I'm likely going to V-con this weekend. Bro's working on con ops. I'm bringing instruments :)
other than that, I've basically been resting - and catching up on work.

so on with interesting stories:
Delerius Moscow - a really fascinating look into the experimental architecture of USSR.
It's beautiful, fascinating... and ever so slightly "alien".

... although I wish our cultures had as high an appreciation for beauty.

and more beauty here: Medusa's Kitchen
Poetry and hints at stories. I love poetry... and came across this one somewhat randomly.

Another kind of poetry:
Pluto-Bound New Horizons Sees Changes in Jupiter System

Fascinating history:
Mussel power: Did seafood encourage "Out of Africa" exodus?
(from [livejournal.com profile] johnny9fingers)
approx. 164 000 (+/- 12 000 years) old settlement on the coast of Africa... whoah. I had NO idea we went back that far. Pure luck this site survived as .... most sites of that era would likely be underwater. That's in the middle of one of the larger ice ages. (BBC with pictures here)
(just wait - Jean M. Auel will write another softcore I mean book about it)

more links behind here )
author: "innerweb"

This is a beautiful rant about education - and suggestions on how to fix common problems. I suspect quite a bit of it is accurate.
I'm posting it here because I think I'll want to refer back to it from time to time. (edit: a couple of spelling errors that my browser got upset about. Other than that it's verbatim).

the text itself )

None of these words are mine.
I find myself in rather a large amount of agreement though.
Happy Thanksgiving to those who celebrate it today (Canada).

I'm off to visit with my brother and have fun. We'll have a fancy dinner another time. Ta!
(I have the day off because of a US holiday as my company follows US holidays. I'm just learning about them though. I think it's "Happy Columbus Day" down there!)

I prefer celebrating Happy Leif Eriksson day. Apparently that's tomorrow :) (500 years before Columbus WOOT!)
Various stuff. I think I'll stick some amusing "other" stuff at the end :)

Children 'recover' from TV harm (BBC)
Toddlers who watch too much television are more likely to suffer later behavioural problems - but the damage can be reversed, say researchers.
(there's some scepticism here...)

Alzheimer's Disease Could Be A Third Form Of Diabetes
-> now THIS is interesting... *hmm*
(and sort of related Clue to chemistry of mini-strokes (BBC: to do with elevated levels of uric acid)

and now into different directions:
Though colder than Earth, Titan is tropical in nature (Chicago Chronicle)
Methane is the equivalent of water... neat! (everything is petrochemical in nature... including tar rain? whoah...)

Entrepreneurs rally for new space age
I don't care how many of these stories get published - they're all promoting space. We - as a species - definitely need to go more into space. It's nice that it's not just for governments anymore.

Water forms floating 'bridge' when exposed to high voltage
The fun thing is... why? This doesn't answer that - but it does cover 'how' somewhat. Neat physics!

Hydrogen from Algae
this one could be VERY important and perhaps even the breakthrough that opens hydrogen up as a viable fuel alternative in many uses...
(about 5 years 'til viable - but it's all steps, eh?)

some random asides:
US approves N Korea nuclear plan - good. It's already been passed by others and is already on schedule... so perhaps that chapter can finally be put behind.

Wal-Mart set to open Mexico banks .... WTF??? This can't be good.

And - another reason why the Canadian Dollar has risen above the US recently here: Federal budget surplus balloons to $14B (CBC). Our country's getting richer finally.

A touch of comedy at the end of it all: I'm In An Open Relationship With The Lord - The Onion. Amusing :)
I've been doing a bit of research into the Middle East of late. Nothing terribly deep or complex (although I am about to start reading the Qu'raan in the hopes of learning something)

I have learnt however that reporting of many things is wildly off base.
To start things off though, this paper (published from Pakistan):
Science and the Islamic world—The quest for rapprochement
Internal causes led to the decline of Islam's scientific greatness long before the era of mercantile imperialism. To contribute once again, Muslims must be introspective and ask what went wrong.

Fascinating reading. The end of the paper is devoted to what can be done about it - and what's happening.

And now in politics.. I went hunting Ahmadinejad's (Iran) speeches (transcription and translation). Very enlightening - the guy's not half the villain the press keeps making him into with misquotes and jumps of illogic. (now it's not to say he's nice - he isn't. And he's no safer than any other "extremist" religious person. I do find his speeches more rational than has been supposed though)
Full transcript of Ahmadinejad Speech at Columbia University
This one's the roughest. Columbia was VERY rude. However it does cover his stances on some of the more questionable issues such as dealings with Israel. (hint: they do NOT want to bomb it) It turns out the "holocaust denial" question isn't on it's happening - but rather why Palestine has to pay for it. I'm not sure where I stand on this now - but last year's meeting that involved prominent Jewish scholars being invited - now makes sense.
Iran's President Ahmadinejad's speech at UN (and NPR version). Two similar translations... with some interesting gems.

A natural result is... Iran college asks Bush to speak (Bush refuses)

There's much about the more "conservative" parts of the Middle East that are quite unpleasant - women's rights issues for instance and education infrastructure.
There is potential for peace.
There is hope.
Quick links:
(unsafe link, possibly triggering - it's a bit too detailed)
Polygamist leader Jeffs found guilty (tags: poly, justice) - it has begun.
"Everyone should now know that no one is above the law, religion is not an excuse for abuse and every victim has a right to be heard," said Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff
-> this is a step toward dealing with certain issues that must be tackled before any Canadian ruling on poly-lifestyles can be made.
(while it's a US case - the guilty party had been hiding out in Canada a while and there are similar cases on the move here)

Nuclear issue officially over, Iran's president tells UN
(it's up to the International Atomic Energy commission now)
There are some interesting points in this link... as it shows a number of the issues Iran feels is key. (some are accurate, some are out to lunch - and some ... need to be paid attention to)

Punk needs to come back in some places. Some folks need a good swift kick.
*self* wonders what the MAFIAA and media cartels in NA would do after they got a good swift kick... but they're not the only ones oh no.
I'm in a LOT less pain today. It is nice.

Parallel universes exist - study
Actually, all that's been developed is a mathematical way to test the "many worlds" hypothesis - and thus far it is proving it. VERY interesting :)

The write-up is actually pretty amateurish. There are some interesting possibilities to do with probabilities though....

Murder Mystery Solved
It was a murder mystery playing out in major cities across the country and perplexing scientists. Thousands of people were dying from strokes and heart attacks within 24 hours of a spike in microscopic pollution -- tiny particles that spew from the exhaust of diesel trucks, buses and coal-burning factories.
This - however - is a lot more interesting and a lot more professional (even with the title and opening). This may have something to do with why my reactions are so severe as well - so I'll be testing out some remedies and seeing if they help.
(namingly: Asperine or related. I've been put on it by doctor anyway, so might as well see if there's any other benefits)

One of the comics I enjoy reading (21st Century Fox) had an amusing comment on psycholygy yesterday:
Psychology really hasn't had it's Einstein yet. Well, actually I don't think they've had their Newton yet either. Or Galileo. (I'm not even sure about Aristotle).
I kind of get the impression that their basic model of the mind exists on the back of a giant turtle in a bowl of water, supported by 4 giant elephants standing on the back of a giant turtle...
...and most of their research goes into finding out what colour the elephants paint their toenails...

Personally I think of Jung as kind of like Aristotle - but Freud is definitely one of the toenail paint dudes. Am I biased? Yep!

on Islam:
Malaysian Astronaut won't ignore faith
After months of discussion and two international conferences, the Islamic National Fatwa Council came up with guidelines as to how Muslim astronauts should observe daily rituals. The rules were published in 12-page booklet titled ''Muslim Obligations in the International Space Station.''
This is actually really cool - as it opens up space to the more conservative Islamic world. It will also hopefully help inspire children in that world to go beyond in education...
There have been many problems with education in many parts of the Islamic world. The only real way to solve that is inspiration - positive change.
(another link here: http://www.getreligion.org/?p=2716)

There's no excuse for disrespect but this story (Violence over Bangladesh cartoon) - shows that there's no excuse for being overly sensitive either.
BOTH sides are in the wrong here. I would wager to say though that those who insult the faith of another however - are more wrong.

or to bring it "home" to our neighbours to the south:
US marks 1957 integration crisis
Ex-US President Bill Clinton is in his home state of Arkansas to mark the 50th anniversary of the integration crisis at Little Rock Central High School.
Things have come a LONG way over here. The rest of the world's got a ways to go. (actually the whole world's got a ways to go judging from other stuff seen in various parts)

Back to space.
Trip to outer space makes nasty bacteria nastier
Space flight can increase the virulence of disease-causing microbes such as Salmonella typhimurium, the main bacterial culprit in food poisoning, say U.S. researchers.
This one might be of interest to folks interested in biology. (it describes some of the methods used for testing too).

Oh yes:
Baird hails 'historic' deal to fight ozone-destroying chemicals
The governments of 191 countries have reached a "historic" agreement to eliminate the production and use of ozone-depleting hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) 10 years ahead of schedule, Environment Minister John Baird said Saturday.

Another big success. Perhaps slower than some would want - but it's HAPPENING!

And a random tangent:
Needles 'are best for back pain'
Acupuncture - real or sham - is more effective at treating back pain than conventional therapies, research suggests.
Yes it's an interesting bit of research...
Taking a short pause from work (at home) to post some funny links. I worked until 2am or so last night... so slept in a bit too much to make it to work in any kind of reasonable time. (1.5-2 hour commute each way - eats up a day quickly)

So not much to say as I'm exhausted.

Hence, links:
Gas Lamp Fantasy (steampunk, ...)
There's some REALLY cool fashion ideas on some of the links here. (Accessories, vintage, victorian/gothy, modern but steampunk-ish, shoes, sewing)
I want to explore more....
There are more than a few folk out there who'd probably enjoy exploring.... *heh*

Velociraptor dino 'had feathers'
Especially for [livejournal.com profile] breklor...
Yep, they've found bone markings characteristic of where feathers would be. Cool, eh?

This cool plasma drive - looks probable. Perhaps even nuclear rockets will open up (very efficient) now that the old space atomics international agreement is basically dead. More space travel is good :)

And onto drier stuff:
Canadian Dollar Trades Equal to U.S. for First Time Since 1976 - this is ... pretty amazing.
it's actually because Canada's been stable and the US dollar is dropping - but *shrug* it's Very Important change. Whether or not it's nice has yet to be shown.

funny (NWS/imagery) pictures )

World Bank: Helping Countries Combat Corruption: The Role of the World Bank (chapter 6) - interesting reading. Ummm... all fine and well - but how do you combat corruption in the corporate sector?
One of the nice things about Canada is we've pretty much got an Open and transparent government - unlike the US. Both our countries have problems with "corruption" (but here I mean rampant waste, excessive costs of operations and poor management - not the hoarding of resources nor the taking of resources out beyond reasonable costs of operations)

Poverty fuelling rise in aboriginal gang activity: expert
Sorry but no surprise. Dang it - I wish I could do something.

so I'll be off exploring sanskrit a wee bit later. It looks interesting.
image: And a bit of Zen )
for [livejournal.com profile] givemesodapop there is much inspiration for clown make up in The Greatest Show on Earth (trailer, 1952 - Cecil B. DeMille)

Loonie looking to catch up to Dollar - Canada's STRONG right now. Actually a better way to say it is we're not "weak" - we're not suffering the same debt crisis and problems with mortgage collapse as the US. (or a high cost of war although Afghanistan has cost us in a lot of ways)

How do you know you're healthy? - BBC
there are crude ways to tell if a person has a good general level of fitness, says John Brewer, director of the Lucozade Sports Science Academy.
"Being able to walk a mile in 15 minutes is an indicator of a reasonable level of fitness.
"You should be able to carry a couple of shopping bags from the supermarket to the car, climb the stairs in your house without getting puffed and cope with occasional, small bursts of unexpected activity."

Interesting reading :)

Dark matter clues in oldest stars - neat stuff. I'm so far behind in Astronomy I might as well be a tourist. I love this stuff though :)

Kaguya launch successful! - Japanese probe on it's way to the moon. This is absolutely cool too!

Bush aide says warming man-made
The US chief scientist has told the BBC that climate change is now a fact.
Professor John Marburger, who advises President Bush, said it was more than 90% certain that greenhouse gas emissions from mankind are to blame.

Umm... this is a BIG change. Bush's people were refusing to believe this for the longest time.
(in other politics: The Other September 11 - in 1683, this day marked the end of Islamic "expansion" (read: invasion) into Europe - and probably has a great deal to do with modern events)
also - Alan Greenspan releases biography (from [livejournal.com profile] johnny9fingers)
In his long-awaited memoir - out tomorrow in the US - Greenspan, 81, who served as chairman of the US Federal Reserve for almost two decades, writes: 'I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil.'
In The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World, he is also crystal clear on his opinion of his last two bosses, harshly criticising George W Bush for 'abandoning fiscal constraint' and praising Bill Clinton's anti-deficit policies during the Nineties as 'an act of political courage'. He also speaks of Clinton's sharp and 'curious' mind, and 'old-fashioned' caution about the dangers of debt.

(quoting same block as [livejournal.com profile] johnny9fingers as it's of particular amusement)

John Bauer
- a museum exhibit in Sweden of this marvellous fairy tale illustrator and Troll-artist. His trolls are largely what I imagine trolls to be - and sometimes what I see out of the edge of my eyes when travelling in the North.

RIP Jim Rigney AKA Robert Jordan.
A couple cool BBC stories:

Mobile system promises free calls (in hard to reach parts of the world)

Out-of-body experience recreated
Experts have found a way to trigger an out-of-body experience in volunteers.

(both stories tell far more than either the "headline" or any blurbs I wrote)
just to be clear I don't have anything to do with hirings. I do like my work place and my work - it's a heck of a lot of fun. This place is growing fairly quickly and a lot's happening. We're heavily involved in sports marketing as well as stock trading.
And I've got at least a couple of folks on my f-list looking for this kind of work :)


Senior Web & Creative Designer
Location: North Vancouver, BC

We are looking for a highly creative designer who has a wide range of skills and wants to be challenged on a daily basis. This position is responsible for designing and maintaining web sites/web pages, creating graphics and marketing materials and more. Working closely with and reporting to web development team lead and business development manager, this role requires excellent communication skills.


* 5 years + in web site design and graphic design
* Working knowledge of pre-press and print production
* Highly skilled in most or all of the following: Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, Flash, Quark, Acrobat, HTML, CSS, PHP, Javascript
* Strong typography and layout abilities
* Experience with some or all of the following would be desirable: PowerPoint, copy writing, RSS feeds, XML, database, web page optimization, web traffic analysis and any web 2.0 technologies
* Able to take direction and constructive criticism, while adding personal flare to our unique brand
* Comfortable working in a fast-paced environment and dealing with multi-tasks
* Ambitious, hardworking with a good eye for detail
* A strong online and/or offline (print) portfolio is preferable

AlphaTrade is an equal opportunity employer. Please send resume to penny@alphatrade.com.

Digital Advertising Sales Executive
Experienced sales people capable of selling digital advertising space. Unique opportunity for the right people to establish the newest trend in advertising which is a combination of banner, sponsorship and in venue advertising for maximim benefit to the clients. This is strictly a sales job, not marketing or public relations although previous experience in those fields may add to your success. Must be comfortable making daily sales calls including cold calls that result in sales. Must be willing to work long hours including weekends and holidays. Exellent knowledge of PC systems including word, excel, and database related packages. Bachelors degree with pro sports sales experience preferred. Effective communication skills and enthusiasm to excel are required.

* Compensation: $42,000 base, excellent commission structure, participation in stock plan, and bonuses based on performance
* please email mikej@alphatrade.com

Luciano Pavarotti passed away today

Tip a hat to his memory - he did much good for opera and had a marvellous voice.
Some news articles I couldn't resist:

To teachers (there's a few on my list)
Student attendance better in small schools: B.C. research
I'm completely unsurprised. This I suspect more than anything else is why school quality's been dropping for decades. I haven't noticed anything wrong with teacher training or with the quality of teachers for instance *grin* - if anything that's been improving.

(the rest of these are from slashdot.org posts)

Dichotomy and perceptual distortions in absolute pitch ability - basically, having a common tuning is making it harder to recognize near pitches. Being a person with perfect pitch (yes I do - I just don't always pay attention to it) - I can definitely relate. (and link to research here)

Happy 50th Anniversary to The Space Age! (as of October 4th actually)

With the launch of Sputnick on October 4, 1957.
Speculation over The next 50 years...
(conservative with still some incomplete information and probably some incorrect assumption - but still hopefully on the marks *g*)

And more on space:
“Lucky Camera” takes sharpest ever images of stars
(and it’s 50,000 times cheaper than Hubble)

Some times in the shifting mists
when only the peaks of mountains appear and the sea is but a passing whiff of scent on the wind

the world becomes real

and all illusion is lifted for a while in silence.

There between the clouds or here between the shifting patterns of trees and not-trees

You will see yourself.

In that silence, in that patch of reality
may you hear the drums that will guide you to become strong and free
so the US is pushing to invade Iran is it?
... right when Iran's people are pushing for more rights to be returned and some improvements are finally starting to take place after all these years?

Both sides are mad.

There has to be a better way than by pushing for world war III.
something that won't result in the massive deaths of more innocent people.
One Species' Genome Discovered Inside Another's (University of Rochester) - originally from slashdot article - which also has some interesting links although it takes longer to explore ;)

The research, reported in today's Science, also shows that lateral gene transfer—the movement of genes between unrelated species—may happen much more frequently between bacteria and multicellular organisms than scientists previously believed, posing dramatic implications for evolution.
"This study establishes the widespread occurrence and high frequency of a process that we would have dismissed as science fiction until just a few years ago," says W. Ford Doolittle, Canada Research Chair in Comparative Microbial Genomics at Dalhousie University, who is not connected to the study. "This is stunning evidence for increased frequency of gene transfer."
Worth the read :)

More advancement on "Flying Saucer" - guy's been in trouble a few times but it does look like he's nearing delivery....

UAT Instructor Creates Cuneiform and Hieroglyphic Translator
TEMPE, AZ--(Marketwire - August 23, 2007) - University of Advancing Technology (UAT) instructor and senior web developer Joe McCormack has completed work on a web-based application that translates English words into cuneiform script from the Assyrian, Babylonian, Sumerian and the hieroglyphic script of Egyptian. The tool may be seen at his website, virtualsecrets.com.

cool stuff.
Demo at The Fireside Cafe
September 8th.

It's the "anniversary of the Grand Opening"

I believe it starts in the late morning and goes - in theory - all day.
But Rhiannon knows more as she's organizing the dances.

Cheers! :)
My Kind of WORLD!!!!
image here )

and some sad news:
The day the music died - BBC - When Katrina blew her fury across New Orleans in August 2005, she ripped the very heart out of the city. The music.
It sounds like things are slowly rebuilding but this is a great sadness.
There are few places anymore where having a song on your lips and a few friends to share it with is a natural thing. It's a sign of the times that we're forgetting how to speak - because of this.

Odd astrophysics:
Jupiter shield's mixed blessing - BBC - It is a commonly held belief that Jupiter shields Earth from comets or asteroids that might otherwise hit us.

And happy news: (from [livejournal.com profile] cloven_fruit who is obviously biased *grin*)
Fireside Cafe - this is run by one of my favourite "housemates". For anyone who's ever in Surrey BC, please stop by and check it out ;)

and now something that had me floored - respect, sadness, happiness and odd geeky cheer - all at the same time.
patgund's entry - a special gift - http://www.r2kt.com/
(connected to "make-a-wish" foundation and more - it's an incredibly touching story)
Midnight Macabre
Best lines ever: (on convincing a cat to move)
old lady - I thought you said it was just as easy as reasoning with a child?
man - Sorry, but my kid doesn't usually whip out four little daggers and threaten me
old lady - Oh goodness, I know what you mean. It seemed like they stopped making all the really good toys years and years ago.

images behind here. Mostly worksafe (except language) )
A poem. Now ordinarily I'm not a fan of Star Trek but I rather like this one:
Felix Catus is your taxonomic nomenclature,
An endothermic quadroped, carnivorous by nature.
Your visual, olfactory, and auditory senses
Contribute to your hunting skills and natural defenses.
I find myself intrigued by your sub-vocal oscillations,
A singular development of cat communications
That obviates your basic hedonistic predelection
For a rhythmic stroking of your fur to demonstrate affection.
A tail is quite essential for your acrobatic talents:
You would not be so agile if you lacked its counterbalance;
And when not being utilitized to aid in locomotion,
It often serves to illustrate the state of your emotion.
Oh Spot, the complex levels of behavior you display
Connote a fairly well-developed cognitive array.
And though you are not sentient, Spot, and do not comprehend,
I nonetheless consider you a true and valued friend.

-- Lt. Cmdr. Data, "An Ode to Spot"

Also this comic is all TOO true, although perhaps in a different sense:
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