My avatar across the web: a photo of my feet in grey-white socks and brown sandals.

Ben Babcock

15 Articles in January 2006

  1. Our perfect world

    I've been rather single-minded about finishing my novel lately, and as such I've noticed that my posts here are becoming more narratives about my life (which is, frankly, very boring) instead of interesting glimpses into my mind (which is slightly less boring). So consider the following.

    I don't really like Disney all that much. I find Disney a souless corporation with humble beginnings. That said, we owe Disney a huge debt of gratitude that few movie studios could claim. Because Disney has done over the years something spectactular, something that I've just realised is really amazing.

    I look at society today and see an overemphasis on transitory values, mostly because we are a materalist society. This focus on materialism is at the cost of spirituality. Even religion is a materialist world nowadays. We put more stock in the numbers on our bank statement than we do the worth of someone's actions or words. Kind of cold, really.

    But it isn't always like this. When children are growing up, they are taught that lying is wrong, not to steal, and to share with others. Somewhere along the blurry line between prepubesence and adulthood, these wholesome values get lost, replaced by the…

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  2. Google . . .?

    I was proud of Google for refusing the United States Justice Department's request for that information. Unfortunately, it seems that Google's done a total 180° on me. . . .

    They've agreed to censor their services in China, including censoring words such as "democracy" and "human rights" from their search engine. :( Apparently the decision was "painful" but they think some access for China to Google is better than none.

    I think that regardless of how they rationalise it, the decision was about business plain and simple. Google just didn't want to lose its market, so it compromised. >_<

  3. So today basically sucks

    I apologise for the language in the title, but it's rather fitting. I was all ready, all hyper, to do our drama exam . . . and then it was cancelled.

    Mrs. Vieira's apparently sick. I'm not angry; I've been sick before too. I'm just very disheartened, disappointed, and basically I feel like I've been punched in the gut. I was ready, and now I have to wait until next Wednesday. I don't even know what time. :(

    It wouldn't be so bad if we weren't so disorganised. The groups were running around today, snapping at each other, trying to get things done, even with Mrs. Vieira absent. My group is pretty well organised, but I still feel very uneasy. If we had more guidance, if we knew when our exam might be, that would be better. :/

    And I got an 88% for our group English seminar on The Plague. Apparently it was "too complicated" for our audience; we should have "simplified" it. :rolleyes:

    So I didn't have a good day today. But it was the last day of the semester, so hopefully the week will improve.

  4. And the results are in. . . .

    Conservative minority government. :'(

    Not like it's news or anything. I'm kind of disappointed. I was hoping that the Liberals might rally enough last minute support to sneak a minority into there, but no, the Conservatives were too strong out west and the NDP were too strong around. . . .

    The Liberals won in Thunder Bay though. ^_^

    I guess I need to get used to saying "Prime Minister Stephen Harper" :|

    But not now. Not tonight. I've just turned off the television. It is snowing outside and quite peaceful. I will turn on some music and write. I can ignore reality as long as possible. :)

  5. I'd like an extra-large rat, to go, please

    It was rat dissection day in biology class! (Tomorrow too).

    Yes, my friends, large preserved white rats from Boreal Laboratories shipped from Toronto to Thunder Bay for the use in our fun fun dissection.

    It was absoutely repulsive. :D Not so much the whole cutting into a dead rat part, I can stomach that. It was the squishy consistency of the internal organs and ugly colour of the liver that made me pause. That, and the fact that no matter how many times I wash my hands, it's like I'll never be able to get the smell out. Lady Macbeth: Out out, damn spot!

    I was thinking as we cut into the musculature, "It's like one of those small cereal boxes with the flaps that you open up so you can pour milk into it." I didn't want to bring it up, however, because that would be gross—but another group member vocalised my thought.

    Election night, eh. I'll probably do another post in an hour or two, and then one more after the results are announced.

  6. Hmm . . . BOINC?

  7. Wagner

    The perfect music for meditating on heavy issues of philosophical import. :wub:

    I think too much. It really makes my life more complicated than it needs to be.

  8. Fasterfox?

    I installed Fasterfox this evening out of sheer whimsy. It looked like an interesting extension. I don't find Firefox really slow, but it was worth a try.

    I honestly didn't find a huge difference with any of the preset settings. Normally deviantART takes a long time to load. With the settings, it sped up marginally, but on average I think it's the same. ImageShack images, though, do load faster. ImageShack's servers are normally so darn slow to respond that it can take over 2 minutes to fully load a page! The content is accessible way before then, but it is still annoying. <Matthew the Ranting Maniac (:D) has already ranted about ImageShack's reliability, so trundle over there.

    Other than that, though, I'm not noticing much of a difference. I'm not sure if I want to keep it or not. My technical knowledge isn't profound enough to know exactly what it does to my computer or the servers, but if I don't see any noticeable difference, I might uninstall it just because I like tidying up stuff that I don't use.

    So, anyone have an opinion to share? :r

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  9. Seven days

    That's how many more days of school I have. :francis:

    I'm freaking out a bit with stress over my two culminating activities: one for English and one for Drama. We present our English one on Thursday. I'm not that worried about it, since I suspect that I'll get a good mark regardless, but I am worried that I'm not worried. Why am I so unmotivated?

    I'm worried about drama because I'm a perfectionist. I want our performance to be a polished masterpiece. We have tons of good ideas, but we need to focus and get a lot of particulars planned out before the 25th, when we present. I just finished grabbing some stuff that we might use.

    Seven days of school . . . then exams, then a fresh new semester. I just have to not worry, stay unstressed, and I'll get through it fine. It'll all be good. . . .

    I hope.

  10. Weird

    I feel weird. Probably because it's 2:36 and I should be in bed (and I will as soon as I finish blogging, which is my last task today apparently).

    Probably also because today has been this emotional roller-coaster. I woke up feeling sore due to a very pained back, which plagued me throughout the day. Then I alternated between lethargic and hyper, which made for an interesting Friday. I was apathetic in English, couldn't focus in biology, too energetic for drama (which was very low-key today) and just felt blah in physics.

    I felt pretty good on the way home and at work. I was engaged in what I was doing, I guess, so I didn't take time to think. When I got home, I was so wiped and drained that I wanted to do nothing. I think that's when the roller coaster started downhill.

    I picked up around 9 because This Hour Has 22 Minutes had an absolutely brilliant episode, with several mock-Liberal attack ads. But as the night (and now morning) went on, I feel less satisfied than I did earlier today. Earlier I was quite optimistic. Now I feel very insecure and unsure. :unsure:

    I can only…

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  11. What we leave behind

    I spent much of biology class ruminating on what we leave behind as we grow up. Growing up is a weird thing. It doesn't happen consistently, in my opinion, but in spurts of growth that can be defined by events in our life that shape our ongoing understanding the universe around us.

    You see, we were going to take a note. From the classroom across the hall, all you could hear was a big, booming voice that said, "Did you know?!" It was Bill Nye! Bill Nye is awesome beyond reason. I loved watching Bill Nye the Science Guy, and regret that we don't watch it anymore. It was a "grade 9" thing apparently, and we "mature" and "advanced" grade 11 students don't get to watch Bill Nye. Which is kind of sad, because he's cool.

    I also don't play with Lego enough. I love Lego. You know the Monty Python and the Quest for the Holy Grail part with the "Knights of the Round Table" song? Yesterday I watched that . . . in Lego! Yes, in Lego. I've got tonnes of Lego upstairs; I should use it more.

    And yes, I should get outside more. Even…

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  12. French language debates - Round 2

    One word: bad. Bad, bad, bad. Ugh.

    To begin I must set the stage. This is basically Duceppe's Debate. The English-language debates were focussed at the rest of Canada. It's Quebec (mainly) that focusses on the French-language debate. The Bloc, running only in Quebec, obviously must do well.

    Lately Duceppe hasn't been doing well. He's been losing ground to Harper. The pollsters claim this is because federalists who would normally vote Bloc because they hate the Liberals now see Harper as a good alternative to the separatist Bloc.

    When people start seeing Harper as a good alternative, I take it as a sign of the Apocalypse.

    So that's the stage of the debate, Duceppe's Debate. Duceppe versus Harper. How did it go? Poorly for Duceppe. Which is bad for the Liberals, because it means it went well for Harper, which means he rises further in the polls, which means a stronger likelihood of a Conservative government.

    Layton floundered. He tried to promote his party without sounding like a commercial, like last night, but ultimately didn't make much of an impression. His French was good though.

    Martin was . . . well, Martin. Again he argued all over the place…

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  13. English language debates - Round 2

    Tonight was the first of the second set of leadership debates, the English language one.

    It was better than the last English language debate. They didn't keep on cutting each other off, and I don't think the moderator had to turn off their microphones this time around. But the same rhetoric was still there. Let's unmask it:

    Harper: The Liberals are corrupt. (Maybe if I repeat this over and over, people will become hypnotised and not notice my lack of charisma.) Layton: Please please please elect me. Ignore those other guys; I don't know them. Change is good! Martin: I make Chrétien look good. Duceppe: The Liberals shouldn't get a third chance! But this referendum should!

    Honestly I still find Duceppe the most attractive candidate, yet he's a separatist. Harper makes my skin crawl, and Martin and Layton are more steeped in rhetoric than a cup of Tim Hortons tea.

    I found Martin's comment about getting rid of the notwithstanding clause intriguing. He's obviously doing it to reignite the campaign in a new direction away from all of this Liberal-bashing. I find myself of two minds. On the surface I like getting rid of it. But it would be a…

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  14. Miserable and grumpy works!

    After watching Michael Caine in Miss Congeniality, I've decided that I want to be a miserable, grumpy elitist. That would work for me.

    And if I could acquire a British accent, that'd be a cool plus.

  15. They're ba-ack!

    The election ads are back. :fear:

    On another note, I've felt sick since yesterday, which is no fun. I won't go into details, but let's put it this way: I can now use the words "reverse peristalsis" in context. Luckily my family is very practised at taking care of each other. My brother made me toast last night.

    Ugh, but I've had to stay home from work . . . which means I'll probably have to work on Thursday (assuming I work tomorrow). The holidays have been way too short. :(

About Me

I’m a 27-year-old math and English teacher back in Canada after two years teaching in England. In my free time, I read books! When I’m not reading, I’m writing, coding, or knitting.

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About this site

I started coding websites, in bad HTML on Geocities, in 2004 in a fit of whimsy. Since then I’ve learned PHP/MySQL, coded my own blog software, and rebuilt this site several times. With the exception of the blog, it’s currently running on the exquisite Symphony CMS. This website is hosted by HawkHost

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