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Femion » 2006 » December

Back to School… sorta

December 19th, 2006

Yesterday Mark, Michael, Laird, Stephanie and I went back to high school to see how things have changed. Our original plan was to pack a lunch, invade at noon and sit at our usual table in the cafeteria. However, things did not work out as such.
When we got there, our table was occupied, and we didn’t feel nasty enough to kick them off.

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Michael and Mark, in front of the new awninged-school. The back entry of the school has never looked more like the front of the school, and Mark has never looked more like a rabbit.
On our way in we saw Mr. Farrell who said something like “Oh. You again.” in his typical moustache muffled speach. Then we went in.
The school looks a little too much like the junior high and the elementary schools now, with the more than one set of doors, the maroon coloured support beams, and the jungle green tiles. Though there is a nice skylight and the main office is now actually at the front of the school. They have dance dance revolution, too:
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That is Stephanie, who somehow, through the miracle of digital camera shutter speeds, appears to be levitating in the air.
We talked to Mrs. Reid’s advanced english classes about university. For two classes. Then we walked around and hassled other teachers, and then we went back to Michael’s house, where I found out that our old epson computer, which I blogged about last year, has a new home in Michael’s old computer collection.

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The Misadventures of dad’s crazy colleague

December 17th, 2006

Shiraz Dossa has been a professor in the political science department at St. FX along with my dad for as long as I have been alive. Recently, he’s found himself in a bit of a controversy. Being half Iranian, he decided to take his daughter to Iran for a trip, and just happened to take advantage of a free trip there to if he gave a lecture at a conference.
Now, there’s nothing odd in that. However, since that conference happens to be the biggest holocaust denier’s meeting in the world, it can ruffle more than a few feathers. This appeared on the CBC national news:



Later, Prime Minister Stephen Harper sent out foreign minister Peter Mackay (also representative of Pictou-Antigonish riding) to declare his disapproval.
The whole thing is leaving quite a tar on the university. It’s been the constant topic of discussion of all the profs ever since the 13th of December (even more than the CCRL/health centre controversy). He’s supposedly coming home tomorrow, because he’s got to turn in his marks, and Pierre’s family has had their holiday vacation delayed for the weekend so that his dad, Sean Riley as seen in the clip above, can personally question Dossa before the media do.
I don’t think there’s much the university can do, however. Dossa is tenured, and he has academic freedom. There should be standards of professionalism within the university, and St FX should be able to control where it is represented.
The one person I feel sorry for is his daughter, who worked on the Gillis Gazette for me last year. She’s really nice, but her father is probably the most hated man in Canadian academia right now.

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My Luggage was Car Sick

December 17th, 2006

I was going to post about coming studying for exams. But then I actually studied for exams instead of procrastinating by blogging about studying, which is a pretty dull subject anyway. So then I was going to post about writing my exam, but when my exam was over I felt too much like celebrating by doing more interesting things than being on the internets. So then I could have posted about celebrating, but then you would have heard about what I do to celebrate (go to Pete’s Frootique and watch Titanic with Joi and other people in Eliza) and realized what an un-cool teatotalling nerd I am.
By the way Mary is my friend. I haven’t talked about her since September but it doesn’t mean she hasn’t been my friend in that time. I am writing this because Mary recently started reading my blog. Hi Mary!
This post was going to be about how glad I am to be back home for Christmas on the day that I got home, but there are two reasons why this cannot be the case. First of all, I’m posting this at 12:30 am, so technically it’s not the day that I got home, but the day after I got home. Secondly, it is almost twelve hours after I got home, and I believe that news about your life on a personal blog follows the N = I*T equation (Newsworthyness equals importance on life times timeliness) and the importance to my life factor of being home does not outweigh the fact that it’s old news.
I spent my twelve hours trying to shrink my itunes library down to 20 GB, having lots of conversations with my parents about stuff, calling Joi who was at the Halifax Airport, and watching A Barenaked Christmas (Barenaked Ladies Christmas special). Before then, I was on the Acadia lines bus, driving myself crazy because the only radio station that was consistently within reach of my radio was CJFX (it’s amazing that, being of my generation, I actually know how to use a radio), so I was listening to ads for the Antigonish shopping mall and the Kirk street building which are each a stone’s throw away from my house and wishing that I was right there right then and off of the bus.
Though I survived the trip, I think my bag got a little nauseous. Because as soon as it hit the floor of my room, it started barfing up clothes, just like this:

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The top part has been censored because some reader’s Christmas presents got in the picture. And it still hasn’t cleaned up after itself. If we were still in Eliza, it would get a twenty dollar fine for that.

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Falling Bodies

December 12th, 2006

All three of these video clips demonstrate the same phenomenon in pseudoscience. Can you guess what it is?
Note: this post has hardly anything to do with my life.

The Classic. “What? You just hit me in the head?”

This requires no translation, but if you’re bored just fast forward to about 1.5 minutes in.

It’s not just in the oriental tradition.

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The Catholic League Strikes Back!

December 9th, 2006

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Where in the world could the decision to bring in a public health nurse into a high school generate so much controversy, you ask? Antigonish, my home town.
And the sad thing is that Pierre didn’t tell his parents about his decision to write the first editorial, and they were a bit annoyed about it. Will Pierre even be allowed to respond? Or, if he isn’t allowed, will he write anyway? Or will other people take up the response for him?
Stay tuned, it’s all going to be in (dun dun duuunn) next week’s Casket!

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Luck in a Snowstorm

December 8th, 2006

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I had my first DISP exam today: Physics/Calc/Stats/Earth Sci. I think I did pretty well, though I kindof forgot to study about how to read seismograms.
As you can see, it has been snowing here. Last Monday, the day my parents came to Halifax, we had a huge snowstorm. Traffic in Halifax came to a stand still. You could walk down South Street about five times faster than you could drive it from three o’clock through nine o’clock. My parents left the hospital right when the traffic started and it took them two hours to get from the hospital to the airport. Other people tell about spending four hours standing in crowded bus for what is usually a fifteen minute trip. My parents said they saw many cars that had gone off the road on the transcanada on their way home, but fortunately they made it home safe, nearly five and a half hours after they left Halifax.
At around six o’clock that night, the power went out. Which could have really sucked. I was hungry at five o’clock, but decided to hold out until six. By the time I got to Shirreff, the kitchen staff were leaving the building and they wouldn’t let anyone in. Shirreff Hall was almost pitch black. They told us to go eat at Howe, which had a backup generator, but I had heard rumours that Howe was full and they were turning people away, and since I was sick that day, I really didn’t feel like travelling across campus to confirm that rumour, or travelling even further to pay for food.
But, just because I was a DISP student, I was lucky enough to have a third option. That night, the DISP ending term reception was going on in the top floor of the biology building. The life sciences building was locked, but once again, I was lucky and there were people leaving the almost abandoned building at the same time that I wanted to enter. I took an elevator (once again, luck. I would have fainted if I had to climb all those stories with a cold) to the fourth floor (on reflection, sounds like a very stupid choice when the power was out) and ate crackers and vegetables in the near dark with my friends and classmates.
I’m going to be home in a week or so, then ten days until secular tree in pot holiday. Two more exams to go!

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Gazette #12

December 8th, 2006

Flying too close to the sun
My report on the second Trust in Science lecture in the series. I thought it was very interesting from a scientific point of view, as Scadden explained stem cells from his own research. Unfortunately, I only have five hundred words a week, so this focuses mainly on the “trust” aspect of stem cell research (notice I didn’t say Ethical, because the issue over whether we should be using embryos in research was not part of his speech). Over all, it was more of a medical science lecture than an ethics lecture, and though it was good, I’m not sure whether it was what the organizers of the Trust in Science lectures wanted.

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Everyone needs a Cuteness Timeout…

December 6th, 2006

…to take a break from studying for exams, right?
Regina Spektor: Us

I’ve been listening to a lot of Spektor in these past few weeks, like this adorable video. She’s got an interesting vocal style, and very strange lyrics (consider these verses, in Ode to Divorce: I

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Grandma’s House

December 3rd, 2006

While some drinking Eliza Ritchie residents went out and celebrated their last denial of exam season, and some non-drinking Eliza Ritchie residents stayed in and watched Macaulay Culkin beat up two cat burglars with paint cans and dinkys while eating rapidly melting Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer ice cream cake, Josh Boyter, aka Grandma, was downstairs in the B lounge baking this, along with a cake and a couple of batches of cookies.

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Boyter got his nickname last Thursday, at the Eliza Ritchie formal banquet where the clandestine Bottle Awards were handed out. Originally, I thought they were called the Miss Bottie awards because I misread the poster on the front door, and now I am made fun of for asking people what their Bottie awards were. The Bottle awards a basically empty beer bottles with stickers on them with some caption referring to something you were known for during that year. For example, Andy got the Slim Shady award for knowing all of the lyrics to Eminem

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