I'm a father, manager, programmer, scrum master, geek, & movie lover.

Adventure in Sarajevo: Day1

“Plagiarism is necessary. Progress implies it.”

Comments from my old blog:

mom said: what can i say, at your age you are not supposed to listen to your mom, but there are times when i wish you would. you know, stay in the city, don’t be alone, etc, etc. it sounds very exciting, lots of great memories to look back on. so glad you are back, safe and sound & writing your update. love ya, mom at 2004-03-02 13:10:48

derek said: Mom, the city is IN the mountains. They’re IMpossible to avoid. The grass I almost walked across was only 100 feet from some houses. It’s not like all this craziness/mines are separate from where people live, or out in the boonies or something. at 2004-03-02 13:17:21

mom said: i know, i know, i just haven’t been out of Petrolia in awhile!!!!!hugs, mom at 2004-03-02 23:07:03

(James Trott (UK))[] said: Derek, there are WAYS of checking for landmines, (not that i know anything about anything of this nature of course) and you can see them for the most part as nearly all have some sort of external moving part so that they could be armed in the first place, generally the exposed part of the mine is very small though. So a keen eye, failing that a few rocks from behind shelter GOOD shelter, is the other, baring in mind a landmine with the right kind of ground can have an effective range of about a 200 metre radius. There is a third method involving soft stepping where if you feel anything under foot you dont put any pressure, its gotta be the daftest idea ever.

I agree though they are a total plague on humanity! The WORSED ones ever, are the ones that are banned (but since when did anyone that lays landmines listen to that?!?!?) i forget what theyre called, but when you trip them they jump up to about 5ft spinning at quite a few RPM, then detonate sending out they’re payload of 5mm ball bearings or steel cubes. You can see them in the movie “Badboys 2” right at the end, those things are an utter monstrosity.

I feel for the man who put his energies into developing something like that. I wonder if he regrets it? at 2004-03-03 09:21:52

Cancer, Chomsky, & VOIP

From the stats they provided on the site, on Feb 11th, 202,185 people clicked on that button! Isn’t that great?! And that massive groundswell of support provided a whole 5.1 mammograms.

I hate to point it out, but that is 40,000 clicks/mammogram. That means if I make it part of my daily routine to click that button religiously every day, that over the course of the next one hundred years (if I could live that long) I will have funded one single measly mammogram. In exchange, my brain will be soggy from all the advertising on that site I will have self-exposed myself to over all that time, and I will have unexplicable urges to buy Cocacola products and Gap shirts.

If you really want to help an underpriviliged woman have a mammogram as one of your life goals, it might make more sense to just cut a cheque for a couple of hundred bucks or whatever it costs. You can make far more than that much money with the hours you’ll save (three 40-hour work weeks, I estimate) from not clicking that silly (if well-intentioned) button.

Sadly, there is never a free lunch. at 2004-03-03 20:21:27

derek’s mom said: What you say is true, but not all can afford to write the cheque, and they may be able to take the time to click the button. But……………..if you did, (send the cheque, that is) it provided the free lunch, so to speak. Think how many times we could have clicked while we were writing why we should, or shouldn’t. at 2004-03-04 03:10:17

Sarajevo, StarWars, & Bubba Ho-Tep

And finally, some great sites about How to build your own StarWars props and costumes. For an idea of what they’re capable, check out The Fighting 501st: Vader’s Fist, a massive group of over 2500 fully costumed Imperial Troops. Wowieeee! I still really want a Light SabreSarajevo Day 2The river is mud-brown; raging like my stomache. It takes me 2 hours to find a bank machine, and even then it doesn’t work :( Nor does the next! Starving! I find an open bank and exchange my 380 kunas (kn) for 80 konvertible marks (km). 1km is almost = $1Cdn. I buy a sirnica (cheese pie) for 1km! Wheee! They are tasty. I walk all around and stumble upon the centar - Old Sarajevo. It is 700 years old in the Turkish area, and 500 years old in the Austrian area. Beautiful, too. Mosques, Cynagogues, Roman Catholic Cathedrals and Orthodox Churches co-exist peacefully, in close proximity to one another. The woman are all HOT. I sit on a bench for a bit - my feet are really sore. I’m walking around the shopping part of old town when an older man in a suit approaches me and says “Excuse me Sir, do you require accomodations? I have a room for rent right beside this mosque!” I know Vlad has reserved us a room somewhere iwith a guy named Besim, but I don’t know if a) Vlad will make it across the border, being a Russian working for the Canadian government living in Serbia visiting Bosnia; b) where this Besim character’s building is — so I hesitate, then decide to ask for his card just in case. Of course, this man’s name turned out to be Besim, and I quickly showed him that I already had his mobile phone number programmed into my phone, and said “Oh, I’m already booked to stay at your house!”. Smallll world. Crazy luck. He says “Oh, well lets have coffee then!” He buys me a Bosnian kafa, which is super-dark and thick with a chunk of turkish delight in it. Then he shows me the room and gives me a key to his house. O offload my backpack and he ways “Come, I show you around.” He shows em where to buy the best cheapest most authentic Bosnian food, and then says “Lets have tea.” Besim loves the coffee culture. He says he goes 3-4 times a day. We have mint tea at the “Bodyguard Club”, which is operated by the former bodyguard of the former president. Facts Besim told me: - Sarajevo’s population is 1/2 million - 3 million grenades & mortars hit the city during the war - that’s 6 per person! - 20,000 civilians were killed by Serbian snipers - the war lasted for 4 years, 92-95 inclusive - time without electricity: the entire 4 years - Every conversation begins with either “Before the war…” or “After the war…”, to establish temporality.

Now the people here are very friendly, and never fight with one another, even across religions. All industry was destroyed by the war, and unemployment is more than 50%. Their industry now consists of (in order from most to least important): 1) caffees; 2) ice cream, cake, & food shops; 3) arts and crafts (many things made from bullets); 4) tourism. I asm Besim if the hills are safe and he says “No! Stay on the roads. The rest is landmines!” - so I was glad I had stayed on them! He also said “You are welcome in my home” at lest 3 times over the course of the morning. It’s nice. Besim is a 47 year old retired telecoms person whose pension isn’t enough to live on, so he rents out his room for 15 euros/night/person whenever he can. There’s a great view from his balcony! He’s very friendly and kind. He thanks God for his house, which he owns outright. I ask if he’s lived there long and he sais “Yes, I was born in this house”. His family has been living in Old Sarajevo for over 500 years, since the end of the Turkish era. Wowwww. More tomorrow…

Exoskeletons, Vietnam, & Sarajevo

So we find out Neo was able to defeat the sentinels in Reloaded through a vague kind of telekinesis. That would be fine, except there is no such thing as telekinesis. Here’s proof: try to bend a nearby object with your mind. See? You can’t. Now try to shut down the nearest robot using the same method. Simply impossible.

Excerpt 2:> Bullets travel at over 900 feet per second. I don’t care how fast Agent Smith and his friends pulled their triggers in that hallway, their bullets would not travel in a tight pack like that. It takes a tenth of a second for an automatic to recycle itself, meaning that by the time the second round left the barrel, the first bullet would be 90 feet away. You should have heard my gales of laughter upon seeing this scene during my second viewing of the film. I fully expected the audience around me join in the derision, and when they did not I walked up and down each row, leaning over each seat and howling my gales of mockery right in their faces. Once more, the staff removed me from the theater, rather than doing the proper thing and removing the film from the iculous.

Sarajevo Continued:If you look at the hills surrounding Sarajevo from the city streets, they are sprinkled with white dots. These are the graves of soldiers and civilians killed in the war. They are dott all public parks in Sarajevo - lest we forget. After another kafa with Besin and meeting his girlfriend (he’s divorced), I go for another walk around some shops. I almost buy a coat for $100 Cdn, but decide that the money would be better spent travelling in April (maybe with my friend Erin Keleher!!). I stuumble upon a group of old men playing chess on one of those big outdoor chessboards. This one was donated by the Swiss embassy. There were 31 (count’em, thirty one!) of us watching the game! I guess its’ popular because it’s free. Even in the middle of this weekday many people are in the streets chess-ing. I walk to a mosque and hear the man chant from the minaret - beautiful. I find another big chess board - this one with maybe 40 men! Wow! Their board’s pieces aren’t standard, though. Instead they’re made out of various shell casings. Crazy. Makes the game a little more like a battle. I’m happy to see that I can predict most of their moves, and the ones I predict which they don’t follow would have been better moves for them :) I go back to Besim’s at 2pm and sleep until 7:10pm, having had 0 sleep the night before on that wickedevil bus. I also message Vlad to inform him that while all EU countries busses stop near old town, his bus from Belgrade does not. It is from Serbia, and so only stops in the part of Sarajevo occupied by Serbs. That particular suburb is a 45 minute drive from Old Town, and our room at Besim’s. Vlad is not impressed. You’d think that all busses that say “Sarajevo” would go to the same place. Glad I found out before waiting for Vlad at the wrong station. I have to pee now… After my sleep, Besim and I watched Kundun on TV (he has satellite tv). I had never seen the movie before, but it’s about the Dalai Lama’s life. The really weird thing was that I knew all the prayers they were saying when they initiated him! Unbeknownst to me, Samu Sunim at the Toronto Zen Buddhist Temple had been reciting them at each meditation sitting. Neat! It’s like not knowing that you know the “Our Father” and then walking into a Roman Catholic church service for the first time. Vlad arrived at 9pm. Along the way he got off his bus at a Bosnian checkpoint to take a pee. He left his luggage, identification, cellphone, and money on board to save his seat while he was out… and the bus pulled away. Oh my. He almost shit himself. Luckily a nearby Bosnian ran after the bus flailing his arms and whilstling and managed to get it to stop. Phew! We went bar hopping. The first bar was teh Buena Vista Club, which was tres socialist, and painted all red. It had a huge Che Guevara head painted on one wall. Neat-oh! We had a couple Ozujsko beer and then went to an old underground Jazz club. There was no band playing but it had a great atmosphere. Lit by real candles. Rough-cut stone walls. Then on to the Cotton Club. No music there either, even though it’s a swank cocktail lounge. Snow White (the waitress’ real name) told us it was because that day was a national day of mourning for the Macedonian President, whose plane had crashed. There was a superhot girl there (they’re all superhot here) whose shirt was so low-cut that her whole nipple popped out and she didn’t realize it for several minutes. Well, that pretty much made the whole night worth it. We got back to Besim’s around 3am. To be continued on Monday…

Comments from my old blog:

mom said: NEWS FLASH! just heard on the news while getting ready for work that microsoft and others are considering a one cent charge on all emails you send to cut down on spam. eek!not that a penny is bad, you just know that hardly anything goes down in price, and for those that really use tons of email for personal use, it can add up. off for now, at 2004-03-05 13:21:59

dad said: Reminds me of when i was 19 in Austria.Bar maid with low cut blouse bent over and popped the cork from a bottle of wine,quite the eyeful…so of course we ordered another bottle for an encore,trouble is we left drunk and collapsed in the snow outside the club lol, but it was worth it. at 2004-03-06 18:21:54

Theremin, Frogs, & Light Sabres

I don’t think my brain rests very often. At least, not lately. It’s pretty much buzzing from 9am (when I wake up) until 2 or 3am. Not enough hours in the day. I remember when I always used to say “Moooommmmm, I’m boooooreeedddddddd. What can I doooo?” - Well, I don’t have that problem anymore :) at 2004-03-08 15:04:56

(Ryan Waddell)[] said: The link to geocaching is missing the HTTP, incidentally… As for what you saw on TV there, sounds to me like the Lingerie Bowl - at 2004-03-08 16:28:59

mom said: i just read something in, i think it was readers digest last week, that they have discovered that those of us that get less than 8 hrs of sleep a night increase our chance of having diabetes, heart related problems and something else(that i can’t remember) perhaps it was memory problems ,by 35 - 50%. so on that note, i think i will have a nap. I was looking for a good excuse. hugs, mom at 2004-03-08 17:14:22

CrimethInc., iPod, iPaq, iBroke

(James Trott (UK))[] said: Derek, can you email me the link for the RealPlayer alternative, thanks - James at 2004-03-10 09:44:44

Bohemia, & Suicide by Video

My Theremin, Dragons, & Doom3

The interview also mentions that the game-testing might go well into the summer; meaning that game will not be out anytime soon, and possibly not before the fall of 2004. Found a WHACK of conspiracy/paranormal sites today! Shadow (which I have linked to before) The Black VaultATSNN.comoh, and NetDetective which, for a fee, will find out anything you want to know about anyone. Thinking it’d be neat to a) search my own name; b) search my grandfather’s name. BUT I don’t wanna pony-up the $30 US. Also, they’ve apparently found a pickled baby dragon. The biggest problem I have with the article is this line: “The dragon is flawless, from the tiny teeth to the umbilical cord.” If I remember correctly, dragons (if they ever existed) are/were reptiles, not mammals - so they hatch from eggs and are not born from the womb. A dragon should have no umbilical cord. :(

Comments from my old blog:

(James Trott (UK))[] said: Derek, that baby dragon has been around ages, it was a joke sent to a museum from Germany. German scientists where trying to discredit british scientists and hence wanted them to think that that dragons actually existed. There was a big documentary over here about it, its definately not real. - James at 2004-03-11 11:43:28

mom said: i think you should leave your name in, its very easy to find you this way, it comes up along with voodoo aether, on pretty much all the search engines. of course there is the disadvantage that Nude pictures of derek martin, also comes up , but i assume thats a different derek. love ya, mom at 2004-03-11 13:49:26

dad said: derek,coffee yes but not with sugar and cream or milk that’ll drive your triglycerides (sugar) right out of the window and cause diabetes. seeing your printed circuit reminds me of the heathkit colour tv i built in 72 which had about 13 boards.If i remember correctly the cat at the time,jason,scooted off with a couple of transistors much to my chagrin. Methinks i should have shown you the library of diagrams i used at bell canada to fix the switchers and yes the diagnostic diagram shows you how it works but has no relationship to how it’s wired in real life,it’s simplified to give you an overview.Actual wiring diagrams take volumes to detail everything. at 2004-03-11 20:24:20

(mathninja)[] said: Lost in Translation - a movie about saying goodbye. Just caught it tonight, dude. You were right, it was totally worth watching. In reference to your much earlier post about it, I think the title refers to the idea of two people lost in another culture - Charlotte and Bob were all about culture shock in this movie. at 2004-03-12 03:39:34

St. Francis Versus Buddha

First Draft

Work, RSS, and Autobots

What Do I Want?

A True Story of Rebellion

ActivistHosting, Castaway, CSIS

OH! ANNNNND: I WANT THAT LASER at 2004-03-18 15:02:30

me said: CORRECTION: Castaway is 4 years old :) at 2004-03-18 18:58:47

(Gearboy)[] said: Think about this, though… a laser beam travels farther than a flashlight beam specifically because it is ‘coherent’, which is to say it’s packaged tightly and doesn’t spill around in different directions. In general, and despite what Hollywood tells us, this means that laser beams are invisible unless you’re looking right at them.

Flashlights have a ‘cone’ of visibility so if you point them vaguely in the direction of your viewer, they’ll see it (and the more accurate you are, the more the light will ‘flare’ for them). But with a laser, you’d have to have the beam actually hit someone’s eye (or telescope or binoculars or whatever) to guarantee they’d see it. Do you think you could weild a hand-laser with enough accuracy to hit someone on a moving ship in the eye from 3km away? You’d have to be very, very lucky!

On the other hand, the spray in the sea air would probably make the beam at least somewhat visible. Then again, that would scatter and degrade the beam so it wouldn’t be visible from as far away—would the increased visibility compensate for the decreased range? More research is needed!! :)

-Steve at 2004-03-18 20:51:05

derek said: Steeevie! You totally didn’t look at the laser action shots, did you! If you had, you would know that this green laser operates at a wavelength that makes the entire beam completely visible! :) Wheeeeeee! So, the ship’s Captain would see a green laserbeam lightsabre-like across his bow! at 2004-03-19 10:01:22

(Ryan Waddell)[] said: Also, the crazy dancing light show you could do on the wall of the ship, I’m sure SOMEBODY would notice that. People always notice the damn irritating red lasers at the movie theatre, and you can’t even see the beam on that one. :) at 2004-03-19 14:56:00

Gearboy said: Heh heh. Those photos are impressive, guys, but I’m not convinced.

You can’t have it both ways: either the beam is invisible when viewed from the side, OR the beam degrades over distance.

Look at the shot titled ‘green beacon in the snow’. Sure, it’s impressively visible where it emerges from the pointer. But it fades to near-invisibility by the time it reaches roof level… and that’s nowhere near 3km away!

If you look directly into a laser beam, you’re being struck (and dazzled) by coherent light. But if you are looking at the beam sideways, like in these photos, you’re getting the light scattered off the beam by the atmosphere. That means it’s no longer coherent light, it’s just regular light, and it will get dimmer proportionally to the square of the distance, just like a flashlight beam. :(

As for the dancing dot on the ship walls… well, to hit a target 10m long from 3 km away requires an accuracy of 0.2° in your aiming of the laser! I don’t think any human could manage this… at best you might sweep the dot (which, due to scattering by the atmosphere, would probably be very pale by 3km, and nearly unnoticeable) across the side of the ship once or twice, but you wouldn’t be able to set up a ‘dancing light show’ consistently on one surface.

The fundamental problem here is the difference between coherent light and scattered light. When you deal with scattered light, like from a big searchlight, the more powerful the lightsource is, the more its ‘beam’ is visible (as we know from Batman movies!). Our instinct tends to tell us that the same must be true of lasers: that if we can SEE the beam of a laser, it must be because it’s much more powerful/bright than a laser whose beam we can’t see. But this is actually backwards: the lasers with visible beams are more ‘inefficient’ and ‘sloppy’ than regular, invisible-beam lasers, so they have decreased ability to deliver light to a specific spot a long distance away.

That’s my take on it, anyway. ;)

-Steve at 2004-03-19 16:48:12

(Ryan Waddell)[] said: “at best you might sweep the dot (which, due to scattering by the atmosphere, would probably be very pale by 3km, and nearly unnoticeable) across the side of the ship once or twice, but you wouldn’t be able to set up a ‘dancing light show’ consistently on one surface.”

Oh, well aren’t YOU Mr. Smug! Little do you know, all this time I’ve been trapped on the island, I’ve been PRACTICING my “long distance light show targeting” on the top of the mountain, so my steady hand could peg that ship like nobody’s business! I’d even spell out “Help me, my ass is trapped on this island” on the side of the ship, and they’d come over and save me, and I’d regale them with stories of my time with the volleyball. And I’d make it home before my fiancee, Helen Hunt, marries that dentist guy (or whatever) and everyone would live happily ever after.

Also, The ship would probably be bigger than 10m. at 2004-03-19 18:23:09

Samurai, Revolution, & Rumsfeld

Gypsies, Squats, & Amazon

Keep it up dude :) at 2004-04-06 03:32:23

Tipsy Hardly Describes It

A Million Tidbits, Not TimBits

“They (journalists) say no one is telling them what to write. And that’s right, but if they weren’t writing those things they wouldn’t have the columns.” — Noam Chomsky.

This points to how deep the censorship is. The journalists themselves might not notice the censorship, simply because they have a gift for sniffing out the ‘correct’ sort of stories. Alternative publisher recommended by Noam Chomsky in Manufacturing Consent: South End Press: Books To Help You Change Your LifeTy the Carpenter from TLC has a great website. He’s so cool! There’s a new Batman movie in the works — Batman Begins. Director Nolan said that ‘the car chases will be very real and very much in the vein of ‘The French Connection’ and less in the studio bound style that we have come to expect’ David Goyer mentioned that for the first time in his career, he had penned HUGE action sequences and ‘was told by Warner Bros. to ‘make it bigger!’…sounds cool. He also said that in this story: ‘fans will learn where the Batmobile comes from, where the Bat signal comes from, where the Bat costume comes from and where Batman’s skills come from & who taught him’. I wrote to suggest a feature. Here’s a copy of my message: On the Wishtlist Views, please add an RSS view. It would be very useful, as it could allow people (potential customers) to subscribe to my wishlist, and see new things that I want. You should also implement an “Own List” where people can indicate items that they currently own. I know a LOT of people would use this, especially if it was also made available via RSS. PLUS it gives you FREE BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE and extended data mining. Hot new pastime in Britain is “dogging” Not sure if Bush is a lying, cheating, thief? Watch the movie Uncovered and see for yourself. It only interviews US officials, and they pretty much condemn themselves and their own administration. I searched for “guevara” and found something awesome. Amazon pulled up some text that read “So You’d Like to be an Activist or Revolutionary?”, which I did/do. So, I clicked it and found that they have a page dedicated to stuff related to becoming activists & revolutionaries — literature, video, devices (DV cams with night vision), and suggested readings, along with a bit of activist history. How great is that! NetworkSolutions introduced 100 Year Domain Name. It will auto-renew every year for 100 years, for “just” $10 US/year, or $1000 US. This guy turned a 1923 typewriter into a computer. What a case mod! Maybe you could make one, and then buy some wooden computer accessories for it!

Comments from my old blog:

(Ryan Waddell)[] said: You forgot to close the link in your present for me :P And that interview is just WAY too long to read at work… especially with their poor formatting, making it especially hard to read. at 2004-03-25 16:15:40

Osvaldo de Sousa said: Derek, if you are reading this cometary, can u pleaze mail me the code to echo the ” YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM:SS” as in your page in the following format: YYYYMMDDHHMMSS. Thanks in advance. at 2004-03-26 12:01:43

Karaoke, OpenOffice, MythTV

Duelling DJs and Doctorow

Not that I use these things anyhoo… I have much better connections :) at 2004-03-29 17:07:36

(Tim)[] said: I’m currently doing research on aspartame. It’s hard to sort out heresay from fact, but indeed Rumsfeld was involved, though it was the then FDA commissioner that legalized it. Heavy stuff. at 2004-04-23 18:14:04

Bloglines, Lessig, & Greenpeace

“I just got the book this weekend and read it from front to back in a feverish 4 am session. Boyd somehow combines the ideas of Nietzsche, Buddha, Camus, Gandhi and Lenny Bruce into a paradoxically coherent worldview that sums up everything I feel and think about politics, sex, drugs, love and hope. “Daily Afflictions” is often angry, morbid, and bleak - and it is the most inspirational thing I have read in years. The book is the perfect holiday gift for the conflicted, hyper-sensitive worldchanger on your list.”

I need some downtime. I think from April 8th (I finish work on the 7th) till the 20th, I’ll just relax and drink coffee. Maybe work on my personal website, or finally get ActivistHosting off the ground. No real work, though. That’ll be good. Then head down to Dubrovnik on the 20th, and across to Athens for the 23rd to meet up with Erin. That will rock. After the whole trip, I’ll be in Zagreb on the 10th to catch a flight on the 11th to chill in Toronto on the 12th to see a Cardigans concert on the 13th to go to Petrolia on the 14th to do a yardsale on the 15th and 16th to go back to Toronto on the 17th and find work before my money is gone on the 25th. Ahhhhhh. That’s a solid month of craziness! Idea for online petitions: require the signors to answer 3 questions about the issue at hand before being allowed to sign. If they get them all right, they can sign. Adds some validity/power to each signature. Of course, include enough background information about the issue to enable them to answer the questions. This will help create informed activists. 2 days ago Noam Chomsky started his own weblog. Check it out: Chomsky’s BlogThe pic on this page pretty much sums up the life of a freelance web developer in this day and age. I made a similar pic a few years ago, except my hair was messier, and I was barefoot :) “Imagine a school with children that can read and write, but with teachers who cannot, and you have a metaphor of the Information Age in which we live.” -Peter Cochrane Tech Underground is a network of San Francisco area nonprofit techies. They have issued a call to form a federation of tech worker coops, which I think is a smashing idea. If you’re out there doing nonprofit technology work, whether on your own or in small teams, you owe it to yourself and the field to take a look at this. Read about the Techie Union. Holy Shmoly talks about using Smarty in an MVC architectureSome high-level stuff about How to Make a Faceted Classification and Put It On the Web. Neat, though. You can use phpGiggle to auto-link pre-defined words to pre-defined urls/documents. Pretty cool!

Comments from my old blog:

(mathninja)[] said: Dude. I’m offended that my weblog isn’t on your daily check list. Jerk. at 2004-03-30 20:01:19

mom said: i hear that sympatico is hiring tech support in toronto/oshawa area, love ya, mom at 2004-03-31 04:17:39

Jammin’, Landmines, & Propriety

Ways to use Paper Amida’s Paper liberates you from the need to use a keyboard, so you will find yourself expressing thoughts, ideas and emotions in very creative ways. It may soon replace the cocktail napkin as everyone’s favourite thinking accessory! * Pretend to take notes during a meeting, but instead draw a caricature of your boss * When you are feeling particularly joyous, make a rangoli with many colours. Send it as a greeting card * Write a letter in your mother tongue and email it to your mother * Sketch a map of your area and send it to a friend who wants directions to your home * Create a quick presentation, complete with hand-drawn bullets

Excerpt from Worst of all from this point of view are those more uncivilized forms of eating, like licking an ice cream cone —a catlike activity that has been made acceptable in informal America but that still offends those who know eating in public is offensive.> I fear I may by this remark lose the sympathy of many reader, people who will condescendingly regard as quaint or even priggish the view that eating in the street is for dogs. Modern America’s rising tide of informality has already washed out many long-standing traditions — their reasons long before forgotten — that served well to regulate the boundary between public and private; and in many quarters complete shamelessness is treated as proof of genuine liberation from the allegedly arbitrary constraints of manners. To cite one small example: yawning with uncovered mouth. Not just the uneducated rustic but children of the cultural elite are now regularly seen yawning openly in public (not so much brazenly or forgetfully as indifferently and “naturally”), unaware that it is an embarrassment to human self-command to be caught in the grip of involuntary bodily movements (like sneezing, belching, and hiccuping and even the involuntary bodily display of embarrassment itself, blushing). But eating on the street — even when undertaken, say, because one is between appointments and has no other time to eat — displays in fact precisely such lack of self-control: It beckons enslavement to the belly. Hunger must be sated now; it cannot wait. Though the walking street eater still moves in the direction of his vision, he shows himself as a being led by his appetites. Lacking utensils for cutting and lifting to mouth, he will often be seen using his teeth for tearing off chewable portions, just like any animal. Eating on the run does not even allow the human way of enjoying one’s food, for it is more like simple fueling; it is hard to savor or even to know what one is eating when the main point is to hurriedly fill the belly, now running on empty. This doglike feeding, if one must engage in it, ought to be kept from public view, where, even if WE feel no shame, others are compelled to witness our shameful behavior.” — Kass, Leon: The Hungry Soul at 148-149. (University of Chicago Press, 1994, 1999)

Comments from my old blog:

mom said: have you ever thought about going into politics/studies ?on the other hand the McLuhan program sounds good too. Romayne said it was also worth while to challange or re-apply to Trent. What about Western?Just a thought. love mom at 2004-03-31 12:43:26