WAYS and PYRN on | Thursday, June 26th, 2008

WAYS (the World Association of Young Scientists) and PYRN (the Permafrost Young Researchers Network) are two projects among many other science-focused social networking initiatives I work on. They are featured in this video (German only) on On one hand it's great to see our networks start to gain some critical mass and exposure, and on the other it's mostly just fun for me to hear my buddy Hugues speaking German... ;)

COTD - Chat Of The Day: Jetpacks | Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

[12:17:33] Steven: I think i may have slightly hurt my back at the gym last night.
[12:17:43] mir: uh oh Steven...
[12:17:59] … you are going to need a bed on wheels to get around soon.
[12:18:08] Steven: Just a bit sore, not a pull or a disk or anything.
[12:18:20] … Bed on wheels? No, I want a jetpack.
[12:18:30] mir: Well they only give jetpacks to the able bodied.
[12:18:35] … sooo
[12:18:46] Steven: That's discrimination.

To baby powder and fireworks... | Monday, December 24th, 2007

... from cocaine and hand guns.

So, Medellin, Colombia is a pretty hot place. Not temperature wise though, the weather is quite perfect all year round from my point of view.

Like I'd mentioned, we found a pretty sweet flat up in the El Poblado barrio of Medellin (if you're in Montreal, think economic scale of Westmount but urban development style of Ville St-Laurent). We've got 2 nice bedrooms (I let David have the master room, since I'm such a caballero and all), 3 (!) bathrooms, and a nice full kitchen, along with a big, shared dining / living room and a couple balconies. It costs not much more than a third of what a place like this could cost in Montreal, I imagine.

After having settled in some, I was able to get (finally) getting some work done, when all of a sudden my laptop stopped charging. Turns out the power supply for this $120 Toshiba Portege overheated, and I spent the next day or so trying to find a place that could help me, finally giving in and paying the $80 to a repair shop for 10 minutes of work in the Monterrey shopping center down by El Poblado metro.

NITWISPS, 23-10-07 | Tuesday, October 23rd, 2007

Now that I got my camera back, I'm going to start posting more photos, and one neat way I've found to encourage myself to do so is by committing to a weekly-ish posting schedule.

I give you the first edition of NITWISPS - New Images This Week In Superb Photos by Steven!

My dad and my nephew Matthew, Matthew, Matthew, My Sisters, Marianne and Matthew, Marianne's apt., Marianne and Joseph, Joseph and Donut, Dominic and Donut, Kids, Vahe and his Mom, Vahe's sister and her friend, Rose's cake, playing Halo 3, I'm owning as usual.

Slingshot Around Autumn. | Tuesday, October 9th, 2007

Apologies for this slightly chaotic / 'en rafale' update...

You've gotta admit that we had a pretty great summer here. I was still ambulating around in a T-Shirt and shorts until just a couple days ago, and my sister was still swimming with my nephews in her backyard pool. Winter's right on our doorstep, and that's cool with me.

I've been enjoying all the work I'm doing right now; the projects I have lined up for the next few months are challenging, interesting, and promising. I long ago weened myself off my Drupal / Joomla / Wordpress dependency and the work I'm doing now reflects that evolution: more project management, more speaking, writing, more multimedia video / audio production, and less web stuff.

I also finally got my camera back from repair at Pentax Canada, and have been pretty shutter-happy as of late. I'm not posting many here, but there are some at the bottom of this entry. I'll hopefully also pick up a couple new lenses before embarking on some travel plans I'm making for November, December and January.

Other than that, I started watching, for the first time ever, japanese anime. I'd never been a fan of the form, but after reluctantly watching Spirited Away and Howl's Moving Castle (in English, so sue me!), I can really appreciate the genius that goes into Hayao Miyazaki's animation. There's something surreal about the artwork in these movies that I could never imagine being replicated using real-world or CGI effects, much like an oil-painting has a special quality that photographs can't match.

The other art form I've been getting back into (far too much, most likely) is gaming. I've realized that I'm a sucker for good interactive storytelling; as a kid I liked sitting around the campfire and listen to people take turns filling in part of a story, or reading fantasy or sci-fi novels and building worlds in my mind's eye with nothing more than the author's words to go on. In that sense, good games are closer to books than to movies – they all tell a story, but movies don't let you fill in the blanks yourself. They don't challenge or dare you to construct parts of the tale like books, or, more obviously, games do... but that will be a post in itself.

PC and console games are the new books.