Purchase intentions

I think when I earn my first real paycheque for professional work after this degree, my first major purchase (after the beer, of course) will be a fold up bike. Some people use them around campus and they're such a cool idea. Sometimes your commute is too far to realistically cycle, or it's pouring rain or a host of other excuses, but you need wheels to get around campus quickly or at least efficiently. A fold up cycle is perfect! Ok, I admit that a skateboard is also a great solution, and I did try to figure out skateboarding but haven't had any success. Maybe a young prof looks cooler riding around campus on a skateboard, but I'm onside with the collapsible cycle. Read more about it at Bike Friday. They start at around a thousand bucks US (which is currently about $999 Cdn - tee hee!) and go way up from there. I wonder if it would be very tricky to build my own... might have to work on that and check out some plans. I suspect it's all about light materials and good hinges. Hmmm.

I'm going to look so cool cycling around campus on those dinky little tires!


Les fleurs

Donald, Stacemeister, you guys rock!


Fainting goats!

Turn your speakers on for the narrative.

This is what I was concerned may happen to me during the comp exam this morning. But, no, I managed to stay upright (ok, seated) and generally comprehensible, so they passed me! Fools!


Performing sustainability

So I'm cruising around the Internet, looking for creative things people might be doing with 'performance' and 'sustainability', thinking about this thesis project I have to design and get off the ground in the next year or so. I found a very cool project happening in Rotterdam, Holland.

'Green' nightclub plans unveiled
Wednesday, 15 November 2006, 16:04 GMT

A new nightclub in the Netherlands plans to offer clubbers an environmentally-friendly night out - in part by having them power the place through their dancing.

Plans for the Sustainable Dance Club in Rotterdam have officially been launched, detailing, amongst other things, a special dancefloor which converts the movement of the dancers into electricity.

Other methods of making the club "greener" include rainwater toilets, biological beer, and walls which change colour according to the heat generated inside the club, without using any electricity.

There is more in the BBC article, but the point is that all that human bodily energy being expended in self-expression, flirtation, stress relief, and general shimmy-shakin' is being converted to electrical energy to power the club. Freakin' awesome! They haven't defined the science of the dance floor yet but have proposed a few potential models, for example the floor could act as a large bellows that pumps air in and out as the weight of dancers changes across the floor, generating wind for mini-turbines. Simple and idealistic, but it just might work!

My creative juices are feeling a little drained from the exam process of the last few months, so if anyone hears or thinks of anything really cool and innovative that involves human body energy and sustainability options, please send it my way. I'm hoping to develop a project that will involve some travel, some innovative technology or innovative application of older technology, and interaction with a sustainability initiative already on the ground and running (or just about to). McGyver, I'm looking at you!



I know where my brain is. My brain is on vacation! I finished Topic 3 not eight minutes ago, sent it off, and now I'm free until July 23rd when the oral defence is scheduled. w00t!
Ok, not free, not really. Lots to do. But it doesn't necessarily involve sitting in front of a computer for 20 hours a day, ten days in a row, ya know?

I'm going to make a mojito - good thinking, Katie! Too late for The Reef, but I'm sure I'll have lots of time to celebrate this weekend with my folks, family, and friends, and lots of time next week to tear myself to pieces before phase 2.

Egads. It's half done.
oops - there's no time stamp on these posts. I finshed around 10:15pm. Later than I had hoped, but still...DONE!

It's 2:02am. Do you know where your brain is?

Dripping out of my ears, as far as I can tell. I'm going to bed for a few hours. Then back to work. Maybe with Bailey's.
Almost there. Almost there. Almost there.

Does anyone want to go to The Reef for dinner when I'm finished this evening?*

*Can you tell I'm ready to be finished all of this? SO losing momentum. Actually, momentum is lost. At least there is plenty to look forward to after this intensive period is done. Visits, camping, waterparks, surfing, good times.


Making progress

Alright, that's two exams handed in. Topic 2 went out to the committee yesterday around 7:30pm, then Rocco and I beelined it to the theatre to see Pirates of the Caribbean - finally! I was worried about spending even MORE time on my ass after six days of sitting but the movie was so entertaining that it didn't matter. I think Pirates 3 is waaaaaay better than Pirates 2. Frickin' Johnny Depp is fantastic - and Keith Richards as his dad? Perfect.

That was a brief break. I've already received the questions for Topic 3 but this time I have four days to write instead of three. I'll be done the entire writing process by Wednesday night and then have almost two weeks of grinding my teeth until the oral defence. There's lots to do in the interim, work that I haven't been getting to because of the comps, but I expect it will still feel like a loooong window.

Thanks for your support! I love getting little notes of "go, go, go!" at random intervals. It actually really keeps my spirits up, so thanks, and keep 'em coming! Also, you might not notice it but so many of the comments are coming in as anonymous that I usually spend a couple minutes trying to figure out who the author is. Ooo, brain teasers!

Part 3, Sun Jul 8 - Performance frameworks for understanding human action

1. Discuss the major issues surrounding the dramaturgical framework for socio-cultural theory and how it has been applied to the literature on Performance in Human Geography. What are the advantages and disadvantages of such applications, especially with regard to the short-term and long-term implications of Performance frameworks for understanding human action?

2. Some theorists on Performance have asserted that the Subject is constituted in public performativity and daily enactments of choice. Drawing on the concepts of repetition and iteration, discuss how the performance of values, emotions, beliefs, and lessons constitutes a form of social communication, contributing to social discourse. How might such a dramaturgical framework apply to sustainability and environmental issues?


You Tube comes in handy

Give this a chance. It looks dicey to begin with but actually is quite brilliant. Unfortunately goes out of focus near the end. No, I didn't make this. These are not my hands. I am not this talented.

And yes, I am 5 hours (and counting) away from handing in Topic 2 so I thought I'd waste some time on You Tube. Ya gotta pro'lem wit dat? Huh?

(It's going pretty well now, by the way)



need. motivation. stat.


Haha! After I posted the complaint, Milli Vanilli sent me this comic. It looks like I'm behind the times!


Round 2 please, bartender

I sent off Topic 1 last night at 10pm on the nose. That's four hours late for the deadline I set myself and two hours early for the committee's deadline. I'm already second guessing myself and wondering if I read the question wrong or if I tried to skew it too much to be able to fit in more of the readings... Oh the debilitating nag of self doubt.
The beast came in at 13 pages, single spaced. Wha? Yeah. 13! Single spaced! Usually things get handed in double spaced (that would be a shocking 26 pages) but I didn't want to intimidate the committee and start them off with a unfavourable impression so I left it single spaced. I think I learned a lot from doing the first response and the next two will definitely be more efficiently completed and shorter, for my well-being and the committee's!

The next set of questions should arrive in my mailbox in less than one minute. Oh. My.

Update 2 minutes after blogging:

Part 2, Thur Jul 5 - Individual behaviour change for sustainability

1. Psychological and socio-cultural theories of individual behaviour operate at different scales of causality (e.g. individual and socio-cultural) for behaviour. Do the differences lie deeper than that? That is, are these approaches consistent or compatible, or do they conflict, in terms of their underlying theoretical positions? Can the arguments from these two approaches be combined or must a choice be made about what are the most important drivers of behaviour?

2. How do psychological and socio-cultural theories of behaviour change engage with the concepts of the body or embodiment? Do these theories operate primarily at the cognitive level where behaviour is simply the physical manifestation of intention, or does bodily awareness or understanding play any role in the understanding of behaviour change? If such understanding does not play a role is these theories, how might this be done? Would it require any significant reformulation of these theories?


A spoonful of sugar

Bailey's in my coffee makes the words flow smoothly.

More smoothly, anyway.

getting there...getting there.
Thanks for phone calls and e-mails, guys. I'll be able to get back to you later in the week, maybe on the weekend.


Here we go

My first questions of the comprehensive exams:

1. a) Much of the literature on perceptions of the world that relates to embodiment refers to the apparent schism between abstract rational cognition and an intuitive, more spiritual lived reality. How might these ways of knowing the external environment be contrasted? Can the various theories of environmental perception be clearly distinguished and sorted into those that support and explain the existence of this schism (eg. Disembodiment in western culture is real) versus those that argue the schism does not really exist (ie. we are consciously and perhaps unconsciously informed by our physical and material realities)?

1. b) How does the phenomenon of human movement interact with the larger theories of environmental perception and embodiment/disembodiment? Can embodiment occur without human movement? How does motion relate to emotional response, and what is its role relative to other ways of connecting with our surroundings?

Directions: Pick one question and write an essay response over three days. I'm actually wriggling my fingers with gleeful anticipation. Quite excited to get this started. The questions are broad and maybe a little intimidating, but they are nothing I can't handle.

Oh, and remember the weather report? Today is blue skies and sunshine, contrary to the forecast. Maybe tomorrow will bring the gloomy weather that permits huddling away inside to tap tappity tap on the keyboard all day.