à quatre mains

Here is Simon playing à quatre mains with his little sis, something he loves doing since she started piano lessons. She is not very keen on taking instructions, which upsets Simon enormously at times, but once they find the right tempo together, our whole world fills up with most beautiful vibes, making their loving friendship even more special.

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Love for the absurd

Simon usually doesn’t like going places that much, but the trip to the Atomium in Brussels was a huge success, largely thanks to the Magritte exhibition hosted there at the moment. Simon liked the absurdity of Magritte’s juxtapositions and the idea that every object hides something else (behind it) from our sight. He kept talking about the meaning of the works as if he were a guide or a vlogger. The exhibition was very child friendly, everything was touchable and every painting was played with in a different manner.

Simon and Neva’s symbiosis

Simon is best friends with his little sis (who has just turned 6). He teaches her to make molecules

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and she teaches him to play hopscotch

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and to enjoy a walk in the evening

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and to play together like kids do, including role-play (which Simon has finally mastered)

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and he teaches her the tables of addition

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and she teaches him to play outside

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and he teaches her spatial orientation and more addition and subtraction with Magformers elements.

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I often hear them say “I love you” to each other. Sometimes they talk about how things will be when they become old, really old. “I will probably die earlier than you,” – Simon said. “Because I’m two years older”. – “No, Simon, it doesn’t work that way”, – she answers. “Maybe not then. Maybe people won’t die anymore. Maybe there will be something left of me”.

Coding everywhere, swimming and popping giant balloons

A few more pics from the coding everywhere series:

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Here Simon made a game especially for his sister:

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Among the remaining favorites were reading (see an earlier post), swimming (and playing in the water) and, surprisingly still very high up on the list, popping giant balloons. City trips, walking and museums were way down below or even cancelled all together, even though the visit to Park Güell can be rated as successful.

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Simon turned 8!

For his 8th birthday, Simon made a present for himself in Node.js and spoke about his new year’s resolutions that mainly involve live streaming:

Today, two days later, we actually managed to test stream! Both of us had no idea how live streams work and thought we would have to install expensive encoders to enable streaming. It turned out to be much easier than we expected, although it took us a couple of hours (and tears on Simon’s behalf) to figure it out. So there will be live streams coming shortly! By the way, if you haven’t done so yet, please subscribe to Simon’s YouTube channel (well it’s actually my channel, but it’s about Simon). When he has over 100 subscribers, he can stream from mobile devices which would be handy.

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Simon says he had a bad birthday this year, but here were a few things he did like and above all, a new Murderous Math book, “Shapes and Sizes” (he is holding it on the photo above).

Time to change the tags to “8 year old programmer”!

At Het Pass in Mons (Bergen)

Simon is not really into museums. He prefers to learn things at his own pace and dislikes crowds. The pictures below are from our visit to Het Pass, a science museum in Wallonia, near the French border. The museum is situated in what formerly were mining facilities, the exhibits are interactive, spread out in several oddly shaped buildings connected by industrial bridges and escalators. I believe Simon actually enjoyed the electricity and the genetics rooms, even though the two of us got struck by the electricity from the plasma ball  (painful!):

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Flocking System Painting with Pixels

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This is one Simon’s most beautiful projects recently! Simon saw the idea to link the webcam image to the boids of a flocking system in a video by Daniel Shiffman, but the code featured in this project Simon wrote himself. The Flocking code is based on Daniel Shiffman’s example from his book The Nature of Code. (Flocking is a steering behavior that consists of separation, alignment and cohesion – which are also steering behaviors – combined).

Simon’s sis also posed for the camera:

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Simon is also about to make a JavaScript version of this fun project, because JavaScript allows to host it easily online, so that everyone can play with it. With JavaScript, he may even be able to write it in an online editor, so there won’t even be a need to host it. Check in later for an update to this post!

UPDATE: Simon encountered a problem trying to translate his Flocking System Painting with Pixels into JavaScript: P5 runs much slower than Processing after Simon added steering behavior. He doesn’t know how to solve this. Simon’s JavaScript code is online at https://codepen.io/simontiger/pen/ZJKBbN?editors=0011

Coding Train

Yesterday Simon got a parcel from the US: Simon’s hero, NYU professor Daniel Shiffman sent him a beautiful gift – a Coding Train shirt! Coding Train is Daniel Shiffman’s channel on YouTube where he records tutorials, coding challenges and live streams. Basically, Coding Train has been Simon’s main learning source in Programming, Math and Physics (and English!) for months.

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