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senatorhung's pad
ramblings of an information troubleshooter

rumours and speculations

Monday, 29AUG2005:

went over to bella's tonight for a char supper to send daniel off. jarred was also dropping in for the evening from the resolution island hazardous waste cleanup site en route to ottawa. bella unfortunately found herself a bit overwhelmed by some of the discussion that took place, as we threw around currency speculation, bush's rapture, and how poker skills apply to real life.

when she questioned me about how i came to know what i 'know', i could only say that i got my start reading macleans when i was around 12 or 13 (back when it was still a NEWSmagazine). over the years, i gradually figured out which information sources were reliable and which ones weren't and slowly pieced together my cyncial view of the world. often i end up processing something subconsciously and don't even realize how i've come to some conclusion until someone asks me directly and i stop to think it thru.

anyway, when asked for my predictions of the near future, i admitted that i was pessimistic and that when the u.s. economy collapses in the next 12-24 months, the canadian economy will not be able to prop itself up for long due to the economic handcuffs that we created with NAFTA. accordingly, i plan to be safely ensconced in academia by then, to weather out the recessive storm amidst mere 30% tuition increases while the rest of north america discovers that it's credit-induced binge is no longer sustainable.

  • ip idiocy link of the day: europe vs. google

  • ok, so here's a chance for the keepers of our culture, namely libraries and museums, to get their collections in front of a huge global audience so that everyone will be able to share in this cultural wealth, and it's being held up by *copyright* concerns ? give me a break !! with digital technology allowing access without impeding preservation, libraries and museums should be the first to champion this vision, even if it is enabled by a corporate beast. it's way better than leaving materials in a dusty alcove waiting for attention from some itinerant researcher who just happens to know which codec to use to retrieve a particular folio.
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idea *PLUS* execution

Tuesday, 30AUG2005:

attended an afternoon meeting at fantasy palace with tony, bella and alison to go over what would need to be done for us to put on another play. bella volunteered to act as director for now, and once she has selected a play with alison, a casting call will be sent out.

after work, i went to the gym to meet up with catherine for the weight training orientation offered to members for free. we did a circuit of the machines, with catherine demonstrating how each was intended to be used. i found out, to my dismay, that i've been doing lat pull-downs incorrectly for over a dozen years !

  • ip idiocy link of the day: how to rate 'brilliant' ideas

  • i like the philosophy of this short piece (mostly extracted from someone else's blog post) which emphasizes that the value of an idea is not the idea itself, but the idea combined with its successful execution in a service or product. if the intellectual property regime actually stimulated and rewarded this combination of idea and execution, then its seemingly arbitrary allocations of wealth would be much more palatable.
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mental face-offs

Wednesday, 31AUG2005:

had planned to take in a movie tonight, but todd called up to ask if i wanted to get in a bit of practice before sunday's big powwow. we managed to pull together 4 people at patrick's to get started.

i was the first to bust out and my 1st re-buy lasted all of one hand. after my 2d re-buy, vinnie wandered in from the bar and bought in. we then watched as patrick proceeded to knock us out one by one.

by the time we got down to three, patrick had things well in hand, with todd also down to a few greens. my final 2 green chips were swallowed up by the blinds and i got ready to call it a night, but then we noticed that i still had one final unexchanged stack of reds hiding to the side.

putting the equivalent of a single green back into play, i managed to win the hand and get myself back in the game. for a good while, todd and i seesawed for short stack until patrick finally knocked todd out after i had folded out of the hand. it only took patrick another 10 minutes to put me away, but since i had managed to outlast todd to come in 2d, i at least get some of my stake back.

so, for the 3 games that patrick hosted this month, my placings have been 3d (of 5), 1st (of 4) and 2d (of 5). i'll be happy if i can snag one of those positions on sunday.

  • link of the day: how the white house press corps drops the ball

  • well, one way is by letting stuff like this chilling exchange pass without challenge:
    was born and raised in Hiroshima,
    Japan.  (Inaudible).  And August 6th 
    (the anniversary of the bombing of
    Hiroshima) is coming again ...I 
    believe the use of automatic weapons
    during World War II was cruel and 
    (inaudible), against international 
    law ... So in the history of human 
    beings, losers cannot say anything, 
    winners make history as they like.
    McCLELLAN: Is there a question?
    Yes. Sixty years have passed ... 
    I would not necessarily ask, recommend
    President Bush or someone say someone 
    should apologize, but I believe some
    statement or comment is needed...
    McCLELLAN: I understand.  I think 
    I'll leave the history to historians. 
    I mean, we're all well aware of the 
    history.  But the president is focused 
    on the future, and we do have a great 
    relationship with Japan.  The president
    has a good friend in Prime Minister 
    This is an example of how freedom leads 
    to peace, because 60 years ago, as you 
    pointed out, and the president often 
    points out, we were enemies.  Today 
    we're working together to advance 
    freedom in places like the broader 
    Middle East, and what we're doing is 
    laying the foundation of peace for our 
    grandchildren and our -- for our 
    children and our grandchildren.  And I 
    think that's important, to remember the 
    past, but to look to the future and how 
    we can continue to build upon the great
    relationship that we have.
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miyazaki strikes gold again

Thursday, 01SEP2005:

a museum board meeting that had been postponed to today was postponed for a 2d week so i hung around the office for a bit longer after building up a head of steam on my current assignments.

after that, i rewarded myself by taking in hayao miyazaki's 'howl's moving castle' at the astro theatre. when john arrived, that made 2 of us in astro 2, but thankfully for bryan, another handful drifted in just as the show was beginning.

i've been a fan of hayao miyazaki since reading his manga 'nausicaa of the valley of the wind' published by viz comics. (i remember the first viz book that i bought that was published under license by eclipse comics - 'mai, the psychic girl' and being blown away by ryoichi ikegami's artwork). anyway, 'nausicaa' was very ethereal and confusing and bewitching, and that's also how i felt about the film adaptations that i was lucky enough to see including 'princess mononoke' and 'spirited away'.

while i've heard comments that this movie is not as vibrant as some of his other work, 'howl' was the first one that i was able to follow from beginning to end without getting lost in some visual eddy or abrupt curlicue. given that, i'm quite disappointed that disney wasn't able to market the film better in north america, seeing as it was a blockbuster in japan and asia.

the movie had the typical miyazaki elements: a young female protagonist, the theme that love conquers all, how humans don't take very good care of their environment, and lots of absurdly wondrous animation. favourite line: "such a pretty fire".

    links of the day: cary tennis is the resident advice columnist at here are a few recent gems:

  • on life ambition:
    I instinctively recoil at the notion 
    that life is a struggle toward an end or 
    a goal and that if we simply have a good 
    strategy and execute it properly we can 
    attain our goal and voila that's success!  
    I don't go for that.  I prefer the 
    open-ended adventure model, in which we 
    are drawn to activities and locales and 
    so we arrange our lives so we can do 
    these activities and be near these 
    locales; but there is no commencement 
    exercise at the conclusion of our 
    curriculum.  There is only the 
    contentment of knowing we are in the 
    right place doing what we ought to be 
  • on choosing mates:
    In an intimate relationship, everything 
    is connected.  At least that's what I 
    think.  We choose people for their 
    positive traits, but we also choose their 
    dark side.  There are many kinds of dark 
    sides -- there is the dark side of a 
    person that is emotionally dead, 
    tragically wounded, that is exuberant and 
    power-hungry, narcissistic, hateful, etc. 
    Why should it be only the positive traits 
    we choose?  While we consciously choose 
    the bright smile and the record of 
    achievement, our dark side is meanwhile 
    choosing the history of abuse or the 
    uncontrollable ego.  Good citizens that we 
    are, we name these attributes "faults."  
    But the dark side likes them.  It is 
    mirrored by them.  It finds connection.  
    It is perhaps even healed by them.  They 
    remind us of something long forgotten; we 
    feel comfortable with them, like with a 
    family member.  Out of all possible kinds 
    of darkness, we choose a darkness that we 
    know, a darkness we can get around in.
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friday flowering

Friday, 02SEP2005:

today's press club featured ian fremantle, the chief administrative officer for the city of iqaluit. he has quite a varied history. i took the opportunity to lob a couple of questions at him about waste management and he answered as i expected.

after a quick drink at the storehouse with the media gang, i wandered over to the astro to watch jim jarmusch's 'broken flowers' with john and jillian. the movie had a great soundtrack and bill was riveting to watch. however, if you like your movies to finish with a nice pat hollywood ending, you should skip this one. me, i'm ok with a story that is unresolved. i remember having a hard time getting into jarmusch's 'ghost dog' (starring forrest whitaker) the first time that i saw it, but each subsequent viewing has further impressed.

after that, i wandered back down to the storehouse to hang out with shawna who will be leaving town on monday. we had worked together to put on the 2003 banff mountain film festival.

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Saturday, 03SEP2005:

volunteered to help with the setup for the show put on by the nunavut arts and crafts association in the gym at the old arctic college rez down federal road. had been scheduled to be there for only 2 hours, but i ended up staying for 4.5. i was mostly tasked with hanging pieces up onto the display boards and i guess i must've had an eye for it because gyu kept giving me more stuff to do.

detail from favourite bear sculpture at
2005 nunavut arts and crafts association show
my favourite piece was a sculpture of a bear crouched on an ice flow with a fin flapping in its face. the other piece that caught my eye was a painting of an ridge built up under the sea ice by the tide. at first glance, it was just a mish-mash of assorted tones of grey, but on closer examination, i really got the feeling that i was standing out on the bay in the middle of winter, with the wind screeching in from behind me.

detail from favourite painting at 2005
nunavut arts and crafts association show
afterwards, i went on to rae-lynne and chad's house-warming party. they had moved from the main floor of my building a few weeks back after chad moved to a new job. as usual, they had a great spread of nibbles which i was glad to raid after a day of manual labour. fed housing is on a different level from GN housing - there was *so* much space ! when i wandered upstairs, rae pulled out her favourite children's book for me to read.

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