Mathematics conspiracy theory

Overnight and this morning, guess what was one of the things trending on Twitter?

Say what?

Why on earth would BEDMAS be trending on social media?

Of course, you remember this from elementary school mathematics. It’s a way to remember the order of operations in an expression with more than one operation.

B – Brackets
E – Exponents
D – Division
M – Multiplication
A – Addition
S – Subtraction

So, my question still stands. Why would that be trending?

Then, I got it. With Ontario schools coming back from their March, Spring, April Break, it has to be a concerted effort by mathematics teachers to get kids thinking about the subject again. If that’s the case, it’s genius. Why not reach out via social media and trick them into doing a little review?

Except that today’s typical student avoids Twitter in favour of other platforms where they can dance up a storm.

So what could it be?

I followed the hashtag and it became apparent in a couple of images.

It also lead to side arguments as whether BEDMAS is more correct than PEMDAS.

So, I guess it could be a conspiracy event led by mathematics teachers. I followed the discussion and I guess that the learning that we teachers think is at the heart of education isn’t as enduring as we thought.

Order of operations isn’t just restricted to mathematics either. It can be a deal breaker in computer science if you don’t create the code properly.

There are also fun things that can be done with mathematics that can lead to teachable moments and fun, provided you know the rules of solving expressions.

So, sir, why do we have to learn this? When will we ever use it in real life?

If only I’d thought to let my students know that it would help them be on the correct side of a flame war on social media.

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OTR Links 04/20/2021

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Going dark-er

When we first got a Macintosh at the school, I was so impressed. Until that point, all the word processing that we had done were on Windows computers. Everything looked like a work space with a Microsoft blue border.

But the Mac seemed different and it was all in the looks. It was all white with black characters and it gave you the real impression that you were working with a sheet of paper. I remember thinking about how nicely it was designed and document creation was just a bit different. That difference was actually quite motivating.

If you’re not inclined, the Macintosh environment can be just as white today. But, the user interface has more options. As a tinkerer, I have played around with new things and I’m firmly on the dark side now. I find it so much easier on the eyes when working with things. Now, both Macintosh and Windows have dark UI settings and that works nicely.

Then, there’s the Chromebook where I do my early morning reading in a dark-ish room. (If I turn on all the light, it wakes the dog.) Since a Chromebook is essentially the Google Chrome browser as interface, it was easy to install a dark theme to the browser. So, I joined 9,000,000 other people and used the Just Black extension from Google.

It made a big difference almost immediately.

But, I wanted more. One of the things that the Edge browser had that always impressed me was a black themed right click menu. I find myself using the right click menu as it localizes whatever I want to do right in front of me. Sadly, the Chrome browser was using a white menu. As I started to be worried about it, it seemed to become more annoying. My mind does strange things when I worry about this.

I looked in all the Chrome settings and couldn’t find what I wanted. But, as any Chrome user knows, you don’t have to stop there. There’s the experiments. A quick search for “dark” in the flags got me what I wanted.


I actually tried all the settings and was quite happy with how dark things became. I did back off because not all of the pages I visit were playing nicely with Google’s idea of what dark should be.

But, having the system UI dark was exactly what I wanted. My right click menu now looks like this.

And I’m loving it. In the big scheme of things, it’s probably not that big a deal. But, for the eyes in the morning, the more of the screen that I can take away from that bright white, the better.

I will continue to play around with the other dark settings as I suspect they’ll become better over time. And, for other browsers like Opera which are based on the Chromium project, the settings are there for adjustment as well.

OTR Links 04/19/2021

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

My Week Ending 2021-04-18

Here’s a summary of some of the things I learned and published this week.


You can follow my daily readings as they happen here.  Below are a selected few, with commentary, from the past week.


  • I checked and, to date, Google isn’t tracking me with the new FLoCed. At least not yet.
  • OK, dumbest thing I’ve heard for a long time. I shudder whenever an episode of Rescue 401 is in Toronto


  • People should try on these 404 messages for style to see if they fit
  • If the thought of the new Google FLoC tracking has you worried, maybe it’s the time to finally switch to DuckDuckGo


  • This actually would be a better problem for Google to solve right now
  • I think that this concept is rather cool – get out of the classroom and go to the beach


  • Well, I did actually know a couple of these things but it’s still nice to read an article like this and indeed find something new
  • Every now and again, you read an article like this and it just confirms that the kids are all right


  • Like many, I watched the Premier’s latest press conference and all all kinds of things running around my mind. Not all of them were good
  • If you’re looking for something new and inspirational to do with your Raspberry Pi, you might look at some of these ideas


  • This looks really interesting and shows that the Ontario Art Education Association are staying relevant to its members
  • How has your community changed over the past 37 years?


  • Ideas if you updated to the latest Windows and got the blue screen of death and would like to get back into your computer
  • This is an important read about how Canada ended up in the third wave

Blog Posts on
doug … off the record

My daily contributions to this blog are linked below. If you’re looking for a week in review for doug–off the record, you came to the right place.

#FollowFriday – April 16, 2021

voicEd Radio

On this week’s show, Stephen Hurley and I chatted about Bitmojis, Online Learning, Looking Back and Looking Ahead.

The show, stored as a podcast is available here:

  • EduGals – @edugals
  • Charles Pascal – @CEPascal
  • Tim King – @tk1ng
  • Matthew Morris – @callmemrmorris
  • John Hodgkinson – @Mr_H_Teacher

Opening Song:

Closing Song:

All of the podcasts are archived here. The show is broadcast LIVE almost every Wednesday morning at 8:45 on voicEd Radio.

Technology Troubleshooting

An update on my wife’s newly acquired Chromebook. She now regrets putting me off ordering it for her this long. She’s loving in.

She opened her MacBook Pro that had been fully charged to see that it was down to 27%.

Yep, sometimes the best thing to do is just upgrade.

Video of the Week

You know, I get it. If everyone would then maybe we could take the steps necessary to get our lives back together.

Photo of the Week

When a tulip listens to Doug Ford.

Thanks for reading.

Please join me daily for something new and, hopefully, interesting for you. I honestly and truthfully appreciate your few moments reading my thoughts. Time willing, this summary appears every Sunday afternoon.

Be safe.


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