ScrimismsPresently suffering a dearth of witticisms

October 2005

News31 Oct 2005

Last week on a whim I bought 2 bags of Hallowe’en candy at the superstore, rationalizing it thus: I like Hallowe’en candy, but as I am too old to trick or treat, I am unlikely to get any this year. Woe is me.

Not to long after I realized I’d never eat two whole bags of candy myself, so I brought them to class today to share with my fellows. In this class, about six of us sit around a table and conduct a lot of discussion. If you ever find yourself in such a situation, I heartily endorse bringing along some sticky caramel candy. The results sound something like this:

“Well, of course, as the vibrations propagate through the medium, the mmfmm gmmfnf dmnf mnnnf gunnff molecular interaction.”

“Physicists will often say that it is impossible to consider reality outside the framework of the model, and thmmthm smmmth ooomphm fmmmf chnngfm for us as we try to develop new models”.


News28 Oct 2005

I spent too much money on a badminton racquet. I held every racquet in the store. When I put this one in my hand it was as if someone had shouted “By the power of Greyskull!” I felt my muscles swell and my shoulders square, and began having visions of my enemies lying crumpled between the lines of the badminton court. Even though I’d been planning on a cheaper model, I just knew it was for me.

I offset the cost by buying a new pair of shoes at Mal-wart. I get to try the racquet out tomorrow. The poor Spartans won’t know what hit them.

Movies26 Oct 2005

Don’t watch The World unless you enjoy staring at dimly-lit open-ended cellphone-fetishizing 2-hour-30-minute movies with repetitive music and gratuitous shots of the Eiffel Tower.

Actually, it wasn’t all bad. My main complaint was that it really is too long, and I’m not entirely sure what was happening with the plot (if you can call it a plot – it was a bunch of people going about their lives in a surreal setting).

I probably just failed to “get” whatever it was the movie was trying to tell me.

News23 Oct 2005

Gealan's new hair color

He dyed his hair and apparently developed a totally new and hard-boiled outlook on life. Look at him. Gaze into his eyes. Are you not both terrified and enthralled? He’s like a sexy mafia enforcer and you are drawn to his devil-may-care attitude and his defiantly bright coiffure. Plus, he towers over you.

Also, he wanted me to let you know that this picture makes his new hair look darker than it actually is.

Links23 Oct 2005

This sets a rather interesting precident…

Taiwan to ignore flu drug patent

News22 Oct 2005

Oh, that Jamie.

I’ll get him back somehow. He says dumb stuff all the time, shouldn’t be too difficult to find something funny to post here. His parents, after all, didn’t even expect him to achieve actual literacy, so they named him after a famous philosopher.

Speaking of famous philosophers, I was at a used bookstore today with various other folks and I scored a copy of “The Function of Reason” by the philosopher with perhaps the most august-sounding name of them all: Alfred North Whitehead. I was also eyeing a book that his partner in crime Betrand Russell wrote about sex and human relationships.

Speaking of sex and human relationships: maybe I will get Jamie back by writing a long and confidential letter to his girlfriend, outlining his various confessions and misdeeds. He can insist all he wants that she already knows more about his various confessions and misdeeds than I ever will, it won’t stop me. I’m calling his bluff.

News19 Oct 2005

I didn’t feel like cooking, largely because I didn’t really sleep more than an hour or two last night (pay attention, that detail is going to come up again in a minute), so I stopped at Greco on the way home to get some pizza. This is the second time in less than I week I’ve gone in there. Bad trend, especially since I’ve been walking by that place since August and had managed to stay away until lately.

Anyway, I got my 9″ grecoworks and my 9″ garlic fingers (was only going to order 6″ but you know how they are, asking briskly if you want the bigger version while gesturing emphatically at the appropriate meal deal on the menu board. You are powerless in those situations).

My apartment is a good 15 minute walk beyond Greco, and the last time I got pizza it got pretty cold on the way home. I don’t have a microwave and I intensely distrust the oven, so I wasn’t really keen on repeating the experience.

Check out this dizzying display of mental agility: I decided that the only logical thing to do was to put the pizza in my book bag, so it wouldn’t get cold. Because I had books and a laptop with me, this mean putting the pizza in tipped up on it’s end. But don’t worry, I carefully arranged it so the side of the box with the air holes was pointed up. Didn’t want any grease to leak onto my Master’s Thesis. Also, I’ve only slept one hour out of the last 36 (see, I told you that detail would appear again).

I am happy to report that upon arriving home the pizza was still luke-warm. I am less happy to report that all of the cheese and toppings have formed a tight clump lining one side of the box. It’s almost as if someone yanked the cheese off the top and rolled it up like a gym sock. I am amazed at how bare the pizza is – not a green pepper or a mushroom left, just sauce and crust.

And to think, I spent the the last day trying to convince the government they should pay for my PhD. It’s not looking like the smartest investment just now…

Links18 Oct 2005

Maybe it’s because I don’t have my glasses on, but the clouds outside my window look remarkably like the beginning of a Simpsons episode. I shall take this as an omen, though of what I could not say.

Life just isn’t complete without a bunch of pathos.

Musings15 Oct 2005

This story is unremarkable, except for the following (emphasis mine):

A recent study by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life looked at the numbers and concluded educators should take the public’s opinion into account and present options to Darwinian evolution in the schools. David Masci is a Senior Fellow with the Pew Forum.

“Only about a quarter of the American public accept the Darwinian explanation for life’s origins. Sixty-four percent of the American public favors teaching creationism along with evolution.”

What a splendid idea! I happen to really like space flight. Unfortunately, launching things into earth orbit is just darned expensive. But, our friends at the Pew Forum have hit on a brilliant solution! If enough of us start to have doubts about Newton and Kepler, we won’t have to worry about the Earth’s pesky gravitational pull. Affordable space flight for all!

On a related note, there’s professor from McGill down in Dover as an expert witness. Some media coverage:

Canadians Just Aren’t Very Nice

Continue Reading »

Musings13 Oct 2005

Disney is making a film version of the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, due out around Christmas, and complete with the “Jesus Cat” to borrow a phrase from a certain fun-loving cynical friend of mine.

Apparently the Christian themes that C.S. Lewis wove through the original will be staying in the movie, which is fine as far as I am concerned. Narnia is no “Passion of Christ”, in that it remembered to be art first and religious second, much like some of those classic renaissance paintings.

No, the thing that has me cheesed about the upcoming Narnia film is this trailer (scroll to “Teaser Trailer #1): this movie is trying very hard to be a cross between Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings (Look! It’s Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas! Or is that Harry, Ron and Hermione?). It’s almost as if some execs at Disney sat down and said “Hey, fantasy movies are doing really well, look at LotR and HP. Why don’t we do something like that? Hmm, what famous fantasy novel can we go out and license?”. But that never happens in real life, does it?

Also, once again, epic battle scenes. Now, I know there were battles in Narnia, but that’s not the part that stands out in my memory. Sure, the inevitable conflict between good and evil is a necessary part of the story, but I am worried it’s going to be a bit like the battle at Helm’s Deep in The Two Towers, which expanded from one chapter to half of the movie. This preoccupation that Hollywood has with massive CGI armies is a bit unhealthy, if for no other reason than nine times out of ten the result is really boring.

Whenever someone adapts a book I really liked into film or television I don’t get excited, I get nervous. Sometimes it turns out okay (Lord of the Rings), other times it gets slaughtered (Earthsea miniseries anyone? Okay, I will admit, I didn’t actually watch that, I wanted to preserve my memory of the novels unmolested). I wonder how Narnia will turn out…

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