Friday, 25 December 2020

Holiday Singalong 2020


The 10th annual Christmath parody, "Solving for Unknowns", can be found at this link.
And this year, WE HAVE VIDEO that you can see at that link.


Well, THAT was a year.

I wasn't hit by 2020 to the same extent as many others, but I did start the year sick, then needed to find new Daycare while dealing with first semester exams in January, and then of course during March to June... I had to teach from home while my not-quite two year old daughter was here too.

I did not get those parodies from 2018 online. That's still on the list.

I DID get a banner done for 2019 (in the summer of 2020) using the tablet. But I've returned to hand-drawn for this year's parody and banner. It's just twenty times faster because it's what I'm used to (and I don't need my computer running to do it). For writing, my other blog has been sputtering along with its serial, and more was done in "Time Untied".

As to the annual math parody, I knew I'd keep the tradition going if at all possible. Given last year's holiday assembly, Frozen II was a natural source, more so once I saw how easy I could repurpose their main tune. 

Incidentally, Frozen II was the only movie I saw this past year (in January), and even then I had to pick up my daughter early owing to a fever, so it's lucky I went to the earliest show. (Wait, correction, saw the Star Wars movie the following week, whatever.)

The form of the verses sort of crystallized through Oct/Nov and as usual I wrote it in the span of about a day, Saturday, December 12th. 
I floated the option of recording it to our tech teacher at school who handles the morning announcements and the 'get to class' music, and he thought it was great. Something familiar in a year when we can't have the usual holiday assembly at school.

I recorded it Monday, December 14th, around midnight. Hence why the backdrop looks as it does, I was in a remote corner of the house so as to not wake anyone up. (And as expected, every subsequent night was busy with quiz feedback and grading I wasn't getting to, so I'm glad I had the energy when I did.)

It seemed to go over well, at least with some staff. I added the usual video conclusion to the final version yesterday, before putting it online today.

I do not know where we're going now. Maybe I'll have time to catch up, but Ontario schools are abruptly shut down in January and we're being told to do things like combine cohorts even though they're in totally different places, so yay for anticipating doing the impossible for the I've-lost-count-time.

But that's for later. For now, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, feel free to read through the archives, and all the best to you and yours for 2021.

Wednesday, 25 December 2019

Holiday Singalong 2019


The 9th annual Christmath parody, "Three Things of Math", can be found at this link.


Well, that was a year.

I've done some very preliminary drawing using my Wacom tablet, but nothing for personified math yet. I have a 2019 banner planned out and, yeah, running out of time to enact that. So no images for the parody yet either.

If you missed it (because you don't follow me on twitter), I did write a personified math guest post for AlphaWordZ called "To Infinity, and Beyond!", back in July/August. I have since written two new math song parodies (before this special), but I haven't put them online yet, mostly due to wanting to have a new image to go with them.

And that's everything. My "Any ~Qs" rerun on Tapas concluded at the end of June with 11 subscribers. Meanwhile, my "Cubic Formula" song on YouTube continues to get random comments that I haven't had time to properly research and respond to.

Most of my writing in 2019 has been focussed on contributions to the Time Travel Nexus, including a complete set of Steins;Gate reviews, on edits to the story on my serial blog site "Balancing Act" (featuring supernatural detective Melissa Virga), and on "Time Untied", the sequel to my first time travel serial on that site. This site has been very low priority.

But, as I implied above, it's not completely forgotten.

With "Frozen II" having come out last month, it made sense to make my holiday assembly song (when asked about it) a rerun of "Polar Plot". Any students who saw it in 2014 would have graduated by now. As such, I thought I would branch into the more religious Christmas music for a non-performance new piece (lest anyone take offence at turning Jesus into Math).

Besides, I realized I didn't have time to write in earnest until Saturday, December 21st. And even then I lacked spare time.

I do not recall why I decided to pair math bar notation with the three kings of the Christmas Carol. I do recall the initial draft focussed on the overline/macron, the vinculum, and absolute value bars... until I learned of the obelus (division symbol), which has a dual meaning as a small dagger symbol and thus pairs nicely with myrrh. Fraction bars aren't exactly vinculums anyway, unless there's operations involved. So there's a look at the creative process.

I kind of envision one of the -tans themselves (perhaps Lyn) drawing the bar avatars as actual people.

Where are we going in 2020? Well, assuming I manage to do some drawing, I'll get those prior parodies up. I do not see much more than that happening, with family life keeping me busy, but rest assured: I'm still keeping an eye on things. Feel free to read the archives. :)

As I said last year, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and hope you have a wonderful New Year.

2018 drawing of ParaB skating, by Elliebot.

Tuesday, 25 December 2018

Holiday Singalong 2018


The 8th annual Christmath parody, "Sequenced", can be found at this link.


Before this past weekend, I hadn't done any drawing for over 6 months. There's been a few reasons for that.

(1) The most recent post here (the one ending Series 9) went up the same day my daughter was born. (Obviously I had it queued up in advance; the little one was induced and arrived in the wee hours of the morning.) So the new family dynamic's been taking up a lot of my time.

(2) My serial site also finished its reruns late that June, and thus what time I've had for writing has been focussed there, cranking out a new part every two weeks based on audience votes. (Four votes is about average, if you want to feel like your vote matters somewhere.) Another priority has been putting effort into "Time Untied", the sequel time travel story for that site, in particular this past November. Oh, and I contribute monthly to The Time Travel Nexus.

(3) I got a Wacom tablet as a gift last May (along with "Painter Essentials 6"), and thought I might start going digital. But my Mac OS hadn't been updated, to the point where even trying to download the current version wouldn't install, and of course it was incompatible with said tablet. Which was another thing to deal with.

I got that last sorted out in mid-September... which incidentally broke "Final Cut Express", so doing videos is going to be problematic going forwards. Also, September was when I was back at work, and so I had no time to play around. I FINALLY started tooling about with it only two days ago, Dec 23rd. I think I have a sense, but obviously ended up hand-drawing and scanning for this update (on the 23rd/24th), as per my usual.

So that's me and my comic, how're things with you?

It's worth mentioning that I'd actually had a couple of students involved with the school holiday assembly ask if I'd be performing again this year, and a few other students make similar inquiries later on. I said I would, and FWIW this year's song parody was mostly completed on Sunday, December 16. I got positive feedback after the fact too. I guess the parody is entrenched in tradition now.

Will there be any updates in 2019? I honestly don't know. I might try doing a few one-shot panel updates. A lot of this stuff does depend on whether there's actual interest out there for it (you'll notice I stopped doing videos even before my new OS broke "Final Cut Express"). So let me know. 

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and hope you have a wonderful New Year.

Here's a rundown of the past 8 years, with the newest song as the last link:

(2011) "Decimal" (tune of "Deck the Hall")
One of my earlier math parodies. Not much to say about it.

(2012) "A Squared Song" (tune of "Jingle Bells")
The year of my most prolific songwriting, and the first one I performed at a school assembly.

(2013) "O Factor Tree" (tune of "O Christmas Tree")
Also one performed at an assembly. Again, not much to say.

(2014) "Polar Plot" (tune of "Let It Go")
My web serial had folded by this point, but I went all out for the performance. Created a video to go along with both versions of the tune. As of today, four years later, the Idina Menzel version (played at the assembly) has managed 94 views on YouTube.

(2015) "Like a Bell" (tune of Pachelbel's Canon)
My web comic had stared up by then. The assembly was scaling back though, I would have been the only video performance, so I tried without a video. It didn't go that great; bad year to experiment. Someone (a teacher?) prompted people to wave phones back and forth though, so that made it into the video when I did finish it. It presently has 53 views.

(2016) "Do We Have a Square Here?" (tune of "Do You Hear What I Hear?")
I'd largely shied away from religious themed music, but I was on leave from teaching, so gave it a try. No performance (I did go back to the school to watch the assembly) but there was a video, which presently has 36 views.

(2017) "Triangles Rock" (tune of "Jingle Bell Rock")
I was coming off a comic hiatus in part due to medical leave. A colleague asked me if I was doing a performance, and I tentatively put my name forward. I printed out a bunch of lyric sheets this time (no video made at all), and it went well enough to get a mention in the Yearbook.

*(2018)* "Sequenced" (tune of "Sleigh Ride")
I talked about this one above. Hard to believe it's been eight years. Hope you enjoy.

Monday, 18 June 2018

S9.340 - Light Switch

This is the end of Series 9... and the last strip for an undetermined amount of time. That's been the plan since mid-April, because my wife is about to/has given birth, so my priorities are 'switching'. Plus, I got a wacom tablet for my birthday, so maybe if/when I return I'll have gone digital.
Very tentative plan might be a plot in Fractal City. Let me know if there's any interest in that. Or any at all.

Thanks for reading! Peace out.


QELLY: I think we’ve reached a turning point.
QEXPONA: I have none of those.
QSINE: We need processing time.
GAMMA: I could give CS a call.
ROOT: Where are we all headed?
PARA: I’m not sure even TBTP know.
CANTOR: I suspect there will be puns.
SLOPE: Are you trying to get a rise out of me?

Monday, 4 June 2018

S9.339 - One Good Turn

Yes, it’s actually been a deliberate plot point to never draw the characters in profile. Given the name of Series 9 (recall "volution" at the index), and me mentioning that fact in the CTP Discord chat last February, this seemed a good enough time for that revelation. Almost as if I planned it.


QLYN: We’ve finally cracked our code. Observe!
LYN (standing vertical)
LYN (vanishes)
Crowd: ‘What?’ ‘She’s GONE.’ ‘Invisible!’ ‘It’s mirrors...’
LYN (back): It’s a revolution in two dimensional thinking.
MAUD: Let me try that.
MAUD (in profile): ...I hurt something.
QCOTAN: Ahh, a cyclops!

Monday, 21 May 2018

S9.338 - Loose Change

I hope Elly does change it, her headpiece is a pain to draw. So, can you think of any different outfits for the cast?
Also, QQuinn wasn't lying when she said she didn't steal anything... has anyone been suspicious of CanTor since Comic #48?


ELLY: Know what I’ve concluded in the weeks since my return?
CANTOR: Do tell.
ELLY: You put the flaw in Versine’s virus. You got ArcSin’s science stuff to QQuinn, who cured it. You gave Gamma the tourism idea too. CanTor, you're not as innocent as you look.
CANTOR: Nice theories. No proof.
ELLY: That’s why I came to you first. What are you up to, Fractal?
CANTOR: I’m quietly pushing for math to change. Is that so wrong?
ELLY: I have considered changing my hairband.

Monday, 7 May 2018

S9.337 - Coney High Land

The Uncertainty Cone is probably more interesting than the pine cone or traffic cone. Meanwhile, the interesting things you discover as you research comics: A UK Woman has an extra cone cell in her eyes.


HYPER: Do the magic abilities Sigma gives us count as powers? Most ‘tans can’t even interface.
QT: Doubt it. If Nisano’s science doesn’t count, Sigma’s magic doesn’t either.
PARAB: You did once control a cone by yourself.
HYPER: True. Could I gain power over ice cream next? Or cone cells?
PARAB: How about a pine? Traffic? Uncertainty?
HYPER: I would smack you if I could.