Thursday, December 29, 2005

"Untitled Painting" - now called "Chaos amidst Serenity"

I haven't painted in almost 5 years (since highschool); painting this XMAS break was awesome. I got a chance to flex the left (or is it right?) side of the brain, instead of other. I much prefer oil painting to watercolour (though watercolor is good for it's own type of effect). Watercolor just frustrates me because it likes to do it's own thing, and it's tough to build up darks/constrast. To each their own ;)

I'm still trying to think of a name for the painting... I basically took about 6 different landscapes / computer generated landscapes I found on the web over the years, photoshoped them together into a semi-coherent kinda pseudo-realism style.

Any suggestions?

The painting looks a bit faded/skewed because of my lack of photography skills. :)

**** EDIT*****

My good friend Jay thought it looked like the dude was going to jump off the cliff; thus an appropriate title would be "suicide".

***** EDIT 2 *****
My friend John exclaimed when he saw the painting "Matt, it's just too busy". I replied, "that's the point". A lot of clashing imagery, yet many taken from relatively non-busy landscapes. Hence, I title the painting, "Chaos amidst Serenity".

Scientific/Technical papers- a stream of bullshit and a few gems

Alas, like most things in life, it's sway in crap.

For any grad student, or anyone who has done independent research by reading journal/conference papers, they would have had a similar experience as I've had.

The thing is, most people use lots of big words to make themselves sound smart. In reality however, most of their paper is verbal diarrhea. I questioned my friend Matt at school about this, and he said that he would also write his papers this way. This I refuse to do.

Understanding simple concepts well is more important than not understanding anything and laying down lots of words that, by the end of the paper, don't amount to anything.

However, after reading 100's of papers in the last 4 months, I've realized most people write this way :/ Which ofcourse, makes it excruciatingly painful to read. Alas, that's life ;) Good thing you tend to notice a pattern after a while and just skip over the crappy parts ;)

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Die Fox Die!

Hrmm, so here's Fox, who keeps on tons of crappy shows, and their newest hit, "Reunion" they can.. after 13 episodes (the mystery/plot never finished).

I swear, if I lived near Hollywood, I'd march up to these executives and bash their heads through a wall. Oh , I forgot, that wouldn't help, they don't have any brains.

Executives: "ZUG ZUG LUCTAR, Neilson (a biased useless way to take in ratings) say show not doing well... let's can it and put in other crap. LUCTAR".


No wonder why the maker's of the Simpsons and Family Guy continually make fun of Fox executives, it's because it's the damned truth.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Pac Man re-enacted by humans at U. of Michigan

Heh. Seems the people in this library/lab were studying much too hard; I'm sure this lightened up the mood for a while ;)

Friday, December 16, 2005

Another Bushism

I was watching the Daily Show last night, and I swear to God, the host gets most of his content directly from making fun of Bush.

Bush said, "I could never imagine Osama Bin Laden enjoying Haunakah...."

Anyone else see a problem here? If I was Jewish, I'd probably be insulted. Since I'm not, I just find it extra hilarious ;)

Bush is not allowed by his staff to do any talk without a predefined script, both for him and who he is talking to. I wonder why? :)

Even when he is supposed to have "casual" talks with soldiers overseas, they are scripted. Of course, even with them being scripted, Bush puts in some Bushism's anyway.

Now, I say stupid stuff like that when I'm drunk, high, or when I'm trying to make people laugh, perhaps a combination of the above, but Bush... he seems to do it all on his own natural accord. Maybe it's part of his Master Plan? Get people to vote for me by believing I'm a bumbling idiot? Hrmm, guess it worked. I'd have voted for him over Kerry (if I had voted at all, or was a US citizen :))

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Theory of relativity explained in layman's terms

From satellites, proton accelerators, medical cancer treating devices, to GPS devices, all require using Einstein's theory of relativity to make precise calculations.

Everyone has heard of the "Theory of relativity" and "E=mc^2", but what does it mean really?

I've taken undergraduate university courses that dealt with quantum mechanics, and the precise implication of these theories still befulded me somewhat.

For a simple, yet intuitive (even though relativity is somewhat counter intuitive, as it basically says time is not constant), see:

"The finer points of relativity in less time that in takes to eat a sandwich"
(w/ flash animations)

It seems that these principle's of Einstein's also help to explain principles such as the "uncertainty" principle in Quantum mechanics, which basically states there's no way to make an accurate measurement of anything.

Of course, another implication of this is that, in the quantum electron and smaller particles world, if you throw a ball against a wall, there's always a probability that it will "tunnel" through the wall ;)

Western University student's in London sure know how to have fun!

Striptease Party!

Heh, there were more "interesting" pictures than I posted a sample of below, but I figured that be good enough for an "all ages" blog ;) Not sure on what Blogger's policy is on posting nude pics, but I've seen many a blog with far worse :)

Wow, looks like I missed out not living in a dorm during University!

The University officials see this as having "no business" in a dorm room. The student's alliance rep was quoted as saying "what they do in their dorm's is their business". I'd have to agree with the latter. ;)

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Random absurdity, Why is it that?

Why is it that:

  • Someone can rob a store or bank for $10,000 and be sent to jail for like 5 years.
    • If he's black, it'll be on COPS.
    • A bigwig CEO exec can steal like $300M from a falling company, and yet not be put on trial for 5 years, and when he is, gets only a few years?
  • WinAmp plays .wmv files better than media player, yet .wmv is a Microsoft format?
  • Adobe Acrobot, a relatively simple, well developed program, yet..
    • is the buggiest software I've used yet, bar none.
    • Photoshop is much more complex, and yet has never crashed on me.

  • Many of the people who get paid the most in the world, do the least amount of work? (edit- I know the answer to this one- people get paid for responsibility, not work).

  • Computer software constantly and crucially depends on the ability to freely and quickly reuse, combine and evolve previous techniques.
    • Yet many people want to make everything, including software, patentable.
    • (OK, answer here is greed, and lawyers wanting to butt in where they aren't needed :)
    • I quote: "If patent law had been applied to novels in the 1880s, great books would not have been written"

  • Feminists fight for equality, and yet some want the good but not bad aspects of equality?
    • The answer here is groups, including unions, go to far after a while,like most groups.

  • I may miss the point a lot, but take this case:
    • a local CAW representative threatened city council with "no longer giving/helping out charities" if his demands weren't met
  • hasn't this guy missed the point of charity, that you do it because it's right?
  • A form of accounting, which allowed future theoretical profits (even 10 years in advance) to be booked for the current fiscal year, was allowed to be used by Corporations. This led to the Enron scandal, as well as the DotCom boom/bust. In my opinion, this would never had occurred without this most ludicrous method.
    • I hope to God this type of "accounting" isn't allowed anymore.

  • In the US, Corporations are allowed to "invest" the money they take from employees for a retirement plan into their own company. Thus, if X company goes bankrupt, all their employees and retirees lose their company pensions.
    • Thank God this is illegal in Canada. Shouldn't it be illegal everywhere?

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

What is wrong with people???

Every day I check the "headline" news on my firefox browser. Increasingly, every day, I see reports of suicide bombers blowing up police in Iraq.

What is wrong with people? I understand these suicide bombers are brainwashed both from a religious fanatical viewpoint and military. At least in the military, even if the odds are barely or against your favour, you have a hope of surviving after the battle. Blowing yourself up leaves little of that option.

I've met a few religiously fanatical people in my lifetime, and I'd like to never see them again. In my opinion, religious fanaticism (whether it's in blowing people up because God tells you to, or convert or burn in hell, etc) are the dark side of all modern religions.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

The Continued Failure on the War on Drugs

Reference Article

"A study done by Gary Jenkins, a professor at Vanderbilt University, entitled “Prohibition, Alcohol and Murder: Untangling Countervailing Mechanisms" states on page 31, “Generalizing from the findings on Prohibition, we can hypothesize that decriminalization would increase the use of the previously criminalized drug, but would decrease violence associated with attempts to control illicit markets and as resolutions to disputes between buyers and sellers. Moreover, because the perception of violence associated with the drug market can lead people who are not directly involved to be prepared for violent self-defense, there could be additional reductions in peripheral settings when disputes arise”

Basically, what these guys are saying is that by making drugs illegal, you are actually creating more crime. Imagine if cigarettes were illegal, and the lengths some would go to in order to get a nicotine fix. I know people that would cut off their own mother's head. Under our current nicotine laws, these people can go to the store and get their nicotine fix, and mom gets to keep her head.

Think about it, a heroin or crack addict will rob you and kill you to get a fix, and they do this because they never know where that next fix is coming from or how they are going to get the high amounts of money required. When you take away that problem by making the drugs they seek readily available and cheap, that takes away their motivation to rob and kill you. That, my friends, is a good thing.

Sure, we would have crackheads running the streets without shame, but we already have that now. I, for one, would feel better if I knew the money they spent on the crack they smoked earlier went to bettering education instead of buying their drug dealers latest piece of bling."

When you think of it, the war on drugs, especially in the US, is a failure. Perhaps I buy too easily into this thinking since I'd like to see pot legalized in Canada; however, it does make sense.

A lot of the people who commit petty crimes because they don't have money , for say, weed (because it is illegal). If it were a free-market item, that anyone could purchase over the counter, and it was actually the price it should be (ie very cheap), those crimes wouldn't happen. The jails wouldn't fill up with such petty crimes, etc.

However, fixing this problem won't work. That's because there are government agencies that would like to make a lot of money if a drug was legalized. If weed were legalized in Canada or the US, it would cost more than it did illegally, perhaps, which is silly. Weed is naturally growing substance that grows very easily, in fact. It should cost less than alcohol, tabacco, or even sythetic over-the-counter drugs. However, I suppose it would still get rid of the aforementioned problems stated in the article.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Jammin' to Tunes

Went to a Westside bar this Thursday night (had a poker table.. can't remember the name, is that bad?)

Anyhoo, had a blast. Drank like 3 pictures of beer, $7 a picture for Keith's, Rickard's, or Canadian, you can't go wrong.

Anyhoo, we went with our friend Erin (rather Dani's?). I ran into Curtis and Jerry that I went to high school with. Damn, this city is like "it's a small world". Curtis asked me what I thought of Carmen; that he hadn't killed himself was a surprise to me (Carmen that is). I was then told the story how Andrew Tyrell (who I haven't seen at the U since 3rd year) is a crack addict, pimp and a head manager at the Casino now... WOW.. The stuff I haven't heard about people in a while is amazing.

Also realized, "I never get the point"; my supervisor pointed out that I nearly wasted 2 months's worth of survey research time since my focus wasn't narrow enouugh, but it's really true:

- I never realized there was a light in our entraceway at the house; yet I've lived here for almost 20 years.
- I seemed to miss the entire point of what was happening in the show "Reunion"; even though I've seen all the previous episodes.

Doesn't help that Dani, Erin and I were discussing this before we left. What ended up being the song that was on when we go to the bar? Sloan's "I missed the Point". I think God/fate/karma is trying to tell me something.

You know what? It doesn't bother me.

Ignorance is bliss; and I sure am enjoying it.

I have a group meeting for our project in electric machines tomorrow morning, hahahahah! :)

I told my group members I was drinkin' tonight, though. ;)

Thursday, December 01, 2005

The Ringers!

Anyhoo, I was watching/listening to this documentary called "Ringers", which explores Tolkien LOTR culture throughout the past half decade, especially with "Frodo Live" of the 60's Hippy Age.

Note: the hippies justified smoking weed and eating magic mushrooms to fully "exerience" the book (including trippy cover artwork for the books which included llamas????) by saying "well, the hobbits smoked pipe weed and grew mushrooms".

Perhaps it was JRR Tolkien's fault for not specifying that the "pipe weed" the Hobbits smoked was tabacoo. I can definately understand the hippies though: weed is much more entertaining to smoke than nicotine filled tabacco ;)

Some days I wish I had grown up in the 60's :) where a significant cultural revolution in Western culture began --- ofcourse the too loose drug and sex sharing of the hippies did kill off a lot of people with STDs, aids, etc before they were well understood. :/

Anyway, to the point of this blog post: I discovered one of the most horrifying video sequences ever known to man: Leonard Nimoy in an ABC special, singing the song "The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins", since he was so inspired by LOTR.

I'll only post screens, the audio has too great of chance of causing permanent hearing damage. ;)