Friday, February 29, 2008

Hard Listening

I was thinking today at breakfast about the style of music called "Easy Listening", and I was thinking that it would be really funny to make some music that is really hard to listen to. This hard listening music could do really annoying things like be super quiet then super loud, and then go from being only in the left ear to only in the right. It would suddenly skip a beat, and maybe go off key, and would be truly an all-around annoyance for anybody trying to listen to it. That said, I'm not sure who would want to, but still...

Then again, its pretty hard to listen to the Hard Listening genre as it is, because it doesn't exist... Hmm...

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

ROFL

So, I have this weird idiosyncrasy (or obession, if you like) where whenever I say ROFL to somebody I have to actually roll on the floor and laugh. Fortunately, I don't have the same affliction with LMAO.

Hair

This afternoon, I saw a woman in a drugstore selecting a colour of hair-dye, and I wanted to yell out, "No! Don't do it! You have nice hair!" but I didn't. Now I'm kind of wishing I had said something. Stupid society, convincing us we need magical products.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Being Monkey

Earlier today I had the experience of seeing one of my fellow humans (who shall remain nameless so as to avert attention) temporarily revert to monkeyness. Its tongue was up in front of its top teeth and mouth kind of opened in an 'O' shape. It was staring blankly at across the room. This only lasted for a short moment, but I thought it was very interesting to see somebody break free from the typical paradigm of our cultural and civilized humanness.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

ID Swiper Thingys

Our school could really use little swiper-things on every door so that people could swipe their student ID cards and gain access. This would allow for much greater prosecution of theft, as it would be clear who was where. It would also allow people to be granted limited access to somewhere.

For instance, the Music Teacher could let a few students have access to the theatre and concert hall on weekends. These students could swipe their cards and get in to use the facilities for composition or practise. If anything was disturbed, it would be clear who was in there over the weekend.

It could also be used in residences. This would prevent theft from people outside the residences, and it could even be made more complicated: between the hours of 8-3 daily (the school day) identification would be required every time the door was opened, except that it would last for say 20 minutes. The houseparent's card would have access to every door in a house, and the people in a room could request their doors be locked for an entire day or weekend if they wanted.

In my opinion, this implementation of already-existing technology (and our ID cards already have a barcode on them) would be extremely beneficial.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Aviary - the Online Creative Suite

http://a.viary.com
Think Photoshop, and all of the other programs that come with it, and more, online.

Unfortunately, the software is still very much in beta and of the twenty or so tools only two are currently active. Most people (me included) only have access to the first tool, actually. Nonetheless, you can still make some pretty cool stuff with what's available. This is something that I made this afternoon:
The suite is still quite buggy, but it shows excellent potential. If anybody wants an invite, I may have a spare one for a short while.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

2 conveniences regarding Lunar Eclipses

I had both of these realizations because I considered whether the opposite could ever happen:

  1. They have to occur during the night - for the moon to be in the earth's shadow, the earth must be between the moon and sun. Thus, we can only see either the moon or sun. This means it's either daytime, or we see the eclipse.
  2. They have to occur during a full moon - this one isn't so obvious, but, well, the moon doesn't technically go through light phases and dark phases. It has days (about 28 earth-days long) like we do. When we see a full moon, it means that the side of the moon that we see happens to be the same side that is lit up. This means that the sun and the earth are looking at the moon from the same angle, which is exactly what a lunar eclipse is all about.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

STEP over there and turn the volume UP so we can hear the movie

Last friday, I saw the movie Step Up, and this evening I watched Step Up 2 (the street). Both were excellent. I would say the dancing was better in Step Up 2, but the original had a much better plot. Step Up 2 was really cheesy and was a typical kind of victim-to-victor story. Step Up, however, was actually rather unique - a sort of modern, enhanced Dirty Dancing. Both are certainly worth watching, and more than once.

Something else I noticed was a strange connection with the film Billy Elliot, which I had to watch for my drama class. The feature that Billy performs in at the very end of the movie is shown on a poster in MSA in Step Up 2. In fact, the poster is said to be of the character's older brother! This completely does not follow the Billy Elliot storyline, but it is neat to see the overlap.

Stuff

The Story of Stuff is a short (20 minutes or so) video by Annie Leonard. The video is extremely comprehensive and easy to understand. It's one of those videos that kinda makes you feel disgusted for being in Western consumerist society, but at the same time it's a call to action. The Story of Stuff really speaks out about how much we're using, how it's unneccessary and how it's more than our share.

Clicking on the resources link below the video will give you many different ideas and suggestions for improving the situation of "stuff" in the world. My favorite of all of these is EPR: Extended Producer Responsibility. This would be a law mandating that companies are essentially resposible for the disposal of their products, mostly to the extent that if the products were manufactured with toxic materials, the company would be in charge of getting rid of those toxins.

So, go watch it... then stop being consumery!

Odd Urges

Sometimes, when I talk about something with somebody over email, and then we conclude the conversation in person or on msn, I feel a strange need to send a final email to provide closure to the conversation - something like "so yeah... using three will work. see you on tuesday".

It's weird though, because I know that I'll never see the email again - if I do, it will be because I remember the conversation and want to have another look. Either way I know that I won't have any need for the final message there.

I think I feel as if I should leave a conclusion so that if somebody reads it later, they'll have the whole story. It's just plain odd.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Love

Love is both the most pleasurable thing and the most painful. Loving and being loved can make you happy, but losing it brings tears otherwise unimaginable.

Love is when you want to be with somebody no matter what. It is that undeniable urge for his or her presence.

Love can be very inspiring and motivating, sometimes too much as it can overwhelm common sense.

The phrase 'love is blind' refers to how love doesn't choose itself logically. It often happens extremely inconveniently, which is frustrating.

Love can only be maintained through acts of love. It can only live and grow when nourished with loving gestures.

Love is an amazing and beautiful combination of mutual respect, mutual adoration and mutual understanding.


Alternatively or in addition, listen to the four types of love according to Lewis Carroll... described by Peter Davison http://peterdavison.ca/ <-- its in the bottom left

My (partial) Nudity

has become a re-occurring theme in my life. I'm not sure if I like that. After modelling in spandex and doing a rather suggestive skit, I'm beginning to feel rather exposed. Hm.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Sugar

Wait, what sugar? Nope, there isn't any. It's all aspartame these days. I went to the store on Saturday (for cheese, remember?) and I could only find one kind of gum with no aspartame - Bubblicious Original. Juicy Fruit held out for awhile, but eventually Mr. Wrigley gave in and they all because aspartamed. Yellow too, actually. This is disgusting... My generation is all going to have cancer and kids with genetic mutations.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

My Strategy

...is to do things very slowly and intermittently, doing many things at once, thus taking long periods of time to accomplish things but never having to feel like I'm actually working.

Completely Cheesy

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the main plot of my Saturday was cheese. After going to the Math League thing in the morning, I came back and intended to lounge around in my room all afternoon. This was not to be the case.

I thought that I wouldn't even go to supper, instead eating crackers, cheese, and olives. However, when I went to the fridge to get my cheese, I couldn't find it! I went back to my room and asked Kia over msn if she wanted to go to the corner store, and she agreed. Moments later we signed out and walked there. Grabbing some cheese immediately, we looked around for a bit then came back to the school. Unforturnately, as we had just returned, I checked my pocket and discovered the cheese was not there! We retraced our steps and found it had fallen out shortly after we had left the store. It was really nippy, so we hurried back to the school. When I went to put the cheese in the fridge, I noticed that the packaging was ripped - not surprising as it had fallen on the asphalt - so I switched it to a ZipLoc bag. Returning to the common room to put it in the fridge, I happened to glance at the couch, and lo and behold: my original cheese!

Needless to say, I was not amused.

Actually, I was.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Top Ten Reasons for Drinking

Most of these are applying to alcohol, but not all. I suppose I'm not very consistant with what I mean. Come to think of it, I don't even know what the order is supposed to be....

10) The bartender might ask you to leave if you aren't getting anything
9) You aren't paying for it
8) There's some left in the glass
7) To escape reality
6) Boredom
5) Your friends are doing it
4) Your mom told you not to
3) To be social
2) To get drunk
1) Thirst

Actually, a lot of these apply to most things...

It's Saturday!!

Well, no, it's not, but that's what I thought when I woke up this morning. In fact, I probably would have rolled over and gone back to sleep were it not that I have a math competition this saturday. As it was, I got up and did my yoga, and then decided I'd go upstairs to make sure Jimmy was up because he's going to the math thing too. I went into the room (which was very dark) and looked over toward Jimmy's bed, and he just looked up and asked who was there. I said it was me and something about the math competition, and he just said "It's Friday". I promptly felt like an idiot and went back down to get ready for school.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Money... How?

One night while talking randomly to Alastair in his room, I came up with a really interesting idea for a website somebody could make. It could be called moneyhow.com or something, and would essentially be a list of many corporations, groups, and people. Next to each name would be a description of how that person or group makes money.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Also (ugh)

Something else I heard that made me very sad at society was "When someone says 'what's up', you saying 'nuttin'." The guy was being serious - he was talking to a younger student and explaining it. I just think it's lame that nothing's allowed to be up. Actually, what I've noticed is that "what's up" is more of a general greeting than an actual question - this is especially true when it's just "sup".

Valentine's Irony

Today was our school's Valentine's Dinner, and I'll very soon be heading to the valentine's dance. As we were about to enter the cafeteria, somebody pointed out that although this is the Valentine's Dinner, we aren't allowed to sit with girls (we have to sit at tables based on residence).

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Lights, Camera, Action!

I realized something funny in drama class today when somebody said the common phrase that is this post's title. It is along the lines of a sign on my friend Sean's door, that says "We have three kinds of jobs: good, quick, and cheap - you can have two out of three". My thought runs like this:

Lights, Camera, Action!
Well, excluding pornography (and please, lets exclude pornography) you're only going to get 2 out of those three:

  1. If you show up with lights and a camera, chances are you aren't going to get any action.
  2. If the lights are on, theres still a decent chance of you getting action as long as the lights aren't too bright and obnoxious.
  3. The only way you are going to get action if you do have a camera recording is if the lights are off.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Some Randomness from the Depths of my Notebook

I jot down funny or intruiging things I think of or people say during the day, and while most of them can't stand on their own, I thought it would be interesting to put a bunch up here:

Funny:

  • Cavemen doing Yoga = hilarious mental image
  • a Guerilla Gorilla
Intruiging:
  • snow sticks very irregularly to brick paths - I'll take a picture of this one if I get a chance (and a camera)
  • Ever noticed the emergency exit stickers on bus windows? Ever noticed that they usually have cracks in them? Did you happen to notice that the cracks are much more prominent on the right side of the bus?
  • Why does Red mean stop and Green mean go?
There is my randomness for the night, as I was too lazy to actually come up with a real post. Enjoy the strange way my mind works.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Colour for the Blind

The other day, I realized a way that a blind person could tell what colour something is. This is not a particularly useful invention, but it is nonetheless a neat idea. The basic premise is:

Four lights are attached to a device in a line. One emits white light, another red, another green, and the last blue. The device would be set against an object and turning the lights on for a short amount of time. Then, somebody could feel the four spots with their fingers. They could tell how dark the object is by how hot the first spot feels, and what colour it is by the heat emitted by the other three spots.

Self-Referencial Aptitude Test 2

See the first one for details... This one is slightly longer and hence slightly more difficult:

1: How many questions are answered with option “A”?
(a) 1
(b) 2
(c) 3
(d) 4
(e) 5

2: The only two consecutive questions with the same-lettered answer are:
(a) 1,2
(b) 2,3
(c) 4,5
(d) 6,7
(e) 7,8

3: Which letter is only used once?
(a) C
(b) B
(c) D
(d) A
(e) E

4: How many “C”s occur before this question?
(a) 0
(b) 1
(c) 2
(d) 3
(e) 4

5: The number of questions whose answers are vowels is:
(a) 2
(b) 3
(c) 4
(d) 5
(e) 6

6: The other question with the same answer as this one is
(a) 8
(b) 1
(c) 4
(d) 3
(e) none of the above

7: The letters after this question are (not necessarily in order):
(a) A,D
(b) C,D
(c) B,D
(d) A,E
(e) C,E


8: The only question answered with the letter before the one that answers question 7 is question:
(a) 1
(b) 2
(c) 3
(d) 4
(e) none of the above

9: How many consonants are there?
(a) 5
(b) 3
(c) 7
(d) 4
(e) 6

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Abstract Art

...made simply by taking a picture of a part of my desk using my webcam

Friday, February 8, 2008

Foot Pedals for Sanitization

I was at a hospital today... not much fun. Anyway, I noticed that they had little signs posted up saying to constantly wash your hands or use that alcohol-based cleaner. Near the sink in the room I was waiting in was a sign that said to leave the water running while washing, rinsing, and drying your hands (then turn it off with a paper towel) so as not to touch the tap with clean hands.

So, I figured that there had to be a better - and less wasteful - way to do it. The best idea I came up with in that short moment there was having a foot pedal, or perhaps two:


The one on the left would stay where it is put, and would control the temperature, leaning side to side. The other one is viewed from a side angle, but it would be more like an accelerator, controlling the flow of the water. Granted, this would be pretty complicated and quite unnecessary, but I still thought it was an interesting idea.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

There is a God

At least, there is in movies. Think about it - there's a big fight scene in a movie, but you don't have to worry about whether or not the main character will survive. This isn't to say that the character necessarily will, but that his fate is predetermined. Most importantly, the predeterminism of his fate is logical, not just randomly decided beforehand. It fits an end goal, and this is the same sort of thing as "God has a plan for you". Even if the character dies (think Qui-Gon in Episode 1 of Star Wars) their death has a meaning and serves a larger purpose.

Somebody should make a movie where the good guys die for no reason and the bad guys win, just to make a statement. Naturally, I don't include horror films here, because they have death for death's own sake. What I'm referring to would just be defeat. They lose, it sucks, the movie is over. Somehow I think that this would be more like life is sometimes than most other movies....

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Dressed?

After going to a private school for awhile now, I have an odd fondness for times when I realize that I haven't actually worn any normal/casual clothes at all throughout the day.

Cheating Songs

I've sometimes wondered how somebody could write one of those "I have a girlfriend but I love you more" songs (eg Hinder's Lips of an Angel) if he were famous. I mean, what would your girlfriend say? Would you have to wait until you broke up to publish the song? Seriously....

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Defying Gravity

The title of this post is also a wicked song, but what I'm referring to is something I did two weekends ago while in the mall with some friends. We had just been in a Bluenotes store, and I was carrying around a bag with the shirt I bought in it. We were somewhere else, and I was swinging the bag around like a little kid, when I realized that I could swing it impossibly slowly and still get it to stay straight and not fall down. Behold, the hidden hanger!I grabbed a hanger from a nearby shelf in whatever store we were in and concealed it in the bag. Properly braced against my shirt, I could then swing the bag really slowly, yet it would stay up as if centrifugal force was actually able to take effect. I actually freaked a couple friends out by doing this. It was really funny, and quite clever on my part (if I do say so myself, which I do).

Monday, February 4, 2008

Enforced Pointlessness

Today, the school woke up a houseparent so he could come tell our class to keep doing what we were already doing.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

BMI

BMI, or Body-Mass Index, is an inaccurate way of telling if somebody is overweight or obese. It fails to account for muscle versus fat, and doesn't factor in body fat. This means that I have a BMI of 23.4, which is quite close to being overweight. The thing is, it's all in muscle - if I suck in my stomach, my ribs stick out about 3 inches over. This is silly! Why do people trust such a misleading number?

Musical Musings

Lately I've had a lot of really interesting music-related ideas....

  1. The idea was actually awhile ago, but it is essentially a whammy bar taken to a ridiculous extreme. The cool thing about this is, Alastair and I are actually building it! More info on this later...
  2. A bass flute. For that matter, even an alto or tenor flute. I just think it would be really cool to have an instrument with the same sort of playing mechanism as a flute, and yet have it be much lower.
  3. Having an extremely high-tech guitar pickups and amplifier that would tell you a whole bunch of things, like
    • what notes each strings were currently playing
    • if they were flat or sharp
    • what chord was playing
      • or even, based on chord progression, what key you were playing in
      • and what chords would sound good next
This would also allow different effects or distortions to be applied to different strings, because it would put each string on a separate channel.

ADD

People always say "I've got ADD!" then they start off some sentence but interrupt it with "Let's go shave a dog!" As accurate as this may potentially be of those people who are easily distracted (like me, but I don't have any sort of disorder) it is extemely unoriginal. I mean, seriously, get some new phrases, like "chase a waterbuffalo" or "have a swordfight with cucumbers".