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Femion » 2007 » August

Halifax Bike Ride

August 29th, 2007

Now that I’m in Halifax, I actually don’t have much to do. Our student life overlords have banned all ‘hazing’ of any kind, including our ‘frosh names’ (where we give each freshman a stupid name and action that they have to do whenever we call their frosh names) and our Eliza initiations, where we blindfold them and give them the choice of drinking or wearing tabasco sauce and then have a mustard and ketchup fight. Actually, I’ve just quoted the only two instances of so-called hazing we do to the frosh, and that’s really not that bad compared to what they make the council and RAs do for their initiations, and ours are all optional.

We were given 5 days to prepare for frosh week (which is closer to 4 days than a week) and most of that involved picking the frosh names or planning initiation. All of the activities are pretty much the same as last year. Which leaves us with a lot of free time.

I took my bike down to the Halifax marina after dinner this evening. It’s a good place to bike for exercise. There are a lot of hills. I also got to see how the other half of Halifax live. It was very nice:

halifaxmarina.jpg

On a side note, I thought I should mention that I won one of the first James Randi Educational Foundation scholarships. I’ve got a signed letter from James Randi himself (or someone who can fake his signature). And the editor of Scientific American was on the scholarship committee.

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Henna Tattoo

August 28th, 2007

On the evening of my last day in Antigonish, Subha gave me this henna tattoo:


henna.jpg

The black stuff flaked off and only brown remains. I really like it, but it will only last at max two weeks.

Also, this is my first post from my dorm room for this year. Everything is unpacked and my posters are all up. I’m so tired though. I drove from Antigonish to Halifax (well really from Antigonish to the parking lot of the Wal-Mart at Bayer’s Lake, I didn’t want to negotiate Halifax city traffic). Tomorrow I have to attend two lectures tomorrow on diversity and leadership. Fun fun.

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Last day In Antigonish

August 26th, 2007

But first:

augustcsj.jpg

There are several mistakes throughout. I don’t really have time to edit them now. And second: the Peace Camp Nova Scotia website is up. Now click on that link to make it appear in Google.

As the title of this entry suggests, I have one day of this summer left in Antigonish. I move back to Halifax on Tuesday morning. I can’t believe how fast this summer went. Back in May when I was working at the crappy job at the superstore I never thought it would end… and now it’s over. I’m halfway between “Why do all good things come to an end? *sob*” and “I made it out alive!”. Combined, I suppose I’m just apathetic about it.

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Creepy Indian Yearbooks

August 18th, 2007

Take a look at this page, scanned from an Indian High School’s Yearbook at which one of the Coady participants is a vice-principal:

cryptkeeperindia.jpg

They keep one of their school’s founders preserved in a glass box and have memorial services for him every year. What’s more, the page is all colourful and pretty as if they’re celebrating his death, and they’ve got crypt-keeper blood drip font for the words… and this is in the year book for elementary aged kids! It must be something cultural.

My life is crazy busy right now, but it’s interesting, so I don’t mind. Yesterday I had phone call in french with a director of a national NGO in Niger to question him about financial reports he sent us. It was an interesting experience. I speak mangled Acadian Franglais, he speaks an African dialect of french. He was talking on his cellphone, which kept crackling up. I wasn’t familiar with the many of the French financial terms, so I had to sort of write down what I thought he was saying and look it up in google translate and then explain what I thought he was telling me to the woman in the office who is writing the report about their organization. The funny thing was, I think the guy could speak perfect English - when I was trying to translate the name of a type of bank, he told me the name in English - with a perfect accent. But he refused to talk to us in English. Even when the woman who is writing the report, who speaks Spanish but not French, called him previously, he would listen to her and try to understand if she spoke Spanish to him, but not if she started speaking English.

In addition to acting as a translator to a Nigerien, in the past week I’ve interviewed people from Zambia, Thailand, Sierra Leone, and the Philippines. I’ve had an Indian woman home for dinner. I’ve had lunch with Palestinian teenagers and had meetings about web design with the son of an Israeli diplomat. I’ve got my first freelance web design commission - $500 to put together the Peace Camp Nova Scotia website by the end of the week.

That’s on top of my regular tasks at the Coady, putting together my last issue of the Community Science Journal and packing my bags for university.

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If only they’d named their religion after me…

August 9th, 2007

Last night I went to the Gordie Sampson/Joel Plaskett concert. (fun fact: it was Sampson who wrote Carrie Underwood’s Jesus Take the Wheel, a song which I used to hate, but I now partly respect for its Nova Scotia connection.) ’twas good. A spotlight even exploded during the show.

At the beginning of one song, Gordie Samson asked if there were any Catherines in the room. He asked us to raise our hands and said that this song was dedicated to them.

I was astonished to see that nearly everyone around me had raised their hands, and I was wondering for a couple seconds why I had never noticed that there were so many Catherines in my hometown. But then I clued in.

His words were just muffled from where I was sitting. He’d actually asked if there were any Catholics in the room.

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Three weeks of php + one week of JavaScript

August 7th, 2007

Over the long weekend I made this:

The Tunnels Puzzle

It was inspired by Myst. Originally I had intended to make it all using JavaScript as a learning project, but then I learned that the only way I could make it work was to use cookies, and I didn’t want to do it that way. So I reverted to php. There are still some JavaScript things in it, though.

I’ve made a lot of friends frustrated with it. They’ll probably be pretty mad at me once they figure out how simple the solution is.

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Lovely Sounds of Nature

August 2nd, 2007

It’s 12:00 AM, I’ve stayed up late writing a draft of my column on the Law of Accelerating returns as I finished reading Kurzweil’s The Singularity is Near this evening.

Outside my window, my neighbor is blasting out Fall Out Boy. On the steps below my window, there are two stray cats in heat, yowling at each other. For several minutes, I couldn’t tell the difference between the two.

I guess you can tell I’m not a Fall Out Boy fan.

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