May 30, 2001

What if there is no cause? What if I get depressed because I've been happy too long? A feeling could be just a stage in a long trail, or a crest in an infinite wave, obliged to sink again, and rise again. Sometimes all of us try to understand what makes us feel sad, and we try to fix it. Some wiser among us try to make themselves happy as often as they can. But sometimes no matter what you do you still sink. The higher you've managed to hold your crest, the farther you're going to fall. You can't support a wave. And some would throw at me determinism. As if we had no control over our lives, but it seems to me that that is the beautiful thing of life is that there are things within us we can't control. Determinism is when your entire route has been laid out for you, like a painstaking multiplication of sines that you ride with no scalars in your hands. But you can affect how you will feel; it's just that you can't cause it. Life is far from determined. But you know that once you've risen long enough, or sunk low, you will even out. I do have some effect on future events, especially when I am going to cause those events, like saving up enough money to buy a bike. But whether that bike will make me feel happy... it depends. So you see, it's neither determined nor controlled, and hopefully we can approach a Buddhist-style tranquility by accepting that we cannot remain "high" forever, and certainly not low. Show of hands: how many other Westerners out there idealize Buddhism? <insert counter script here>
I think I'm posting too much. Yeah right, as if anyone ever says that.

May 28, 2001

May 25, 2001

Why are some people buying Martin and Clara dinner tomorrow night? Because they are long-time friends of my parents whom we have invited to our wedding, and this dinner is their apology for not being able to make it.

May 24, 2001

Once a mountain disregarded you over the horizon, it would suddenly bear down its cragged footpaths upon you, almost as if challenging you to climb up on it. Not through his efforts, but through this movement of thick air like sliding glass panels did the boy discover that the figure was walking toward him. And as this excited him, and he quickened his tread, he did so because he had learned more than just that it was coming. He walked fast, fast, too fast for this heat, and too fast for his lethal thirst. The panels constantly taunted them closer, then slid them apart, the mountain bearing down. And when he shouted, he shouted to an echo that beat off the sliding mountain with a greater bass than that of his parched throat, and he shouted because his ear would have to suffice for his lacking eye, for the sliding panels had slid in with them, by degrees, night. And his hope was that his ear would catch her voice, where her gaze had been caught by his sight.
Really that's enourmous, 48g of chocolate. This is what is called a "snack pack." They're making you eat the whole thing; that's clear. It's not like you're going to stop half-way through a snack pack. Yet they can always make the argument that you can. And then make you pay for their diet plan. A., we invent a word called "snack," which means that suddently it's okay to eat at any time. This is the hook. B., they increase the normal size of a snack to larger and larger, until they've got us eating meals six or more times a day. C., since these eating times are not defined, they can convince us to add just one more snack and just one more snack. D., they eliminate all flavours from our diet other than "sweet" and "salty," which are the cheapest coincidentally for them to produce. These flavours are so mundane that the only satisfaction you can get is by stuffing yourself with them. You can add "oily," to this, since fried food is so effective in enticing the nose. The result is that we are eating excessively crappy food, in excessively large amounts, an excessive number of times during the day. And they have full control. Try the supernatural experiment of biting into a chocolate bar and throwing it out when you are half-way through. You will find after a few minutes that your stomach is full, but your mouth is not satisfied. Thirsty? They easily convinced us to drink sugar to quench our thirst by giving it fun colours and bubbles. Normally, sugar isn't the first thing you'd think of to quench your thirst. That's why we need to drink it in large quantities. They created those salty-sweet coloured drinks with athletes on the labels when we started doubting in the really sweet drinks. It's not amazing. It's not horrifying. It's just uncomfortable.

May 22, 2001

One fine summer day, a boy noticed something up ahead. His sack on his back, and a pen light dangling from his key-chain, he peered into the desert haze. Through the waves of heat he recognised a dark, upright figure. Though his tread had for three days lapsed into an uperturbable rhythm, it quickened at the sight, and his soles rolled off the asphalt with more haste. The sun beat on his skin, which was now permanently sheened with perspiration. At first he could not tell if he was approaching. He recognised by degrees what was happening. The waves of haze, and his fixed squint, turned perception gradual. He felt as he were waking from a dream. But, by degrees, the figure revealed human characteristics. It had legs, a slim trunk, a narrowing top. It bore a slight head, it swayed a little. By degrees, the boy made out that the figure was moving, but whether towards him or away, he could not tell. He saw that its legs were making strides--slow, not rapid, but easy, swaying steps. He judged a shrub by the road, and measured when the figure neared; by this he hoped to learn its way. But the haze did make seeming normal calculations hard. Or fluid rather. So that no concrete evidence he could gain. By degrees, he saw that he was approaching. The heat like moving glass aligned and realigned the landscape, thus, once a mountain

May 15, 2001

Ah! There we go. But this still doesn't answer my question: are Canadians more likely to read narratives featuring Fabio on the cover or a heat-seeking cruise missile? Or, just some large embossed letters in a font where the c's often have a large circular glob hanging off of them? Looking around this site one may note another unanswered question: how often do Canadians have sex? The word "sex" itself seems to show up enough times. Ie., you can tell the folks at StatCan are thinking about it, but they're afraid to ask the question. Dumb. If the government knew how often we had sex they could improve their services for it.

10. Canadians read books on the subway

What else are they going to do? Well, for example, they could read more newspapers. But they seem to prefer the weightier and more fantastic forms of literature. This is an obvious indication that Canadian lives are so horribly mundane that that they simply must escape from reality at the end of their day. Or at its beginning. But we err to theorise where we should only observe because all our theories could turn out flawed. After all perhaps the reading Canadians choose is actually harsh, gritty realism, even darker and depressing than our normal lives. Perhaps our newspapers (cf. Post, Star, Globe, Sun, Record), offer too little fact and too much fancy for our tastes. So the interesting question that blossoms is what in fact are Canadians reading? Statistics Canada should have the answer to that, but they don't seem to have the convenience of a working website, which leads us to:

Corollary 10.1: The Statistics Canada website is down.

9. Les Canadiens ne font pas de queue

Ca se voit surtout devant les boulangeries. Il parait que le Canada est tellement bien organisé qu'on n'a jamais besoin d'attendre. C'est probablement puisqu'il n'a pas de boulangeries au Canada, mais peu importe. Dans la poste: pas tellement de queue; dans une banque, pas de queue non plus. Peut-être la seule fois qu'on peut voir les Canadiens faire la queue c'est dans les bureaux gouvernmentales. Mais bon, c'est normal.
If you cut, then paste, then undo because you pasted in the wrong place, you are likely to hit cut again. Well guess what? That text you just cut is already in the clipboard, because clicking undo isn’t going to erase it. So you might as well just hit delete, because the next time you paste, that text you just cut is going to be right where you want it.

May 09, 2001

A museum curator had closed up for the evening on a Monday night when he happened to pass by a wall clock. He noticed that the hand was pointing at the three, and the minute hand was pointing straight down. He left to continue his rounds and ensure that all the doors were locked, and after he had turned off the lights he was headed back down the same corridor where the clock hung. This time, when he looked at the clock he found that a cat's paw was stuck directly on the hand, pointing straight up at the twelve. His clock only had three numerals on it. The 1 and the 3 were on either side of the twelve, both on the top half of the clock face. Therefore, the curator understood that sometime between 12 and three, the museum cat must have been insensible. He discovered the cat with a missing paw several minutes later behind an Egyptian exhibit. What had happened?

May 04, 2001

8. Canadians rent textbooks to high school students.

And a good thing it is to see the government spending money on something. These books aren't always in bad shape either. Typically, how it works is that every eight to ten years the government issues some new editions of textbooks. In the inside cover of each textbook (right inside the cover, where there is a page glued to the cardboard), there is a large stamp. This stamp has the form of a table, and the top headings in the table are "Name," "Date," "Signature" and "Condition." Each student is obliged to complete the first empty row of this table (reading from top to bottom, cf. "Left to Right"), indicating in the leftmost column the condition of the textbook with some witty adjective/invective. At the end of the year the students must return these books, usually during the respective exam, and if they don't they are threatened by the administration. The great advantages of this system are numerous. One, they don't clutter up everyone's house with useless highschool texts for the rest of their lives. Two, they save money on books, or at least publishers make less money selling books, I mean, you can't make a killing in the textbook publishing business I bet because it's so unpredictable and I mean really they keep those books forever. Three, it is amusing and thus motivating for the students to see how funny people in their math textbook pictures dressed ten years ago. Like in grade six when sideburns were really "out" for example all the people in our math textbook photos had sideburns! What a riot! (Cf. "Quebec WTO summit") As mentioned before, it is also one of the few areas in which Canadians can visibly note signs of government spending. They sure do take a lot of taxes here, but they so rarely pretend to be giving it back. Sign of an immature country. (Cf. "Taxes")

7. Canadians wear seatbelts in the back

Unless they're rebels. But note that you have to be a rebel not to wear a seatbelt in the back, and any average Canadian will snap right in from the moment they sit their butt down. Some will even spend some moments rooting around under the peanut shells and gum to pull out the buckle from beneath the seat cushions. This buckle will often have been stuck so long under the customary pile of rubbish that it will actually belong to another car! Yes, and this is how it happens: Canadians often own one car per person, and this person situates himself in the top-left quadrant of the car (imagining the car stood on its back end), and if he ever goes anywhere with another Canadian, that guest situates himself in the top-right quadrant. If they have a third guest, that guest probably takes their own car; the advantage of this being that it is more expensive. Therefore, by the time a sufficient supply of immigrants delivers a third guest to any given vehicle, a large quantity of peanut shells and gum has buried the seat belt buckles in the back seat. These buried buckles can then go unremarked for such a long time that the car is actually recycled and returned to the road in a new form, be it a Toyota Corolla or a Ford Sundance, and the buckles remain from the previous frame. Therefore, whenever they are dug out and tried, they do not fit.

Corollary 7.1: The people in the back seats of Canadian cars are immigrants

Si je construiais ma propre France, je remplacerais Fraternité par Identité, et je suis désolé M Rousseau. On n'a vraiment pas besoin de la fraternité, puisque enfin on n'est pas tous les frères, mais l'identité nous aiderai à la poursuite de justice, et bien aux choix quotidiens. Imaginons une France ou dès qu'une crime soit commise, on peut arrêter n'importe qui. Imaginons une France ou on ne perderai jamais de temps en réfléchissant sur quels habilles mettre avant de sortir. Comme nous serions tous identiques, ce serai un choix banal. Et alors: imaginons la liberté, tout le monde se lançant a travers ses portes et ses fenêtres, et volant tous au dessus de la Seine, souriant, les bras écartes. Imaginons l'Égalité, qui est un peu comme la légalité, mais pas tout à fait, donc tout le monde pourrai faire des choses illégales, commetre des crimes en fait, à condition que les crimes seraient tous égales. Et puis on pourrai arrêter les flics, comme on serai tous identiques.

May 02, 2001

The Tin Man 11:28 PM : This gets to me. Because he's gay of course, but also because it's an astounding examination of an archetype which as human beings we can all by delving into our sub-egotistic... okay, it's because he's gay.

May 01, 2001

Popierwsze on wchodzi bez problemu do kiedykolwiego kraju i natychmiast rozmawja w natywnym jezyku. On umje czytac i po Chinsku i po Rosijsku. Czytac obce alfabety nas uczy o naszych literach, i jak rozpoznajemy P od R. Na przyklad w jezyku Chinskim lub Japonskim ludzie sie uca rozpoznywac litery po sekwncji kresek (przepraszam ale brak mi slow technicznych w jezyku Polskim). My poprostu patrzymy na ksztalt; dlatego Chinskie litery wygladaja dla nas tak porozzoczane. Tintin swobonie czyta wszystko. Podrugie on ma wyglad sympatyczny do opcych krajow. On jest ciekawy, to znaczy on sie ciekawi. W "Lotus Bleu" on rozmawja z Tchangiem, i sie rowniez smieja z tego co Europejczycy opowiadaja o Chinczykami, i o ile sie myla. To przez to ze Herge sie podobno bardzo interesowal opca kultura. Potrzecie, rysunki sa fajne, oryginalne. Figury nie sa proste, ale natomjast teknika nie jest skomplikowana. Ale teraz wchodzimy w jezyk naprawde za technyczny dla mnie.

6. Canadians always use the formal form of address

Same as Brazilians, to the delight of the Portuguese! However, our cultural predecessors, ie. the English, have also snobbily eliminated the informal address from their speech; now Canadians, English and Americans (I mean U.S. Americans!) all insist on the highest standards of appelation in writing and speech. The formal "you" is used when respectfully addressing higher-ranked, elderly, new acquaintances equally to long-time friends.