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Headshot of me wearing red lipstick Kara Babcock

Articles from September 2008

17 articles

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  1. My Digital Wish List

    Published

    CBC radio show Spark wants to know what Canada needs to do today to become a major innovator tomorrow. This is an important issue with the election looming. In addition to interviewing technology experts, the Spark blog has asked listeners to submit their own "Digital Wish Lists". Here's mine:

    • Establishment of a Minister of Technology. I agree with Mitch Kapoor. We have a Minister of Health, a Minister of Industry--why not someone in charge
  2. More enthusiasm kplzthx?

    Published

    I don't usually rant about work, mostly because it isn't that bad as jobs go. It has its moments, of course, but what job doesn't? It is weird, however. I know, I know--every job is weird. But if there were a contest, I'm pretty sure my workplace would be, if not first, top three.

    First, the bare essential backstory. We currently have an exhibit up from the Canadian Museum of Nature called "The…

  3. Man and Nature, Side by Side

    Published

    Telephone pole with overgrowth

    I was driving home today when I saw this. It just struck me as funny: we cut down trees and clear land so that we can erect large, tree-like objects. Yet no matter how much we clear nature away and try to leave our mark on the Earth, nature finds a way to reclaim the land.

    I took some other photos, including a picture of my socks and running shoes (in case you wondered…

  4. Ack, temporal displacement--not again!

    Published

    I had a bunch of nifty blog posts planned for this week, but I didn't have the time to write them. :( My weekend was chock full of work, followed by homework, leaving me with barely enough energy to drag myself to my computer, let alone write or write a blog post. This week hasn't gone much better.

    That's not to say that I'm having bad days. I try not to start off my day…

  5. Break it down now

    Published

    I must confess, in general, I dislike numbers. I love math, but numbers just hurt my head. Not all numbers were created equal, however (yes, that is a really bad pun). Certain numbers are more fascinating than others. Take prime numbers, for example. Mathematicians continue to search for larger and larger prime numbers, and we just found another one.

    A prime number is any integer that can be divided by only itself and one.…

  6. I like Mondays

    Published

    After a weekend of work, Mondays are refreshing. I don't work on Mondays, and I get to go back to school and learn.

    I've been back for over a week now, and I'm enjoying it. This is my easy term; I only have five courses: Foundations and Issues in Education, Educational Technology in the Classroom, Differential Equations, Linear Algebra I, and Ring Theory with Applications. Yes, two education courses and three maths. I love math.…

  7. Rap video about physics = BEST THING EVER

    Published

    Have you ever looked at someone who is walking down the street listening to an MP3 player and said, "Gee, I wonder if that person is listening to a rap song about physics!"((If the answer is yes, and you haven't heard of the Large Hadron Rap, then you may be a closet physicist. Don't worry, there's support groups for those now.))

    Because that's what I spent most of Monday and yesterday doing. Seriously.

    Today marks…

  8. Election-bound

    Published

    It's official. Prime Minister Harper met with Governor General Michaëlle Jean today, and she dissolved Parliament, triggering an election. Canadians will vote on October 14.

    The American election machine has been rumbling away for the better part of a year now, and we have called and will be finished our federal election before the Americans even get to vote. :D I love Canada's electoral system.

    What I don't love is the lack of any charismatic…

  9. Bring out yer dead!

    Published

    When I woke up on Thursday, there was a dead crow on my front lawn! It was lying prone, wings spread, its head to one side. The sky overhead has no trees, no electrical lines--nothing that gives any hint as to why this bird fell out of the sky. So of course, that's when I started jumping to conclusions and thought about West Nile Virus.

    Our health unit runs a dead bird collection program

  10. Using a Wiimote to control iTunes

    Published

    A couple of months ago, I stumbled across a way to create a low-cost interactive whiteboard using a Wiimote. All that was required was a Wiimote (for its infrared camera), an infrared-emitting pen, and a flat surface. The Wiimote would track the pen across the surface and report its coordinates back to the computer program, which could then draw, trigger controls, or whatever you wantetd it to do.

    I don't own a Wii, so…

  11. Yesterday, I explained why I was excited about Google getting into the browser game. Of course, no new Google venture is complete without some people taking issue with Google's privacy policies. In this case, the controversy was around Google Chrome's EULA, specifically section 11.1. Now, since everything on the Internet happens at the speed of light, Google has already changed the wording of that clause and applied it retroactively, claiming that it was

  12. An election looms in my own fine country even as the Americans battle it out for who gets to inherit the Bush legacy. Two and a half years ago, Stephen Harper and the Conservatives inherited the scandal-ridden legacy of over a decade of Liberal government. As usual, getting elected is easier than actually running the country and making effective decisions that improve the lives of its citizens--Harper hasn't been doing either of these things very…

  13. On attacking from Kamchatka

    Published

    Roll your dice, ladies and gentlemen. After sixty years of continuous gameplay, I'm sure you're eager for it to be over, but there's still a few cards left to be won.

    I'm sure that it came as a big surprise to everyone when Russia announced its intentions to absorb South Ossetia after unilaterally declaring it independent. Now Russia has effectively seized control of the territory. Russia's actions are irrational and somewhat disturbing, but what…