Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Blogs & Blogs & Blogs & Blogs

The blog round ups are... well, up.

** PixelRN is hosting Change of Shift, the nursing blog round up

**Emergiblog is hosting Grand Rounds, the interdisciplinary health care professionals & patients blog compilation.

** Last but not least, The Spin Cycle is hosting the International Carnival of Positivites: a carnival (a.k.a: roundup) of blog articles with HIV as a central theme. Mark of Drop Dead Happy was kind enough to nominate "Burnout on the Frontlines" from the Keep Insite Open blog. Thanks Mark!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Health Promotion Nightmare

From Seminole County, Fla: McDonald's sponsored report cards... better grades = shorter life...

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Because the museum-of-the-consequences-of-war was too wordy

Conversation at dinner last night turned to the Canadian War Museum (architectural faboulousness by Raymond Moriyama). A. was opposed to the idea of a museum about war; R. euphemistically called it "Museum of Death". And M. chose to consider it a museum of remembrance of those who died, citing the fact that the displays give space to soldiers on both/all sides of conflicts Canada has been involved in, as well as movingly commemorating victims of war who's involvement is comprised pretty much of having the thing go on around them or to them.

My only real contribution to the conversation was to suggest that I preferred having a museum of war to one of "Military History" which gives the entire process grand overtones that I don't agree with and deflects further from the commemorative/reflective process that questions if war is right vs. merely a fact in history.

Thinking about it later, I wondered if the word "war" still packed enough of an emotional punch to resonate with the average person as something wrong--the thing that must be resorted to only when other measures have failed.

Then I read in Cathy Crowe's January newsletter. War must still have enough negative connotations in the public if the Gov. General's euphemism in her New Year's message is any indication. If we followed her wording for the Afghanistan War then we'd have a Museum of Multinational Reconstruction Efforts....

Monday, January 14, 2008

12 on 12 January 2008

[UPDATE: Gah! I got the title of the project wrong. It's 12 OF 12 (not 12 on 12... )]

Finally, a chance to get my 12 of 12 for January onto the new blog! My last (well, first actually) 12 on 12 was in Dec and is located on my original blog which I encourage you all to take a peek at and let me know what you think about the issue. Chad Darnell's 12 of 12 photo projects don't really fit with the theme of the Keep Insite Open blog however, nor do many of the things I get a hankerin' to blog about and thus begat Mendelbrot! the frivolous blog. Welcome.

So Saturdays are big reading days--I did have to go to a meeting with classmates later in the day, but the morning was spent with coffees, homemade granola (dried dates, cranberries, mangos and raisins), and reading materials. Anyone who is lamenting the finishing of Ian Rankin's Rebus series should check out the books by Giles Blunt featuring Detective Cardinal of Algonquin Bay, Ontario. Good stuff.

Saturdays are also the "fat paper" days in Canada, not Sundays like in the US (& Britain?). So, a quick trip to the cornerstore for the Sat. Globe and Mail (Grope and Flail) is a must. Canada's national newspaper.... Canada's news with a bunch of info about Toronto. But still, the best of the bunch.

The darkness of this tree outside of Lisgar Collegiate (a public high school) looked all stark and grim compared to the bright blue sky.

Lisgar's facade. Prettiest high school around. Sure puts mine to shame.

The treacherous paths heading towards the canal. The aftermath of the big snow storm (visible on my flickr pics once I figure that out) meant that some paths and sidwalks didn't get ploughed until way too late in the game. Once packed down by foot traffic it's bound to get icy once the temps warm up. Watching some of the lil oldersters navigate their walkers over this mess to get to the grocery store is scary.

A patch of very green grass by the canal. This segment is in daylight all day, but that's no reason for it to be bare of snow AND green. Makes ya wonder what the heck is underneath!

Looking back towards Parliament from our no-longer-quite-so-new-pedestrian bridge. In winters past the canal would be teeming with skaters--you can skate for 10 km from downtown to the funky lil Glebe neighbourhood and onward to Dow's Lake. This year though, we've had lots of snow (which makes for rotten ice) and warm-ish temps (which makes for thin ice). We need a couple of good solid -20 to -30 weeks to get the thing open. It likely won't be open for Winterlude. More Beaver Tails for the rest of us (fried dough with sugar)

The "modern" industrial complex that is the University of Ottawa/ Universite d'Ottawa. All the glories of 1960's-1980's architecture can be found here. Oh, and there is a nice historic building too.

Leah and me in reflection on the sloping facade of the Monpetit building. 'Kay, that funky architecture is useful for something...

The late afternoon brought me from the University home past St. Theresa's RC xch which has this pretty stained glass near the door. I like to think it is a turtle and in homage to Iroquois First Nation's creation story wherein the little turtle is sent by the great turtle to collect lightening from the sky to create the sun. This turtle would look all zingy with light shining through.

Traditions I can't let go of: we still have our Yuletide tree up... it's drying out rapidly. We may have missed the City's collection days where the trees get made into mulch. It was just such a great tree... [there would normally be a flickr link here]

And there you have it, another successful 12 on 12. Thanks Chad!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Origins of Mendelbröt!, the new word for "kewl"

A fractal of the mandelbröt set...

* Join the worldwide slang phenomenon! * Everybody's saying it, why not you?!? *

This exciting venture was created on a scorching hot, sloooooow day in the forests of northern Alberta and has taken Ireland, Switzerland and Australia by storm!What is it you ask?!

It's M*E*N*D*E*L*B*R*ö*T!

The goal--take the nerdiest possible word--Mendelbrot, a graphic depiction of a mathematical function, how could that be any more nerdy?? I'll tell you how: it has an umlaut!-- and ease it into the general lexicon as a slang term similar to

  • "bonzer!" in Australia,
  • "cool!", "awesome!" in North America,
  • "deadly!" in Ireland,
  • "brilliant!" in the UK.

Pass it on!

Tangent: A quick peruse of the leading Swiss German Slang dictionary shows that there is no slang word similar to the above listed ones in readily apparent in Switzerland. Mendelbrot! fits the bill!
This same dictionary does have the following entry, showing that the Swiss clearly have their minds elsewhere:

gschmöcksch de töff?
  • (expr) do you understand? do you see the problem?
  • NOTE lit. 'do you smell the motorbike?'
  • synonyms: 'gsehsch de pögg?' (do you see the puck) 'tschäggs es?'.
  • If you dont understand, say: 'ich verschtoh nur bahnhof!' (lit. 'i understand only railway station!', it's all a mystery to me)

Anyways, back to the point: In the initial phases (Mendelbrot 1.0) the word was made nerdiest by saying it in one's closest approximation to the voice of Yoda from the Star Wars series. While this feature entertained archaeologists, ski patrollers, outdoor retail folks and forensic anthropologists (i.e: anyone on a long car/bus trip) the world over, it failed to catch on.

Further focus group testing suggested making this feature optional in future Mendelbrot! incarnatations.And so the newly released Mendelbrot! Y.O.! (yoda optional) version is here! Spread the word! Tell everyone about your Mendelbrot! Moments! Heard Mendelbrot! in the news? By your favourite celeb? Post it here!


FAQ's on Mendelbrot!

* Why mendelbrot and not mandelbrot you ask?
Simple, mandelbrot was taken as a bloggy name. Also, my spelling can't keep up with linguistic enthusiasm...

* What is Banöffee?*

Banöffee was voted most likely word to be antonym to Mendelbrot! (2002 Lil Gold Car Irish focus group). Why? Because it's banana toffee and that is SO not Mendelbrot!

*Any celebs of note endorse mendelbrot!?*

  • Prince William on QEII being oldest monarch ever: "It's brilliant, yeah? Totally mendelbrot!"
  • Julie Andrews on the creation of a Sound of Music reality program to cast the stage play: "It's absolutely mendelbrot! One of my favourite things!"
  • Canadian skier Britt Janyk on World Cup Downhill win in Aspen, Dec 8th: "It's absolutely amazing. I'm so excited! It's medelbrot!"

*Is mendelbrot! always followed by an exclamation point?

Almost always, yes! Because it's that mendelbrot! Guileless enthusiasm abounds!

*Is this entire blog going to be about math and linguistics and boring banoffee shit? I thought it was about mendelbrot! not Mandelbrot...

No! all medelbrot topics! Nursing! books! movies! Pics--like 12 on 12 photo projects--very mendelbrot! Activism like harm reduction-- uber mendelbrot!

*Do you have too much time on your hands?

So I've been told...