Funding drive

There are only three more days to pre-pledge and have your name entered into a draw for a stack of CDs reserved exclusively for those who are proactive and awesome that way (I will be drawing separate stacks for each of the two funding drive shows I'm doing as well, for a total of 3 stacks of giveaways). I need to raise $1000 over the course of the drive to "pull my weight" at the station, so I really need to push hard. The online form is secure and you can donate with credit cards or via PayPal. Anything $25 or over gets you a tax receipt. If you listen to The Dollar Bin or even just like the notion (unmatched musical variety... a veritable garage sale of auditory treasures from all over the world), please donate to support me and this show!

In case you haven't listened to my show before, we archive the last four shows for on demand playing (24/7). All the playlists are there as well if you're looking to sample potentially new-to-you artists.
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    hopeful hopeful

Free lecture

There's a free public lecture (translation: it's for real humans, not physicists) at Carleton University this Thursday evening on the discovery of the Higgs boson, a feat as complex and important as the landing on the moon. Carleton designed and built a key component of the Atlas detector (the forward calorimeter) right here in Ottawa and are a key player in the analysis of the Atlas data. If you have or know kids that are interested in science, this might be good to drag them out to as well (older kids at least).

I found out that there's a possibility I might be doing my honours project on Higgs data analysis and phenomenology (the bridge between theory and what to look for in real experiments) in between integrating and developing analysis code for a high resolution pixel detector (possibly to test ideas for the nascent International Linear Collider project) and continuing the work I've been doing on cosmic ray science (in my "spare" time, I'm also building a functional desktop proof-of-concept of the satellite-based detector that I proposed and designed last year with the help of some aerospace students). Still too early to say, but we shall see...

Click the image for the lecture information.


How to be classy...

I was sent this last night, and I felt compelled to share it today due to the fact it's wonderful. As Beep put it, these sorts of things are the cave paintings of our modern technological society (she actually said other stuff as well that was much more profound). But... all you need to do is click on the three links in the order below. They will open in three new browser tabs (hopefully, if you have your browser set that way). You need to have sound and it's recommended to full-screen the 3rd link :). No tricks, this is part of what I am now beginning to consider a new art form... enjoy! Note: Wait for the sound to start if you are there before a week or two after I've posted this, I think the sites that the links point to are straining under the load at the moment and may take a little while to start (it took about 15 seconds for me for the first two today, it came up instantly yesterday, so it's making the rounds atm I guess, heh...).

How to be classy in three easy steps:

1. Click this link
2. Then click this link
3. Then finally, click this link

p.s. Wine might not be a bad idea either ;).
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    impressed impressed

An excuse...

Well, I was going to talk about my first week at school, but it was just going to be an excuse so I could post what is simultaneously one of the best and worst ever music videos of all time (in my humble opinion). Apparently I'm a little late to the game on these folks, so please bear with me (I'm a little busy and can miss stuff sometimes, heh). So rather than beat around the bush... I present the infinite awesomeness of Muse's "Knights Of Cydonia" song and video.

I had seen it once before at St. Hubert (Québecois chicken restaurant chain) and thought I'd remember the name, but I didn't look it up soon enough. I saw it again yesterday and looked it up this time. I knew I had heard their name before ... and I couldn't remember why until I rummaged a bit more on youtube and realized they were the band that had done Supermassive Black Hole (which I really liked, but never followed up with the band apparently). But I first ran across this video, which totally gives me goosebumps... both the music and the video itself... wow!

It was at that point that I realized I had finally tuned into something wonderful (that many, many others had already figured out before I did, heh). And then there was this... perhaps problematic, but it demonstrated to me that this band wasn't afraid of trying new things and not repeating themselves. Maybe the dubstep isn't the best I've heard, but tied with the epic backing music, it makes for something new and that more than makes up for missing somewhere else :). Hard to believe it's the same band even, amazing!

Okay... and what I consider to be an actual work of (somewhat tongue in cheek perhaps) art... DUBSTEP FOR THE DEAF!!! Even if you can hear, it's a total brain fuck...

Still need more? I think I need to be done posting embedded links, you can visit these if you are bored or intrigued ;).

Nyan Caxx (based on a true story)
Jon Gomm - Passionflower (superhuman musical performance skills)
Marquese Scott - Pumped Up Kicks (superhuman dance performance skills)

That last one... no camera tricks... one take... and a reprehensible disregard for basic physics <mind officially blown> ;). Muscle isolation the likes of which I have never seen before (and I know a lot of excellent belly dancers).
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    bouncy bouncy

(no subject)

Demand democratic debates!

The ‘Death of Evidence’ rally will take place on July 10 to coincide with a large scientific conference taking place in Ottawa. The demonstration will entail a funeral procession from the Ottawa Convention Centre commencing at 12 noon, followed by a rally at Parliament Hill.

What: Death of Evidence Rally
When: July 10th, 12pm noon
Where: Departing from the Ottawa Conference Centre (55 Colonel By Drive) to Parliament Hill
Notes: Please bring a lab coat if you have one or dress in black if you don't. Feel free to bring signs and/or other scientific or medical equipment.

12pm: leave the Ottawa Convention Centre
12pm-12:45pm: Funeral procession through the streets ending at Parliament Hill
12:45pm-1:15: Rally and speakers at Parliament Hill

If you are fed up with the closure of federal scientific programs and muzzling of scientists, if you think that decisions should be based on evidence and facts instead of ideology, then please come out and show your support.
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    angry angry

In better news...

HUGE ANNOUNCEMENT!!! CKCU has finally activated its 2012 mega project: "CKCU On Demand"! All shows on CKCU will now be archived for 30 days and can be listened to at ANY TIME during that period! Thanks to everyone who provided financial support to CKCU... this is one of the things we've done with your donation dollars (it's the single most common request we have received). You can sample any of the 111 shows produced weekly or bi-weekly on CKCU at any hour of the day by going to the Programs tab and clicking on the show you want to listen to. You can then select from any of the shows recorded by clicking on its date and then the "CKCU On Demand" icon. All of us here at CKCU hope you enjoy this new feature -- the diversity of programming on CKCU is second to none!!! To listen to my show (two shows available so far... four will be available at any given time once the system has been up for a month), go to:

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    bouncy bouncy

To slip the surly bonds of Earth...

Oh, and please help to send me into the cold darkness of space...

Click on the link and "vote" or "like" on FB or +1 on Google or Tweet or ... well, you get the picture ... if you are so inclined.

For some reason, the Metro newspaper chain decided that giving away free astronaut training in the Netherlands and a ticket on one of the civilian space ventures would be a good way to promote their brand. Odd, but even if they're just tossing names into a hat (although it seems more like it's a popularity contest, which I'm sure greatly reduces my chances), it's a chance I can't just ignore. If nothing else, you have to admit that I'm determined ;).
  • Current Music
    B-52s - Song For A Future Generation

Stupidity is to the bone...

Forbes, certainly not known for its bleeding heart liberal tendencies (i.e. quite the opposite, in fact), published an article today titled "Remarkable Editorial Bias on Climate Science at the Wall Street Journal". Full disclosure, it says right at the top that Gleick is "CEO Pacific Institute, MacArthur Fellow, National Academy of Sciences", so there's a bias there as well. However, in his article he invites the reader to compare a recent opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal ("No Need to Panic About Global Warming"), with a letter submitted to, and rejected for publication by, the Wall Street Journal by the National Academy of Sciences ("Climate Change and the Integrity of Science"... eventually published in the magazine "Science"). The Wall Street Journal backs up it's article with the fact that 16 scientists had signed it. Unfortunately, the opinion of these 16 scientists needs to be weighed against the 225 scientists that put their name on the National Academy of Sciences' letter, the National Academy of Sciences' 2010 report to Congress: "Strong Evidence On Climate Change Underscores Need For Actions To Reduce Emissions and Begin Adapting To Impacts", the 2009 letter to the US Senate by 18 scientific societies (not individuals), and even the US federal government's own research presented in "Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States". The problem is that those who's agenda is served by the lies and misdirection published in the likes of the Wall Street Journal, turn to that publication as "truth" when arguing their position because it's an "independent media" and must therefore be true. Nobody says "it must be true, I saw it on television", right? Um, right??? Oh... most people believe everything they're told through their media of choice? So, the Wall Street Journal is actively campaigning to destroy the world of our children? Hmmm... it's because all big media is owned by a handful of people (rich white men at that)? Wow, our elected officials should take action! What? They're owned by the same handful of rich white men too and the populace is too too apathetic, brainwashed, or cynical to exercise the one tool they have (the vote)? Oh, fuck... we're boned!

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I Saw Ya! I Saw Ya!

(no subject)

If you get an automated phone call saying you've won Air Miles points, just hang up, it's a fraud. I got the call and did hang up on it (I did not press "1"), but wrote to Air Miles to ask whether it was legit or not. Apparently it's not as this was their response:

Many of our Collectors across the country have reported this to us, and I thank you for taking the time to let me know about your concern. My name is Kiran and I would like to respond. I'd also like to apologize for the delay in getting back to you. Our e-mail volumes have been higher than usual lately and I regret any inconvenience.

The AIR MILES Reward Program does not use automated messaging or require Collectors to provide any personal information in order to qualify them as winners of reward miles. Having said this, I would like to confirm that the call was not made by the AIR MILES Reward Program.

Rest assured, we are aware of this telemarketing scheme and I would like to let you know that it is being investigated by the appropriate authorities, including the Canadian Anti-Fraud Task Force.

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Task Force has advised that any suspicious telephone calls where personal information is asked for should be reported immediately to them at 1-888-495-8501 or by e-mail at:

James, I encourage you to visit the Anti-Fraud task Force website to learn more about what steps you could take to avoid becoming a victim of telemarketing/automated telephone schemes. The website address is

We will continue to work with the appropriate authorities and report any suspicious activity. We ask that affected Collectors continue doing the same.

Please let me know if I can be of any more assistance.


AIR MILES Customer Care

Just so you know...
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