September 2007

For many years now, I have wanted to know more about the history and details of music. Other than listening, my musical experience is all more than a decade old, and consists of (badly) playing the recorder and autoharp in elementary school. From time to time, various friends with musical knowledge have given me some […]


Well known as a progressive place, Vermont seems to have recently struck a notable blow in the fight to develop regulatory structures to address climate change. A heated court case had developed between car manufacturers and the state government about whether the latter could impose tough emission limits on cars and light trucks. William Sessions, […]


This was an ideal day to explore the Ottawa environs par velo. It was bright and pleasantly cool, and the fall leaves are changing colour. Mostly, I explored the paths south of Centretown on the side of various watercourses: the Rideau Canal, Rideau River, etc. I found Carleton University by accident, and discovered a very […]


I had no idea there was such an active debate about the utility of bicycle helmets. My assumption had always been that they provided unambiguous protection from direct contact between hard materials and the skull and had a limited secondary value in diminishing momentum at the time of collision by crushing. Some of the arguments […]


The new bike and I did Critical Mass tonight. This is the third city where I have participated, along with Oxford and Vancouver. This one had the narrowest demographic; every person there looked like they were a stereotypical leftist undergraduate. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it would be good for the event to represent […]


[Update: 22 January 2009] Some of the information in the post below is inaccurate. Namely, it implies that some level of continuous emissions is compatible with climate stabilization. In fact, stabilizing climate required humanity to have zero net emissions in the long term. For more about this, see this post. Every day, new announcements are […]


There is a lot of huffing and puffing going on about people ‘hacking’ the iPhone. At the heart of the matter are the twin definitions of the verb ‘hack’ that are not always well recognized. Many people take ‘hacking’ to mean malicious invasion of electronic systems, for instance in order to steal credit card numbers. […]


I got my new bike today, and it is a thing of beauty. It seems to weigh about half as much as my Oxford hybrid and the components are dramatically sharper and more precise in their operation. I had them swap the grips for some with more traction, as well as replace the pedals with […]


I learned something new about my student loans today: while I knew there was a ‘grace period’ of six months between finishing school and starting repayment, I did not realize that you got charged interest over the course of it. On the first day of the seventh month, you need to either pay the interest […]


Both for work and my own interest, I am reading Richard Alley’s The Two Mile Time Machine, as recommended back in Oxford by Henry Shue. A relatively informal history of ice core science, it also includes some interesting facts and observations about the polar regions. For instance, I learned about the phenomenon of sun dogs […]