Sunday, May 30, 2004

Fly high, sky high

So on Thursday night, I went to see Quidam Cirque du Soleil with a friend. It was amazing. Amazing. Amazing. The Chinese yoyo act was fantastic, but then again, so was every other act. My friend said that these yoyo performers were actually a lot better than many of the performers back in Asia. They flung these things at each other without looking, did backflips before catching, and more. One time, a performer flings the thing high into the air and another performer jumps onto someone's shoulders to catch it. I can't imagine what kind of precision is necessary for them to fling those things at each other without looking; they must have been throwing them about 100 feet high? I don't know I never was good at estimating distances. :) But the thing is, they all looked like midget guys, right? At the end of the performance when everyone comes out, they take their caps off and they were young GIRLS. They couldn't have been more than 11 years old! @@ How do they go to school, when they tour the world doing these performances? I guess they probably have some kind of travelling tutor, but man.

The aerials were crazy, I can't believe they did a lot of what they did without a net. Sometimes they had safety wires attached to their wastes, but a lot of the time, it didn't seem like they had anything. The funniest part was when a guy pulled people from the audience and tried to make a movie with them as the stars, without using any speech. The whole time, the director mimed everything they were supposed to do, and it was funny, especially when they tried to copy and screwed up.

The skipping ropes were amazing too. It's hard enough to be using both arms to make one skipping rope go clockwise, while the other skipping rope is going counter-clockwise. But then imagine three-way action of 6 ropes going, people jumping in and out of the ropes, and people staying inside the ropes skipping additional skipping ropes on their own. The whole show I just kept saying, "No way" over and over again. :D

One last example. There was this contortionist. She wasn't world-class or anything (though she was still good). But while in one act she was doing handstands, she put her mouth around something that looked like a microphone stand, microphone included. This way, her face was facing the audience, but she was still in the handstand position. Then she bent her legs so that her feet were pointing at the audience, making her legs and upper body parallel. Here's the kicker. Then she lifts up her hands and spreads them to her side (like a bird in flight) and she's there in this weird U-shape with only her mouth keeping her up. That is a strong jaw and neck...

So yeah, I got the CD. The live band was great too. It was amazing how they were able to keep the acts and the music totally in sync. If one of the performers ever screwed up, they got right back into sync with the music and it was like they had never screwed up in the first place. Hehe, I love this CD. :)

I really should write more reviews...

Here's a video clip of Quidam. :)

Sunday, May 23, 2004

Who am I to heal pain?

If you cause injustice in this world, do you have any right to want to provide justice in other parts of the world? When people are suffering, whether their suffering is trivial or significant, there are several questions:

1. You easily cause the same suffering for other people who are closer to you, why do you wish to resolve it for these?
2. You are only one human being, what makes you think that you are anything special and able to permanently make wrong right?
3. Isn't it quite possible that you have some ulterior motive in your actions?
4. Why do you sacrifice yourself for things that couldn't matter less or for people who couldn't care less, when the things that do matter lie unattended?
5. By avoiding these questions and maintaining the status quo, aren't you just being irresponsible?

As my man JC said, take out the log in your own eye before you try to take out the speck in your brother's eye. If the blind lead the blind, they'll both fall into a ditch. Why am I so unwilling to restore my sight first before taking action?

Indeed...

Currently listening to Pachelbel Canon in D. Andrew and Liza got married today. There was a beautiful chamber choir. They were beautiful. No other word to describe the sound.

Restore your sight, you fool...

Saturday, May 22, 2004

Pro Gaming is Alive and Well

Only in Korea... 10 hours a day? Chee, I'd totally not want to do that, and can you imagine the carpal tunnel? Ouch! But it's interesting to see how the longevity of Starcraft is playing out (pun not intended).

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Flaming all the way

So the Flames are in. Man, this is why I didn't want Vancouver to play the Flames in the first round, Rom, hate to say "I told you so!" ;) But that Vancouver-Calgary series I think was still the most memorable one out of all the series that the Flames played in the playoffs; the emotion was just so high. Here's hoping that Tampa Bay will get into the finals, that would be an awesome series to watch! Fast, hard-hitting, great goaltending, and great goal-scorers! But best of all, no trap! When was the last time that happened in the finals? :D

Reading through my international political science textbook, I really wish I had chosen political science as my major. Business is cool, but your critical thinking abilities don't really get developed there; you have to develop them yourself. As well, you get to deal with a lot more real-life world-relevant issues in political science. The amount of analysis that seems to be done in this course easily trumps the amount of analysis that one does in any business course (except for perhaps BUS 477, which I haven't taken yet). In business, you get what you put into it, and I don't see my peers putting much thought at all into their courses in the faculty. But in political science, what you get out of it seems forced onto you, and if you don't take the ball and run with it, you could fail. Gosh darn, maybe I do want to get into policy analysis... Yes, Vanessa Schneider at the Fraser Institute? What must I do to intern? Oh, really? Thanks.

Jeff updated the CompEvo website. Take a look, I think it's nice. :)

Apple Creates iPod Division. A good move on Apple's part, and I'm surprised that one didn't already exist. Quite frankly, the Mac is dead. It should focus on set-top boxes and the like because they've always been consumer-oriented, not business-oriented. And there will come a day when computers are no longer necessary for consumers (though they will still be necessary for businesses). The Tablet PC, smart refrigerators, and the like all show the future for consumers. Apple has always been able to stay one step ahead of the game and the iPod is the perfect foundation product on which they can build the next generation of consumer-oriented goods. I'd argue that it's a good thing that Apple sold more iPods than Macs last quarter. They'll never survive the computer industry. It's time for them to get back to their roots (which I'll argue they've already done with the creation of the iPod and iTunes) and create better futures for consumers through the use of technology. Certainly, we're reaching a point in time where the personal computer can't do that anymore.

I'll leave you with these quotes from these articles, which I read quite a while ago, because I wish to lament the lack of desire from society to pursue knowledge and innovation. Look at me, the pot calling the kettle black.

Gates goes to college:
The opportunities are there, and people do connect to them; people do want to make an impact. I dare Wall Street to come up with a demo for which they can say, "Hey, we will change your world and make it a better place, and you can help handicapped people." I dare a law firm or a bread company--these can be wonderful companies, don't get me wrong--to improve the world. Doing so today involves some mix of computer science applied to many domains and to biology.
- Bill Gates
Grr... The other article I wanted to post has "expired" apparently. It was about how the US was losing its leadership in the number and quality of scientific papers published in journals around the world, due to various national policies and the aggressive growth of other nations (particularly in Asia). It also quoted Craig Barrett of Intel as saying something like this (paraphrase):
Our K to 12 education system breeds lawyers and consultants, rather than scientists and innovators.
Canada's the same in that respect, I must say.

Don't get me wrong, you need business people who are able to identify opportunities, markets, and make things work in the industry. Hey, that's why I exist. But they'll be able to do jack without the engineer/scientist at their side.

Sunday, May 16, 2004

Life goes on

Plane landed in Vancouver at 9:28 AM on Thursday morning. Went straight to work. Yesterday, my team experienced a reorg, so I don't even know who my boss is anymore. Last night, I finally said good-bye.
Toronto was excellent, as visits always are. Good memories and bad experiences that build us up, both professionally and personally. We came runner-up in Ventures and SIFE categories in our divisions. Ryerson beat us out to be the finalist for our Fair Enterprise division. It figures that we couldn't even be a runner-up for that one. :) Perhaps I'm bad luck to the team. ;) But in all seriousness, Yi-Jeng and I watched the Fair Enterprise presentations of BCIT and Wilfrid Laurier and there was no way we could have beaten them (except for in the internal politics subject). A lot of things to which we can look forward for the coming year.
Who can forget Adrian riding the mechanical bull? Yee haw! Oh yeah! :D And being able to better understand the various team members within ACE was great. We're that much stronger a team now because of everything (and I mean everything) that happened.

So I come back from lunch, and my boss asks me if anyone talked to me about the reorg? Huh? What reorg? So now half of my team has been split up and sent off to different departments. Meanwhile, the remainder gets integrated into marketing, and I don't even know who my boss is anymore or what I'm supposed to do. So I get sent home early. Yay.

If you would like experience working as a database analyst and consultant for building a database system, please contact me. I know of an opportunity for you to work with one of the IT guys from PriceWaterhouseCoopers on a volunteer project. Perhaps a great way to network and show off your mad skillz? ;) Peter is gone to HK and won't be back until June 2, so yes, anyone can ask me for more details. The project should only take a few weeks, a month at most.

Closing with a song. Indeed.

I Don't Know You Anymore
By Savage Garden

I would like to visit you for a while
Get away and out of this city
Maybe I shouldn't have called but
Someone had to be the first to break
We can go sit on your back porch
Relax
Talk about anything
It don't matter
I'll be courageous if you can pretend
That you've forgiven me

Because I don't know you anymore
I don't recognise this place
The picture frames have changed
And so has your name
We don't talk much anymore
We keep running from the pain
But what I wouldn't give to see your face again

Springtime in the city
Always such a relief from the winter freeze
The snow was more lonely than cold if you know what I mean
Everyone's got an agenda
Don't stop, keep that chin up you'll be alright
Can you believe what a year it's been
Are you still the same?
Has your opinion changed?

Because I don't know you anymore
I don't recognise this place
The picture frames have changed
And so has your name
We don't talk much anymore
We keep running from these sentences
But what I wouldn't give to see your face again

I know I let you down
Again and again
I know I never really treated you right
I've paid the price
I'm still paying for it every day

So maybe I shouldn't have called
Was it too soon to tell?
Oh what the hell
It doesn't really matter
How do you redefine something that never really had a name?
Has your opinion changed?

Because I don't know you anymore
I don't recognise this place
The picture frames have changed
And so has your name
We don't talk much anymore
We keep running from the pain
But what I wouldn't give to see your face again
I see your face
I see your face

I wrote another poem! Yay... You can find it in the poetry section.