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Femion » 2007 » January

Eliza Traditional Dance

January 27th, 2007


I had a really great night last night. First I read Worthy , a book about a ghost of a freshman haunting the fraternity he was pledging to in order to stop the absolutely horrific hazing practices from killing or driving another freshman to suicide. It was a scary, yet funny book.
Next, I watched Failure to Launch with Mary, which is a really really really really bad movie (note the 26% on RT) and is pretty much a copy of How to Loose A Guy in Ten Days. With really bad gag jokes involving animals biting McConaughey. It sort of redeems itself because there are many scenes with shirtless McConaughey (therefore the entire point of watching the movie).
Then I went swimming. Big Deal.
When I got back I went to the CEO’s and Office Hoes party at Eliza where I had a great time and learned the traditional Eliza dance. It’s based on Tunak Tunak Tun by an indian singer named Daler Mehndi.
After most of the drinkers had left for the Graewood, I stayed up and watched season 2 of Penn & Teller’s Bullshit! with my dorm friends.
Then today I went shopping and to the library with Joi.
And maybe now I’ll do some work.

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Gazette #14 - Procrastination and Retort

January 25th, 2007

The science of putting it off till later
Piers Steel, a prof in U of Calgary wrote a paper about the problems people face with the lack of motivation. Ironically, this is the first story I didn’t procrastinate on.
Also, this letter was run in response to my anti-organic argument. It’s not that bad, though I was called naive. I can agree with that. I don’t know that much about agricultural processes, and I was going with the idea that it’s better to feed the most people than save our planet. So, I am probably naive in the fact that I’d rather save humans now than maintain our current practices in the future.
Still, his last phrase scares me: Organic agriculture may not facilitate the constant expansion of the human population, but perhaps that is not such a bad thing. So letting people, especially people in poor countries, die, is a good thing?
It’s frustrating that the extreme left-wing types that support organic (now I’m not saying the responder to the article was the left-wing type, I’ve just heard that same argument made by extreme left-wing types) also pretend to care so much about the people in third world countries.

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Gazette #13 - Bring on the Hippie Hate mail

January 20th, 2007

Not all that’s green is good
The good news: this got teased on the cover (”organic produce may be harmful”), on Stephen Lewis’ podium. The bad news: it’s going to bring a lot of attention to my most controversial article yet.
I think I can expect some letters from the folks at NSPIRG, since they’re one of those groups like the Catholic League that has an insult/outrage radar in their head that forces them to focus on the most controversial statement, and not the arguments behind the statement. The leader of NSIRG seems (PS I hate how they refer to themselves as a ‘research’ group when many of their far left-wing subgroups are very unscientific: note the ‘animals are not ours to use for research’ slogan of ARCH) to read the gazette and is a prolific writer to the gazette. Of course, I’m being presumptuous and a little bit egotistical to assume that I’ll provoke a response.
I’m fairly confident that I can defend everything I say with scientific papers. However, the sad part is that I’d be getting these responses during one of my most busiest weeks of the term, and that the article that will get the most attention will be one that, in my opinion, is my worst. When researching for the paper I found so many arguments against organic foods that it was difficult to dump them all in this article.

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Return of the random video: Joan Baez’s Lovely Lady Lump

January 17th, 2007

Did you know that Bob Dylan was responsable for every pop song since the seventies?

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Barry’s Blunder

January 17th, 2007

When it comes to numbers, I tend to make a lot of mistakes. A lot of stupid little mistakes. I understand almost everything that is taught in physics, calculus and chemistry, but when taking a test or doing an assignment, I have to check my answers three or four times before I get it right. I have always envied the people who can do an assignment and get every question right without having to look it over.
However, I learned yesterday that I’m not the worst.
Yesterday was the first DISP quiz of this term, and it felt like the first quiz I over-studied for. I finished the psychology and biology parts of the quiz within the first twenty minutes, but when I got to the physics section, I hit a logjam. The questions were all about a log floating in a river. However, the weight of the log was stated to be ten times heavier than it should be… the first question was to calculate the density of the log, which turned out to be 8.8 times denser than the water it was floating in. The next question asked how far in the in the log was floating, but of course you can’t answer the question because the log should have sunk. the next questions were about the pressure at the bottom of the log, and what would happen if you put a piece of copper on the log, but of course those questions were all impossible to answer because the log couldn’t float at all.
Thinking that it could have been only my mistake, I checked it over several times. But of course, it wasn’t working. I guessed that the weight was off by a factor of ten because the answers made sense if you divided them by ten, but I didn’t want to make any assumptions. Unfortunately, Professor Ruddick, the physics teacher, wasn’t there, and he didn’t arrive when he was supposed to. I waited for a while, and then I finally called the biology TA over and explained what was going on. The people around me who overheard spoke up and agreed with me. The TA went back down, explained to the Psyche prof what was going on, and the psyche prof started laughing (the psyche prof is constantly mentionning in class that she would have gone into physics if she hadn’t hated her physics prof in university).
After about twenty minutes of waiting in the very cold test room, Barry Ruddick arrived. Immediately, the hands of everyone who was taking the physics test went up. He picked up a quiz, looked it over for quite a lot longer than I think he needed to and said. “Oh. I guess this is a good demonstration of what happens when you don’t think in terms of dimensions.” Nevous laugh. “it’s just an error of typography.”
Right. An error in typography. An error that wouldn’t have meant anything had he checked over his own work before giving us the quiz, or could have been easily corrected had he bothered to show up on time. I realize that it isn’t the greatest tragedy of all time, but I think we were all a little p’ed off after having to stay in the Dunn for an extra half-hour to twenty minutes in the cold and over our usual dinner time.
This event will now forever be known as “Barry’s Blunder”. Unless of course, he makes a bigger mistake.
On a side story, when we were leaving a classmate who was joking about the fact that she couldn’t get the last question broke down in tears. She had mono and was unable to do anything other than sleep for the past couple of days. She had a doctor’s note but because of the strict scheduling of DISP, had to come in an take the quiz despite probably being very contagious and having little knowledge of the subject material because of being unable to study. She had to miss her blood tests to take the quiz, too. The irony, I think, was that the biology and psychology about the immune system, and how it is negatively effected by stress.
Maybe, had she not been stressed out about the quiz, she wouldn’t have been in such a bad shape. Maybe DISP makes you sick.

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Gazette #12

January 12th, 2007

Weird Science: a year in review
This almost didn’t get published because it’s almost all news and hardly any opinion. I wish I had my own collumn, but I’m too lazy and too shy to come out and demand one.

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My life will be continuing shortly…

January 6th, 2007

I’m back in my dorm room now, marking this first Friday back in the second term. This term is a bit different in a few ways. First of all, a number of people have dropped out. You keep waiting for people to come back, and the longer it takes for them to come back, the less likely that you’ll ever see them again. A number of people also jumped the good ship DISP over the holidays.
I expect this term to be more work, but no reason to jump ship. We’ve traded up statistics and ethics in science for our research project. My research project should be very interesting. Me and two other guys in my physics class will be following around a physics major as he tries to make a better catalyser for hydrogen fuel cells using carbon nanotubes. Of course we won’t actually be making the catalysers, we’ll probably be assigned a small experiment to determine the best conditions to make carbon nanotubes, or something like that. I’m really looking forward to it. The company will be interesting, and if hydrogen engines ever take off, I can tell my potential future children that, in a very small way, I was part of that.
I didn’t post too much over the hollidays because, to be honest, nothing really happened of note over the holidays. I watched the first two seasons of House, which is now one of my favourite shows. I also watched a ton of movies, like Titanic, Outland, The New World, The Bourne Identity, Syriana, One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest, A Clockwork Orange and C.R.A.Z.Y. . I had a few parties with my friends, but my friends are the same old same old, as far as I can tell. They could be hiding their changed selves under this facade, however.

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Hap-py New-ew Yeah-ear

January 1st, 2007


The reason that I’m posting this video is not because I’m an Abba fan, or because I particularly care about the fact that our planet has once again rotated around the sun, but because one of the lyrics is “Who knows what we will find in 1989″.
It’s like they were oracles.

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