Thursday, January 4, 2018

A pre-algebra lesson plan.

Here is a pre-algebra lesson plan I thought up.  The lesson plan is designed for 7th graders and uses the kids, themselves, in the plan.  Each student gets a shirt with, =, +, -, *, x, a, c, 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,0, etc. printed on the shirt - all those characters that are in basic equations.  So, if the equation is 2x-3=5, then John (2) stands next to Jenny (x), who stands next to Mike (-) who stands next to Anne (3) who stands next to Jill (=) who stands next to Robbie (5) - those kids face the class, all the others are in their seats waiting to be included in the next equation.  Those kids say which kids need to move to the other side of the equals sign.  After this exercise is done for a full period or two days, the kids are told they are not allowed to talk about the project in person and any questions or thoughts are recorded in a chatroom, shared document, where the students can talk freely amongst themselves about what all this meant - the silliness, yet hopefully answers to many questions about this abstract topic for 7th graders.  Here are my original thoughts recorded in audio in a 5 minute clip.

Audio Clip

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Living in a Digital World

2017 marked an event so globally pertinent to democratizing money and disintermediating the banco-governmental establishment that has monopolized the "means" of how humans store and exchange value today. People everywhere, and I mean everywhere most simultaneously adopted the notion of a new decentralized method using blockchain technology to transact monetarily.

It's funny - as I talk to friends who have also 'seen the light' it seems there is usually a pivotal moment in time that we connect with the idea and its possibilities and decide, not only to think about it, but to be part of it also.  Is that connection a relation to the idea, or to our human consciousness about the potential brought about by the idea for the collective benefit of our species, society and all around us?
We begin to realize, and then, bam! I can see what is possible. It is similar to the birth of the internet and open communication and free access to all information via a shared network of computers. But blockchain seems unexplainably bigger than that.

I began by researching the dominant coins commanding the greatest market share trying to understand what potentially is driving their price appreciation, and then investing in them.  I then started to think about which ones, the better known ones, like bitcoin, ethereum and litecoin, and then some of the lesser-known ones, that potentially could disrupt multiple industries at once with a network effect.  

I expect many ups and downs along the way, but I believe by buying the leaders and value-add innovators in the digital currency space, that there is a great probability for outsized returns and as well as an exciting space to learn and contribute.  In addition, a strong argument can be made that investing a small portion of a portfolio in this risky, early stage new technology is healthy for a portfolio.  This is because through diversification in a non-correlated asset increases the expected return of the portfolio while reducing the volatility - and this certainly is the case here - thus changing the slope of the Capital Asset Pricing Model upward and to the left, lower portfolio volatility and higher expected return.  This is due to the low correlation of returns between this new asset class and more traditional asset classes.  Its a good thing for sure, but doesn't warranty that returns will increase over any term - but still, as long as the amount invested is constrained to the most risky portion of a portfolio, it is beneficial to the portfolio, and I would argue necessary.

current portfolio:

Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Litecoin, Ripple, Omisego, IOTA, NXT

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Down and Dirty !

I'm 49 years old now. Dropping my daughter at mma class tonight, she and I were chit chatting about some silly ole thing as we do from time to time, and my mind flashed back to when I was about 3 or 4 years old. I was with my two older brothers visiting my papa and gramma in Chicago where they lived prior to moving down to be with us in Florida several years later. Then, during this visit, it was my Papa's turn to play his silly card, as he was teaching my bros and I poker. Seemed like a pretty boring game, if you asked this 4 year old, that is, until my Papa livened things up for me. "Joey, Yussela!" as he so endearingly would call me. "You'll like this part." In hindsight, he liked that line and used it to keep my attention on several other occasions. Working on a crossword puzzle at the kitchen table, "Yussela, I've got one for ya. You'll know the answer to this one."
But in this poker game, he said, "When we deal the last card of poker, we say, 'Down and Dirty!!!"  "Like this, Papa?!" as squealed as loud as I could, Down and Dirty!" slapping my hand hard down on the rug. He laughed roaringly, as I continued to perform for him with my "Down and Dirty!" antics, over and over as he laughed each and every time.   He and I never tired of this game of Papa and Yussela love exchange. Down and Dirty!
Where does the child end and adult begin in this back and forth. As I remember that childish day of play and how I am the silly daddy to my teen age kids, their embarassment at times, and their acceptance at other times. As I move through time and space and reflect on where I am today, where I came from and where, I, in such a short time will be, I am grateful for the many moments of laughter that was and is to come.

Monday, January 6, 2014

A Brainteaser

Jackson had been playing football the previous three days and he always left his football in the same part of the yard, in the grass where he could find it.  This morning, he woke up to find his father making a fire in the fireplace.  He opened the local newspaper and his eyes darted to the headline, “All schools closed!”  Well Jackson screamed in delight!  No school!  Oh boy!  He ran outside to get his ball and exclaimed in disappointment, “Oh no!” As he realized that he would not find his ball. Why could Jackson not find his ball?

Saturday, January 4, 2014

This is what happens when people decide to divert water supply from natural resources in the name of money.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Ol' Man on A Mountain - Heartfelt, Beautiful and Touching

My father recently published Ol' Man on a Mountain, a memoir about his experiences on a new farm with my mother, Jan.  I am so proud - I would be proud no matter what, because my dad is my dad.

But, this really is one of the most beautifully written books I have ever read.  And, the critics agree also, now with 25 Amazon reviews all five stars.  I highly recommend this book to anyone.  It is touching and will have you laughing and crying from the first page to the last, literally.

If you are looking for an emotional and touching true story of love, kindness, and what it means to be a human being, I highly recommend this memoir.  It really is one of the best books I've ever read and happens to written by my dad.

Check it out here:

This is about sharing and investing in kindness. How we CAN eat our landscapes?