Saturday, April 29, 2006

Paper Rehash

I spent most of my week doing some semi-magical things on the paper that was rejected in order to deal with the reviewers' comments. With a colleague, I spotted some conferences where we might submit it and found a direction of improvement (that would take more time). Noticeably, I increased the data set for our statistics by about 40%, which was not always trivial.

I'll be able to put only minimal effort on this paper in the week to come, but I feel there is a good foundation established to submi to another conferencet next Friday.

On other news, there were inspiring things... We are receiving Mike Fontenot from the Hampton Roads Church of Christ and he preached to us for the leaders' meeting. The singles and campus ministries also gathered to pray with him in the Botanical Garden. I feel a burning to get more radical in my lifestyle. I realize that I've been working from my strenght recently, and that I need to live by faith much more.
Keep on praying for me.


I saw a few snippets of Advent Children on Google Video and I'm seriously drooling over this.

The price on Amazon is not too bad either.

I'll have to look at my budget to see if I can afford it. One way or another, I need to be patient for my cashflow to get better... I'm still waiting for my first pay. Patience is not my strongest point yet...

Edit: if you are having a guilt trip over not giving me a birthday gift, then wink wink, nudge nudge
(Couldn't resist it :) )

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Semester Finally Over

I finished my semester on Monday. It was on major marathon to get there, since we had to finish in 2 weeks a software that we didn't really start in the first place.

I had 2 all-night coding sessions last week. Everything seemed to go wrong, from the technology that we were using that didn't work all the way to team skill and communication issues. We demoed on Saturday for one full hour... that was painful!
We wrapped the documentation on Monday and I was glad it was over.
Our supervisor has scheduled us meetings once a week for the team, as well as a monthly newsletter (which I am doing using Scribus. That's a certain learning curve but I'm doing OK.
Yesterday, I got the news that I had a paper rejected. This was a paper I put a lot of energy on, and the reviewers were not agreeing on what to fix... which doesn't help on fixing it for submitting somewhere else.
Today, our supervisor demands 9-5 work hours, with some flexibility. I won't reschedule stuff I had prepared today, but I'll have to be careful starting next week.
As a sidenote, here is a great video. Whoever did that must be really smart and creative!

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Beautés du Darfour

Here is the poem that I submitted for Women's Month a while ago. I had a conversation with a sister and this popped up, and I felt it would be great to share with you. Afterwards is an attempt at translation in English.

Please note that English is my second language and that it shows very very much on the translation.

Beautés du Darfur
Tant de larmes coulent
Dans le village, la destruction
Fade devant les femmes qui hurlent
Cette plainte venant de chaque maison
Aucune n'est morte, sinon dans leur cœur
Plusieurs souffrent d'innocence brisée
Que nul homme ne pourra réparer
Comment enlever leur douleur?
Les libérateurs ont ravivés
Les souvenirs si souvent répétés
Lacrymales inutiles aux étrangers
Punition pour toute la féminité
Beauties of Darfur
Rivers of tears are flowing
In the village, the destruction
Fades from women's cries
A lament from each house
None is dead, except their heart
Many suffer broken innocence
That no man could ever repair
How to remove their pain?
The liberators have ravived
Often repeated memories
Lacrymals useless to foreigners
Punishment for feminity

Thursday, April 20, 2006

An Inconvenient Truth

This is a movie I'll see for sure!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Pachelbel's Kanon

I somehow remembered this beautiful piece yesterday.

I really enjoy it. It is simple yet elegant. It almost brings tears to my eyes, and I don't understand why.

Wikipedia has an entry and some Vorbis files to listen to.

As a sidenote, if your under-evolved player doesn't read Vorbis, you can give WinAmp and VLC a shot.

Edit: I found another legal copy on the Internet Archive, this one being fully orchestrated, not just a piano subset :)

Impressive Honda Advertising

This is something I saw a while ago, and I'm delighted to see it again on Google Video.

Its cool that they offer this 'embed' option to integrate it to our blogs... smart!

Monday, April 17, 2006

Deadline is coming ... yet I refuse to let stress win over!

So, we have this thing due for Friday...

And the learning curve for the technology is a steep one. Plug-in architectures require special work, after all.
So, I spent most of last week working until pretty late.

Nevertheless, this was not to stop my evangelism for Easter.
Nor would it prevent me from encouraging my sisters. Saturday, I went to an older sister in the morning and we were 4 listening to a CD of Vivaldi (you know how much I like that stuff). In the evening, I helped a sister submit her thesis to her supervisor (computer issues) ate out with her and we went to see Belgian clowns at the Tohu. This was definitely good.
We had help on our way by a friendly mechanic in a garage. We came back after the show and invited him to church, only to see that we missed our bus back. Yet, God being God, another bus showed up and we ended up on a faster path back to home than we would've otherwise! Talk about good planning ;)

On Sunday, I enjoyed the church service. Afterwards, I went back home, and God sent me a few religious people to evangelize... Why do they need to find baptism so much of a "work"?
Anyway, I afterwards phoned brothers and sisters I lost touch with. I then proceeded to cook some nice food while listening to Händel's Messiah. Somewhere during the 2nd part, I was done cooking and I was eating the supper with a good glass of Guavaberry (one of the best liquors in my opinion). So, while eating, I was praising Jesus, concluded by the joining of my voice on the 'Halleluiah' movement.

I also finished reading John on Sunday. I loved the density of references of His divinity that Jesus gave, which are heavily quoted in John's work. Also noteworthy is that he got close to stoning quite a few times because of that!

I am writing this while listening to Pachelbel's Canon... hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Finally, a map of the neighbourhoods of Montreal

I was not born in Montreal, so I don't know where the neighbourhoods are...

But, I found a map:

Now, just gotta find one that includes the metro stops and I'll have the (nearly) perfect map.

Saturday, April 8, 2006

Things Done This Week Outside of Studying

As a sidenote, my exam went OK yesterday. There were a few questions I had no answer to, since I did not memorize all the Common Criteria acronyms.
Otherwise, it went well on the rest of the questions.

Worthy to mention: I signed my union card for our union-to-be for research assistants. I hope enough people join in.

I had a Bible study with a Chinese guy on tuesday. I'm praying for him.

I had a date with a sister and saw the movie Memoirs of a Geisha with her. Some of the scenes were breathtaking in visual quality. Its impressive how the system was designed to train women to tease their way to the top, while destroying their dreams and desires in the process, and turning them into the back-stabbing type.
I reccomend this movie for its wonderful window into the traditional Japanese society and for the well-done character development.

Thursday, April 6, 2006

Heavy Panting and Speed-Presenting

We had to make a project presentation today.
We were supposed to start the presentation at 5:55PM. I started running from the lab at 5:56... gives you an idea.

There was a lot of last minute work done, and we were two guys on the presentation, with unexpected merging issues.
Imagine the scene:
I leave my cellphone to a teammate to have both hands on the keyboard.
There is a slide that looks bad.
I'm yelling "slide looks bad, that's the title. In what file is it? [silence] In what file is it?"
...(more stress ommitted)...
I'm yelling "SVN conflict. How do I resolve it, how do I resolve it?"
My partner is not able to keep up with the flow of retransmission between me and the guy on the other side, obviously.
Yet, finally are able to compile this presentation and start running for the classroom.
We arrive 5 minutes late, the prof did not wait for us. He's tight on time, so he's really tight on OUR time.
He lets us pass right after, and he makes sure we don't go over a single minute.
Obviously, I'm presenting my material at a higher pace than normal...
It took (and still takes) everything in me not to be tearing through my teammates for being so much at the last minute. In the end, the presentation was (kinda) OK and delivered OK too.
I just hate working all semester to have my teammates force me in a high-stress situation because they wait at the last minute.
Honestly, moments like that just make that self-righteous side of me much much much much stronger.
The good thing is that I have only one course project left, and most likely forever.
Everything will be done in 2 weeks... and probably the same way too.
(Interruption: my neighbour's cellphone was ringing non-stop... I took it and brought it to this friend he's always with. And my pace was clear that you better not stand in my way. Conclusion: need to pray)

Sunday, April 2, 2006

One exam done, more celebrations

I spent the week working on one school project and preparing the final exam for that same class.
The exam went very well (Halleluiah!) and I met a guy who's really interested in studying the Bible.
We had a code-a-thon on Saturday afternoon and got significant progress done.
I had supper with my folks and a colleague to celebrate my mother's and my birthday in family.
We had a very encouraging church service, with Chuck Pike who came to teach about the problem of evil.
I did not learn a lot from the theoritical perspective, but I am encouraged to see a man who was a missionary, who works as an engineer, who is married, and who is a Teacher for God's people.

Basically, all things I'd like to see happening in my life :)
It is also shifting my perspective from "right after I get my degree" to "when the right time will appear". That means that I'm OK with the idea of getting a job in Montreal after graduating if that's the way God wants to mature me and prepare me to go missionary. Anyway, the prayers are continuing.

Also, I went to the planetarium with a few other disciples and marveled at the creation. I saw Saturn in the telescope too! My first planet :)