Sunday, February 28, 2010

Jump Little Leptons, Jump!

I've noticed that there have been some ads for "Quantum Jumping" running on this blog. I would like to note that I do not endorse these ads and that they are, in fact, utter baloney.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Vancouver 2010

So the Canadian men's hockey team just lost to the Americans. Boo. It was a good game, though. How does a team get outshot 45 to 23 and still win? Well done, Ryan Miller, well done.

Also, for some reason all my sketched figures are really, really lanky. This is not a healthy body image kids! Only 2D people can be that thin.

EDIT: This is probably not news to anyone in Canada, but just for the record, Canada beat the USA 3-2 in overtime in the men's hockey final to win gold. Yayyyyyyy!

Sunday, February 14, 2010


Reading over my last post, I can't help but notice that it is full of, for lack of a better word, 'Pseudo-Arts'. That is, misguided arts-jargon babble that's probably as representative of real art jargon as pseudo-science is representative of science. I seem to really like pseudo-art, as I fill posts with it whenever possible. Perhaps it's simply a good filler. Perhaps it's something more. At this point, I am inclined to suggest that it is representative of a primal human drive to mimic other societal groups, a concept explored briefly in the literature (Monroe, 451), but that's probably just pseudo-anthropology.

Postscript: the real explanation for the graphic? Skewers + hearts = fun times. It's basic pseudo-math.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Hearty Holiday (Har Har?)

The image, in case you can't tell, is of a symbolic toast involving two martini glasses, one of which is topped with an olive and the other with a heart. What this symbolizes is beyond me, but connaisseurs of post-modern impressionistic martinis might note the striking similarity in colour and tone of the heart and olive pit. The pit, one could argue, is the heart of the olive and thus the skewer passing through the heart is made poignant by the fact that, in the olive, the pit is not subject to such violations as the skewer would tend to pass through the outer flesh of the olive instead. Removed from its olive, the martinis seem to say, the heart is no better than the olive itself. Incidentally, yes, I am single. Jubilations!

In other news, this Monday is a holiday (Family day) for those of you in Ontario who are not employed by the federal government. University students may even be so greedy as to have an additional week-long holiday in the form of reading week. Of course, this is not really a holiday as you should all be studying. In solidarity with everyone who is actually studying this week, I will admit that I also do not have a holiday Monday. Jubilations!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Run! It's the Infocalypse!

I read Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash recently, as those of you familiar with that book might infer from the title of this post. It's a book about an information virus; that is, a virus spread by the communication of information (specifically, in Snow Crash, the virus is spread as "binary information" in the form of random white noise in a bitmap, which is rubbish, but let's move on). The "information/mental virus" theme seems to be getting used more these days, with the recent horror film Pontypool being another example.

Augh! It's a mind virus!

I guess this trend shouldn't really be all that surprising considering that we now have real information viruses in the form of computer viruses. Still, thanks to the phenomenal complexity of brains and the wonders of biodiversity, literal mind viruses are going to be confined to science fiction for a while (unless you count religion, catchy songs, or any other cultural meme).

That was all a long digression. What I intended to say with this post is that information, when you think about it, is a really strange and ephemeral thing. We try and think about it in material terms, even going so far as to have crazy ownership laws for it and equally crazy progressive licensing schemes to make sense of those laws, but information really is in a class of its own.

It's a very disconcerting (and frustrating) experience to lose information, be it from a hard drive failure, forgetting a password, or simply deleting it. It doesn't seem like it should be possible to lose information that we've already acquired — what's seen cannot be unseen and all that jazz — except that it absolutely is possible. You may use a password every day, but if you ever forget it it's gone and you'd better hope there's a backup system or your data wasn't important.

This is all basically a long lead-in to linking to this article on the problem of archiving computer records. I find this interesting because, theoretically, computers offer almost unlimited information storage capabilities and they also allow for those records to be backed up and transferred with complete fidelity. Despite this, our information is less permanent than ever and requires constant maintenance to keep around, like that password you must use every day to remember.