because the world needs more lime green.


new blog

Where will this show up, I wonder?

Anyway, NEW BLOG:

anabatica, brought to you by WordPress


fish -> birds?

We were discussing the first land animals in historical geology today, having learned about the first land plants yesterday.

The teacher asked if we knew what some of the first land animals were, and one girl guessed birds. I'm not kidding. How do you possibly make the connection that sea creatures sprouted wings and started flying in air?

Tha answer that he was looking for was amphibians, of course. Insects were also early land colonizers.

what is music?

"And it's not even close to music, but it reminds me of the way I felt when I heard the album."

From this post by Seth Godin.

Something about that one line really touched me. I don't want to forget about it, so posting it here for future reference.

The Brothers K

I have a book here that I'm afraid to read.

It's The Brothers K, by David James Duncan, and it's received nothing but stellar reviews on Amazon. It's about baseball (I think) and I usually enjoy well-written baseball books.

So why am I afraid to read it? I'm afraid it will be a disappointment and won't measure up to his first novel, The River Why, which was the best book I read in 2004. Possibly the best book I read in the three year span from 2002 to 2004.

The River Why was about appreciation of nature, coming of age, and fishing. It was funny, it was sad, it made me cry. And by the end of the book I felt like a different person.

I'm afraid to read The Brothers K because I don't think it can possibly measure up.


Leaky condos

Hrm, this Firefox nightly doesn't seem to like the Blogger compose thing!

I wrote an essay for my Canadian urban geography course about the impacts of the leaky condo crisis on the urban development of Vancouver and Victoria, and I got 25/25. Yippee!

Some background...

Due to some ill-thought-out changes to the building code and an economic boom that resulted in hurried construction, approximately 100,000 condo units were built in British Columbia from 1985 to 1999 that had severe problems with leakage. In many of these buildings, the exterior wood frame of the building literally rotted away. The cost to repair each unit is on average $25,000, so the total cost to repair all leaky condos is $2.5 billion. This ain't chump change.

And yet, there has been very little study done on the implications of the leaky condo crisis, as it is known. The ongoing saga was covered extensively in the local media, of course, but they did not focus on long-term implications at all.

I didn't expect this. When I chose the topic, I expected there would be a few books or at least academic articles that I could get my hands on for some ideas. Instead, there was very little written, and I actually had to think and analyse the situation myself. *gasp*

One very interesting thing that I noticed was that the leaky condo crisis caused different things to happen in Vancouver than it did in Victoria, due to unique conditions in the two cities. I'll modify and shorten the essay and post it here.


eye contact

"Normally, one makes eye contact one-quarter to one-half of the time."

From this article.

I'm unusual there, I guess... I think I maintain eye contact around 80% of the time when I'm talking to someone. Provided it isn't in a situation such as while driving, on a walk, or so on.


Different View of Problem Solving

This post struck me as particularly insightful.

Think of a problem as a lack of something. Then, find a solution by attacking the lack, rather than attacking the problem directly!


the web out there

and you know what i'm realising more and more? there is so much out there. on the internet specifically, but everywhere else, by extrapolation (there's a better word for that). i'd been sheltered in my stupid little online text-based game world. and now i'm exploring the rest of the internet. and this shit has been here for years, under my nose. so many ideas, sites, tools, communities. recently found, which is a "manifesto" site. it's mainly business ideas i.e. managing smart people, making money, etc, but even that... its made me realise how much thought people put into these things.

i think a big reason why teenagers get depressed is because they think they are alone. especially the smart ones. they think their thoughts are abnormal, and that no one else thinks like they do. because while some of us like to be unique in some things, we have an overwhelming urge to fit in. hell, i feel nervous when i'm taking photographs sometimes because i think i'm afraid of looking like a photographer - and not being normal. i think it was just a few years ago when i realised that other people have the same thoughts i do - you know, deep thoughts about things that don't seem very relevant and that aren't discussed in every day life. and among teenagers, discussing them is often seen just as weird. for guys it's probably worse, it might be seen as gay. girls it's just weird. sociopath. loser. etc. and yeah, it's not really that clear cut, there are groups of teenagers who can discuss things like that - but not everyone has the opportunity/luck to belong to such a social group.

i've gone off topic, haven't i?

we think so much about our world - about its properties, about its behaviours, about how we interact with it, and about how we interact with ourselves - either personally or interpersonally. and yet, how much of that thought would be readily apparent to an outside observer? sure, if you dug for it you'd get an idea of it, but at first glance? at first glance we'd seem like drones, oddly solitary and dependent on machines. but there's oh so much more than that. there's even numerous books on things like how to be creative, web communities devoted to it, community groups, etc. there's just so much out there.

and some people work really damn hard and care a lot about... whatever they do or are interested in. and it's inspiring.


I wish ecto hadn't stopped working.

Yes, I didn't pay for it and the trial expired, but the first time it expired it let me restart the trial. The second time, it didn't tell me that it wasn't planning on working, but it froze in the middle of the configuration process. Consistently. And downloading a new one didn't help.

And I can't find anything else that posts to Blogger.


Progress out of the chaos

"Progress has to come out of the chaos, but it will take a long time before we react. It's human nature. The Romans didn't react until Hannibal was in front of the gates. The reports kept saying, "He's coming," but he had to arrive before they finally strengthened themselves and beat him."

-Robert Schad, president and CEO of Husky, about global environmental change

This is one of the smartest things I've read recently, I think. I am concerned about the environment, and I do believe that we should take drastic action to alleviate the problems as soon as we can, but it's unrealistic to expect society to actually do so.