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I'll be in Toronto from about Wed. afternoon to early Friday afternoon. Thursday daytime and Friday morning are booked, but the remaining time is free. I'll be staying at Alana's place near Dupont Station.

Does anyone in Toronto wants to see me while I'm there?
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Gah, deadline stress.

On the upside, there is SCIENTIFIC PROOF that overly white environments--like the all-white minimalist houses design mags love and I hate--are bad for you. They make you 25% less efficient.

Downside: how many times will research need to hit us over the head with proof that sunlight, fresh air, and nature are good for us in multiple, subtle, complex, and really bloody strong ways, before providing them becomes the standard in ordinary architecture?
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My portfolio page for my retail design project is on the first page of Google results for my fashion designer, Anand Kabra. I only put it up a week or two ago, and it ranks above actual articles about the man and his designs.

If that alone were not cool enough, a friend of the designer found it (presumably when googling around for Anand Kabra) and sent me a message on Facebook. She said she'd recommend me if they need a showroom designed, and thinks he will be flattered that I did a project on him. Of course that recommendation may never turn into a real live job, but it is still flattering for me too!

Maybe, just maybe my very unusual name will turn into an asset instead of being something needing spelling several times a day?
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I now have a Dreamwidth account, which is also called arndis, and lives at http://arndis.dreamwidth.org. I don't know anybody's Dreamwidth ids, so people who have them can friend me there?

I got the account because I was bored with my theme and wanted a new one, but most of the themes I actually like require money or invasion of privacy, and I thought to myself, "I don't like ads; didn't Ian post DW invites?"

I love that it can auto-import from LJ. The auto-crossposting to LJ was required, but I am delighted by there being automagical importing. Um...can it magically fetch new comments over too, or do I have to tell people where to reply? And do they need their own accounts for that?
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I think it's time for a new vacuum. You see, I finally broke down and cleaned the office instead of doing homework, because it was too messy for me to stand being in the room to DO the homework. The floor is clear and my computer desk's top is clean, although the drafting table is still covered with stuff. Jason's computer is ready to be put back in his desk once he decides whether he wants to keep the old drive operational inside or in the closet. All good.

However, it took three vacuum decloggings to vacuum one 10x10' room, AFTER I removed about a quarter of the mat of hair and random paper scraps with a broom. This made me think, "this is the same problem we always have with our vacuums, just sped up." So now I know empirically that the reason we hate to vacuum is that all of our vacuums have clogged easily. Jason and I both shed a lot of long hair, which together with the dust and random junk turns into giant dust bunnies IN the vacuum tubes. We've never had a vacuum that claimed to be good with pet hair, but the conditions in our apartment involve long tangled masses of hair, lots of road grit, random snippets of foamcore, paper, bamboo skewers etc as well as random dust. So I think I know where our tax return should be going, once we file and get it.

Anybody know a good vacuum for these conditions? Or a store to consult? We have a mix of hard floors and low carpets. Dyson has a mini-canister coming out soon too, which interests me because I hate uprights.
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So this term's major project is a fashion boutique, abroad, for a trendsetting international designer. I'm going to use Anand Kabra, from India. He does clothes that are not just western, not just eastern:

http://www.anandkabra.com/

And since he has stores in India, but none abroad, obviously mine has to be in London.

So, if you were a haute couture fusion fashion boutique targeting both Indian and European women, where in London would you be? What neighbourhood, and would it be streetfront property or a mall?

And does anyone know how to efficiently mass-download images from a flash site? I do not want to have to download the damn things one by one.

End of term

Mar. 8th, 2010 03:57 pm
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So term finished Friday. No idea how I did yet, but I'm worried about some courses. Most of our terms are designed for robots not people, but this term they really took the gloves off. The 3D Modelling teacher was asking why half the class was helping this one girl print out her stuff to make the late deadline, and they just LOOKED at him. Because it could happen to us. One day is all it takes to send you back a year, if it's the wrong day, and you don't have the energy left to work twice as hard. Which after weeks of half-sleep just to keep up, you probably won't. Hopefully I won't fail design this term. We'll see -- it'll probably be a near thing, and all because it's just too much work for a short period, not because I can't do the work AFTER enough rest. You know there's a point of mingled exhaustion and sleep deprivation where food and caffeine can't keep you working productively, but only keep you from faceplanting into the keyboard? Most of us were at that for days to over a week before everything was in.

For the past couple days, just being awake has been exhausting. We went for sushi and had to go home to have a nap. Have to go home and nap after 2-3 hours awake at all, even for reading novels. I can sleep through daylight and dishwashers and snowblowers. When I need to turn in paperwork and fetch RAM sticks and fix computers and buy clothes. Maybe tomorrow I could stay awake for 6 hours running?

But meanwhile, naptime after a little bit of book. The screen's getting blurry.
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While I am at it, I am also applying for a passport. Is anyone willing to be a guarantor or a reference? Both kinds have to have known me for at least 2 years, but a guarantor also has to have a current or just-expired passport, and sign the forms and photos.

No big deal, but I am trying to get it done soon in hopes of trip-taking. :)
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I post in hopes that someone will volunteer to rub my back this weekend ((after 7pm on Friday, or just about anytime Saturday or Sunday), on the scale of "cannot get up afterwards because I am too pleasantly limp." I know people were rubbing it recently, but seeing as I'm about a week behind in the term's big project, and on time at best on the other ones, it kind of undoes when I start thinking about school. Especially when I discovered yesterday that I had to give up a few thousand square feet of space and replan multiple floors accordingly...the day after replanning one of them to take advantage of all that space. So it's feeling like it might seize up in my sleep sometime soon -- it's done that a few times already this school year.

We will make or take you to dinner, but please let us know if you wish to eat something involving reservations, groceries, or marination. Most of you know what cuisines are down the street. :)

And if we are really smart, we will start out with a soak in the hot tub at the Plant Bath! To save on the broken fingers.

Please?
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So, it's been the week from hell (missed 3 nights' sleep so far) and so I bloody well deserve something nice after I make deadline Friday afternoon for the sadistic incompetent asshole teaching 3D modeling. It's also my birthday soon.

Yousra and Savannah (classmates) owe me and Jason sushi for doing their proofreading, and they insist they will not be bored or scared off by my friends. So who wants to go for sushi (place they know on Elgin; I think it was Green Sushi) and then I hope go out dancing at the ID fundraising club party? Tickets are $5 and if you buy them in advance from me instead of at the door, it's pure airfare-to-Barcelona subsidy for my class.

Come along and give us a reason to dress up and show off! (And Jagash, if Eve is interested, tell her that I'll bring shoes that don't hurt my feet.)

According to its website, Mansion usually plays Top 40, RnB, and House. Given the party name "Ole," I suspect some Latin will make it in. Here's the details about the club party:

Start Time: Friday, January 15, 2010 at 10:00pm
End Time: Saturday, January 16, 2010 at 2:00am
Location: MANSION NIGHTCLUB
Street: 400A Dalhousie
City/Town: Ottawa, ON

The Design Students of Algonquin 2011 are fundraising to implement an ethics and environmental study abroad course which will allow students to experience and understand other cultures, study environmental practices on a global level and have the opportunity to share Canadian perspectives with international counterparts.

Come & Join us for a wild night of Partying on January 15th .

Tickets available now!
5 $ at Algonquin College, J building third floor, (contact person : Maryam/ agha0009@algonquincollege.com)
More tickets available at door.

Doors open at 10pm
19+ (ID Required)

WWW.MANSIONNIGHTCLUB.CA
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If anyone knows German, or knows someone who does, I need a little bit of translation done. This semester's nightclub/restaurant project is in Berlin, so I'd like to know what the German version of its name is.

The long version is "the Tesla Aetheric Transference Company, Brandenburg Station." The short version is "the Tesla." Online translators can't cope because the name is too steampunk. The venue is a kind of interuniversal railway station, but instead of riding trains we're teleporting matter around through the ether.

Clarification of sense:
  • Tesla is a proper name, the founder of the company. (Yes, Nikola Tesla -- who else?)
  • Aetheric Transference is the process, and this is what seems to be giving the translators fits.
  • Station in the sense of railway station.
Anyone able to help?
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So, I have a portfolio piece which is a little tricky.  Some of you have probably seen it -- the group project from this spring where we were designing the new building for our program. I had the library. The trouble is, that the rest of the group's work really sucked.  The rendering was bad, the planning was bad, and every page not under my direct control had a spelling mistake. Some had more. Lots more. They misspelled my name on the front cover, for example. And put what the teachers had told us at least 3 times was the wrong title.

So I'm trying to figure out: how can I show my work, while still having the project make sense, and without bashing my teammates, even though they deserve it?  So far ideas are:

  • print a copy that only contains my part of the project
  • print the entire project but only show my work until requested otherwise
  • show the entire thing but explain which parts are mine, in the hope that they will see how much better my work is than the others on the team. The hazard is, what if they don't remember which parts are which, and think that *I* would have submitted a drawing so bad that the walls wobbled?
  • fix minor errors (e.g. spelling, formatting) in the rest of the book.

The only way to be proud of the project as a whole would be to redo it ALL myself, but I don't have the time and energy for that.

What should I do?
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When the Slacktivist's latest linked to "complementarian bukkake" I just had to go look.  And I found this and this linked from its front page. And now I just must boil down its argument. The writer is a pastor in Iowa, so he is trying to explain why it is wrong for Iowa to legalize homosexual marriage, and what good Christians should do about this.  I present the stripped-down version of his argument:

Why it is wrong to legalize homosexual marriage
  1. Gay sex is ungodly because it has the wrong numbers of penises and vaginas involved.
  2. You must be gay if you approve of gay marriage, and God will punish you with increased gay sexual desire.
  3. God will smite you and you'll deserve it.
What good Christians should do about this
  1. Crack down on all ungodly sexual behaviour, not just on gays. He says, "Marriage is attacked when church members go undisciplined for fornication and adultery. Marriage is dishonored through abusive husbands and disrespectful wives, through the use of internet pornography and the reading of smutty novels." I will give him a thumbs-up for abusive husbands being counted here.
  2. Cracking down on all ungodly sex instead of just gays will convince others that Christians are telling the truth about gay marriage being wrong. The writer has noticed that the rest of the world thinks that the anti-gay marriage Christians are a bunch of homophobic hypocrites who scream about the evils of gay sex while indulging in heterosexual fornication. Therefore, living by the rest of their sexual mores will give them a leg to stand on publicly about the evils of gay sex. What the writer does not address is how them being more virtuous actually convinces everyone else that gay marriage is wrong.  It probably involves God somehow, instead of rational arguments.
  3. Go out and evangelize to gays so that God will convert them into good straight people. The "logic" here is that gayness is a sin, and sin comes from hating God, so gays must hate God. Therefore, if you convert a gay, causing him or her to love God, God will respond by removing the icky gayness.
Has this man really thought through what his argument looks like from the outside, and in particular what it must look like to a gay person, especially a Christian one?  And how is God increasing your gay sexual desire going to be a punishment for any gay person who isn't repressed? Wouldn't that be more of a reward?

He could have written this as "gays are icky and God tells me so" without reducing the content terribly much.
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Lovely people, I have need of you.  I am researching how to design government office space that doesn't suck. Our school project for the Ministry of Technology has a floor full of programming teams, and a floor full of executives. Would those of you who work in offices, especially in IT or government or hopefully both, help me out with these questions?  Comment, send a message or an email.
  1. What kind of work do you do, and in what kind of organization?  (Kind of work: e.g. is it thinking/concentration work, meeting-heavy, or interruption-based, like reception?)
  2. What is your office in general like, in terms of its design, furniture, and environment?
  3. What is your personal workspace like, in terms of its design, furniture, and environment? Which of your furnishings and equipment do you use, or not use? Are there ones you need and don't have?
  4. What do you like and dislike about the space? (both personal and common)
  5. What would make the programmers' floor in my Ministry of Technology project look unstodgy? Like a cool and pleasant place to work?
  6. What would make the executives' floor in my Ministry of Technology project look impressive while keeping theme with the programmers' floor below?  I would like to keep the programmers from gagging on the smell of money and pomposity, but it still has to impress VIP visitors.
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  • Wallacks, Omar de Serres, Amazon or Algonquin bookstore gift certificates
  • USB hub
  • teas: peach honeybush, cherry/berry herbal, pomegranate rooibos
  • filleting knife for fish
  • travel mug with that's approximately a normal cup size
  • drawing or watercolours books or lessons
  • a cushy footstool or two -- one for living room (golds, reds, and browns), one for tv room (black/espresso, brick red, cream, or navy)
  • peppermint essential oil to use in cosmetics making
  • rip our CD collection to MP3s for me
  • replace part or all of our tape collection with MP3s however you see fit
  • one of those teeny whisks
  • a double boiler
  • silicone muffin pans
  • pyrex casseroles with matching lids (we have unmatched ones)
  • rectangular pyrex casserole sized for 2-4 person batches of lasagna
  • chauffeur a shopping trip for computer backup hardware
  • chauffeur a window shopping trip for a new office chair
  • help install the ceiling fan that's sitting in a closet
  • something to hold triangles and stencils on the side of my drafting board but which doesn't interfere with the parallel rule clip
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As you may have already seen Tchang mention, if OC Transpo strikes on Wednesday (likely) I cannot get to my last few classes this week before my Christmas break starts. (Who knows about after; I'll worry about those later.) Wednesday morning's class is an in-class assignment worth 10% of my term mark.

I have at most 15 classmates, most of whom also take the bus and the one that I know drives lives in Kanata, not downtown. I do not know anyone well enough to ask to sleep over, or even to know if they live in walking distance of campus. Ottawaridematch.com did not turn up any workable matches -- all at least 6 blocks away on both ends with at best 30% schedule match. All the residence rooms are full and cannot be rented. I would either have to pay for cabs or a hotel room, if there's one nearby.

I have classes:
8am - 11am Wednesday
9am - 2pm Thursday
8am - 11am Friday

Is there anyone who could help out with getting me to or from class this week, especially for Wednesday?

 

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Come visit to keep me from going insane from door details and so that I can show off my refugee housing. I'm usually home by 5pm, but call and let me know if you're coming and whether we should let Jason feed you.
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Okay, I'm going to be putting in an order to the natural soap and skincare ingredients place at http://www.handmadesoap.ca/.  Some items would be more economical to buy in bulk and split.  Does anybody else want to add something to my order, and when you pay me back we'll split the shipping charge?  The store is in Ontario and the maximum shipping is $12 for up to 40lb of stuff. My order was already at $10 for shipping, and there's at least 10lb worth of space left.

I'm getting
  • 1lb Natramulse (emulsifying wax) (could be split)
  • 1-2lb pure pressed golden cocoa butter ($10/lb in 1lb lumps, but $9/lb in the 5lb size)
  • 1-2lb Ghana ivory unrefined shea butter ($11/lb in 1lb lumps, but $10/lb in the 5lb size)
  • 1oz Optiphen (preservative)
  • 4oz sodium lactate (humectant)
  • 50ml  each of these essential oils: 10x folded orange, european lavender, patchouli, and maybe balsam peru (could be split)
Please let me know within a week if you are interested.  I'm looking at you, Allison.  The cocoa and shea butters are great for your skin as they are or mixed into other things; the emulsifying wax is for making lotions and creams that mix oil and water.
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I'm taking an hour or so of break right now, but after that I have to get to work.  Thursday again, I should be home and doing homework by 5pm.  So, come entertain me and catch up on life while I draft plans and door details like a maniac.
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Since Apple has finally announced their fresh new laptops, I have finally ordered the computer I've needed since May and could pay for since August.

I'm getting the 2.53GHz Macbook Pro unless I chicken out before it ships. The reason that I might chicken out is that the whole kit is going to cost $2900 after tax even with my education discount. My inner accountant is screaming in horror, since I very rarely buy things this expensive, and I had not factored in $300+ of tax when I was weighing numbers in my mind.

The reasons to get the 2.4GHz Macbook (which just got a stellar upgrade today) would be that it's smaller, lighter, has longer battery life, and costs $960 (after tax) less.

The reasons to get the 2.53GHz Macbook Pro over the 2.4GHz Macbook are:
  • twice the RAM,
  • better hard drive,
  • bigger screen -- important, since I am a big-screen junkie who works with graphics a lot.
  • better CPU (twice the L2 cache of the other, which makes it faster than just the raw GHz does),
  • separate graphics card with 512mb of memory instead of integrated graphics with 256mb of shared memory, PLUS the integrated graphics. Translation: more capable graphics card plus more memory available for my programs to use, and the less-powerful card to save battery power when I'm not flogging the RAM.
The screen, CPU, and graphics cannot be upgraded later, so I either have to buy it now or do without, or sell the laptop and buy a new one if/when I discover I didn't buy enough power. This thing is going to be my workhorse machine for the next several years, and I am an impatient power user who has to run three or four programs at once -- such as AutoCAD, Photoshop, webbrowser with ten tabs open and a word processor -- for my schoolwork pretty often.

And, I just realized the secret weapon hiding in the better graphics card on the Pro: Snow Leopard. That's the next version of Mac OS, which is going to offload extra processing onto the graphics card when it's not busy. The Pro laptop has two graphics cards, both of Nvidia's newest and shiniest lineup, one of them with as much RAM as my entire computer had for the last 7 years. So when Snow Leopard comes out, the Pro is going to get lots faster than the plain Macbook will.

Since I can afford it, I think I have just firmly talked myself into spending the extra $1000 for the almost-maxed-out Pro. (I'd have to spend another $300 on the 2.8GHz CPU to really max it out.)

I want my shiny new hotness to arrive soon, please. 
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