Dec. 13th, 2015 10:54 am
metawidget: My full geek code.  Too long for DW alt tag, please see profile if interested. (geek)
It's been a while since I posted, and this has been sitting on the notepad for a while…

When I was at work, I listened to a lot of podcasts to damp down noise from the floor while doing not-too-intense work. At home, I find time here and there — while cooking, sometimes while the kids play if the kids are off doing their own thing, while on the bus to grab a car… it's a small luxury to let a chunk of consciousness run around with smart, different folks across Internet audio.

Here is what I manage to listen to regularly:

Spark from CBC Radio: Nora Young has the best radio voice among living radio hosts, in my opinion (Lister Sinclair gets best ever). The podcast is mostly about technology, but in an expansive, humane way that often focused on usability, accessibility and the creative uses people come up with for existing technologies.

Death, Sex, Money from WNYC is a show of long-form interviews touching on the title topics (usually all three of them) with people who have lived through some interesting stuff.

Planet Money from NPR is a show about economics for laypeople — sometimes they do a show on explaining a hyped topic (What is a collateralized debt obligation? What just happened to the Chinese markets?). Sometimes they look at something mundane and explain the minutiae (t-shirt manufacturing, raisins) and sometimes they follow a person's cunning business plan with an eye to what economic mechanisms are in play underneath (a y taxi medallion empire, for instance).

More or Less from BBC Radio 4 is a show of statistical fact-checking: from political claims to memes about toxic levels of banana consumption (hint: absent a health condition that makes you super-sensitive, you will have trouble keeping down enough bananas to kill you via potassium or radiation poisoning). It's funny, chatty and a neat way to think about all steps of the statistical process while finding out what's preoccupying Brits who listen to or make geeky podcasts.

I also listen to and enjoy Savage Love (US politics and relationship advice), Polyamory Weekly (charmingly indie relationships and media watching), Radiolab (lovingly crafted, humane stories touching on science) and Dan Carlin's Hardcore History (passionate lectures on a huge range of history, mostly military and political, with lots of quotes from original sources and psychological guesswork — and a voice and delivery that I like but is hard to be neutral on).

Any suggestions I might like, especially in the 15–30 minute range?
metawidget: close-up of freewheel of a bicycle (bicycle)
Some things starting with the letter B, as suggested by [livejournal.com profile] rottenfruit:

Something I hate: Broken promises: personal, political, whatever — with a particular disdain for broken promises of amends. Hey, Kelowna Accord!

Something I love: Bicycling! I am looking forward to the season being in again (for me, I know there are hardcore year-round bicycle users).

Somewhere I've been: The Biodome, although it's been a while. I hope to bring the kids sometime soon, maybe this year.

Somewhere I'd like to go: Aside from the Biodome, maybe Boston, to soak up some of the great intellectual history and wander about the U.S. equivalent of Montréal (in terms of student concentration).

Someone I know: Beatrice at work. We're not super-close but she's been helpful and kind in career and getting-to-know-people spheres.

A film I like: The Birdcage was fun, probably of its time but when I watched it I liked it and found it had some substance.

A book I like: The Burning House, by Jay Ingram, one of my favourite science-explainer writers. Hemispheres! Awareness! Braiiiins!
metawidget: My full geek code.  Too long for DW alt tag, please see profile if interested. (geek)

I think it was [livejournal.com profile] audrawilliams that got me on to Digger, by Ursula Vernon. I've been nibbling my way through it for a week or two, and it is a funny, strange, silly, pretty and humane story with sympathetic characters and a touch of Douglas Adams. The main character is a staunch rationalist wombat named Digger who takes a wrong turn while tunnelling and gets entangled all sorts of things in a very strange and unfamiliar land. And apparently, after 752 panels or something like that, it has wrapped up, so start now and have a complete work waiting there for you. I've still got two thirds of the story to go.

I've also been enjoying some of the Miles Vorkosigan books by Lois McMaster Bujold — just finished Brothers in Arms, which also is about two thirds of the way between straight SF space opera and Douglas Adams weird, with a bit of Adrian Mole thrown in for good measure. I find suspension of disbelief a little tenuous with Bujold sometimes, but it doesn't matter because when she's over the top, she is also funny and clever, and the suspension-of-disbelief trouble is more on the end of improbable plot and less on the part of her main characters, who are generally sympathetic and believably crazy. I've got one more Bujold book borrowed from [personal profile] commodorified (which, to her, is probably a “Lois book”), and it is probably next on my reading stack.

metawidget: Oscar around one month, with Pixel. (oscar and pixel)
…ESPECIALLY the ones that barfed on me.

The flip-side is when fun, happy woodgie is our fault*, too.

*and I know fun woodgie can result from many different relationship structures!

metawidget: Oscar around one month, with Pixel. (oscar and pixel)

So, we found that Oscar was having a blast in a laundry basket in front of a mirror. Then I took some video footage (not thinking, I took it portrait-sideways, which is why the laptop is on its side). Then Oscar saw the video of him, and I had to take another video of him enjoying the video of himself in the mirror. I'm sure someone has thought of this before, but we were laughing.

Recursive baby )

And yes, he was similarly excited at this video too.

Here are some stills of Oscar and the mirror (without recursion):

Non-recursive baby )

After all that new media excitement, Oscar is now sleeping soundly beside me, for now…

metawidget: Co-sleeping kid taking up as much space as possible between co-awake parents. (co-sleep)
Co-sleeping makes a lot of sense for everyone's sense of security, for ease of night-time feeding and changing, and all that, but there is sometimes the issue in the icon over there (LJ users: over here).

Thanks to Hyperbole and a Half for including that panel in Allie's lastest story, and for the cheerfully generous permissions Allie posts her stuff under.
metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)

[livejournal.com profile] teinm_laida gave me some random questions:

if you had a time machine, what time period would you be most tempted  to relocate to?
I think the future, definitely, to see how it all turns out. Say, 2210, under the assumption that my English may be quaint but not entirely useless, and some serious history will have happened by then.
what was the last film that really moved/disturbed you and why?
I think the most disturbing one lately was The Idiots, by Lars von Trier — cultiness, mental illness and black comedy are always a disturbing mix.
what is the kindest thing anyone has done for you?
It's hard to sort out a ranking of them, but my elementary school teachers — Mrs. Lawrence, Mrs. Lang and Annick stand out — and our awesome ahead-of-his-time principal Mr. Rennie really went out of their way to put lots of stimulating stuff in my path. It can't always be easy to be long-time elementary school faculty, but they were awesome anyway.
least favourite vegetable? ;)
Probably Brussels sprouts, but even they can be saved with black pepper and butter.
would you bungee jump?
No, I think the days when that made any sort of sense for me are past — I'll take my life-and-limb risks doing yard maintenance and bicycle commuting, now.
metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
I watched the new Star Trek movie tonight (for the first time, unlike some of the people I watched it with!), and enjoyed it. To cover the territory of most of the reaction I've seen to the film so far, Zachary Quinto as young Spock is uncanny and by far the cutest member of the cast.

The film was fun; I think the feel was as true to the old Star Trek as would've been achievable this decade. I found it felt less epic than I was expecting, though. It felt more like an action film than I remember the others being. The updated look of everything was very nice, even if it was obscured by shaking and violent lighting a lot of the time. There were lots of fun and/or funny nods to previous incarnations of Star Trek, and things flowed along at a brisk and generally exciting pace.

spoiler, politics, cut. )
metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
1. What did you do in 2007 that you'd never done before?
... )
39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
"Get onto the bus!"
metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
1. which places would you like to travel to in your lifetime?
I would like to see Boston and area and San Francisco and area as cradles of knowledge in the disciplines I do. I'd like to travel across Saskatchewan at a leisurely pace, checking out Saskatoon and sleeping in bed and breakfasts and campgrounds. I'd like to see Victoria and skip stones in the Pacific. I'd like to see Mumbai and Perth, Australia, partly to soak up the commonwealthy vibes. Mumbai is another nerve centre of geekiness (and by the time I get there, I'll probably admire someone from there as much as some denizens of Boston and SF), and Perth would be a chance to see [livejournal.com profile] big_red_dave and family.
2. pick one thing you could have everyone on the planet do to help the environment
I think if everyone flatly refused to buy overpackaged stuff and opted for reusable whenever possible, we'd be a few steps ahead (and I think it'd be the kind of gesture that would get easier as demand changed what was available).
3. favorite kind ov cookie :)
Buttery oatmeal cookies, textureful not too sweet.
4. what was your second school option had you not gone into the one you did?
I only applied to one graduate program, but in undergrad my second choice was honours in statistics. Funny how things work out, eh?
5. top 5 movies ov all time
I'm terrible at ranking movies, and my rankings change all the time.
Five movies I've liked a lot for a reasonable amount of time: The Never-Ending Story, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, 2001: A Space Oddyssey, Silence of the Lambs and 21 Grams (possibly the most harrowing movie I've seen).

If, in a comment to this entry, I feel a question-me vibe, I will come up with five questions for you.

Also, I've been pecking away at creating one of those lists of 101 things to do in 1 001 days… but unfortunately my list-making skills are bad enough or my productivity is good enough that it's coming together slower than things get crossed off. I guess I won't try too hard to overtake my doing with my listing for a while.
metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
It's a fantastic excuse to drink Tuborg beer and eat those crackly-with-sugar butter cookies.


In a previous life I sat on Media Council at Dawson and didn't stand up for the Plant's right to be obnoxious in the Gay Leprechauns Incident. We actually hauled the editor over and took the whole thing way too seriously. I kind of regret that, I hope they're managing to be good and offensive from time to time.

Boycotts are all well and good, and sanctions have their place, but the Saudi and Kuwaiti governments bullying Denmark over some cartoons... time to raise a can of cheap beer in solidarity.
metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
Had a pleasant evening with one of my high school friends (outside of LJSpace), talked politics, religion, work, the future, grey hairs, gossip... I'm glad I met up with him, and it's been a while since I've sat down with just him and talked. He's mellowed a bunch since high school, I enjoyed myself more than I thought I would, even.

I smell like smoke now, though. I can't wait 'til all cafés and bars become smoke-free in the spring.

Oh, randomly: Go on the CBC had Peter Mackay on as a guest this morning, and I was really disappointed that they didn't humiliate him any. Really. I'm this close to writing a letter demanding they stop making him look good (for those of you who don't know, I dislike Peter Mackay with almost the intensity that [livejournal.com profile] dzuunmod likes Pierre Pettigrew).
metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
1. What is your favorite action movie?
Does Pirates of the Caribbean count?

2. What is the worst movie you've ever seen?
Napoleon Dynamite was beyond lame and has only got worse with mulling over.

3. Do you prefer comedy or drama?
Give me a sharp comedy any day.

4. Recommend a good tear jerker:
Parts of The Pianist.

5. What movie are you looking forward to seeing soon?
Nothing really burns at my pocket -- but I'm looking forward to a Six Feet Under marathon on DVD.


metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
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