SOA CAH TOA

For a moment today, I thought that our pre-calculus class had been moved to another room and I didn’t get the memo; I had accidentally found my way to a Chinese language class. My class-mates, recently generated by our public school systems in this great state, were reciting with great gusto the answers to impenetrable questions fired from the blackboard. The chanting reminded me of news-clips from the classrooms of Soviet Russia, or Red China, where smiling students loudly chant learned-by-rote answers to the big questions of the curriculum. The professor would write trigonometric equations on the board, turn around, and the class would, as one (less one), chant the value.

It was all I could do to take notes that might be of some use as I try to decipher the information tonight and into the morrow.

In a moment of frustration, I reached out to my wife and bared my soul. A few sympathetic murmurs, and she went back to work.

A few moments ago, the phone rang. It was an associate of my wife, a scientist, who has enjoyed watching my pain during the return to school. Although the connection was poor, this is what I heard her say: “socato”. I went here and found this:

Students often make use of mnemonics to remember the relationships and facts in trigonometry. For example, the sine, cosine and tangent ratios in right triangles can be remembered by representing all three rations at once as a string of letters; SOH CAH TOA (sine-opposite-hypotenuse cosine-adjacent-hypotenuse tangent-opposite-adjacent), which can be pronounced as a single word. In addition, many remember similar letter sequences by creating sentences that consist of words that begin with the letters to be remembered, so that they are remembered in the correct order. For example, to remember Tan = Opposite/Adjacent, the letters TOA must be remembered in order. Any memorable phrase constructed of words beginning with the letters ‘T, O, A’ will serve, and often sentences are constructed to remember all three ratios at once.

I have just found the Rosetta Stone.

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“Life’s hard, son. It’s harder when you’re stupid.” — The Duke.

Education is a companion which no misfortune can depress, no crime can destroy, no enemy can alienate,no despotism can enslave. At home, a friend, abroad, an introduction, in solitude a solace and in society an ornament.It chastens vice, it guides virtue, it gives at once grace and government to genius. Without it, what is man? A splendid slave, a reasoning savage. - Joseph Addison
The term informavore (also spelled informivore) characterizes an organism that consumes information. It is meant to be a description of human behavior in modern information society, in comparison to omnivore, as a description of humans consuming food. George A. Miller [1] coined the term in 1983 as an analogy to how organisms survive by consuming negative entropy (as suggested by Erwin Schrödinger [2]). Miller states, "Just as the body survives by ingesting negative entropy, so the mind survives by ingesting information. In a very general sense, all higher organisms are informavores." - Wikipedia

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