Sunday, September 28, 2008

Jet Man

That Jet Man guy has done it again: crossing the English channel.... Check out the video on YouTube (click here).

Apparently this stunt really pushed the boundaries of what he could do in terms of safety and equipment. For some reason, I find this much more interesting than the attempts, in recent years past, to circle the globe in balloons etc.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Sharing articles

Folks, a good way to aggregrate blogs etc is to use Google Reader. It is free with a registered account (e.g. your Gmail account).

To subscribe, simply look for the RSS/Atom feed on a site; these are usually at the bottom.

A neat feature is that users can "share" articles with others.

My shared links are here, if you are interested. They are a mix of Java stuff, Canadian stuff, and often things of general geek interest.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Patriotism and Doughnuts

Hegemom forward me this article about an academic doing research on Canadians and their beloved Tim Horton's.


Here are some tasty extracts from his work. "In Canada, the doughnut is widely believed to be the unofficial national food. Expatriate Canadians speak of associating a trip to the doughnut shop with returning home."

Keen readers will recall that I went to Detroit earlier in the month for visa stuff. As the Canadian border guard put it, I was a "turnaround": I drove into Windsor solely for the purpose of a U-turn and applying for re-entry into the US.

I did make one stop however: no joke, I went to Tim Horton's.

Friday, September 19, 2008


"They say there are no atheists in a foxhole. Well, there are no libertarians in a financial crisis, either."

-- Jeffrey Frankel, Harvard economist

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Berlin provides a full report

My friend Berlin has returned from her daughter's wedding! The whole family descended on St Peter's, PEI for the nuptials. Later, B and her husband drove around the Maritimes. Here is a quick recap:
  • The venue, Inn at Fortune Bay, was a big hit. Berlin raved about the food. Guests from NYC are quite epicurean and loved it.
  • The weather was dicey, as it was throughout the eastern seaboard. However, it was not raining for the outdoor ceremony. It was windy, but that relieved the crowd from the mosquitos. Apparently the mosquitos (or black flies) were vicious during the rehearsal. Berlin couldn't believe it.
  • New Glasgow Lobster Suppers is an iconic restaurant back home. Berlin said it was ok, but the giant buffet was closed, possibly due to being off-season?
  • Generally, she thought both The Island and the rest of the Maritimes was lovely. A major hit was Cape Breton (of course). They also enjoyed some places in New Brunswick. I can't remember where now. But they did see the famed tidal bore and also the reversing river.
  • Berlin sort of reminds me of my grandmother: she has a modesty about her and will tell these 'shocking' stories that are so quaint. She was surprised by the amount of booze at the wedding (her own reasonable consumption was a personal record), and described the number of lobsters she had (3 and 1/2) as though they were each a delicious, cardinal sin.
  • The fam went to the Atlantic SuperStore (a large grocery store) to get fresh lobster. She thought it was far superior to St Louis' Shnucks and Dierbergs: she said it was gorgeous. That's a hoot because no locals would say that.
Overall, they seemed to have a really good time. I just drank all this in over lunch today. It was surreal to sit down in St Louis and get the low-down on the Maritimes. Berlin has seen more of eastern Canada in 2 weeks than I have in years.

Monday, September 15, 2008

I like Ike ?

Ike was a shadow of his former self but slammed here on Sunday morning... Lots of rain, some downed trees, and considerable flooding.

Alas, Sunday morning was the Lewis & Clark 1/2 marathon, the latest installment in the rivalry between our hero and his arch-rival, the nefarious Jim G.

No build-up here: JimG won by default. An ex-Navy man who perhaps is happy to escape his pedestrian, suburban abode, he braved the wretched conditions, along with a surprisingly large number of runners.

Our hero was not so brave. CC was raised in such a way that it is a cardinal sin not to partake in something that is paid for. However, the rain, the lack of running mileage prior to the event, and particularly the 5:45 am arrival time was just to much. (Who starts a freaking running race at 6:30 am? I get enough of that crap in triathlons.)

And so, all is dry, fat, and happy, here at home and hearth. The big news: Berlin will soon be back from The Nuptials on PEI! Alas, I fear that the weather was rough and the mosquitos were worse. But from her initial email messages, I think they had a nice time.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Particle Rap

In case you don't follow Internet crazes, here is a fun rap video by the giant Swiss/French physics lab, CERN, which is staring some banzai particle acceleration this week. This is outstanding. They are doing it to educate the media and calm the masses about impending annihilation of the earth.

I haven't written it yet but I hope to write a spoof on this (for the tech blog) involving Google.

Monday, September 08, 2008

The Motor City

I went to Detroit on an annual day-trip of sorts... Some quick thoughts:
  • If I know a crowd, all bets are off, but I was raised so as to never inconvenience strangers in formal settings. It is simply unconscionable to me to recline an airline seat, if I know there is someone behind me. I did not suffer such a fate this time, but watched some ingrates anger people.
  • A couple of times, I caught a "shuttle" from the airport to a rental-car place. It seems like a nice, cute thing, a shuttle. But it was a full-blown bus that sat idling (for hours?) until lil' ol' me showed up. Then it belched diesel nastiness as it groaned and creaked into action, whisking me to my destination. I was grateful but embarrassed. My carbon foot-print on this trip was obscene.
  • I truly believe that most of humanity are kind at heart. I saw some good people working at the border.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Art Highlights

Check out some of these artists... From the Clayton Art Festival and/or the "Art Outside" festival in Maplewood. (A lot of art in St Louis lately)

Kreg Yingst (graphic art)

Bradley Bauer (photog)

Michael Gard (gorgeous wire sculptures)

Monday, September 01, 2008

Letting our hair down

My geek people are officially having fun!

Check out this video. Even if you don't have sound, let it go past the intro.

I'm not in it, but you might sense some psychic fingerprints on the theme.