Posts Tagged ‘Life’

Tough acts to follow

August 27, 2011

This week has marked the untimely departure of two charismatic leaders from the helm of two very different organizations.
Canada’s New Democratic Party Jack Layton succumbed to cancer, shortly after leading its party last May to the best electoral showing in its history.
Apple‘s legendary co-founder Steve Jobs stepped down from the position of company’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO). His stated inability to continue to serve in that capacity, is attributed to health problems (he has also been fighting cancer over the past few years, and it seems unlikely that he may return).


Eat less, exercise more… or, less ?

August 7, 2011

Like many adults in my age range (late 40s), I have observed over the past decade my weight progressively creep up, much to my great joy and satisfaction (tongue firmly in my cheeks).
It is not driving me crazy (yet), but I am now feeling that I should make controlling my weight one of my main goals as I approach my …ties (sorry, I cannot type that in full), mostly because I would like to stay in good health for as long as I can.
So, how bad are things now ?


Time for a change ?

July 31, 2011

It is a warm mid-Summer weekend. Instead of relaxing and enjoying the outdoors, the fresh air, the company of friends, the ferocious northern mosquitoes and all the joys that the season brings, I am in my home office, cursing the new Apple operating system.
Being a sucker for whatever is new, I have much too hastily installed it on my home computers, as soon as it became available early this week. I have spent some time reading pertinent newsgroups and web sites, and noted that some of my concerns are shared by other long time users — but of course we may well belong to a vocal minority. Ultimately, as usual, the market will be the supreme and unappealable judge of the success of this product. Me, I do not like it.


On being anal

July 10, 2011

It took me a while to come to the realization that I need to vent over this subject right here, on my blog, no matter how petty, ridiculous and irrelevant it is (the subject, smartass, not the blog).
I am becoming quite tired of having to argue with the editors of one specific (highly respected) physics journal, who insist with trying to change the title of the articles that I submit, before or after their acceptance for publication. Something that started a few years back as a “once-in-a-while” occurrence, has of late become almost a fixture of the editorial processing of my articles submitted to that journal.


Hi, I am Jack, and I am a recovering socialist

June 20, 2011

Canadian New Democratic Party (NDP) held in Vancouver its fiftieth national congress since its foundation. It is presently Canada’s official opposition in the House of Commons, and arguably one of strongest (nominally still) socialist political formations in the Western world. On the agenda, to be voted by delegates, was also a resolution that would change the language in the NDP’s statute, removing any reference to “socialism”. According to some of the Party’s éminences grises, “it is time for it to go”, to paraphrase a former US Vice President (although apparently it will stay for the time being).


Does not get much sillier than this…

June 14, 2011

… aka, the xkcd wikipedia meme

All right, it has been a while since last time I did this kind of stuff. I saw it at VWXYNOT? (where else, eh ?), who got it through Drugmonkey via WhizBang!
I figured I would give it a shot too — it is Summer after all (almost), so blogging is slow. So, here we go:


Free agent professor

June 13, 2011

If you’re a college or university teacher, whom do you work for ?”
Thus begins Stanley Fish‘s latest New York Times editorial on the subject of academia. Here are a few excerpts:
Academics […] want […] to work in an organization and enjoy its benefits and at the same time be their own bosses.”


iPad on the road

May 31, 2011

In a recent post, I stated my intent of purchasing an iPad2 as soon as it would become available in Canada, and expounded why I deem it as the optimal portable computing device for someone in my line of work. In particular, I see it as a superior solution to a “conventional” laptop/notebook computer, including the ultra-light MacBook Air.
I have owned my iPad for one month now, and have had the chance of testing it “on the road”, namely in the very conditions that prompted me to consider its purchase in the first place.
What is my verdict ? Does the iPad deliver on its promise, do what I expected, or am I disappointed ? Can it really replace a regular laptop in most circumstances, as I opined when I first wrote my piece a few months ago, or does it miss some crucial features ?
Bottom line: Am I happy with my choice ? Would I recommend it to my least despicable enemy ?


The face of a nation

May 21, 2011

This editorial cartoon, published on the Canadian National Post of May 18 2011, has prompted the Italian ambassador to Canada to write a letter to the newspaper, stating his displeasure over a satirical commentary that in his view is “gratuitously offensive to Italian government institutions and to the Italian citizens who select their leaders, as do Canadians, in democratic elections.”
I have to admit it, when I first saw that cartoon I also could not bring myself to laugh (well, not right away) — but not for the reasons expounded by the ambassador in his letter, with whose content I disagree.


Dissecting the 2011 vote

May 7, 2011

Having reaffirmed once again my inability at making accurate predictions, I am going to offer now my very personal reading of the results of the general election held in Canada early this week. I am, of course, no pundit or political scientist, merely an amateur — anyone wanting to find a more informed and insightful analysis can consult a host of respectable and authoritative sources, such as this one (just kidding).