Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Quotes are like prizes!

I'm addicted to this game.

My five favorite quotes so far are:

1. "When You Make a Mistake, Don't look back at it long. Take the reason of the thing into your mind and then look forward. Mistakes are lessons of wisdom. The past cannot be changed. The future is yet in your power." ~ Hugh White

2. "If you will call your troubles experiences, and remember that every experience develops some latent force within you, you will grow vigorous and happy, however adverse your circumstances may seem to be." ~John Heywood

3. "Every man, however wise, needs the advice of some sagacious friend in the affairs of life." ~Titus Maccius Platus

4. "Be gentle and you can be bold; be frugal and you can be liberal; avoid putting yourself before others and you can become a leader among men." ~Lao-Tzu

5. "Everyone chases after happiness, not noticing that happiness is right at their heels." ~Bertolt Brecht

All the Single Babies

Baby's got rhythm.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Thinking in Songs

Here's the song my Rafiki sent me this morning:

Falling in Love at a Coffee Shop ~ Landon Pigg

(if you're curious, here's the song that makes me think of him.)

Monday, September 28, 2009

Little people

On the train back from Montreal Liebchen and I were seated in front of a mom and her two little kids on the 2nd portion of their train trips that day.

The little girl was about 3 and her name was Jas(!)

She was the most talkative and eloquent little kid I've ever had the pleasure of listening to. She provided me with many entertaining moments as she narrated her playing and what she was seeing out the window but my favourites were:

Jas: We're going to Canada! We're going to Canada!
Mom: We're already in Canada sweetheart.
Jas: Nono, we're going to Canada!
Mom: We're already there Jas, that's why we needed our passports.
Jas: We're already in CANADA? Oh my goodness! I can't believe I missed it!


Jas: Mom? Hey Mom?
Mom: Yes?
Jas: Mom, I would like to cuddle and read stories now please.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Shining Eyes

Watching one talk on TED reminded me of another talk someone sent me long ago, which moves me from inside to out.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Ideas Worth Spreading

Today in my statistics class we watched Hans Rosling talk about statistics.

I love the talk. I love the website. I cheer wildly.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Happy Post #...

Today I read a very nice blog that had lots of lovely posts from people that I like very very muchly.

Thanks for sharing :)

Bedtime Stories

Rakifi and I were lying in bed the other night, and I asked him what he wanted to do: "Do you want to watch a movie? Should I put on a story? Go to sleep? Just chat?"
"I want to chat," he said, "Tell me a story."
"What about?"
"Hm, okay, I'll give you five words and you need to put them all in the story."

I told him a story and then he told me one. With many apologies, I can only remember four of the five words that either of us gave.

His Story
Elephant, Mouse, Emerald, Silk Dress

There once was an African boy by the name of Ubah, and he had a pet elephant by the name of Emo. Emo was the only family that Ubah had, for he was an orphan. One day Ubah and Emo were walking in the jungle and Ubah came across an enormous emerald. Ubah's dream was to move from Africa and go to America and live wealthy and he knew this emerald was his possible ticket to the promised land. Suddenly a snake which was camouflaged in the undergrowth slithered its body toward Ubah looking to acquire Ubah's body for nourishment. As the snake lunged toward Ubah, Emo caught the snake with his trunk and flung the snake into the bushes. Surprisingly the snake uncovered a hiding mouse and ate him. Poor mouse.
Meanwhile, an evil secret society kidnapped the Princess of Decco and threatened to kill her if the King did not comply to their wishes. The secret society posed the ransom of the unique emerald, which in turn, upon acquiring it, they would use to expand their operations. The emerald was worth billions of dollars, so whoever owned it could have dramatic influence. The King dispatched his whole army and all his servants to find the person with the emerald, and to bring this individual to the King's feet. A servant of the king found Ubah and told him the story and Ubah agreed to go to the castle to meet the king. The King demanded Ubah hand over the emerald so that he could rescue his daughter from the secret society. Ubah was in agreement with the king but it would have to come at a price. Ubah wanted enough money to start a new life in America. The king granted him his wish. The King made contact with the secret society and claimed to have the emerald them. The secret society agreed to the return of the princess in exchange for the emerald, and this was done. In doing so, the secret society seemed to have all of the necessary resources to obtain power until the secret society was ambushed by the King's garrison after the transaction was made. For the betterment of the world, they destroyed the secret society. Ubah was granted a handsome reward for his noble act.

My Story
Dragon, Sorceress, Rabbit, Flying Carpet

There once was a kingdom in which the houses of nobility got together every year for an annual rabbit hunt. Like a fox hunt, they would release a rabbit into the wild, and then would chase it with their hounds, the nobility riding behind on horseback. There was a sorceress who had once had a love affair with a member of the nobility, but had been scorned by him. He had casted her aside, and she now wanted revenge. Knowing of the rabbit hunt, she decided to summon a dragon and unleash it upon the hunt. While she had fallen in love with a member of the nobility, she also knew that they had lost touch with the common people and become isolated within their society. She felt that it would do them good to be shaken up and loose some of their complacency. However, while she was angry, she didn't want the dragon to eat anyone, she just wanted it to scare the heebie-jeebies out of them. She followed the dragon on her magic carpet to make sure it didn't harm or eat anyone, especially the horses who were after all innocent and blameless. The dragon terrified the nobility. Their horses panicked and bolted, and they were scattered far and wide across the kingdom. This turned out to be a good thing for all. It was good for the country, as the nobility were forced to meet the commoners as they found their way home again, and while self absorbed the nobility were not bad people, and they learned from the experience. It was good for the sorceress as she was well pleased with the result of her adventure. It was also an exceedingly good thing for the rabbit, as the hunt was distracted and it was able to live happily ever after.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Dr. Flair & Lil Mynine

I've been trying to get an appointment with Dr. Flair forever but she's just so busy!

Love letters

A most lecherous discourse between Filly and بلدي رجل ...

Hello Sir,

I can easily be persuaded to engage in a courtship ritual with you tonight, whereby we consume food, speak amusing words and make suggestive looks at one another. It occurs to me that tomorrow night also, I am available to enact the the essential gestures of this ritual. I generally subject the French language to a stammering slaughter every other Wednesday, but, instead of dinner tomorrow night there could be a rendezvous in the South Philly area at 10pm? Some imbibing or some such?

Dear Madam,

I believe that tomorrow night will be a superior point in time for aforementioned enacting of courtship ritual. I do, however, intend to make audio contact later tonight, and visual contact is well within the realm of possible occurrences. I believe I will be more appropriately positioned at that time to help decide what kind of non-destinational gastrointestinal feeding location would be more suitable to speaking amusing words and making suggestive looks.

with utmost sincerity,

Monday, September 21, 2009

Singing Meat

The first chapter of my textbook finished with a story. Only one more reason for me to love cognitive science. The chapter discussed the possibility of computers having intelligence, and what it means for something to be intelligent rather than being neat and going bing! in interesting ways.
The story was extracted from a longer story by Terry Bisson called "Alien/Nation".

"They're made out of meat."
"Meat. They're made out of meat."
"There's no doubt about it. We picked up several from different parts of the planet, took them aboard our recon vessels, probed them all the way through. They're completely meat."
"That's impossible. What about the radio signals? The messages to the stars."
"They use radio waves to talk, but the signals don't come from them. The signals come from machines."
"So who made the machines? That's who we want to contact."
"They made the machines. That's what I'm trying to tell you. Meat made the machines."
"That's ridiculous. How can meat make a machine? You're asking me to believe in sentient meat."
"I'm not asking you, I'm telling you. These creatures are the only sentient race in the sector and they're made out of meat."
"Maybe they're like the Orfolei. You know, a carbon-based intelligence that goes through a meat stage."
"Nope. They're born meat and they die meat. We studied them for several of their life spans, which didn't take too long. Do you have any idea of the life span of meat?"
"Spare me. Okay, maybe they're only part meat. You know, like the Weddilei. A meat head with an electron plasma brain inside."
"Nope. We thought of they, since they do have meat heads like the Weddelei. But I told you, we probed them. They're meat all the way through."
"No brain?"
"Oh, there's a brain all right. It's just that the brain is made out of meat!"
"So. . . what does the thinking?"
"You're not understanding, are you? The brain does the thinking. The meat."
"Thinking meat! You're asking me to believe in thinking meat!"
"Yes, thinking meat! Concious meat! Loving meat. Dreaming meat. The meat is the whole deal! Are you getting the picture?"
"Omigod. You're serious then. They're made out of meat."
"Finally. Yes. They are indeed made out of meat. And they've been trying to get in touch with us for almost a hundred of their years."
"So what does the meat have in mind?"
"First it wants to talk to us. Then I imagine it wants to explore the universe, contact other sentients, swap ideas and information. The usual."
"We're suppose to talk to meat?"
"That's the idea. That's the message they're sending out by radio. Hello. Anyone out there? Anyone home? That sort of thing."
"They actually do talk, then. They use words, ideas, concepts?"
"Oh, yes. Except they do it with meat."
"I thought you just told me they used the radio."
"They do, but what do you think is on the radio? Meat sounds. You know how when you slap or flap meat it makes a noise? They talk by flapping their meat at each other. They can even sing by squirting air through their meat."
"Omigod. Singing meat. This is altogether too much. So what do you advise?"
"Officially or unofficially?"
"Officially, we are required to contact, welcome, and log in any and all sentient races or multi beings in the quadrant, without prejudice, fear, or favour. Unofficially, I advise we erase the records and forget the whole thing."
"I was hoping you would say that."
"It seems harsh, but there is a limit. Do we really want to make contact with meat?"
"I agree one hundred percent. What's there to say? 'Hello, meat. How's it going?' But will this work? How many planets are we dealing with here?"
"Just one. They can travel to other planets in special meat containers, but they can't live on them. And being meat, they travel through C space. Which limits them to the speed of light and makes the possibility of their ever making contact pretty slim. Infinitesimal in fact."
"So we just pretend there's no one home in the universe."
"That's it."
"Cruel. But you said it yourself, who wants to meet meat? And the ones who've been aboard our vessels, the ones you have probed? You're sure they wont remember?"
"They'll be considered crackpots if they do. We went into their heads and smoothed out their meat so we're just a dream to them."
"A dream to meat! How strangely appropriate, that we should be meat's dream."
"And we can mark the sector unoccupied."
"Good. Agreed, officially and unofficially. Case closed. Any others? Anyone interesting on that side of the galaxy?"
"Yes, a rather shy but sweet hydrogen core cluster intelligence in a class nine star in G445 zone. Was in contact two galactic rotations ago, wants to be friendly again."
"They always come around."
"And why not? Imagine how unbearably, how unutterably cold the universe would be if one were all alone."

Sunday, September 20, 2009

An Impressively Upside-Down World

My mummy calculated that she has done over 90 thousand headstands.

Dancing makes everything good

Last night, بلدي رجل visited family for Rosh Hashanah, so I went to a salsa club to try out the moves I've been learning in class. Some friends came, and friends of friends! Lovely people and lovely dancers. I found a dance partner who just wanted to dance well, not grope well:), and he taught me many new moves. I love to dance!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Bored @ The Bay? Some ideas...

Things PBJJ did while waiting for me in The Bay today... ;)

Tee hee! I think # 13 is my favourite...

1.Took 24 boxes of condoms and randomly put them in other people's carts when they weren't looking.
2. Set all the alarm clocks in Housewares to go off at 5-minute intervals.
3. He made a trail of tomato juice on the floor leading to the women's restroom.
4. Walked up to an employee and told her in an official voice, 'Code 3 in Housewares. Get on it right away! This caused the employee to leave her assigned station and receive a reprimand from her Supervisor that in turn resulted with a union grievance, causing management to lose time and costing the company money..
5. Went to the Service Desk and tried to put a bag of M&Ms on layaway.
6. Moved a 'CAUTION - WET FLOOR' sign to a carpeted area.
7.. Set up a tent in the camping department and told the children shoppers he'd invite them in if they would bring pillows and blankets from the bedding department to which twenty children obliged.
8. When a clerk asked if they could help him he began crying and screamed, 'Why can't you people just leave me alone?' EMTs were called..
9. Looked right into the security camera and used it as a mirror while he picked his nose.
10. While handling guns in the hunting department, he askedthe clerk where the antidepressants were.
11. Darted around the store suspiciously while loudly humming the 'Mission Impossible' theme.
12. In the auto department, he practiced his 'Madonna look' by using different sizes of funnels.
13. Hid in a clothing rack and when people browsed through, yelled 'PICK ME! PICK ME!'
14. When an announcement came over the loud speaker, he assumed a fetal position and screamed 'OH NO! IT'S THOSE VOICES AGAIN!'
And last, but not least:
15. Went into a fitting room, shut the door, waited awhile, then yelled very loudly, 'Hey! There's no toilet paper in here.' One of the clerks passed out.

Friday, September 18, 2009

All together now: "awwwww"

My phone buzzed this morning as I was drifting in and out of sleep, with my cat lying on my stomach purring. I flipped it open to read the text message, "Morning girl friend :) just wanted to say how crazy i am for you!"

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Adventures in Rubber

I happily quote my textbook, "There is much that is unclear, much that is ill understood, and much that will, no doubt, soon prove to be mistaken. There are places where it is not yet clear what the right questions are, let alone the answers."
"Philosophy of cognitive science has something of the flavour of a random walk on a rubber landscape. No one knows quite where they are going, and every step anyone takes threatens to change the whole of the surrounding scenery."
~Andy Clark, Mindware.

How could I not be excited by a discipline with so much adventure? :D

NY Times Wedding Announcement

بلدي رجل was quickly sifting through his email before we went out for our run last Sunday. He showed me a New York Times wedding announcement from his colleague, saying "This wedding announcement is so odd, it reads like a CV".

I then quickly checked my email correspondence, only to find that I too, have a colleague who has announced her marriage in the New York Times! It reads:

Catherine Doyle will be marrying Alfred P. Newton On October 8, 2009. The bride graduated summa wrestler cum laude in 2008 from Villanova University. The bridegroom graduated the harder they cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania that same year. The couple was introduced by Sarah Doyle, mother of the bride, who graduated cumma cumma cumma chamelion laude from Columbia in 1970, at an event sponsored by the father of the bride, Bobby Doyle, who graduated pre-cum laude from Columbia University in 1968.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Sunday, September 13, 2009

I've Seen Better :)

Today PBJJ put a yellow shirt on Rilesberg that said: "I've seen better" and Rilesberg ran around with a massive smile on his face for like 20 minutes - hilarious!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Six Surprises As School Starts

1. My statistics teacher reminds me of a Miss America contestant. She's very pretty, with long shiny hair. She wears bright button down shirts. She speaks in a slightly ditzy but intelligent manner and says things like "I immigrated to Canada because it's the best country in the world!"

2. There's a girl who I've seen all over campus and in a lot of my classes for the past two years. She hangs out in odd corners of Hart House, shows up in some of my tutorials, and is always surrounded by a group of friends who have funny conversations that I sometimes listen in on. This year I found her sitting outside my Minds and Machines class with her friend Hobbit. I finally sat down and chatted with them. I like them both.

3. Chamigan's (afore mentioned girl) friends have a habit of visiting each other's classes. That's what Hobbit was doing at Minds and Machines (and now he's gonna take it :) and Ivan joined her for Thinking and Reasoning the next day. She says it's interesting, a good way to find out about classes they're interested in, and things never get lonely. I love it.

4. Vervaeke is one of my favorite professors. He's vibrant and witty and very challenging. The professor for my Bases of Cognition class was unannounced. When Vervaeke walked into the room Chamigan's and my eyes lit up (yup, Chamigan's in that class too, and she likes Vervaeke as a prof as much as I do), and we turned to each other grinning. She held her hand up for a high five and said "This is going to be the best day."

5. I started to read the book "Extended Minds" by Andy Clark this summer through the recommendation of a friendly acquaintance. It's funny and well written. My text book for Minds and Machines is by Andy Clark, and there's a week of our syllabus on extended minds. I feel so well prepared.

6. I have a class in the same classroom that I took poetry in. So many good memories.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Sickness and Good stuffs

It's very good to know that even while in the midst of the never-ending cold good things still happen.

1. My friends are awesome. I got calls and emails and text messages with well wishes and offers of assistance.

2. My liebchen is also fantastic, he got me chicken soup, brought me gingerale in bed, listened to stories on my ipod with me when i didn't have the energy to do anything else and made me laugh so hard my stomach still hurts two days later (laughter is the best medicine after all!)

3. Mademoiselle the owner (Mom!) brought me homeopathic medicines, took me grocery shopping and kept me company all day Saturday even while coping with her own broken heart

4. Liebchen's dad cooked a delicious dinner and told me that he loves me and especially loves me with his son. It's a pretty awesome feeling to know that your partner's family not just likes you but likes you for their child.

Blackberries & Sunshine

Walked through the woods with the prettiest slanting sunshine yesterday, the kind that looks like it might be able to beam you up to the sunShip...ate the last 2 blackberries of summer (I think) and they tasted yummy. Looking forward to walking the trail with all the changed leaves this fall.

Yay for woods! Like a good hug.

Yay for happy blogs and lovely friends!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Silly Banter

I was working on a puzzle and Rafiki was eating bananas on toast for breakfast. I looked up at him and he said "Want a bite?"
I said, "Mm. Not of the toast," and winked at him. I'm catching on to this romantic silliness he does so well.
A few minutes later I looked up at him again.
"What are you looking at, Hot Stuff?" he asked.
"That's what I'm looking at." I agreed. Rafiki laughed so hard he almost lost his orange juice all over the table.
I win! :D

Friday, September 4, 2009

An Army of Kindness

Madmoiselle the Owner was a calming font of knowledge and support, bringing me homeopathic remedies and sending me off to the nicest walk-in clinic she new.

Rafiki was like an errant knight coming to attend to any rescuing that could be done since his lady was in distress.

The doctor was like a calm mother hen, who sat brooding on her eggs while one of her chicks fussed and worried, and who she watched with love and amusement and then fixed the problem and sent the chick on her way.

Kippen called to see how I was feeling even though she was feeling as poorly as I was. (get better Kippen. hugs. let me know if you need anything).

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Happy Birthday Bird!

When Bird turned two, a friend of the family said to her, "So, this is your second birthday!"
"No," Bird corrected, "this is my happy birthday."