aderam: (Penguin Mounties)
So it's been over a week since I got back from Italy, and I still haven't written up a good post about the dig and being back and all those other important things. ... And this isn't that either. This is a post about all the crazy things that are in my head at the moment.

First and foremost are James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender - because they are awesome and X-Men has eaten my brain. It's not so much that First Class was that great a movie (although I did really enjoy it) but their chemistry was fantastic and their obvious friendship in all their interviews is absolutely contagious. Their epic bromance is only equal to Sir Patrick and Sir Ian, or RDJ and Jude Law. It's epic. And also they totally weren't exaggerating when they mentioned the drag scene which was cut from the movie - HILARIOUS! I think I may have to buy the DVD if I'll get extras like these!

Evidence: The Japan DVD trailer, the Drag is at the 4 min mark!

I've also downloaded and started watching episodes of the Animated X-Men TV series which is a fond memory from my childhood. It is totally awesome too. I was not expecting it to still have such great characterization and messages and even the plots are pretty awesome. Even my roommate M is loving it and she didn't watch it as a child and therefore doesn't have nostalgia. - Also even in '90s Children's TV the Professor and Magneto are made for each other!

Let the brain-eating continue I say!

I've been procrastinating from writing my report for the dig. Partially because I've never written an archaeological report before and I'm worried that I'm going to screw it up, and partially because I've been sick and sleeping for most of this past week. In that light I've even ended up accomplishing other things - like organizing an orientation for the incoming grad students to our department (because our department would never do anything like that and also it needs to happen - but it's going to be super basic, I don't have the time or energy to do anything more official.) and getting my student loan documents in order (almost done!).

But today I will at very least start on that damn report, and I will at very least organize my laundry so that I can do it. And I will try not to be seduced by the internet and McAvoy-Fassbender interviews - I've seen most of them already anyway.

Also also - have you guys seen the new videos up on Peter Jackson's Facebook page for the Hobbit! There are 13 Dwarfs! And they are AMAZING! They are teasing each other and joking back and forth and it makes me squee like a squeeing thing! I can't wait for the Hobbit!

And on a more somber note, Jack Layton, Canada's Leader of the Opposition, died of cancer. It's really weird reading people say that they were expecting something like this because of how his health had taken a turn for the worse, because I've been on the other side of the world and paying even less attention to the news than I normally do. I vaguely remember hearing about him having some health problems, but the last I'd really heard of him was from the election when he was strong and energetic. So it's kind of shocking to me. He was a great man and a great politician, and the farewell letter he wrote to Canadians two days before his death is very moving. I don't agree with all his politics, and he was in no way perfect, but I'd been really looking forward to what he would accomplish as leader of the opposition and I had great hopes that he might've won the next election and become our Prime Minister. I'll miss his lovely moustache. See also: The Happy Jack Layton is Happy Tumblr for some awesome photos of Jack in action (via [ profile] karenjeane).


Apr. 25th, 2011 11:12 am
aderam: (Bones Eyebrow)
I really need to do my laundry. It's kind of a massive mountain of badness at the moment. And I need clean clothes - for general life reasons - but also because I'm heading off on my Cuba vacation next week! So I need to have cute clean clothes for that. (And I kinda already wore - and haven't since washed - all the cute summery clothes I bought in order to be cute in Cuba.) So there's that. And then I'm moving in the coming week (date still slightly flexible - I think I need to call the landlords and poke a bit) so I don't want to pack up dirty clothes, which will then stay packed for the week while I'm in Cuba. 'Cause that's just gross (like leaving your dirty laundry in a mountain on the floor you ask? - well, you're right, but I always have the best intentions). But on the other hand, in my new place I don't have to pay for laundry - and I totally do here. So here's the question: cheapness? or grossness? Which is more important?

The other factor - which is kinda stupid, I'll admit - is that I'm meeting up with a friend to go and vote at noon. (Yay Democracy!) That's in like forty minutes! I can't start a load and have it done by then! (Yes I can. Our washers take about half an hour.) But I do prefer to marathon my laundry and get it all out of the way at the same time.

What I should be doing right now instead of posting in my journal and otherwise wasting time is sorting the mountain of laundry. That way, when I get back after voting I'll be able to have my marathon session.

But - I Don'wanna! I just want to sit around here and pretend I'm done with my school work (I'm not. There's still a take home exam - but I'm letting that percolate. It's an important step in my process *hair flip*. Honest.) and also pretend that downloading episodes of Castle on my fast campus connection is a good way to prepare myself for moving, instead of you know - packing.

That's right friends. I am just that good. See you on the flip side!

Vote Mobs

Apr. 20th, 2011 10:52 am
aderam: (Horizon)
Starting at the University of Guelph students across Canada have been organizing vote mobs to encourage youth to come out and vote. UBC is doing one today and I'm going to go and join in even though I'm definitely behind on my paper. I've also been procrastinating this morning by watching some of the other vote mob videos from other universities. I think this one from UVic is my favourite so far, if only for the awesome music choice and the intro:

This is partially in response to Rick Mercer's challenge to the youth of a few weeks back (which I posted here on DW, and here on LJ). And partially a response to the fact that only 37% of eligible voters between the ages of 18-24 actually voted in the last federal election.

Advanced polls are this weekend! So I'm voting soon. I still haven't decided for whom I'm going to vote... but I've got three days - that's (metric) TONS of time! Also I've finally found out where the advanced polls are. No thanks to you elections Canada. I dislike how you have been attempting to make my life more difficult with respect to democracy. No love, Me.

So things are coming together. I think I will still consider this election a success if over 50% of my age bracket actually votes this time.

ETA: And this is another Rick Mercer Gem from last election - but still valid!

aderam: (Penguin Mounties)
So this is kinda cool. It's a quiz developed by poli sci students to find out where you fit compared to the major Canadian Political Parties:

I was on the left/liberal side of the Liberal party according to the graph. I'm not particularly surprised by this. Especially because my response to questions I want to ask clarifications about is to click on the "somewhat agree/disagree" rather than "strongly". Also you know you've been in higher education for too long when your response to half the questions is "How are you defining *blank*?" - "culture" in Quebec? Really? Could be any more vague?

Also, since I really only care about politics when elections come around, I don't actually know much about many of the issues they mentioned. So yeah, I think that wealthy people should pay more taxes than poor people - but I'm not sure what the tax distribution is right now, so I can't say whether it's good enough (I suspect not). I just generally don't feel comfortable making "strongly agree/disagree" statements when I don't know a whole lot about the issue. - and even then, I'm more of a "see both sides" for most things.

Also questions like "How competent a Prime Minister would these candidates be?" is very misleading. Harper is very competent - he's just very competently doing things I don't like.

I'm going to be in Cuba on May 2nd - so things I need to do before that:
- find out what my riding is
- find out who's running here and who's good
- figure out how to do an advanced ballot

But in the meantime - presentation number 1 is today and all ready.
Presentation number 2 is on Friday and not ready. :(
I am sick and filled with snot. :(

Wish me luck!
aderam: (Default)
Coalition YES!

I went to a Rally today. I feel very political, and effective. I yelled "Shame!" and "Yes!" and "Coaliton OUI!" and "Rabble-Rabble-Rabble YES! Rabble-Rabble OUI! Rabble-Rabble."

I'm an Activist! (she says with a two-year-old grin.)
aderam: (Default)
Pardon my French.

I realize that as a university student in North America I'm in the vast minority because of this view, and let me tell you, it really sucks. In this Wikipedia-centered culture every time there's a question about any kind of fact whatsoever, the answer has become "Wikipedia!" And every time that happens I have to explain why I refuse to go to that site in order to find something out that can just as easily be found through Google. In the end it's this attitude with which I have a problem.

I've heard all the arguments in favour of Wikipedia, and I've found that I hate debating the topic because I always end up feeling like an asshole. For example: Argument in Favour #1 - Freedom of Information. Honestly, how the hell am I supposed to argue against that without seeming like an elitist bastard? Well, maybe I am an elitist bastard, but I'm not sitting here and complaining about Wikipedia because it annoys me that the masses (and isn't that a lovely derogatory word?) have access to information. I hate Wikipedia because it is a part of this culture of entitlement that has developed because of the internet.

Wikipedia is part of the greater system of disrespect for intellectual property that has become so widespread in my generation. I have actually had people tell me that it was dumb to rent movies when you could download them off the internet for free (tell me I don't have to explain how wrong that is). Call me old fashioned, but I've always believed in paying for something that is of worth to me. And intellectual property is no different. Just because it doesn't have any packaging or material substance doesn't mean that it didn't take a lot of work to make, and isn't worth a lot of money. And yeah okay, most of the stuff on Wikipedia can be found on the internet in general and we're not paying for that per se, but that's not the problem. The problem is that people think that Wikipedia is a real Encyclopedia. And now one of you is going to jump down my throat and point out that they've done studies and Wikipedia is actually almost as accurate as the Encyclopedia Britannica, but that's not the POINT. The point is that people should get paid for their work, and when Wikipedia becomes The Source of information it cheapens the achievements of people who are doing this for a living.

Think about textbooks for a second. Everyone complains about how much we have to spend on textbooks (Hell, I've even complained a little bit about it when I have to buy small hardcovers that are $50 - the works of Virgil), but when you really think about it, about all the work and time and effort that has culminated in that text (imagine the number of times that the works of Virgil had to be copied by hand in order for it to survive for us to read, not to mention the more recent work of reconciling the discrepancies in the manuscripts and punctuating the entire blasted thing), the amount you're paying is quite reasonable. And if you can't afford it, there's always the library. (And Wikipedia is not the solution to underfunded libraries. Also I maintain that if you don't have the time to go to the library then you don't really need to know that piece of information, yeah sure, it'd been nice, but it would be nice if I had a million dollars too.)

Information and education is a privilege. In a perfect world would have unlimited access to both, but I think that we can all agree that this isn't a perfect world.

And it really sucks because there are a lot of things about Wikipedia that I would love if they we're trying to be "the free encyclopedia". The software is great for posting up information on TV shows and books, sports, and other cultural phenomena that aren't covered in normal encyclopedias. But I also feel like I have to be all or nothing. If I use Wikipedia suddenly my arguments against it are undermined [kinda like how guilty I feel every time I actually think about what it means that I download episodes of TV off the internet (I am so pissed off that iTunes doesn't sell them in Canada. So. Pissed. Off)].

So I won't ever use Wikipedia. Please stop asking me to. You can use it if you like, I won't hate you just because I hate it.

Sorry this ended up coming out; it's been bubbling beneath the surface for quite some time now. I think I even have a word file somewhere which is entitled "Rant - the evils of an internet society", in which I was feeling angry and pompous apparently. But this is the one aspect of the internet that I hate, which makes me feel very unhappy because I love the internet.

Feel free to tell me how wrong I am, but I might not respond. I'm generally not a big fan of these kinds of debates because they never change my mind, and they only ever end with me being really upset and rehearsing points I should have made while being an insomniac (not my favourite state of being, I'm sure you understand).


aderam: (Default)

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