Tuesday, June 27, 2006

MACs are making me lazy

I used to try and wrap my mind around every little crack and trick of the UNIX system we use in our computer labs (astronomy like many science is filled with OS elitist that loves UNIX). And recently I've been kinda lazy, I mean screw the nooks and bolt someone else can work on it and beside it is so much easier to do on my mac... this is where I realised that my mac was making me LAZY!!! oh my god that bad no? yeah I realise this is one of the most boring post I did in a long while but I just had to share it with you, beside it give me the opportunity to not talk about other things I'm not ready to share.

Monday, June 26, 2006

I'm feeling old!

I just realised that I was the only person in the room where i am right now that remember the time before google on the internet. It was as strange time (around 1995, a few years after color tv but we didn't have cool cell phone yet) when different search engine gave you totally different result, where you have to remember all kind of different address for your daily surfing. It was also a time where just about everyone and their dog had a geocity webpage (or two, or three) it was a time when frame and blinking post where the high end of web page design (no not really blinking post never where high end of anything). It was the begining of blackground for web page and you could see all kind of mindtwisting monstruosity being put there it was a strange time... well now I feel old because of this... nah not really but I wanted to share it with you ;-) oh and yofed I commented on your comment about the whole space exploration debate.

Apparently I look like I need a beer.

Last Saturday was Quebec "national" Holiday (Quebec I'd like to point out to everyone is yet to be a nation) still most of the celebration happened friday night. A night where for some weird reason (going back home apparently) I had decided to take the bus at 22h. Now as i expected their where like 200 people waiting for the bus, but that didn't seem so bad I wasn't in any kind of hurry so I thought I could skip a bus or two if the worse happened. The buses came and well it looked like I could have a place sitting so here I went. Now the bus quickly filled with drunk, semi-drunk and getting drunker people. I was enjoying the crazy antic of those drunk when they started to take out beers, yes in the bus just about everyone but me had a beer to drink. So in like the 20 minutes the ride from the university to the place where the celebration where held took I was offered no less then 7 beers, from like 4 or 5 peoples... well they where all drinking Bleu so that not really a beer but you get my point. I would have though that after one or two on they would catch on but no.. apparently I need a beer ;-)

Thursday, June 22, 2006

What is humanity's worth

After talking about Stephen Hawking and his opinion that space exploration is essential to the long term survival of the human specie I came up to something I find disturbing and strange. Many of the people that argued against Dr. Hawking's idea where not opposed to space exploration they where arguing against humanity survival. No I do not mean they did not see space exploration as a way of human survival, I mean they flatly said that human did not deserve to survive. My first reaction is simply a flabbergasted: WHAT???

As far as we know the human specie is the only sentient race in the universe (highly unlikely to be true but until we meet another sentient specie we can't disprove it), that means we are the only specie that can realise it's own action are bad for itself and other. We are the only specie that as the knowledge and the self awareness to change our ways and to improve our self. We are unique and that makes us precious (and even if sentience is the most common things in the universe change are not too are alike.) in fact as far as I am concerned that makes humanity the most precious thing in the universe by far.

Then we must remember that humanity only has it's own experience and it's own reference to make statement about itself. The proponent of humanity eventual extinction argue that humanity is a dangerous species it fight and kill it own, it pollute it environment it doesn't care for it sick and weak and generally as all kind of fault. But I argue, what tells you that humanity is not the most noble of sentient species that if you looked at all the sentient species in the universe you would only find species that are worse then us in every respect. Species where killing another member of the specie is not just something that happen but actively encouraged, species where the environment is not something that they are slowly realising need to be protected but something to be destroyed. True that argument can be reversed easily we could also find that we are the worse of the worse but the point is not what we are but that we do not know. And since we do not know we cannot be objective about our self, we have not external reference.

In short, despite all it's flaw and all of its failing humanity deserve a chance to survive into eternity. Sentience is a precious thing and the simple fact that it allows us to change our ways should give us a second, third, fourth... one millionth chance at survival. At least that my opinion.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Damn AC

No I do not yet have an AC unit at home however at the university where I spend most of my day the computer room is climatized to protect the computer from hardware problem related to the heat (because we all know human are worth less then computer right). But today, apparently our AC control system is on the fritz because it is actually hotter in the room then anywhere else on campus (and that include the kitchen ovens). It is very uncomfortable to work around the large number of heating system we have (also known as computer).

On another matter entirely cars is quite a nice movie. I was very surprised when I saw it last night.

Monday, June 19, 2006

What an interesting idea

Well this is the 365th post on this blog, so officially I have a whole year of daily post done (even if I didn't post daily ;-) Anyway this post will be in honor of a very interesting idea: a seed bank in case of world wide crop disaster. You know such things as global catastrophic warning, large scale nuclear war (that is unfortunately becoming more likely now that North Korea is preparing a missile capable of striking in the US) or simple epidemic. It could also be used as a back up in a way to prevent the lost of genetic diversity, should a species of crop be in risk of disappearing we can use this bank to preserve it.

This concept is also a good idea to study our conservation method, since such things will be required for space exploration and colonisation of other planets. And when our cloning technique becomes safe enough a similar vault could be used to preserve animal life diversity . all in all it is a great idea, in my opinion at least.

Alligator... on a pizza?

Well with this interesting title, let me start the story of how I came to eat alligator.. on a pizza no less. Now before anyone decide to doubt this alligator eating story let me say that it taste like chicken (seriously) and that it was served at a restaurant in Quebec that you could go and try. So well the story isn't really long: I was on a "date" friday night and we went to this restaurant which served all kind of pizza including a special from Louisiana an alligator topped pizza (apparently it is a very spicy pizza I didn't think it was). Now you've probably all got caught up on the word "date" (admit it you've reread the previous sentence 20 time just to be sure that what I wrote) and I'd say that I'm not sure it qualifies as a date. Well it was a preplanned meeting things between me and a girl I had meet once before to have diner at a relatively nice restaurant... so well yes I guess it was a date.

I had a really great time at diner and afterward we went for a walk in the old part of the city, and then on our largest park... and then just wandering around. We parted way at around 00h30 and I got back home at around 1h. Now thinking back on it maybe I should have left earlier you know not to get too annoying or boring or awkward (not that I think any of those happened but sometimes the woman mind works in strange ways.) So all that alligator story just to talk a little about my date. And no you are not getting more details. And yes I realise that not a dating story as interesting as most (or even some) dating story other blogger are posting but hey it's mine.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Fiction imitating real life

One of the game I am currently paying in (yes I play more then on RPG, I am a geek I already told you) is a World War II realistic gurps game. You'll hear about the other one day probably. Anyway, in this game we play a group of (at the moment) foreign solider fighting with the french army again the recently started German invasion (1939-1940). Our small group is composed of 4 soldier: Our Jewish German expatriate who is a former electric engineer that used to develop radar and radio for Germany, the token french idealistic reporter that is a veteran of the Spanish revolutionary war, Myself the Canadian volunteer that is hated by everything military because of is smuggling ways and general ability to annoy every officers and finally William Wilkinson the second (WWII for his friend) our racist elitist British mechanic. While everyone of those character are interesting it is WWII that is particularly strange, you see he is the only character who his married. He is married to a woman named Ellen Wilkinson. Up to now nothing really strange, except the DM decided to do a cut scene where we see Ellen Wilkinson support the first woman to be named High lord: Lady Astor. This is were the thing get strange: a week after doing that cut scene the DM found out that one of the very first supporter of Lady Astor was a woman named (drum roll) Ellen Wilkinson! Strange ain't it.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Little J

Last night I received a message from piccolo saying that little J was undergoing his second surgery. Since then I've been thinking about the little guy, hoping and praying that the surgery goes well so that the little guy can join everyone in playing and having lots of fun. I haven't had news of how it went yet so I will still be hoping and praying for the best. If you have a moment please give a thought for the little guy.

As I have been saying all along

Apparently a "little known" scientist think exactly as I do about space exploration. The idea is simple humans need to colonise other planet and other star system in order to continue their development, growth and continued survival. Resources and space are quite limited on earth and even if we think that earth can theoretically carry 20 billion humans that do not mean we shouldn't have a plan B just in case those prediction happen to be wrong (which probably is the case since most of these prediction rely on a cheap easily available fossil fuel.) Now there is always someone that will scream: "Screw space exploration there are still people dying of hunger and disease, we need more health care and to solve the problem here on Earth before we solve the problem elsewhere" I'll say their is probably resources do to both, many time over. Remember that the world space exploration budget is well under 100G $ while the world health care budget probably top at 200G $ and never to forget that the world military budget approach the 1trillion$. It is easy to see that simply by lowering the military budget significantly we could easily afford to invest in space and health care (while still having money for warfare if that what we really desire.)

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


Following my tv's death I though that I was relatively safe from Murphy's attack, particularly since I got lucky and go my bus pass back. How wrong I was, saturday when I was doing a little clean up my vacuum cleaner died. Now I have a broom so it is not too bad except for a little fact... I have a cat also. And as every cat owner knows a average cat shed about 50 cats worth of hair every week.

Now as a physicist my first instinctual reaction was to be puzzled how can a single cat shed more then 50 time it's body weight in hair, it is not eating that much... Luckily Quantum physic once again saved the day. You see I have obtained indirect evidence that cats are extra dimensional being that have through a process similar to our pollution destroyed their home dimension under billions of solars masses of cat hair. Yes apparently cat industry's waste is cat hair, don't ask they don't like to talk about it.

So cat being masterfull evil planer then they are set up a plan into motion that will transfer all of their cat hair into our dimension and allow them to live in their once more... To this end
they transfered themself into our dimension and created "gates" all over their body to drop hair whenever a human is not looking, or when he is petting them.

Now of course you are all asking for proof of those well though and irrefutable argument so I will provide: the Schrodinger cat experiment, what non-transdimensional animal can be half-alive and half-dead at the same time? None I tell you!!! here, toc you can't beat that argument.

[Disclaimer: while the author indeed posses a degree in physict his grasp of quantum mecanic is clearly lacking and any theory/opinion expressed in this blog are purely a work of fiction or worse sign of a demented imagination]

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Twilek Drawing (for yofed)

I told yofed a while ago that I was making a drawing of my newest Star War Character a twilek named Tan'Zle, and she asked me to post it online. Well at the time it was not (in my humble mind) ready to be shown to anyone but now it is "good enough" (and by that I mean not so bad you'll throw up). To do that drawing I stared with pencil, cleaned it up in photoshop, printed the cleaned version did some shading (which I am really not satisfied of for the face but...) and returned to photoshop to colorize it. So here is she is Tan'Zle the rebel mercenary who desperately wants to get someone to believe that she is an holoreporter.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Murphy's vengence

As you probably figured out from my relative lack of posting I had a pretty good last month or so. Everything was going relatively well and aside from the usual minor inconvenience nothing bad had happened to me. I was feeling pretty happy and apparently the being/thing/devil in charge of enforcing Murphy's law took notice. All was well yesterday until just after my kung fu class, then I noticed I had apparently lost my bus pass (not something really bad just a lot more then a minor inconvenience since we are at the beginning of the month and they are relatively expensive) after looking all around for it I figured I probably lost it in the morning when I first too the bus. Nice, not much change of finding it now but what the heck I'll just pay for another one and be more careful with it. Then after paying the ridiculously large money fare for the bus I got home...

Their I decided to turn on the TV to get some background sound, as I turn it on my finger touch the screen and I feel a weird spark/magnetic field going off... as the images appears the colors are basically screwed. The center being a purple/red mix and the other part going toward the green-yellow. Oh joy I though, well probably just turning it off and turning it back on should solve the problem... Nope, the picture stays screwed, search online for possible things to do... find out it probably have to be degaussed. So I'll need to get an electro-magnet and perform this.. if it doesn't work well I need a new TV. (Well I probably need a new TV anyway, mine is relatively old and I could always use a bigger one... ok it's the geek talking ;-))

I guess now thinking about it it wasn't that bad and I might just have called a worse punishment from Murphy's enforcer with this post. Still I must say that at the moment it felt like everything was just going to stop working at the most annoying moment just to be sure I wasn't happy anymore.

Oh one more "strange note" I feel like listening to classical while watching scenes that do not fit with the music (like Hymn to Joy while watching depressing or sad scene) it's kinda freakish.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Dance Dance Revolution Pick Up lines

We're thinking about buying DDR (Dance Dance Revolution for you old people ;-)) so we where talking about how this could exploit this to get dates... And the DDR pick up lines were born, here are a few highlights:

- So babe, you wanna dance, or you wanna dance dance
- Hey cutie follow me home and I'll show you a perfect score
- You know I got the two player version
- Hey, you and me we're so hot we can shift pads in the middle of a song
- You're so slick we could raise it to another level
- This song so hot I can do it blindfolded
- Sugar, I can dance this on one foot
- Ditch those loser I step on arrows not on toes
- Honey you should know that real man don't dance, they Dance Dance.

Yeah, we got way too much imagination and no I'm not getting a date with that.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Rantish on argument

My thoughts are currently busy with a small level of frustration from an argument I just had with someone online. I don't want to get into any of the specifics since it would be unfair to present my side of the debate without giving this person side a good representation. But I've got to vent a little so that I can let go of that frustration and work efficiently.

When I argue I often do the devil advocate thing, i.e taking a side I'm not really on for the sake of argument and trying to understand the opposition argument better. Not to mention have an opportunity to try to counter my own argument and in general try to have an open mind about all side of an issue. However that not the only thing I do, one thing I do that I'm starting to realise is probably what everyone hates about me is stick to flaws in a person argument (or things I perceive as flaw, or logical blind spot) and poke at it to try the get the person to realise the flaw.

Now I'm probably often wrong in seeing these flaws and I'm pretty sure most of the people I pulled this on understood that I was pointing a flaw in their argument but they just about all seem to answer this one way: " No you're wrong." I'm sorry but a no you're wrong isn't going to convince me that I'm wrong, try to at least give an argument otherwise I'll just try to attack the flaw I see from another angle, making you go through my reasoning so that you can understand why I think it is a flaw and probably you could point out flaw in this reasoning and shut me up.

Some (including the person I was arguing with) think I argue until I am right, and well I admit it might seem that way (and since I can be wrong it can actually be that way) but personally I believe that I argue until their is a conclusion in the argument, either I'm right, I'm wrong or neither but we have to have argued a little about it and seen the question from many angle.

I want my argument style to be lousy based on the logic process, which mean that your conclusion are only as good as the premises upon which they are build. Any flaw in your premises makes conclusion flawed, that why I'm trying to poke at the "flaws" i see. It's never something personal (unless the argument is about me but that another matter entirely), your entitle to your opinion and to disagree with me, your not less of a friend if you do. Well anyway since it appears to be something that not really endearing, I'll try to stop doing it.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

The end of the world [scientifically silly]

As a expert in the very scientific field of sillyology (a slightly more serious field that scientologie... ) I am privy to many secret you the common non sillyologist folk never heard about. One such secret, it comes as not surprise I am sure, is how the universe will end, but right now what really interest you is how the world will end and since it will happen 20 years, 2 month, 32 days and 22 hours after the end of the universe it is logical that you do so. Now since I don't want to break the secret oath that we sillyologist swear when we first dance the macarena, I will give you a number of possible scenario one of which is close enough to the truth that you will be completely surprised to realise you are living the end of the world even after having being death for eons.

Scenario 1: Human Folly

No, this is not cause by the lack of common sense in humanity, it is cause by a since human named Folly, Folly Fisher to be exact. Well her parent wanted to name her Solly Sisher but when they realised that her initial would be SS they changed it, beside how weird a name is Solly Sisher? so anyway, Folly will destroy the world by a combination of genius and bad luck well that an a really huge fucking gun. So huge in fact that calling it a gun would be a be like calling a Three headed Chrepuklarea from Zecktys V a two headed zimbaconi. Folly built it to be able to launch the world across dimensional boundary to dimension Beta-Beta-Max where the universe never collapsed thanks to the survival of the beta max technology. How Folly got founding for her HFG no one really know but the jokes in sillyologist circle is that she blew the director... well enough humor. Suffice to say that when the earth was fitted in the HFG and shot at the dimensional boundary it shatter in billions of really tiny piece because like every sillyologist knows nothing can cross dimensional boundary without an healthy cheese to guide the way, and that in that time cheese have been extinct on Earth for more then 35 billions seconds.

Scenario 2: Dimensional collapse

As every sillyologist know very well, collapsing universe have a tendency to take some dimension with them. That proved to be quite a problem for 3 dimensional being like human and space turtle, well less for space turtle then human but I,m sure you understand why. Well to be honest not really since human had finally evolved into an higher state of being namely beans, and space turtle can shift dimension at will provided they have an healthy supply of Parmesan. Anyway the collapsing of the 3rd dimension turned the earth in a finite flat surface, making the end of the earth....

Scenario 3: Penguin

One little know very well established fact in sillyology is that you can always blame penguin for any problem with the fabric of the space time continuum. You see penguin are part black hole and part white hole making their present capping hole in the space time continuum that constantly spite out matter that it instantly reabsorbed by their half black hole part. How the first penguin evolved is best left to the following story: never leave beer, a black hole and a white hole alone for too long. How as understandably skeptic people you ask, but penguin exist now how come the end of the world didn't happen yet. Well you see the end of the world is not caused by the existence of penguin but by the annihilation of a penguin with an anti penguin (a white and black penguin in layman's term) You see when the extremely rare anti-penguin (lets call him Girard) meet a penguin a little heard of phenomenon that we sillyologist call the big bang happens, and big bang often lead to the destruction of everything around them. That why the great act of Piretreta F allowed the hunt to near extinction of all Girard.

Scenario 4: Stupidification of the human race

Human scientist have observed for millenia that stupid people seems to breed faster and in larger quantity then non-stupid people, this lead to a general lowering of the intelligence of the species. The human species is almost unique in the universe in the sense that it never developed safe guard again this process and by the time the universe ends is too stupid to realise that the universe has ended and that they should all die. And so by share wealth of their collective stupidity they hold the world together for a few years. What happens afterward is a dramatic prove to the theory that genius is close to insanity, because you see the highest level of stupid are insane. And on that day someone is born that is so stupid he is so insane that actually he is a genius and as a genius he quickly understood that the universe was dead and that the human should have died with it. This realisation shattered the carefully built stupidity bubble around the earth and cause it instant destruction.

I'm sorry but I cannot give you any hint on which one of those scenarios are truth. but frankly i can't believe that penguin will cause the end of the world, they are so lovable particularly when they are all fluffy and stuff.

oh my god it the end of the world... NOT

As you might have heard or have noticed yourself it is possible to write today's date has 6-6-6, the day of the beast, the day of the Apocalypse according to some. Personally I'd say that today can also be written as 13-07-00 or just about any combination of arbitrary numbers. You see we choose an arbitrary date to set the year 1 (because there is no year zero in our calendar).. some will answer no! it is not an arbitrary date it is set as the year of Jesus' death!

That is arbitrary! if you don't believe in Jesus' divinity (or even his existence for some people) this point in time is meaning less, two it was set years after his death so that there might be a few years off, and 3 we start the year on january first... which is not a special date in any way expect that we have chosen it to be our new year. If you don't believe me just remember that the chinese celebrate the start of a new year on a different date and that in centuries past we celebrate the new year on april 1st.

So basically if today is the end of the world it certainly not because of some freak arrangement of arbitrary number... and chances are, it not the end of the world as we know it... but I feel fine :-p

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Having a great time

Yesterday I went to a friend wedding and had a really great time. I went to the wedding unaccompanied (well as a single guy with few woman friends that would have been even remotely connected to this friend it was either going alone or hiring an escort and I'm not yet warm to that idea ;-p) but since three others of my friend where also unaccompanied it wasn't supposed to be too bad. So after the obligatory religious ceremony (well it not obligatory but you know how it goes with tradition and stuff) we had the not so traditional obligatory wedding meal. The great time started around that time, first the four single guy where seated together (for some strange reason) just next to another part of the groom family that no one knew at all. As long would have it, the pretty 18th years old daughter of a friend of the groom's family was seating just next to my friend (while I was seating on his other side, closer to my non-single friends). Of course my two singles friends seating close to her are trying to flirt ... well one was not really flirting as just standing there looking at her but that what he usually does when flirting so we never know, and the other is flirting with the girl, her mother, her father and her aunt, in a move some of my non-single friends said was pure genius. So they flirt, we talked, i talked to her a little, we drank, we ate tasty food and then the time come for the party.

So the party start and people start to dance, well about two peoples are dancing when a good old 90's song is played. With my friends we go to dance and this young girl comes to join us.. along with half her family ;-) So we dance a little she actually complimented my dancing (which either means she find me attractive, she's blind or she drunk out of her mind :-p)) and then the first few slows are played. Now I fully expect the full family flirting friend to invited her and her whole family to dance, but he doesn't do anything. The other friends does as I expect and sit on the other side of the room and look at her trying to seduce her telepathically.. or something. So I think hey why not invite her.. which I did and found out she had never danced a slow, I got to teach her ;-) After a few dance (yeah I actually got more then one, amazing ain't it?) we both where dehydrated so we left to get a few drinks (water honestly!). My friend the great flirter then caught up with her and her mother and spend the next 30, 45 minutes, after which she start feeling sick and had to get some air... When she comes back her mother informs my friends that they will be leaving. She apparently does hear cause she comes to see me to apologies for having left me alone so long and when her mother tells her that they are leaving I manage to convince her to exchange phone number. the rest of the night was also pretty cool, but getting an pretty 18 years old number was definitively the high point for my ego ;-) To be honest the rest of the night was pretty cool too, I got to talk to one of my friend girlfriend about life, science belief and stuff. The only thing missing from the wedding (well not the only thing but you get the picture) was an after wedding ashton stop! After a good night of drinking ashton is always a welcome addition :-)