Tutorial for Everyone: LaTeX

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There may be times in your life where you need to make a mathematical figure or equation on your computer.

For me, as a high school student, this occurs often in both math and biology. There is no easy way to create a fraction that looks nice in word. Most people use awkward line spacing and tabulation to make fractions, but isn’t there an easier way?

Yup. It’s called LaTeX. LaTeX is basically a markup language that is often used to draw equations.

Start out by going to The Codecogs Equation Editor.

Up above you’ll notice a giant bank of mathematical symbols and templates.

Click one of these and you’ll get some markup in the text box with some empty brackets. Stick some numbers in the brackets and see what happens below the box.

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Look at that, you’ve created a mathematical figure!

To extend your equation, just keep adding symbols and they’ll fill from left to right. You can also nest these items within each other, so you can have a fraction within a fraction, a number with an exponent within another symbol, and so on.

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Using this, I bet most of you will be able to figure out how to write some great and useful equations just by playing around with it.

Once you’re satisfied with your equation, you can click the “Click here to Download Image (GIF)” link and a GIF of your equation will be downloaded. It won’t be very high resolution, but if it’s resolution you want I recommend copying your completed LaTeX markup from the Codecogs editing website and pasting it into Roger’s Online Equation Editor. Here you can put in a giant resolution and download an image in some other format.

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Another use I’ve found for LaTeX is in my high school chemistry class. As we discuss radioactive decay, it is necessary to notate isotopes and decay equations on a computer. Luckily, LaTeX is here to save the day.

Lets say that you have an Iodine-131 atom on the left which decays into a Xenon-131 atom and a beta particle. This can be notated in LaTeX with

_{53}^{131}\textrm{\textbf{I}}\rightarrow_{54}^{131}\textrm{\textbf{Xe}}+_{-1}^{0}\textrm{\textbf{e}}

You can probably figure out what all of those things relate to in the result:

eqn8694

So there’s your primer on the basics of LaTeX. Enjoy!

Axis: App Shortcuts on your Lockscreen!

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App Shortcuts from your Homescreen!

App Shortcuts from your Homescreen!

One of the cool features of the iPhone is the camera button on the lock screen. The camera is just a swipe away from the lockscreen, meaning you won’t miss anything while fumbling for your Camera app.

Well, here’s a jailbroken tweak that will allow you to add more shortcuts to your homescreen just like the Camera shortcut for any app you so desire.

The app is called Axis, and it is available from Cydia for $0.99. This means that you need a jailbroken device.

Once installed, open the Settings app and find the Axis settings pane. Change around which shortcuts you want to do what, and the next time you unlock your iPhone you’ll notice that… it looks the exact same. What?

thing3Now put your finger on the little Camera shortcut. You’ll see the “slide to unlock” slider is replaced by all of your shortcuts. Slide your finger over one of them and swipe up to open it.

And don’t worry about your passcode – Axis will request your passcode before you open up an app.

Personally, I like to have my Phone, Messages, Spotify, and Google Maps at my fingertips. You can play around with the Axis settings and customize the shortcuts to any app of your desire. Enjoy!

Fotoclips

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Ah, photography. The practice of capturing moments in a still representation of the world, then bringing them back to life with just a glance.

Photographs are awesome. We take cameras and photos for granted, as we can capture a moment of our lives at anytime and anywhere thanks to phone cameras. Really, photos are something that our lives wouldn’t be complete without. What if you never had that picture of your boss wearing a party had upside down (didn’t think that was possible, did ya!)? Or of your cat standing up?! Or of that lizard licking your friend’s nose?!

There are some things that we just can’t keep in our mind in full detail. We can’t remember moments exactly as they happened (unless, of course, you have photographic memory), so we have photos to help us. They’re captures of our world that can be stored and recalled to bring back memories that we may always treasure.

Once we take these magical photographs, we can do one of a few things with them.

One option is to leave them on our phone to be scrolled back to when showing something to someone.

Or you could upload them to facebook to share that magical moment with all 1,500 of your closest friends.

I like to do something else with my photos – something that is unfortunately hard to find these days, but it’s still a practice that we will never be able to replace:

PRINTING.

Yes, like with paper. And ink. (gasp)

Printing is this amazing practice where you get a physical copy of your photo which will exist without electricity and without the internet. It’s a magical thing that people really aren’t wont to doing anymore.

And there’s another benefit to printing your photos: You get to display them wherever you desire. With a printed photo (and maybe a little bit of tape), you can put that memory wherever you please and you’ll always be reminded.

This is often done with a picture frame. Honestly, I have nothing against the picture frame. You get your photo with a border of sorts behind a piece of glass standing up wherever you want it, or nailed to a wall. It’s a great idea, the picture frame, that will always be prominent (at least around people who actually print some of their photos). But I think that we could be a little more creative. We are the world’s artists, the world’s craftsmen – so we should build something for our photos that really makes the world – and our walls – a better place.

Ladies and gentlemen, I introduce fotoclips.

Yup. That’s it. That tiny little plastic clip.

But with simplicity comes possibility. With this clip, two photos can be joined together.

With two clips, you could conjoin three photos.

Imagine what you could do with 100 of them, hmm?

Fotoclips are the super simple way to make awesome things out o

f your photos. These turn your photos into building blocks, and the rest is up to your imagination.

One pack of Fotoclips comes with 100 of those 2D clips, and 10 orange clips. These magical clips transport your photos into a new dimension – THE THIRD ONE!

These orange clips let you make corners – meaning that your photos can turn into amazing things like boxes and rectangles!

Fotoclips take your memories and make them even more creative than they were in the first place.

Imagine the possibilities!

In the past, fotoclips have been used to make wall murals, hats, lamp shades, and even dresses. A photo dress – now that’s what I call creativity!

 

 

 

Fotoclips are also awesome because they involve no glue and don’t damage your beautiful snapshots at all. If you ever get bored of your creation, just take it all apart and build something new. It’s that simple.

One of the most popular things to do with fotoclips is to make wall murals.

That’s a mural that I made out of the first prints off of my Lomo LC-A+. Each fotoclip has a little hole drilled out in the middle where you can stick a nail, or a thumbtack, or anything else you desire – but due to the condition of the wall, I just put some painter’s tape on the back of each photo to hold it up.

Want to make your own photographical compositions? It’ll only cost you about ten buckaroos over at the Lomography shop. The possibilities are only your lunch money away!

Fotoclips at the Lomography Online Shop