What I’ve Read This Month

This month can be summed up in two words: epic fail. No matter what I read, I just couldn’t seem to find a book I liked and could finish. So, October was a rough reading month with only 2 1/2 books read, which means I didn’t make my goal. 😦  However, I’m looking on the bright side because even though I didn’t read a lot, I’m still reading.

Code Talker by Joseph Bruchac

Code Talker by Joseph Bruchac

Code Talker by Joseph Bruchac

This is the fictionalized account of a Navajo code talker durning World War II. Even though the main character, Ned Begay, was fictional, the book was written like a biography and included lots of interesting historical details. I really enjoyed this book. I learned a ton, and Ned’s story was sad and heroic all at the same time.

Percy Jackson's Greek Gods by Rick Riordan

Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods by Rick Riordan

Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods by Rick Riordan

After being asked by a publisher in New York, Percy Jackson, modern-day demigod, decides to share the stories of the Greek gods. It’s Greek mythology, Percy Jackson style. I’ve never been a big mythology person and always found the stories rather boring. Now, I’m honestly not sure how anyone wouldn’t love reading Greek myths. Percy’s snarky sense of humor makes the stories enjoyable as well as making what I remember as being boring stories much more entertaining. It’s an awesome resource for learning about Greek myths in an enjoyable way.

The Little Golden Book version of Frozen

The Little Golden Book version of Frozen

Frozen by Victoria Saxon

Yes, I’m in high school. Yes, I love Frozen. I actually checked this book out for the illustrations because they’re so amazing. I did end up reading it through a few times, and just like the movie, it’s adorable. Since it was a slow reading month, I decided it needed to be included, but only counted it as 1/2 book. (I never said how long the book had to be when I set my goal. 😉 )

Have you read any of these books? If so, what did you think of them? Do you have any recommendations for me? Comment below and let me know! 🙂

~ Kayla

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An Interesting Word – Fractal

“Let it go, let it go, can’t hold it back anymore…” At this point I’m sure we all have heard the song “Let It Go” from Disney’s Frozen. I know I have it memorized. When I was listening to it for the umpteenth time, I realized there was a very interesting word buried in one of the lines. “My power flurries through the air into the ground; My soul is spiraling in frozen fractals all around…” What in the world is a fractal? Well, read on to find out!

According to dictionary.com, a fractal is “a geometrical or physical structure having an irregular or fragmented shape at all scales of measurement between a greatest and smallest scale such that certain mathematical or physical properties of the structure, as the perimeter of a curve or the flow rate in a porous medium, behave as if the dimensions of the structure (fractal dimensions) are greater than the spatial dimensions.” 

In case you were as confused as I was after reading that definition, a more simple definition can be found  at http://fractalfoundation.org/resources/what-are-fractals/. They say “a fractal is a never-ending pattern. Fractals are infinitely complex patterns that are self-similar across different scales. They are created by repeating a simple process over and over in an ongoing feedback loop.” These “never-ending patterns” were first discovered in 1975 by Benoît Mandelbrot. He discovered a set of numbers called the Mandelbrot Set. When the numbers belonging to this set were graphed, they created a pattern.

The Mandelbrot Set Courtesy: "Mandel zoom 00 mandelbrot set". Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

The Mandelbrot Set
Courtesy: “Mandel zoom 00 mandelbrot set”. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

These beautiful, infinite patterns are called fractals. The word fractal was created by Mandelbrot and was derived from the Latin word “fractus” which meant “broken.”

Approximate fractals are found in nature. They’re called approximate since they don’t repeat infinitely like true fractals that are only found in math. Approximate fractals can be seen in heartbeats, pineapples, ferns, DNA, broccoli, lightning, and snowflakes.

In case you want to know more about fractals, here’s a short video about them.

If you want to know even more, here’s a video from Dr. Jason Lisle talking about these beautiful patterns. It’s a little long, but if you have the time, it’s definitely worth it.

Thanks for reading!

~ Kayla