moon sounds like a moon that's blue. And it can mean that, sometimes. But that's not the real definition.

By the calendar, a blue moon is the second full moon of a month. The original definition (a seasonal blue moon) is the 3rd full moon in a season that has 4 full moons. Either way, a blue moon occurs approximately every 2.68 years.

The full moon of August 31st, 2012 was a blue moon by the calendar. I had to see it, because I won't see another for at least 2.68 years (I'll see a seasonal blue moon in August 2013, though). So I got a camera and a tripod and headed outside.

It was warm, and everything cast shadows from the moon's light. The first thing I did was to set up my camera and tripod and point it at my house. After changing the camera's settings, I took a picture. Here's what I got: