Q&A Round TWO

Feb 4, 2010

Time for Q&A Round TWO! There were lots of questions, thanks everyone for your emails, notes and tweets! I tallied up the numbers, and based on your comments and the nature of your questions, and it seems like “reader interest” can be summarized in the graph below.

Pretty interesting! Next week I have some big news to announce (the news has been piling up, actually :o ) and then I’ll start writing blog posts for every topic listed there in the graph. But FIRST, more Q&A:

Team Zombie or Team Unicorn?

Cassandra via Tweet

While I’m not pro-unicorn by default I am ANTI Zombie (they scare the CRAP outta me) so I would have to say Team Unicorn. It would be better if it was a robot Unicorn, though.

What is your opinion on the Olympics?

netfatuation via Tweet

Aaa this is a contentious issue. I usually don't like to stick my neck out on such matters because I'm not actually all that opinionated. A lot of bad and good things have happened as a result of the Olympics being here. I definitely empathize with what the protesters are saying, and I support them. I think what the VPD is doing against Freedom of Speech is awful, and funding has gotten funnelled away from some really important things - but I won't be protesting the Olympics in general. It's just not my scene. The way I see it-- would the homelessness issue have been resolved if we DIDN'T get the Olympics? Might arts funding have been cut as a result of, say, the severe economic downturn? Would we have had all these wonderful cultural displays around downtown? Would we have gotten a skytrain to the airport? It's impossible to say. The only thing I know is that I, personally, get really exhausted by being angry all the time and I made a decision a few years ago to not be so angry anymore. I think having all these people here is great. It's really fun, and it's only for a few weeks in the grand scheme of things. I love this city and I'm excited about all the attention it's getting. In the end, I want to enjoy this time as much as I possibly can so I can tell my grandchildren how FUN it was - not how awful it was for everything and how much I hated it. The Olympics are a corporation, yes, it is true. I'm not going to pretend that everything is awesome and hunky-dorey. But I admire the athletes who have dedicated their lives to pushing the limits of possibility. Whether or not sport "deserves" this much attention and promotion - THEY deserve attention and promotion for their dedication and mental discipline. I plan to have fun and enjoy everything that is around. If it is more fun for you to protest or stay as far away from the city as possible - you should do that.

Will you be seeing any Olympic Events?

Britannic via Tweet

Yes, I will! Trevor and I managed to score Men's Quarter Finals Hockey Tickets in the first lottery!! We don't know who is playing yet, but I am very excited about it. We also got Sledge Hockey tickets, which I am equally excited about because we are watching Canada v. Norway and I've heard that Sledge Hockey is a very exciting sport. We tried very hard for more tickets, but we are not made of money. We are still trying.

What colour is your kitchen? Would a decorative plastic flamingo fit in with the décor?

What about one with a clock in it? What if the clock was REALLY pretty?
Colin via email

Colin, what are you trying to tell me?? My kitchen is a dead-man walking, we are about to tear it all out. It WILL have chocolate brown cabinets, white-ish countertops and a red backsplash. It will be coffee and science themed. Also it will be the size of my cubicle, so there is not a lot of space for extraneous decor. My STUDIO on the other hand is a bit more, shall we say, eclectic.

If you could get any kitty, what breed would you get?

j010 via Tweet

Really, it doesn't matter. I love all cats, even the meanest, ugliest ones. I couldn't, in good conscience, pay hundreds of dollars for a purebred when there are so many shelter kittens in need of homes that would make me JUST has happy. That being said, if I was in a shelter with every breed in it for some reason, (and I lived in a huge house ;) ) I would get a Maine Coon. They are so wonderful! I just want to hug them all day and they are okay with that. Regrettably, I do not live in a huge house and the Maine Coon would probably take up half my apartment. The next best thing would be a grey and white cat or a tabby.

What is the hardest thing you had to deal with during University

Sean via Email

The hardest thing I had to deal with was time management. It's very difficult to plan your days and keep on top of everything and stay motivated. There is just so much that you need to do, all the time. I had to learn how to be really disciplined with task lists, and dayplanners, knowing when to say no certain opportunities, and scheduling EVERYTHING - including outings with friends. I had to learn what it REALLY meant to prioritize. I also consider this skill to be the most valuable thing I learned in Engineering.

How relevant is calculus in the engineering field? How frequently is it used?

Adam via email
Calculus is the language that Engineering is WRITTEN in. While I have never calculated an integral outside school, having a really solid understanding of calculus is essential to understand the key engineering concepts that I DO refer to in my work.

What sort of plant would be best in a cubicle (for a CoOp job)?

Paralian via forum

It depends. MOST coop jobs will stick you in some low-ranking office or corner with little to no light. In that case you want a VERY low light plant. On the other hand, if you luck into a really sunny spot -- your little shade plant will get nuked. I had an African Violet in my first CoOp cube, it worked well but I learned the hard way that transporting a plant sucks and it died on the way out :( I would recommend waiting until you HAVE a cube before going out to buy a plant. Ask the florist and get a specific plant for the conditions - light and temperature. Good starter plants are African Violets (shade), Asparagus Ferns (direct light), Bamboo (anywhere), and Jade Plants (indirect light).

How do you feel about the green industry and the job you have right now? How hard is it to get into? Would you recommend someone enroll in environmental studies?

Fos via email

I would say that if you were going out to find a job, say, tomorrow in the Green Industry - it would be tough. There are not a lot of jobs TODAY. However, it is an industry that is in DIRE NEED of expansion. There is a lot of interest and money being thrown at the problem, but there are not a lot of experienced people. So if you went into this industry you could soon be very in-demand, and it’s a great field to make your mark and make a difference.

Did Trev always share your sense of quirky or did you instill it in him?

Annablap via tweet

He is definitely a Quirky Dude by nature 'cause if he wasn't I don't think he could be around me for more than 5 minutes, let alone 6 years. There are quirky habits that we developed together and instilled in each other, but he definitely has a lot of weird quirks that are all his own. In fact the more I think about it the weirder he is. But I like it that way, if he wasn't so quirky I'd probably get bored with him. It's fun trying to figure him out.

WOW ok, that was pretty long. Thanks everyone for your questions! If you have any others you can always drop me a line, or get my attention wherever you see me. I’ll need continuing inspiration for blog posts as I try to “find my voice” here.