Monthly Archives: April 2008

Stage Blood Alternative

We’re doing some remodeling at my house over the weekend. Specifically, we’ve been replacing some old paneling with drywall. In the process of cutting the drywall, we’ve been using a chalk line to get the edges straight. Did you know that the chalk that goes in the chalk line comes in different colors? Growing up I had always known it to be blue. But the chalk used we were using was RED.

And there you have it – red chalk for a chalk line. I imagine you can find it at most hardware stores. And it’s great for stage blood! We actually thought we had cuts and scraps because of it. People coming by the house standing right in front of us thought we had cuts and scrapes! We made “bloody” fingerprints on the drywall, laid our arms on the chalk lines and got long “scrapes” on our arms, and wiped our hands on our shirts to make “blood stains” there. Perhaps the best part? It’s really not that messy. Once the excess chalk is gone it won’t wipe off your skin or clothes through casual contact, but it washes away quickly with water.


Bringing Kong to Life

The animators who brought the new King Kong to life explain animation concepts using videos in their Production Diary. Learn about:

Future Gaming with the Revolution Controller

This video, created and released by Nintendo, revealed the kinds of activities possible using the new Wii Controller. (The Nintendo Wii codename was Revolution hence the title.) As a bonus, this video is also an excellent example of marketing. You never actually see anything on the television screen. The viewer infers what’s going on solely through the creative use of sound effects, body positions, clothing, and facial expressions. Available from:

Animator vs Animation

This humorous video shows a stick figure drawn in Macromedia Flash (now Adobe Flash) that comes to life and fights back against the user! Available from:

Principles for Good Programming Code

I have been teaching computer programming for a while now and I have come up with several principles that help students make better coding choices. The goal is for the students to learn how to write efficient code that is also resistant to breakage. Here are my findings:

  • Chekhov’s Gun – A ‘Chekhov’s gun’ is a literary technique made famous by the great playwrite, Anton Chekhov himself. He said “that any object introduced in a story must be used later on, else it ought not to feature in the first place.” It means “do not include any unnecessary elements in a story” or, in our case, in our code. Every line of code, object, and class that is included should be used leaving no loose ends.
  • DRY – DRY stands for Don’t Repeat Yourself and was made popular by the people at The Pragmatic Programmers. In practical terms it means do not include redundant code. Write your code in such a way that there is no duplication of anything. This prevents errors when programs are edited later and not every instance of a needed change was implemented.
  • Occam’s Razor – Occam’s Razor (or KISS – Keep It Simple, Stupid) “is a principle attributed to the 14th-century English logician and Franciscan friar William of Ockham.” The principle states that “the explanation of any phenomenon should make as few assumptions as possible.” It means that, all other things being equal, the simplest solution is usually best. So, attempt to keep your code as simple as possible. Search out the simplest solution since complex code is always inferior to simpler code that accomplishes the same task.
  • The Mayonnaise Jar and Two Cups of Coffee – This simple principle comes from a popular story circulating on the Internet. Although the story speaks about life, it can be applied to programming. Basically, you should implement big features before smaller features. Big features include decision structures and looping structures – complex programming code that exists on multiple lines as opposed to one-liners.

And there are many more, but this list is a decent start. I will likely be adding to this list from time to time so check back in the future. If you just can’t wait, then browse the List of Tips posted with the The Pragmatic Programmer book by Andrew Hunt and David Thomas and read Getting Real by the people at 37signals. Until then, happy coding!

How to take Student Computer Work Home

How to take Student Computer Work Home

Sometimes students need to take their computer work home with them. This guide explains how to pick the right format to save in and the right media to save on for Word Documents, Excel Spreadsheets, PowerPoint Presentations, and Windows Movie Maker Projects.


By the way, if you are interested in installing a FREE OFFICE SUITE that includes programs for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, and more then download and install OpenOffice from

This file uses images from Refresh Cl Icons by and Aqua Candy Revolution Icons by McDo Design available from Icon Archive.

HTML Escape Characters Reference


  • The Syntax for each Escape Character must be typed into the CODE of
    the web page. It will not work if typed into a WYSIWYG window.
  • In most cases, the name syntax works. However, the number syntax tends
    to work more consistently.
  • Capitalization in the Syntax is important for the International Characters!
  • Technically, the syntax can be ended by either a blank space or a semicolon.
    I have used semicolons here since using them prevents coding mistakes. (For
    example: Using “< hr>” (note the space after < )
    though technically correct may result in “< hr>” (note that < has a space after it) which is less desirable than the intended “<hr>”. Using “<hr>” is both correct AND leaves nothing
    to chance. Typing “&lthr>” is not only syntactically incorrect, it allows for even more mistakes than using spaces does!)
  • This information was taken from the official HTML
    4.01 Specification
    by the W3C.

Basic Latin

Name Glyph Syntax Description
quot ” or “ quotation mark = APL quote
amp & & or & ampersand
lt < < or < less-than sign
gt > > or > greater-than sign

Latin 1 (ISO 8859-1) Character Entity Set

Name Glyph Syntax Description
nbsp or no-break space = non-breaking space
iexcl ¡ ¡ or ¡ inverted exclamation mark
cent ¢ ¢ or ¢ cent sign
pound £ £ or £ pound sign
curren ¤ ¤ or ¤ currency sign
yen ¥ ¥ or ¥ yen sign = yuan sign
brvbar ¦ ¦ or ¦ broken bar = broken vertical bar
sect § § or § section sign
uml ¨ ¨ or ¨ diaeresis = spacing diaeresis
copy © © or © copyright sign
ordf ª ª or ª feminine ordinal indicator
laquo « « or « left-pointing double angle quotation mark = left pointing guillemet
not ¬ ¬ or ¬ not sign
shy ­ ­ or ­ soft hyphen = discretionary hyphen
reg ® ® or ® registered sign = registered trade mark sign
macr ¯ ¯ or ¯ macron = spacing macron = overline = APL overbar
deg ° ° or ° degree sign
plusmn ± ± or ± plus-minus sign = plus-or-minus sign
sup2 ² ² or ² superscript two = superscript digit two = squared
sup3 ³ ³ or ³ superscript three = superscript digit three = cubed
acute ´ ´ or ´ acute accent = spacing acute
micro µ µ or µ micro sign
para ¶ or ¶ pilcrow sign = paragraph sign
middot · · or · middle dot = Georgian comma = Greek middle dot
cedil ¸ ¸ or ¸ cedilla = spacing cedilla
sup1 ¹ ¹ or ¹ superscript one = superscript digit one
ordm º º or º masculine ordinal indicator
raquo » » or » right-pointing double angle quotation mark = right pointing guillemet
frac14 ¼ ¼ or ¼ vulgar fraction one quarter = fraction one quarter
frac12 ½ ½ or ½ vulgar fraction one half = fraction one half
frac34 ¾ ¾ or ¾ vulgar fraction three quarters = fraction three quarters
iquest ¿ ¿ or ¿ inverted question mark = turned question mark
Agrave À À or À latin capital letter A with grave = latin capital letter A grave
Aacute Á Á or Á latin capital letter A with acute
Acirc   or  latin capital letter A with circumflex
Atilde à à or à latin capital letter A with tilde
Auml Ä Ä or Ä latin capital letter A with diaeresis
Aring Å Å or Å latin capital letter A with ring above = latin capital letter A ring
AElig Æ Æ or Æ latin capital letter AE = latin capital ligature AE
Ccedil Ç Ç or Ç latin capital letter C with cedilla
Egrave È È or È latin capital letter E with grave
Eacute É É or É latin capital letter E with acute
Ecirc Ê Ê or Ê latin capital letter E with circumflex
Euml Ë Ë or Ë latin capital letter E with diaeresis
Igrave Ì Ì or Ì latin capital letter I with grave
Iacute Í Í or Í latin capital letter I with acute
Icirc Î Î or Î latin capital letter I with circumflex
Iuml Ï Ï or Ï latin capital letter I with diaeresis
ETH Ð Ð or Ð latin capital letter ETH
Ntilde Ñ Ñ or Ñ latin capital letter N with tilde
Ograve Ò Ò or Ò latin capital letter O with grave
Oacute Ó Ó or Ó latin capital letter O with acute
Ocirc Ô Ô or Ô latin capital letter O with circumflex
Otilde Õ Õ or Õ latin capital letter O with tilde
Ouml Ö Ö or Ö latin capital letter O with diaeresis
times × × or × multiplication sign
Oslash Ø Ø or Ø latin capital letter O with stroke = latin capital letter O slash
Ugrave Ù Ù or Ù latin capital letter U with grave
Uacute Ú Ú or Ú latin capital letter U with acute
Ucirc Û Û or Û latin capital letter U with circumflex
Uuml Ü Ü or Ü latin capital letter U with diaeresis
Yacute Ý Ý or Ý latin capital letter Y with acute
THORN Þ Þ or Þ latin capital letter THORN
szlig ß ß or ß latin small letter sharp s = ess-zed
agrave à à or à latin small letter a with grave = latin small letter a grave
aacute á á or á latin small letter a with acute
acirc â â or â latin small letter a with circumflex
atilde ã ã or ã latin small letter a with tilde
auml ä ä or ä latin small letter a with diaeresis
aring å å or å latin small letter a with ring above = latin small letter a ring
aelig æ æ or æ latin small letter ae = latin small ligature ae
ccedil ç ç or ç latin small letter c with cedilla
egrave è è or è latin small letter e with grave
eacute é é or é latin small letter e with acute
ecirc ê ê or ê latin small letter e with circumflex
euml ë ë or ë latin small letter e with diaeresis
igrave ì ì or ì latin small letter i with grave
iacute í í or í latin small letter i with acute
icirc î î or î latin small letter i with circumflex
iuml ï ï or ï latin small letter i with diaeresis
eth ð ð or ð latin small letter eth
ntilde ñ ñ or ñ latin small letter n with tilde
ograve ò ò or ò latin small letter o with grave
oacute ó ó or ó latin small letter o with acute
ocirc ô ô or ô latin small letter o with circumflex
otilde õ õ or õ latin small letter o with tilde
ouml ö ö or ö latin small letter o with diaeresis
divide ÷ ÷ or ÷ division sign
oslash ø ø or ø latin small letter o with stroke
ugrave ù ù or ù latin small letter u with grave
uacute ú ú or ú latin small letter u with acute
ucirc û û or û latin small letter u with circumflex
uuml ü ü or ü latin small letter u with diaeresis
yacute ý ý or ý latin small letter y with acute
thorn þ þ or þ latin small letter thorn with
yuml ÿ ÿ or ÿ latin small letter y with diaeresis

Latin Extended-A

Name Glyph Syntax Description
OElig ΠΠor Πlatin capital ligature OE
oelig œ œ or œ latin small ligature oe
ligature is a misnomer
Scaron Š Š or Š latin capital letter S with caron
scaron š š or š latin small letter s with caron
Yuml Ÿ Ÿ or Ÿ latin capital letter Y with diaeresis

Latin Extended-B

Name Glyph Syntax Description
fnof ƒ ƒ or ƒ latin small f with hook = function = florin


Name Glyph Syntax Description
larr ← or ← leftwards arrow
uarr ↑ or ↑ upwards arrow
rarr → or → rightwards arrow
darr ↓ or ↓ downwards arrow
harr ↔ or ↔ left right arrow
crarr ↵ or ↵ downwards arrow with corner leftwards = carriage return
lArr ⇐ or ⇐ leftwards double arrow
ISO 10646 does not say that lArr is the
same as the ‘is implied by’ arrow but also does not have any other
character for that function. So ? lArr can be used for ‘is implied
by’ as ISOtech suggests
uArr ⇑ or ⇑ upwards double arrow
rArr ⇒ or ⇒ rightwards double arrow
ISO 10646 does not say this is the ‘implies’
character but also does not have another character with this function.
So ? rArr can be used for ‘implies’ as ISOtech suggests
dArr ⇓ or ⇓ downwards double arrow
hArr ⇔ or ⇔ left right double arrow

General Punctuation

Name Glyph Syntax Description
ensp or en space
emsp or em space
thinsp or thin space
zwnj ‌ or ‌ zero width non-joiner
zwj ‍ or ‍ zero width joiner
lrm ‎ or ‎ left-to-right mark
rlm ‏ or ‏ right-to-left mark
ndash – or – en dash
mdash — or — em dash
lsquo ‘ or ‘ left single quotation mark
rsquo ’ or ’ right single quotation mark
sbquo ‚ or ‚ single low-9 quotation mark
ldquo “ or “ left double quotation mark
rdquo ” or ” right double quotation mark
bdquo „ or „ double low-9 quotation mark
dagger † or † dagger
Dagger ‡ or ‡ double dagger
bull • or • bullet = black small circle
bullet is NOT the same as bullet operator
hellip … or … horizontal ellipsis = three dot leader
permil ‰ or ‰ per mille sign
prime ′ or ′ prime = minutes = feet
Prime ″ or ″ double prime = seconds = inches
lsaquo ‹ or ‹ single left-pointing angle quotation mark
lsaquo is proposed but not yet ISO standardized
rsaquo › or › single right-pointing angle quotation mark
rsaquo is proposed but not yet ISO standardized
oline ‾ or ‾ overline = spacing overscore
frasl ⁄ or ⁄ fraction slash
euro € or € euro sign

Geometric Shapes

Name Glyph Syntax Description
loz ◊ or ◊ lozenge


Name Glyph Syntax Description
Alpha Α Α or Α greek capital letter alpha
Beta Β Β or Β greek capital letter beta
Gamma Γ Γ or Γ greek capital letter gamma
Delta Δ Δ or Δ greek capital letter delta
Epsilon Ε Ε or Ε greek capital letter epsilon
Zeta Ζ Ζ or Ζ greek capital letter zeta
Eta Η Η or Η greek capital letter eta
Theta Θ Θ or Θ greek capital letter theta
Iota Ι Ι or Ι greek capital letter iota
Kappa Κ Κ or Κ greek capital letter kappa
Lambda Λ Λ or Λ greek capital letter lambda
Mu Μ Μ or Μ greek capital letter mu
Nu Ν Ν or Ν greek capital letter nu
Xi Ξ Ξ or Ξ greek capital letter xi
Omicron Ο Ο or Ο greek capital letter omicron
Pi Π Π or Π greek capital letter pi
Rho Ρ Ρ or Ρ greek capital letter rho
there is no Sigmaf
Sigma Σ Σ or Σ greek capital letter sigma
Tau Τ Τ or Τ greek capital letter tau
Upsilon Υ Υ or Υ greek capital letter upsilon
Phi Φ Φ or Φ greek capital letter phi
Chi Χ Χ or Χ greek capital letter chi
Psi Ψ Ψ or Ψ greek capital letter psi
Omega Ω Ω or Ω greek capital letter omega
alpha α α or α greek small letter alpha
beta β β or β greek small letter beta
gamma γ γ or γ greek small letter gamma
delta δ δ or δ greek small letter delta
epsilon ε ε or ε greek small letter epsilon
zeta ζ ζ or ζ greek small letter zeta
eta η η or η greek small letter eta
theta θ θ or θ greek small letter theta
iota ι ι or ι greek small letter iota
kappa κ κ or κ greek small letter kappa
lambda λ λ or λ greek small letter lambda
mu μ μ or μ greek small letter mu
nu ν ν or ν greek small letter nu
xi ξ ξ or ξ greek small letter xi
omicron ο ο or ο greek small letter omicron
pi π π or π greek small letter pi
rho ρ ρ or ρ greek small letter rho
sigmaf ς ς or ς greek small letter final sigma
sigma σ σ or σ greek small letter sigma
tau τ τ or τ greek small letter tau
upsilon υ υ or υ greek small letter upsilon
phi φ φ or φ greek small letter phi
chi χ χ or χ greek small letter chi
psi ψ ψ or ψ greek small letter psi
omega ω ω or ω greek small letter omega
thetasym ϑ ϑ or ϑ greek small letter theta symbol
upsih ϒ ϒ or ϒ greek upsilon with hook symbol
piv ϖ ϖ or ϖ greek pi symbol

Letterlike Symbols

Name Glyph Syntax Description
weierp ℘ or ℘ script capital P = power set = Weierstrass p
image ℑ or ℑ blackletter capital I = imaginary part
real ℜ or ℜ blackletter capital R = real part symbol
trade ™ or ™ trade mark sign
alefsym ℵ or ℵ alef symbol = first transfinite cardinal
alef symbol is NOT the same as hebrew
letter alef

Mathematical Operators

Name Glyph Syntax Description
forall ∀ or ∀ for all
part ∂ or ∂ partial differential
exist ∃ or ∃ there exists
empty ∅ or ∅ empty set = null set = diameter
nabla ∇ or ∇ nabla = backward difference
isin ∈ or ∈ element of
notin ∉ or ∉ not an element of
ni ∋ or ∋ contains as member
should there be a more memorable name
than ‘ni’?
prod ∏ or ∏ n-ary product = product sign
prod is NOT the same character as U+03A0
‘greek capital letter pi’ though the same glyph might be used for both
sum ∑ or ∑ n-ary sumation
sum is NOT the same character as U+03A3
‘greek capital letter sigma’ though the same glyph might be used for
minus − or − minus sign
lowast ∗ or ∗ asterisk operator
radic √ or √ square root = radical sign
prop ∝ or ∝ proportional to
infin ∞ or ∞ infinity
ang ∠ or ∠ angle
and ∧ or ∧ logical and = wedge
or ∨ or ∨ logical or = vee
cap ∩ or ∩ intersection = cap
cup ∪ or ∪ union = cup
int ∫ or ∫ integral
there4 ∴ or ∴ therefore
sim ∼ or ∼ tilde operator = varies with = similar to
tilde operator is NOT the same character
as the tilde
cong ≅ or ≅ approximately equal to
asymp ≈ or ≈ almost equal to = asymptotic to
ne ≠ or ≠ not equal to
equiv ≡ or ≡ identical to
le ≤ or ≤ less-than; or equal to
ge ≥ or ≥ greater-than; or equal to
sub ⊂ or ⊂ subset of
sup ⊃ or ⊃ superset of
note that nsup, ‘not a superset of, U+2283’
is not covered by the Symbol font encoding and is not included. Should
it be, for symmetry? It is in ISOamsn
nsub ⊄ or ⊄ not a subset of
sube ⊆ or ⊆ subset of; or equal to
supe ⊇ or ⊇ superset of; or equal to
oplus ⊕ or ⊕ circled plus = direct sum
otimes ⊗ or ⊗ circled times = vector product
perp ⊥ or ⊥ up tack = orthogonal to = perpendicular
sdot ⋅ or ⋅ dot operator
dot operator is NOT the same character
as U+00B7 middle dot

Miscellaneous Symbols

Name Glyph Syntax Description
spades ♠ or ♠ black spade suit
black here seems to mean filled as opposed
to hollow
clubs ♣ or ♣ black club suit = shamrock
hearts ♥ or ♥ black heart suit = valentine
diams ♦ or ♦ black diamond suit

Miscellaneous Technical

Name Glyph Syntax Description
lceil ⌈ or ⌈ left ceiling = apl upstile
rceil ⌉ or ⌉ right ceiling
lfloor ⌊ or ⌊ left floor = apl downstile
rfloor ⌋ or ⌋ right floor
lang 〈 or 〈 left-pointing angle bracket = bra
lang is NOT the same character as U+003C
‘less than’; or U+2039 ‘single left-pointing angle quotation mark’
rang 〉 or 〉 right-pointing angle bracket = ket
rang is NOT the same character as U+003E
‘greater than’; or U+203A ‘single right-pointing angle quotation mark’

Spacing Modifier Letters

Name Glyph Syntax Description
circ ˆ ˆ or ˆ modifier letter circumflex accent
tilde ˜ ˜ or ˜ small tilde