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Where we’re very polite (even when we’re ranting about things that irritate us)

Archive for February 2007

We’re opening a satellite office

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That’s right folks, we at “I need to post more than three times a year” are opening up a satellite office. Regular visitors will know that we have a propensity for writing really short posts. Well, it turns out that a lot of other people do to and another somebody has figured out that all of us joiners will gladly sign up for something that will facilitate our short-post addiction. This is where tumblr comes in (yes, that’s correct, in true, uber-hip Web2.0 fashion, eliminate the last vowel). We’ll let the quote on their front page explain: “Tumblelogs are blogs with less fuss. Tumblr is your friendly and free tool for creating tumblelogs.”

In other words, it’s a repository for all of the nifty content that we think about posting and then don’t because we don’t have anything cool or witty to say about it (which, of course, represents about 90% of the nonsense we post here).

So, head on over to Tumblamajig (aren’t we witty – coming up with the spin on thingamajig?) and check it out. We’d ask you to leave comments, but we’ve been told that one of the things about tumblelogs is no comments, so we can’t ask you to leave comments.

Don’t worry, we won’t be closing this blog. We’ll save it for posts that require a little more oomph (you know, like sentences and punctuation and well-thought-out arguments and such).

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Written by The Canuck

February 27, 2007 at 12:45 pm

A whole mess o’ stuff

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Since I’m feeling too lazy today to write several small posts, you’re getting one giant one.

Twitter

There’s a nifty new web2.0 thingy called Twitter. I’ve spent the better part of a week (maybe longer, I can’t remember) playing with it and, more importantly, trying to figure out how to describe it to people. Here’s what the folks who built it say: “A global community of of friends and strangers answering one simple question: What are you doing?” I like to think of it as single-line blogging. Or (mostly) publicly-broadcast IM. Anyway, it’s kind of neat. Go check out my twitter page , sign up, add me as a contact and we’ll all have heaps of fun. Now if I could just get the stupid Twitterific app to stop giving me XML errors every 84 seconds, life would be grand.

Litterbugs

I don’t know what things are like where you work, but there’s a constant litter problem here. People seem to be incapable of finding (let alone using) trash cans. I don’t know what it is, I can find them (and I’m legally blind!). Is it that they’re only visible to people with visual impairments? I don’t get it. Apparently I’m not the only one, either. The following appeared in a recent edition of the student newspaper:

This is directed to the Western students whose parents either neglected to teach them what humans do with their garbage or have simply forgotten how NOT to act like slobs.

I walk into Centrespot at any given time of day and I’m disgusted at the random litter people leave everywhere despite the abundance of garbage cans. As I sit here today, there is a Manchu Wok container and a smoothie cup not even two feet from a garbage can! How hard is it to walk to the garbage and put your waste in?

Also, I’m sick of having to play waitress and clean off a table for myself because the lazy bastards who drop food everywhere feel that, since food missed their mouths and landed on the table, chair, or floor, it should stay there.

It’s not only a matter of personal pride, but campus pride. Campus tour are going on and prospective students come to eat in the University Community Centre. How gross is it that they have to sit in filth? How unimpressed are parents when garbage is strewn across Centrespot because Western’s esteemed student body doesn’t have the sense or manners to clean up after itself?

And one last point. Again, while sitting here angrily scribbling my thoughts, a woman did a marginally good thing and put her Evian bottle into the garbage. Why couldn’t she walk the extra 10 feet and put it in the recycling bin?EVEN EASIER than walking 10 feet and putting the bottle in the recycling would have been stowing the bottle in her giant Lululemon bag and recycling it when she arrived to any campus classroom or her Blue Box at home.

Are we THAT lazy? Seeing as most of us come from the GTA and we’ve recycled since we were little, how could we have FORGOTTEN what it means to recycle? Are our brains being stuffed too fully of wordly, scholarly knowledge? I doubt it.

It’s unfair to our peers, our university, Centrespot staff, and most importantly, ourselves to leave the UCC so messy every day.

I am absolutely appalled. Apparently, higher education does nothing to help us act like decent human beings.

Jenny Locke
Biology III

Sadly, Ms. Locke, it’s not just a Western thing. I see this just about everywhere I go and it never ceases to bother me (sometimes I get angry, sometimes I get sad, sometimes I just sigh). I don’t know what the solution is. Maybe camera, face recognition software, and stiff fines (or academic penalties)? I know if I ran things, that’s exactly what I’d do. Then again, I’ve often said that if I were a police officer, I’d enforce every violation I possibly could (for example, people who fail to clear the snow completely off their car, leaving the licence plate obscured).

From the “Oh, for crying out loud” file(courtesy UNEASYsilence)

Neiman Marcus is now offering a ‘premium’ cell phone service. Who in the world needs ‘premium’ cell phone service (except perhaps for the ridiculously self-important)? What passes for ‘premium’ cell phone service? A $500 startup fee gets you a ‘premium’ handset, insurance for said handset, a bluetooth headset, an extra battery, 3 (count ’em – THREE!) chargers, and sync software. Then, you get to pay $200/month for unlimited domestic calling (including roaming), unlimited messaging, live directory assistant and (get THIS) a ‘voice personal mobile assistant’ who’ll provide ‘everything from technical support to driving directions.’

Sign me up.

Written by The Canuck

February 23, 2007 at 1:30 pm

Posted in randomness

The Filter

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One of the more interesting technologies of late is the recommendation engine. The whole idea is that software analyzes a collection (usually music) and through some sort of sophisticated analysis, recommends new music that the listener should enjoy (based upon music they already own).

The Filter is a variation on that basic idea. Instead of just recommending new things to listen to, it creates new playlists out of your existing music collection. Now, if you’re entire collection is only a few hundred songs this isn’t such a big deal. If you’re like a lot of people (me included) and your collection is several thousand (I’m currently sitting on 12,000+ songs), there’s a lot of stuff that never gets heard.

I finally received my invitation to test the alpha of the Mac version of the Filter client and, so far, am pretty impressed. Yes, it’s buggy (it’s not even a beta, so that’s to be expected). Bugs aside, it works pretty well. After selecting a few songs, I told it to go to work and it, for the most part, chose songs that I liked (there were very few that I had to remove from the playlist).

A few observations about songs it chose:

‘Eminence Front’ by The Who – John Entwistle’s bass sound in this song ROCKS. His sound was normally pretty edgy, but this is just slightly overdriven with a mild flange effect added. Pretty damn cool. I wish he’d used it a little more often.

‘The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down’ by The Band – DAMN!!!! One of the best songs EVER written. It’s interesting to hear a song written from the perspective of someone on the losing side of the American Civil War (and it was written by a Canadian no less – craziness).

Written by The Canuck

February 21, 2007 at 4:06 pm

In springtime, a young man’s fancy turns to thoughts of baseball …

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Being late February, baseball season is little more than a month away. That means that for baseball nuts (like me) we start scouring all of the sports websites we can for news from Spring Training (and wondering how much time we can book off work to watch Opening Day, attend a few games, maybe take a road trip to some out-of-town games, etc).

John Lowe of the Detroit Free Press has a nice piece on his blog about the number of potential Hall-of-Famers the Tigers have on the payroll right now. It’s not long, it’s not a beautifully-crafted piece of prose, just a nice piece of writing in which he appreciates not only the quality of the current Tigers roster (and management), but shows his love of baseball.

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Written by The Canuck

February 21, 2007 at 1:27 pm

Posted in baseball

Perhaps this is the solution to our perpetually cash-strapped health care system

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Written by The Canuck

February 20, 2007 at 11:40 am

Posted in amusing

Seeing the world through RSS-coloured glasses

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As some of you are aware, I am addicted to RSS. Once I discovered the joy of subscribing to a website’s RSS feed and getting all of my news in one place, there was no turning back. It was like making the transition from dial-up to broadband – the Interweb’s just not the same anymore and I can’t go back.

I’ve tried explaining the beauty of RSS to a few folks, but I always end up getting a little more technical that they’d like and they (I think) get scared away [from RSS, not me]). Well, The Globe and Mail has a nice little piece that does a much better job of explaining it than I could. Go ahead, read it, then come back and subscribe to my feed.

Now I’m off to my RAA (RSS addicts anyonymous) meeting.

Written by The Canuck

February 19, 2007 at 10:35 am

In Other Airplane News …

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The world needs more pilots like this:

Fast-thinking pilot drops hijacker

Written by The Canuck

February 16, 2007 at 12:56 pm

Posted in randomness