Wait, how long is this going to take?

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Software Update

Software Update

I guess I’ll have to plug my laptop in for this update.

BibTeX

@online{bgcarlisle2011-2432,
    title = {Wait, how long is this going to take?},
    journaltitle = {The Grey Literature},
    author = {Benjamin Gregory Carlisle},
    address = {Montreal, Canada},
    date = 2011-11-2,
    url = {https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2011/11/02/wait-how-long-is-this-going-to-take/}
}

MLA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. "Wait, how long is this going to take?" Web blog post. The Grey Literature. 02 Nov 2011. Web. 19 Jan 2019. <https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2011/11/02/wait-how-long-is-this-going-to-take/>

APA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. (2011, Nov 02). Wait, how long is this going to take? [Web log post]. Retrieved from https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2011/11/02/wait-how-long-is-this-going-to-take/

A scary email to receive less than a week before the thesis submission deadline

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I bet you thought I was done posting about my thesis. Last Friday (6 days ago), I received this email after I had the pleasure of submitting my thesis electronically.

[Your supervisor] approved your e-thesis on September 23, 2011 at 11:51.

If your thesis has been accepted by all your supervisor(s), it has been sent to GPSO for processing.

If your thesis has been rejected, please make the changes requested by your supervisor(s) to your original document*, and create a new pdf, delete the file on the server, and upload the new file.

You can track the progress of your thesis on Minerva.

Hooray! It was good news to receive this email, and I tweeted about it immediately, of course.

Then, this morning, I received the following email.

Dear Benjamin, … We [at the philosophy department] have been told that you haven’t submitted your thesis electronically, and this is one of the graduation conditions. Can you do this immediately? The conditions have to be met by Tuesday, 4 October. Best wishes.

October 4th is on Tuesday (5 days from now). I’m pretty sure that my thesis has been submitted electronically. Here is my evidence:

  • Minerva lists my thesis as being uploaded and approved
  • I received the aforementioned email from the e-thesis computer

So I really don’t know what this fuss from the philosophy department is all about, but now I’m nervous that something’s messed up.

BibTeX

@online{bgcarlisle2011-2219,
    title = {A scary email to receive less than a week before the thesis submission deadline},
    journaltitle = {The Grey Literature},
    author = {Benjamin Gregory Carlisle},
    address = {Montreal, Canada},
    date = 2011-09-30,
    url = {https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2011/09/30/a-scary-email-to-receive-less-than-a-week-before-the-thesis-submission-deadline/}
}

MLA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. "A scary email to receive less than a week before the thesis submission deadline" Web blog post. The Grey Literature. 30 Sep 2011. Web. 19 Jan 2019. <https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2011/09/30/a-scary-email-to-receive-less-than-a-week-before-the-thesis-submission-deadline/>

APA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. (2011, Sep 30). A scary email to receive less than a week before the thesis submission deadline [Web log post]. Retrieved from https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2011/09/30/a-scary-email-to-receive-less-than-a-week-before-the-thesis-submission-deadline/

How to tell someone’s fortune

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I have to admit, I can’t take full credit for this idea. Steps 1–3 were Pickles’ idea. This technique will only work if you have a smartphone and you take public transit regularly.

  1. Sign up for a Twitter account and a Google+ account.
  2. Next time your bus or métro is late, open Twitter and Google+ on your smartphone and search under “nearby” for tweets and posts that make reference to the bus or métro stop where you are. (A Twitter user’s first instinct, when his or her bus or métro is late, is to tweet about it.)
  3. When you’ve found a recent tweet about your particular public transit problem, try to identify who it is that wrote it. Often you can do this from the person’s profile photo and by seeing who is fiddling with a smartphone.
  4. Read back on that person’s tweets and try to infer 5 or 6 minor but specific details about that person’s life that couldn’t be guessed from the person’s appearance. Memorise these.
  5. Look for one major thing, like a fight with a family member or an assignment at work or school, that is recent enough to not have been resolved yet. Try to guess what it is that the person would like to hear about that.
  6. Approach.
  7. Ask to see the person’s palm, or the pattern of coffee grinds in the bottom of her cup, or (my personal favourite) grab the person’s earlobe, and say, “Your pagh is strong, my child.”
  8. Use the minor details that you have gleaned from his or her Twitter or Google+ feed to gain the person’s trust. (E.g. “Your roommate—she doesn’t do the dishes very regularly, does she?” or “Did you just get a promotion at work?”)
  9. Act surprised about something, and then play “hard to get.” (E.g. “Oh! Isn’t that something!” / “What?” / “I don’t know if I should tell you. It’s about [major detail from step 5].”)
  10. Let the person offer you money. Begrudgingly accept.
  11. Tell the person what he or she wants to hear. (“Your brother puts up a tough exterior, but deep down he forgives you.”)
  12. Cackle, disappear in a puff of smoke.

If any of you actually has an opportunity to try this, let me know how it works out.

BibTeX

@online{bgcarlisle2011-2069,
    title = {How to tell someone’s fortune},
    journaltitle = {The Grey Literature},
    author = {Benjamin Gregory Carlisle},
    address = {Montreal, Canada},
    date = 2011-08-13,
    url = {https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2011/08/13/how-to-tell-someones-fortune/}
}

MLA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. "How to tell someone’s fortune" Web blog post. The Grey Literature. 13 Aug 2011. Web. 19 Jan 2019. <https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2011/08/13/how-to-tell-someones-fortune/>

APA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. (2011, Aug 13). How to tell someone’s fortune [Web log post]. Retrieved from https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2011/08/13/how-to-tell-someones-fortune/

Can’t say that Camping didn’t try to warn you

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File photo of Harold Camping, credit: BBC

File photo of Harold Camping, credit BBC

In the spirit of all those terrible “Left Behind”-type videos and books that churches had added to their libraries in the 1990’s to be found by unbelievers after the rapture, I have set this entry to be automatically posted to my blog at 8h on the morning of Saturday, May 21, 2001, because that’s the day Harold Camping predicts a giant earthquake marking the beginning of the world’s destruction. I’ll delete this post in the morning, if the rapture and destruction of the world hasn’t happened.

So if you’re reading this, either Camping was right, or I slept in.

According to interviews with Camping, if you didn’t die in the initial earthquake, God plans on killing you by October 21. Just FYI.

It’s remarkable that Camping was the only man in history clever enough to figure out the secret codes hidden in the Bible. The smartest people of Western society have been reading that book for millennia, but it kept its secrets virginal and pure for Camping to find—and just in time too! In fact, most Bible scholars agree that even Jesus said that the exact day cannot be known. (Matthew 24:36) Turns out that Jesus was wrong and Camping was right. Score one for Camping.

I think the most shocking thing about Camping being right is that he’s been wrong before. The Bible gives something of a test for prophets:

When a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word that the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously. You need not be afraid of him. (Deuteronomy 18:22 ESV)

Camping did just that—he spoke in the name of the Lord, saying that the end would come in 1994, and it didn’t come to pass. But then again, that must be one of those parts of the Old Testament that Christians have decided do not apply to them.

At this point you’re probably wondering what you should do now that you’ve been left behind. You can start by reading this instructional comic from Chick Publications.

It may seem strange that I directed you to a Chick Tract. If you asked me yesterday about Chick Tracts, I would have said that they are a festering boil on the butt of Christianity, and an embarrassment not only to Christians, but to all humanity, as they are an example of some of the worst sort of the hatred, pride and contempt that humanity has produced. I posted that link because I wouldn’t recommend reading the Bible anymore, since only Camping and his ilk seem to be clever enough to figure out what it actually says.

So it turns out that the extremely conservative Christian cult groups were right. It’s time to issue an apology to all the Fred Phelpses, Jack Chicks, Harold Campings, and Mark Driscolls out there. I used to say they were little more than hate-mongers. I used to say that they were misogynists and homophobes. Probably because they thrived on fear, bullying, subjugating women and oppressing minorities. And by doing so, they made a tidy profit and did it all in the name of Jesus.

But it turns out they were right to do so all along. Live and learn! Well … not in this case, I guess.

BibTeX

@online{bgcarlisle2011-1798,
    title = {Can’t say that Camping didn’t try to warn you},
    journaltitle = {The Grey Literature},
    author = {Benjamin Gregory Carlisle},
    address = {Montreal, Canada},
    date = 2011-05-21,
    url = {https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2011/05/21/cant-say-that-camping-didnt-try-to-warn-you/}
}

MLA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. "Can’t say that Camping didn’t try to warn you" Web blog post. The Grey Literature. 21 May 2011. Web. 19 Jan 2019. <https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2011/05/21/cant-say-that-camping-didnt-try-to-warn-you/>

APA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. (2011, May 21). Can’t say that Camping didn’t try to warn you [Web log post]. Retrieved from https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2011/05/21/cant-say-that-camping-didnt-try-to-warn-you/

Why not volunteers [sic]?

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"Why not volunteers?"

"Why not volunteers?"

As an MA student in bioethics, I am very interested in the advertisements on the Métro for participation in phase I drug studies.

And that’s not just because they were very tempting back when I had no job and no prospects at the end of the school year in April.

I have found the evolution of this particular advertisement to be very notable indeed. A few months ago, when I first noticed it, it went something like this:

“Up to $4000 for healthy men, 18–45 / A clinical trial? Why not!”

It would run in English first, then in French, and in the version that they were running a few months ago, there was no translation problem.

Now, it is the same message, except instead of “A clinical trial? Why not!” it says, “Why not volunteers [sic]?”

English mistranslation aside, the emphasis of the message has changed. At first, the tone was more on the “Why not?”—it was more like the advertisers were saying, “Yeah, we know it’s a clinical trial, but let’s throw caution to the wind! What could go wrong?”

Now, the emphasis has changed. It’s like the advertisers are now trying to go for more of the “It’s for a good cause” feel. “Volunteer. Why wouldn’t you? It’s so that these kind people can develop drugs that will help all of us.”

“Why not volunteers?”

BibTeX

@online{bgcarlisle2010-836,
    title = {Why not volunteers [sic]?},
    journaltitle = {The Grey Literature},
    author = {Benjamin Gregory Carlisle},
    address = {Montreal, Canada},
    date = 2010-08-6,
    url = {https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2010/08/06/why-not-volunteers-sic/}
}

MLA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. "Why not volunteers [sic]?" Web blog post. The Grey Literature. 06 Aug 2010. Web. 19 Jan 2019. <https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2010/08/06/why-not-volunteers-sic/>

APA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. (2010, Aug 06). Why not volunteers [sic]? [Web log post]. Retrieved from https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2010/08/06/why-not-volunteers-sic/

La Gare Centrale

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Montréal's Gare Centrale

Montréal's Gare Centrale

Here is Montréal’s central railway station, all decked with Christmas lights and decorations. When I was there, I overheard some very loud, somewhat creepy laughter from somewhere in the station.

I looked around, and caught the eye of an elderly woman who also heard the laughter and found it disconcerting. We saw each other’s confusion and shared a moment.

BibTeX

@online{bgcarlisle2009-557,
    title = {La Gare Centrale},
    journaltitle = {The Grey Literature},
    author = {Benjamin Gregory Carlisle},
    address = {Montreal, Canada},
    date = 2009-12-23,
    url = {https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2009/12/23/la-gare-centrale/}
}

MLA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. "La Gare Centrale" Web blog post. The Grey Literature. 23 Dec 2009. Web. 19 Jan 2019. <https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2009/12/23/la-gare-centrale/>

APA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. (2009, Dec 23). La Gare Centrale [Web log post]. Retrieved from https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2009/12/23/la-gare-centrale/

Soul patch

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A soul patch is a small patch of facial hair just below the lower lip and above the chin.

It works like a nicotine patch: When I wear one, I don’t have to feed on the souls of the living.

I’m clean-shaven these days.

BibTeX

@online{bgcarlisle2009-544,
    title = {Soul patch},
    journaltitle = {The Grey Literature},
    author = {Benjamin Gregory Carlisle},
    address = {Montreal, Canada},
    date = 2009-12-20,
    url = {https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2009/12/20/soul-patch/}
}

MLA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. "Soul patch" Web blog post. The Grey Literature. 20 Dec 2009. Web. 19 Jan 2019. <https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2009/12/20/soul-patch/>

APA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. (2009, Dec 20). Soul patch [Web log post]. Retrieved from https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2009/12/20/soul-patch/

McGill O-Week

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O-Week at McGill

O-Week at McGill

It’s O-Week here at McGill, and I’m reminded of that every time I pass through campus. There are a few tell-tale signs:

  • Students are wearing matching t-shirts, and the girls have cut their shirts up so that you can see more of their skin.
  • Students are drunk in the middle of the day.
  • Students are walking around in groups based on their faculties and yelling at each other.

BibTeX

@online{bgcarlisle2009-319,
    title = {McGill O-Week},
    journaltitle = {The Grey Literature},
    author = {Benjamin Gregory Carlisle},
    address = {Montreal, Canada},
    date = 2009-08-27,
    url = {https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2009/08/27/mcgill-o-week/}
}

MLA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. "McGill O-Week" Web blog post. The Grey Literature. 27 Aug 2009. Web. 19 Jan 2019. <https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2009/08/27/mcgill-o-week/>

APA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. (2009, Aug 27). McGill O-Week [Web log post]. Retrieved from https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2009/08/27/mcgill-o-week/

Naked mole rat

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"Naked mole rat gets dressed," a children's book we saw at Chapters, and did not buy.

"Naked mole rat gets dressed," a children's book we saw at Chapters, and did not buy.

On the way back to Montréal from Stratford, Pickles and I stopped in at a Chapters, to stretch our legs. We found some interesting things there. First off, there’s a growing quantity of vampire-themed books for teenagers, all with binding and cover-illustrations that are strikingly similar to the Twilight books. Also, a lot of classic books are now available in fancy-looking hardcover editions. It seems there’s a market for decorative books, these days!

But the highlight of the trip was definitely finding this book in the children’s book section. We didn’t read any of its contents, and so I can’t vouch for it being any good. I prefer the mystery of what the book might possibly contain. It’s just so ridiculous that anything the author could actually put inside it would only pale in comparison to what my imagination might suggest. If any of you has read this book, let me know, but don’t spoil the mystery.

BibTeX

@online{bgcarlisle2009-294,
    title = {Naked mole rat},
    journaltitle = {The Grey Literature},
    author = {Benjamin Gregory Carlisle},
    address = {Montreal, Canada},
    date = 2009-08-22,
    url = {https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2009/08/22/naked-mole-rat/}
}

MLA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. "Naked mole rat" Web blog post. The Grey Literature. 22 Aug 2009. Web. 19 Jan 2019. <https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2009/08/22/naked-mole-rat/>

APA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. (2009, Aug 22). Naked mole rat [Web log post]. Retrieved from https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2009/08/22/naked-mole-rat/

Creepy sign on the Métro

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A sign on the Métro with a weird icon in the middle

A sign on the Métro with a weird icon in the middle

See if you notice what I noticed on this sign. Do you see it?

Look at the second icon, between the fire and the cross. What is going on there?

BibTeX

@online{bgcarlisle2009-289,
    title = {Creepy sign on the Métro},
    journaltitle = {The Grey Literature},
    author = {Benjamin Gregory Carlisle},
    address = {Montreal, Canada},
    date = 2009-08-21,
    url = {https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2009/08/21/creepy-sign-on-the-metro/}
}

MLA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. "Creepy sign on the Métro" Web blog post. The Grey Literature. 21 Aug 2009. Web. 19 Jan 2019. <https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2009/08/21/creepy-sign-on-the-metro/>

APA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. (2009, Aug 21). Creepy sign on the Métro [Web log post]. Retrieved from https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2009/08/21/creepy-sign-on-the-metro/

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