Friday, April 22, 2011

Il buono, il brutto, el cattivo

Oh well, been out of it for a while, in more ways than one. Instead of one monster blog-post that rambles on for days, I'll try and get back up to speed in bits and pieces.

Before we begin, some mellow tunes to listen to and hopefully become today's earworm. Firstly, I Am The Photographer by Memphis. Their sound has been described as having a "lush, easygoing and melodic sensibility" and whose music "jangles and shimmers" with the Smiths as a reference point.

That's better, isn't it?

To continue mellowing out, try a little of Alexander's Truth.

I'm not sure where this one is coming from. More than a bit of an Enrico Morricone vibe, that's for sure.

Il buono, il brutto, el cattivo pretty much sums up where I've been coming from recently.

Some twat hit my nice, brand new Smart car three weeks (or maybe two) after getting it. I know, I know; I'm starting to sound awfully possessive over an inert (in a conscious rather than a kinetic sense) assemblage of metals and plastics, but for the one time in my life I get something "nice" and this is what happens. This is why you don't get the good stuff; you'll only get crapped on from a great height by Lady Luck masquerading as a diarrhetic Larus argentatus.

Anyway, I was behind him, we were both turning right out of the IWK car-park onto Robie Street when he reversed into me. Nope, doesn't make any sense does it? I remember sitting there watching his reverse lights come on and thinking he must be going through the gears trying to find Park because there's no sane reason to reverse, before he came back at me! Anyway, he 'fessed up good and proper. The damage isn't bad, just a Deerkiller-esque dent on the bumper and I'm in the process of getting the repairs done on his insurance.

As rakish-looking (and performance un-limiting) as the dent may be, I don't want it on the car!

A week later, I took Joshua to Science Fair regionals at SMU, on the back of his performance at the school science fair. It was a bit daunting when we arived to set up. Here's Joshua with his store-kit solar rover and a clock from my bathroom that runs on water and lemon-juice and next to him, again in the sustainable-fuels section is a kid who's Dad had built him a water-wheel and a windmill.

Oh dear, so this was the competition. Note to self; next time a little more on the creativity, a little less time in the science-section of Scholastics! We set up, ran his presentation through the safety and ethical checks; no radiation, no poisons, no gigawatts of power and no animals were harmed in the making of this poster (something I have never, ever, been able to say before), and firmly decided this would be a learning experience instead.

Instead, he won the Junior Sustainability prize! This was a shock to all concerned, not least Joshua who didn't even go up to accept his prize at first. He was so convinced that he wasn't third or second, and neither was the kid next to him with the home-made water-wheel, then were was no way he'd be first. The way he tells it is he tuned out after they awarded the silver and didn't even go up at first to get his prize when he was named. They had to call him three times!

Funny aside, there was a real NRC-IMB vibe to the fair. Out of fifty or sixty entrants there were four or five ex- or current IMBers.

Anyway, Joshua walking off with cold, hard cash was one in the eye to a somewhat cruel comment that he only won at school because the competition was weak and/or they were marking low! Instead, all the judges praised him for his enthusiasm and overall presentation skills. All goes to show, sometimes the high-falutin' science means naught if you can't present it well.

So bravo Joshua, but no you're not spending the $150 first-prize money on Lego (it's going in your RESP). We're (well, I am) = already planning next year's project. This time, with actual data! And no Joshua, not the funny-looking chap from TNG, I mean numbers!