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UBC Publications

The 432 Feb 28, 1994

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Array 'mA'ttwi
SCIENCE
UBC
Events
SUS EXECUTIVE
ELECTIONS
Feb 28 - Mar 2
•
Tuesday, March 1
Oceanography Seminar
Mini lie I'liylopliinkton
Dr. Anya Waite
I5IOI   1465 al I 1:30
•
Tuesday, March I
•r'-      i're-Med lecture
Volilies in Medicine
Dr. brad Frit/
FNSC 60 al 12:30
•
Wednesday, March 2
Astronomy Seminar
Is the Solar System Stable?
Thursday, March 3
Med Students Forum
Now 1 - 2 pm
FNSC Rm 60
you who care about your
degree or don't have .1
life. Times and locations
Reports, the I
machine.
Ingredients
Frees. lots ol really big
trees, critical to maintain
ing that nice clean air
we're so accustomed to
while walking our friend-
Futile attempts lo convince tlie majority ol you
that your democratic
right should be exercised,
much in the same way
you exercise your dog.
Other stuff.
KAON A O.K. AFTER
FEDS' BUDGET KO!
Kevin Phillips-Bong and Malcolm |. Depressedcupboardcheesecake
Team of Over-Worked, Under-Paid Journalism Experts
Iast Tuesday's federal budget saw the Liberal gov-
-/ernment deal a near-mortal blow to UBC's $700M
KAON facility. However, thanks
to some last-minute modifications to the project's design, it
appears to be rising from the
ashes with new, farther-reaching research goals.
KAON, a poorly chosen
acronym for 'Kaons And Other
Teeny Weeny Particles That No
One Can See', was originally
designed to complement the
existing TRIUMF subatomic
research facility and serve as a
world centre in physics
research into the twenty-first
century.
After federal Finance
Minister Paul Martin's "ixnay
on the AONKAY"—essentially
pulling the plug on federal
funding—new plans for the
facility were feverishly developed according to the new budgetary constraints. Much of the
new design is the brainchild of
Dr Erich Vogt, former Director
of TRIUMF and KAON's main
scapegoat proponent.
Vogt proposes that instead of
studying collisions between
subatomic particles, which are
"very, very small and tedious to
watch", the new facility will
delve further into the realm of
superatomic particles: namely,
relativistic collisions between
large, inelastic, redundant carbon-based organisms. Sources
close to Vogt indicate that the
facility already has some federal
ministers in mind for the
groundbreaking initial tests.
The international physics
community is abuzz with speculation and is scrambling to
develop a body of theory to be
tested by the new facility.
This branch of physics, like
many others, had its origins in
a fortunate accident. The
University of Toronto was performing initial testing of its
"political centrifuge" atop the
CN Tower: new structural reinforcements allowed the rotating restaurant to be spun at up
to 2000 rpm. "We thought that
we could separate a restaurant
full of MLAs into different
bands by measuring how far
they spun out from the political centre," said U of T physicist E H Humboldt.
Unfortunately, the weight of
the remarkably dense Tories
plastered against the windows
broke down the integrity of the
frames, and "well, nobody's
seen that many of them scatter
and plummet like this since,
well, October..."
Humboldt reports that the
idea for superpoliticoatomic
collisions came when former
Commons Speaker John
Crosbie, on emerging from a
downtown restaurant, was
struck from above by ex-
Finance Minister Donald
Mazankowski. The resulting
collision produced, by
Humboldt's frantic calculations, two neutrons and "a
stunning synthesis of Winston
Churchill. It was scary...". This
unstable product quickly
decomposed into a small,
radioactive puddle of Scotch,
not unlike spontaneously-
occurring Churchills.
Humboldt later concluded that
mass is conserved.
Trying later to synthesize
Sheila Copps using a similar
method, Humboldt stumbled
upon a most unstable and dangerous variety of superatomic
particle dubbed "Audrey
McLaughlin". Fortunately,
Humboldt discovered that it
has a relatively short political
half-life and quickly degenerates into a number of more
innocuous local Green Party
candidates.
The retooled UBC facility
plans to throw back the boundaries of knowledge in the field
of superpoliticoatomic collisions. "We're very interested in
slamming a Reformer into a
Bloc Quebecois MP at about
0.7c. Current theory suggests
that manning and antiman-
ning will annihilate each other,
with a massive quantity of
energy being released," says
Morgan Burke, a TRIUMF
researcher who looks forward
to the late-spring opening of
the new facility.
"It's too bad we didn't have
this place on-line last April. If
we could have lured Clinton
and Yeltsin into this thing, the
planet's energy problems for
the next two hundred years
could have been taken care of
all at once," said Burke.
Vogt's personal research is
rumoured to involve developing a unified theory to explain
all of Humboldt's findings. He
also plans to apply it to predicting the results of a high-speed,
non-elastic collision between
Prime Minister Jean Chretien
and Finance Minister Martin.
Besides a large amount of personal satisfaction for Vogt, the
experiment may finally hold
the key to understanding the
true cosmic origins of politicians.
"Not too many scientists are
studying politicians at this
point, because they are considered too volatile and unpredictable. To paraphrase
Heisenberg: 'You can't know
both his official policies and his
true intentions simultaneously.
The determination of one
affects the other.' Even so, the
field is fresh and ready for its
own series of heroic discoveries."
ELECTIONS
In the beginning, I thought
there was plenty of time..
Wrong! However, by the
time you all read this, everything will be running smoothly
and you will of course all have
read the blurbs in this issue,
wherever they were.
Well, enough of that. Yes,
SUS is fun, but this is one of
those times when we have to
take ourselves a little more seriously than we usually do. The
Executive are a very cooperative
group of people who have
demanding positions that are
time consuming and require
dedicated people. To that end,
we must elect competent suck
e*& people. It's all blood and
sweat. The serious side of Exec
positions would require far
more than I am able to write
here, but if you want to hear
more, talk to one of them, they
are always happy to share their
grief. Remember, the Executive
work for you, but they are ordinary students too. They have
midterms, and fail them, they
have deadlines, and miss them,
they do all the 'usual' student
stuff, and they organize and
run SUS as well.
So, get out and VOTE. Do it
now! Stations in WOOD,
CHEM, SUB, CSCI, HEBB,
WESB. They will be open Mon-
Wed, 10:30 to 2:30. Make your
decisions and put in your
$0.02 now, then see what happens. If you still don't like it,
then run for a seat in early
October. You'll be glad you
took the time.
68TH ANNUAL
ACADEMY
AWARDS
"Boy, and I thought Dustin
Hoffman was a sore loser..." Editorial
Trick or Treat
i
McCUAIC
Ah, spring at UBC...
the rain is gone, the
sun is shining, and
the bored expressions of idle
poll clerks round out the
picture. Second term is an
endless stream of ballots
and tick marks on your AMS
card; we're all up to our
armpits in posters bearing
the requisite smiling picture,
summary of qualifications
and list of goals.
While the current system
of student society elections
seems to follow the simple
equation of "more posters =
more votes" (the obvious
conclusion of this line of
reasoning subjects campus
photocopiers and 60 000
eyes to undue strain), it's
important to realize that it
isn't the student politicians
who make this system work.
It is every student out there
who refuses to make
demands of the annual crop
of "resume-stuffers".
I encourage you to take
your say in deciding who
the 1994 SUS Executive will
be. This admonishment is
heard time and again, but it
bears repeating.
Think about what your
vote means: You are choosing a group of nine people
who will manage the society
in trust for you for one year.
SUS, which you as a Science
student own, holds about
$10 000 worth of capital
assets and has an operating
budget of $45 000. As your
official representative, it
often speaks for you with
the University, the AMS,
and sometimes the world
beyond the campus.
Isn't it therefore worth
taking two minutes to vote?
How about conducting the
hour's worth of research
necessary to make your
choice an informed one?
At least tell me you'll
think about it.
I'm sorry. My editorial
wasn't at all entertaining
this issue, but now that I'm
running for President the
idea of participatory democracy just gets me all misty-
eyed...
ADAMS
I seem to have put my
foot in it again. Just
when I finished dumping
all over the general sentiment of Valentine's Day,
two of the sweetest guys
ever to cross the face of the
planet remind me that, yes,
Leona, there is a Cupid.
However, these gentlemen
shall remain anonymous,
because they know who
they are, and that's all that's
important. One of my
unconscious resolutions as a
432 columnist, I have realized, is that as long as I
refrain from being a "serious
journalist", there is no need
to put names in print. Take,
for example, the friends
whose love lives I lovingly
attacked in print last issue.
When I'm talking about certain people, it is generally
more than obvious to those
who should know.
To be honest, the weeks
surrounding Valentine's this
year were more like
Hallowe'en. About two
w^ March
'■'■'w"iiit*l
All Science stu
welcome to a
Free food available.
Mentor Program
For the last three years the Faculty of Science has organized a Mentor Program for first
year students. At first, faculty members or graduate students served as mentors to groups
of first year students. This year, senior undergraduate students also participated as mentors to first year students. Next year, second year students will also be encouraged to participate as mentors to first year students. Each group of first year students is assigned an upper
class mentor and a faculty member or graduate student mentor. Mentors are not tutors, but
help the new students adjust to life at UBC by providing local knowledge of the University
and Vancouver. Contact with mentors allows first year students to have personal contact
with a senior person, which is not always possible in the large classes that they take.
Next year, the program undergoes another expansion. A mentor program for fourth year science students will be available. Graduating students will be mentored by science alumni or
working professionals with a science background. This new program is designed to make students aware of the diverse career opportunities available to science graduates. We hope the
expansion will provide some continuity to the program with people participating as students
and, eventually, as alumni.
Ideally, mentors will meet with their students as a group two or three times per term. In addition, we hope mentors will make themselves available to see students individually.
If you would like to participate in the program we will be happy to have you. Drop by the
Dean of Science office and pick up an application form. An information session on the program will be held sometime in mid-March. For more information contact the Mentor
Program (822-9012)
weeks earlier, I received
another treat in the mail
from a friend whose guilt
had finally reached critical
mass. He returned a couple
of long-forgotten videotapes, a Rolling Stone (circa
summer 1993), and included a book as a peace offering. However, this wasn't
just any book. It was the
hardcover compilation of
the first four stories of my
uncle Douglas's Hitchhiker's
Guide to the Galaxy trilogy,
plus an additional gem
which I had never seen.
Hmm. Guess what's going
to get lost and hopefully forgotten among my belongings?
To make the Hallowe'en
theme more complete, there
was even a trick. At the No
Class Bash, a number of
people came up to me to
inform me that there was
something in my box (For
those of you unfamiliar with
the set-up of SUS, every
council member has a mailbox. Please send me mail.
My mailbox is so hungry
lonely.). As I strained to
hear them over the bloodcurdling wails of the
karaoke (I'm sure Webster's
doing about 3000 rpm in his
grave right now. My spell-
checker is making unpleasant clicking noises, sort of
like how automated tellers
sound when they're deciding whether they should
chew up your card or just
give you some money), I
managed to piece together
some story detailing the
existence of some non-specific Valentine's-style present in my box. Naturally, I
found this to be a hair past
odd. Curiosity got the better
of me, so I headed over to
SUS to see just what the big
deal was. Apparently, they
quite literally were just making a big fuss over nothing.
When I got into the office,
my box was as empty as I
had left it (for some
unknown reason, I insist
upon checking my box at
least weekly). Hmm. There
were a number of plausible
explanations:
a) the alleged gift, like me,
had blown its mind
with a short attention
span from Acme Mind
Alterations. After a few
days of waiting to get
picked up, it sprouted
legs and walked away.
b) SUS really does have a
problem with mice.
c) there was a rip in the
space-time fabric. At
this very moment,
Eccentrica Gallumbits is
demonstrating 1001
exotic uses for a box of
chocolates to the people
of Eroticon Six.
d) my box got hungry.
e) the whole evening,
karaoke and all, was
either a hallucination
g)
induced by overwork or
a virtual-reality program
from which I have yet
to disconnect myself,
my memory has finally
made use of its one-way
ticket to Anywhere Else,
USA (ie. I actually
picked whatever it was
up earlier and promptly
forgot.)
when the "informants"
were talking about my
box, they were not actually referring to my
mailbox in SUS, but
rather to BPP's new volume-challenged disk
drive office.
h)
the present was actually
the few litres of air in
my box. Think about it:
one of the major relationship killers is that a
need for space. Cupid
might have looked into
his little crystal ball and
decided that he could
save us all some agony
by giving me some
space now.
i)    it was all a joke, originally meant to add
some cheer to an otherwise doldrum day,
instead of sucking me
into delusions of
grandeur.
It turns out, however,
that i) is the most probable
conclusion. Excuses a, c, d,
and h are nice ideas, but
unfortunately cannot be
proven, and are therefore
scientifically unsound as
hypotheses go. Although
you do see the odd rat or
weasel hanging around, I
have yet to see a mouse in
SUS, so b) is unlikely. The
idea of the work-induced
hallucination would work
for me were it not for the
fact that, for the past few
weeks, my life has been
filled with nothing if not
underwork. If I am hooked
up to a virtual-reality
thingie, I could just be
imagining the fact that I
know nothing about virtual
reality. Since this kind of
circular logic serves no purpose other than making me
dizzy, I will assume that e) is
not particularly useful.
Since, as has been previously discussed, there is no
proof of the existence of the
object, f) and g) can go the
way of the dinosaur as well.
If I were to get sucked into
anything other than i), I
may as well use my spare
time to go out and get
SUCKER inscribed into my
forehead. Maybe GULLIBLE
would look better...
OK: Minor addendum. So
it actually did reappear in
my box. It turns out that
the rip in the space-time
fabric theory was probably
the most accurate. What can
I say? Good things happen
to other people, but strange
things happen to me. Tito
Volume 7, Number 10
28 February 1994
Ryan McCuaig
Editor
Graeme Kennedy
Blair McDonald
Roger Watts
Ass't Editors.
Contributors
WrW™«m-»fm
Leona Adams, Steve
Coleman, Kevan
Dettldbach, Graeme
Kennedy, Ryan
McCuaig, Blair
McDonald, Derek K.
Millet1, Tessa Moonr
Sarah Thornton, Lyns
van 8hi]n, lattrteYfie,
Delwin Yung arid
Roger, Sag who?
Uyoat
Graeme Kennedy* Ryan
McCuaig, Biait
McDonald
Distribution
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Printing
College Prists*,
Vancouver, BC
Technical Details
Quark XPress 3,11
Adobe Photoshop M,%
Aldus Jreehaad 40
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offices to th&fc3^8»Hrt
of theCh^fi^tifjr"''
expressed are those of
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cup, m4 vjs^phhkI <af •
that fact
The432isvlmp  .
looking for rtewfelOfld
computer disk in CWM
160 wifch your Iftcredi-
aitlcie of about SOO
words, hjdtjde a pttot-
ed coj>y jttst to casS* ?&*
liking f o your prscious
disk. (And yes, even yott
can write a htfi&»urOl&
artfcte. You don't need
to be a rocket scientist
or anything, None of us
ate.)
im.
SUS Executive Elections:
The Candidates Spout Off.
Anna CARVALHO
for Secretary.
Anna! Anna!
Vote tor Me!
And I will.get
you in for frBe!
(to all SUS func\ions.)*
By the way, 1 'm running for
SECRETARY ol SUS council!
•Howeuer ins only applies to my Mood lelallues uiho itere tram wtlNn S8 sees of myself
Blair IS/lcDONALD
for 0/r of Publications.
Lynn VAM RHIJN
for Director of finance.
I am currently fighting tooth and nail for my
extremely popular position, Director of
Finance. There are no marks for style and
presentation. People have asked me if the position I am running for is a paiying one. The benefits are playing with large amounts of coinage
and deciding the best way to spend it on behalf
of my constiuents. Job requirements include
being AR, having the perma smile that is passed
from director to director and updating a grade 8
filing system. Maybe I'll even pass a budget on
time oi something grazy lik< that.
Jlamieson CHAN-CLARK
for Dlr of Sports.
H" ullo, this is the little blurb each and
everyone running in the to-be SUS elections must write. Je m'appelle Jamieson
Chan-Clark. Wo xing Jamieson. I'm running for
Director of Sports Who am 17 I'm six foot one
inch and about 145 lbs, brovm-green eyes, reddy
dark brown hair eurasian in Biochemistry 2nd
year, Biochemistry Representative this year. If
you wonder what my other qualifications, well,
ummm.. I race a lot of mountain or road bikes
and tri's lately too. Got a Mistral sailboard.... Just
see my poster.
Bella CARVALHO
for Dir of Sports,
Hi. My name Is Bella. I am running for
Director of StJOlts. OK, Here's my manditory
"reasons to vote for Bella" spiel: I am
dedicateded to SUS (ie I sp^nd all of my time
there)? I am. responsible, I am currently
involved in intramural spcrts; I hate to lose.
Please please please vote for me.«I don't
wanna lose again! Oops, sorry - I guess
begglag isn't allowed. Oh, v.eli, If I get elected,
I will <ja everything in my (KSWer to make sure
Science comes out number • me in sports again
next year. There you gOr this is all the ad
space I've been given, so I hope you come out
and vote for me.
Hr BELLA CARVALHO
Jesse BURNETT
for Internal Vice President
TVfeVP erf that cave
n
JtSSE BURMgTlXl
iNTiiNAL VfcfcrtRESgfehr
SCIENCE
UNDERGRAD SOCIETY
Laurie YEE
for External Vice President
SI o, what am I trying to say? Come out and
k vote, don'tbe apathetic, show that you are
"our friends. Stuff like that. I'm running for
the position of External Vice and I like to eat ice
cream for breakfast. What do you mean I can't
follow in the great Ed's footsteps? I'm determined and willing to work on behalf of Science
students everywhere to make next year even better. Show some spirit and come out to vote!
And while you're at the polling station, vote
Laurie Yee for External VP. I'll be the one eating
the ice cream.
John HALLETT
for Social Coordinator.
Why not? I mean...
it worked for Spike Lee.
fOTE FOR JOHN
Tracy MacKINNON
for Public Relations Officer.
Hello there, I'm TRACY MACKINNON and
I'm a PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER
hopeful. I'm in second year cell biology
and am second year rep, as well as a member of
SUS Academics, Budget and Science Week
Committees. I got involved last year on the First
Year Student's Committee as a First Year Rep. I
have lots experience with SUS which would be
helpful since the PRO attracts academic doom.
Anyways, whoever you vote for, just make sure
that you DO vote! Tracy MacKinnon, signing
off...
Tessa MOON
for Public Relations Officer*
This is Tessa Moon babbling, trying to talk
you all into voting for me. Before you
pitch those tomatoes, I'm running for
Public Relations Officer. I am not a pelican... un
politician. I've had a gruelling, bewildering year
of experience, and I think I can do the job. I'm
qualified. I'm dedicated. I have a lame sense of
humour. I'm inordinately proud of being published in The 432. And I'll try to help when you
gripe about your prof. Just give me a chance, and
you can throw tomatoes at me later. Campus Wars: The
Return of the Alumni
Mommm!
Tessa Moon
Along time ago, in a
campus not really
that far away...
The Empire has begun construction of a new Dobie, more
sinister and powerful than the
first... (All right, who's been
messing with the reels again?)
It is a dark time for the
campus, the Ubyssey has
begun construction of a new
SUB, larger (at least upstairs)
and more powerful than the
first. Rebel Science forces still
struggling against tyranny (I
mean, can you believe it? The
entire slate got in...) to restore
lighting to the campus. Even
now, as Science forces gather
at CHEM 160, Luke and his
friends plot to save Drum Solo
from the vile Dean, Axel the
Hutt.
It is a cold morning, as a
lone courier approaches the
Cheeze.
Courier:   I don't like this at
all. That Domino's guy
never returned from
here.
Reaching the door, he enters
into a smoke filled room where
several drunken geers lounge
around. On a central dais rests
the grotesque Axel the Hutt.
Courier: I bring a message
from Luke Warm, and
a gift.
HYSO:      Gift, what gift?
Put us down, you stupid courier.
Startled, the courier drops a
laptop computer and a HP calculator.
HY50:    Ah, yes, the message.
A hologram of Luke
appears...
Luke: Greetings, all-
mighty Axel. I am Luke
Warm, Alumni knight.
I seek an audience with
your greatness to bargain for Solo's life. As a
token of my good will,
I present these two
computational devices.
Both are hard-working
and will serve you well.
HY50:      Oops, wrong message. What he really
means is that we present this hard working
courier as a gift and...
Axel:Ho, Ho, Ho. Take them
away. (Turns to courier)
You may go now.
Courier:   Ok. Hey, (looks at
sign) free rosebowls!
What's a... Hey, leggo,
help! (Flush)
v4HHHFfflhhhhhhh!
A shuttle bus approaches
the SUB, in the final stages of
construction. When it arrives,
Art Vader steps out and is
greeted by a top official.
Official:    Lord Vader, it is
an honour to...
Vader:      Spare me the
DETTLEBACH
pleasantries,
Commander. Is the
work proceeding on
schedule?
Official:    Barely. Morale is
down since that spying
incident. I assure you,
we are not giving away
any supplies to our
friends.
Vader:      The Editor does
not share your views.
Perhaps you can
explain it to him when
he arrives.
Official:   The Editor, coming here?! We shall
double our efforts.
Vader:      I hope so, for your
sake. The Editor is not
as warm and cuddly as
I am.
Back at the Cheeze, a hel-
meted figure enters with a
large shaggy creature in tow.
Axel:        At last we have
the mighty
Chewtobacca. I can
pay 25 cases.
Figure:     50, no less.
Axel:        What!!! Why
must I pay 50?
The figure draws an object
from his coat.
HY50: Because he's holding an extended liquor
license!!
Geers:      Yaaaaaaaaaaay!!!
In a dark corner, Graver Fett
nods his approval. The resulting party goes on well into the
night. When everyone is
passed out, the figure goes over
to the frozen Drum Solo and
plugs in a blow dryer. Many
noisy minutes later, a thawed
Solo collapses to the floor.
Solo:        What the ... Hey,
I can't see!
Figure:     You are free of the
tuitionite. You have
tuition sickness; you've
been robbed blind.
Your eyesight will
return in time, but I'm
afraid your bank
account will never
recover.
Solo: Where am I?
Figure: The Cheeze.
Solo:        Who are you?
The figure takes off the helmet, revealing herself to be the
beautiful (albeit slightly vacuous) Leah.
Leah:        Someone who
loves you.
Solo:        Mom?
A low laugh fills the room
as Geers surround the pair.
Solo is thrown in the basement, while Leah is forced to
ride a horse around the Cheeze
while completely naked. (Oh,
yeah, like they really stopped
doing the Godiva Ride. Who
knows what really goes on
behind closed doors?)
In the morning, Luke arrives
at the door to the Cheeze.
Geer:        Axel doesn't want
to see you.
Luke:        Yes he does. He
was just telling me the
other day how much
he would like to see
me.
Geer:        Okay. Follow me.
(They enter the Cheeze.)
May I present Luke
Warm, Alumni Knight.
Axel: I told you not to
admit him.
Geer: But you told him
that it was okay.
Axel:        You fool, he's
using an old Alumni
Mind Trick on you.
Luke:        No I'm not; he's
just dumb as a post.
Now... I want you to
release all my friends
and... Hey, free rose-
bowls...
In the ensuing struggle,
Luke uses the Force to rose-
bowl one of the guards. The
guard then staggers into Axel,
spilling Axel's drink.
Axel: You will all suffer
for this outrage. You
will be taken to the Pit
of the Tanking Pond,
and there you will be
cast in and slowly
frozen over a thousand
years, or until the
Physical Plant guys
come to service the
Pond.... oh hell, who
am I kidding? That'll
be at least a thousand
years. Get moving.
The group is loaded into a
red VW and driven to the
Pond. Axel's personal barge is
right behind them. On the
barge HYSO bumps into HP.
HY50:      Where do you
think you're going?
They're going to tank
Master Luke, and if
we're not careful, us
too.
Luke: Axel! This is your
last chance. Free us or
die!
Axel: Shaddap! HOW
DO WE FIND HIM!?
Geers:       GUILTYUUl
Will Luke escape from
the 'Geers? Is there anyone
out there who hasn't seen
Return of the Jedi and
already knows that
answer?
Join us next issue at we
continue the blatant plagiarism of George Lucas'
greatest films, in the next
chapter of Dettlebach's
mildly to pretty darned
amusing Campus Wars.
Columnist
I know very little about children, except for the fact that I
had once been one and had managed to get over it. I like
to think I survived with only minor damage, and usually
see no need to dwell on past tragedy, but sometimes,
through circumstances beyond human control, I have to.
Babysitting is a miserable excuse for a job. It broadcasts
"nobody needs me, everybody eggs me, I think I'll go eat
worms." It has a direct causal relationship with duodenal
ulcers.
The little menaces you sit (and would dearly love to sit on)
come in two categories, as a rule. First, there's that tiny,
squirming organism of indeterminate gender and no verbal
skills. It sucks its fingers.
"Such a bad habit," its Mother invariably says, and plucks
them from its mouth. "Baby really must be made to stop."
Baby, of course, begins to wail like a banshee, and mother
departs hastily. As soon as she pulls out of the driveway, I
locate the appropriate digits and push it back into its mouth.
Sometimes it works, and thank Heaven for small miracles.
Most times it doesn't work. Those days, I grasp Baby firmly
by the ankles and give it a new perspective on life. It then
takes to chortling instead. No less annoying, but easier on
the eardrums. Not even calculus massacres brain cells as
efficiently as a wailing baby.
The real problem with Baby, though, rears its sticky head
at feeding time. The substance in the jar labelled "apple"
looks no more like apple than I do. It has a life of its own
and bounds about like ectoplasm. I'm afraid to open the jar
and unleash the mystery monster. Today the baby food jar,
tomorrow the world. Baby and Mystery Monster have a
standing agreement. Baby wallows in sticky yellow goop and
absorbs it by osmosis, smug in the knowledge that I'd have
to clean it all up as soon as it is done.
But I prefer goop to the alternative.
The second category has hair, a working vocabulary, and a
machete-like wit I'd appreciate if I were at a decent distance.
The rationality of the adult world has concepts which, upon
closer observation, reveal themselves to be exquisitely idiotic. These are visible only to people whose age is a single-digit
number. They go beyond baby powder ("If you add water to
milk powder you get milk and if you add water to chicken
soup powder you get chicken soup so....")
Never ask a kid for a left-handed tomato knife, for
instance. That went right out with vegetarian burgers made
of ground-up vegetarians. Kids always ask the difference
between left-handed tomatoes and right-handed ones, and
titter when you start stammering. They know you have managed to perpetrate an act of grandiose semantic stupidity.
I don't even dare scream "You miniature mush-for-brains,
twit-witted mopus!" anymore. There was a time when children asked "What's that?" and I could deliver my predictable
but satisfying bon mot "YOU!". Now they ask "What's the
plural of 'mopus'?" The little sadists thrive on your lexicographical cop-outs.
In my mind, sweet, innocent childhood punctuated by
pink lace booties and teddy bears came to a screeching halt
the night I found myself staring at the ceiling and repeating
"Mopi? Mopuses? Mopi? Mopuses?"
Childhood is the real reason dinosaurs went extinct and
Fredian psychotherapy still lives. Falling in
Large Holes.
Dik Miller,
Parking Attendant.
I think reality as I know it
is starting to fall apart.
There's only two explanations for this: a hole in
the space-time continuum,
or a hole in my head. After
looking in a mirror, I managed to conclude that no,
there is no gaping hole in
the top of my head, therefore life as we know it is
about to end. A basic scientific deduction, my dear
Watson.
I offer as evidence to the
court a disturbing trend in
motor-vehicle operation.
People are developing a disturbing trend of stopping
for all the wrong reasons.
For example:
Me (sitting in passenger seat
of well-constructed
European automobile):
"Ahh... <name delet-
ed> ... it's only a four-
way stop. It's probably
safe to proceed after
waiting for the last five
minutes at a completely deserted crossroads."
<name deleted> (sitting in
driver's seat of aforementioned-mentioned
vehicle): "What? Oh,
ok."
Me: "What were you waiting
for, the stop sign to
change to green?"
<name deleted>: "Would
you prefer I bash my
head against the steering wheel and kill us
both?"
I think I lost that rapid-
fire exchange of brilliant
logic.
It's as if we turn off our
brains when we turn on our
cars. It's almost necessary
these days, with lunatics
merrily whirring past you at
near-relativistic speeds. But
I'll never have the fun of
approaching the speed of
light. You see, I own the
largest death-trap in the
Greater Vancouver Regional
District (next to shutting
yourself inside a particle
accelerator and flicking; that
enormous red lever to ON).
A 1974 Volkswagen Beetle,
to be specific, maintained
and operated by the worst
driver/mechanic in the
world: me.
I'm not a dangerous driver, except when I'm driving my Death Bug, 'cause
that wonderful example of
German engineering is
determined to kill me. The
turn signals never work, the
lights rarely work, and the
brakes work only when
Saturn and Jupiter are in
direct alignment. It's a cosmic sign. People were not
meant to cram themselves
in tiny tin cans and hurtle
down steep hills with no
chance of stopping.
Unfortunately, this elimi-
Mcdonald
nates driving my car or joining the Canadian bobsled
team. I guess I just wasn't
meant to be an Olympic
athlete.
Or an athlete in general. I
guess you couldn't exactly
apply the term "team player" to me. Sure, I played the
required minimum of Little
League and soccer, but after
scoring that tying run for
the other team during that
oh-so critical semi-final
game, I was just put out to
pasture. The farm team,
they called it.
So I took up more individual sports. Skiing: the art
of strapping waxed boards
to your feet and letting gravity take its course. And hiking: the art of wandering
aimlessly, daring various
carnivores to make a meal of
your various appendages.
And of course, my favourite,
SCUBA: the art of daring
various aquatic carnivores to
make a meal of your various
appendages.
Not in British Columbian
waters, though. The most
dangerous beast I've ever
seen was that enormous sea
cucumber that chased me
halfway across the bay.
They're man eaters, every
single one of them.
But you've just gotta take
those huge risks for what's
important. It's worth it, just
to strap those lead weights
around your belt, slip a few
really big rocks in your
pockets for good luck, and
take that giant step off the
10 foot high wharf. On
good days, you'll even
remember to inflate your
buoyancy device first, and
to find a way to get back up
onto that wharf when the
tide's gone out. It's a real
thrill, realizing you have no
way to know how long
you've been underwater,
with the nitrogen bubbling
in your veins, all because
you left your watch in your
shoe way up on that wharf.
SCUBA really ought to be
made an Olympic sport,
don't you think? After all,
most SCUBA divers are amateurs who mess everything
up for the professionals.
The Olympics... now
there's yet more proof we're
all losing our minds. We're
tuning in, by the millions to
watch a second-rate athlete
perform just because she
hired Larry, Curly and Moe
to attempt a well-planned
assault. But we'd happily
watch a rock star, presumed '
I was sitting, as usual, in
my small, poorly-heated
booth in the vast
expanse of B-633 Lot, somewhere within radio contact
of the main UBC campus. As
usual, since it was late at
night, nothing in particular
was happening.
I was bored.
Really bored.
Deathly bored.
Boredboredbored.
Whoo-ee, bored.
When I noticed that my
fingers were absent-mindedly drumming on the table
top, I stopped them.
The drumming sound,
however, continuted. I listened closely; the sound was
apparently coming from
directly below me. As far as I
knew, there was nothing
there but asphalt.
CHUNK!
A small hole appeared in
the floor, and I leapt up
onto my chair.
"What's going on?!" I
asked.
CHUNK!
The hole got larger. I
backed away like the stereotypical SO's housewife
recoiling from a mouse on
the floor.
CHUNK!
An entire section of the
metal floor buckled upward
and was flung aside.
Appearing through the
resulting hole was a khaki
hard hat.
"Who are you?" I asked of
the man wearing the hat.
He looked up at me in
shock, then ducked back
into the hole.
My finely-honed, keenly-
sharpened, thickly-blended
Si-
dead for years, imitating
Bruce Lee with razor sharp
steel blades strapped to his
feet. Something is seriously
wrong with our group mentality.
I'd rather watch that
operation show on PBS. It's
a smorgasbord (that's
Norwegian for more than
one) of do-it-yourself home
operations. Need a knee
replacement? All you need is
that nifty Black and
Decker™ vibrating bone
saw, and a good strong light
to see what you're cutting
through.
But enough about such
mundane things. It's not
: ikely you'll need to know
how to reattach your hand
after a freak Mathematics
accident. But you never
li'jiow. Freak Math accidents
are definitely on the rise.
And it's reality's fault, not
mine.
Si
MILLER
private eye instincts kicked
in and I immediately followed him down into the
ground.
"Come back here!" I
shouted, grabbing my Dik
Miller™ high-power flashlight/air horn/twirling
baton and flicking it on.
"Halt in the name of
the...uh...Parking and
Security regulations!"
I was in a rock-walled,
dripping wet tunnel just
high enough to accommodate someone of my size. I
heard the man's footsteps
disappearing up ahead and
ran off in pursuit.
What I found was a complicated network of interconnected tunnels, all very
similar to the one I had
come into from my booth. I
was following hot on the
heels of Mr. Hard Hat, but
he was coming close to losing me in the maze.
I rounded the next corner
and found myself in a large
room. A large room with a
number of very large, tough-
looking men in it. Large,
tough-looking men who
were walking deliberately
toward me.
"Hi," I said weakly.
When I regained consciousness, I was nowhere in
particular. At least nowhere
I could identify. My Dik
Miller™ flashlight/air
horn/twirling baton had
been confiscated, and it was
thus very dark.
After a few minutes of
futile struggling with the
ropes which held me down,
I resigned myself to wait.
And wait.
And wait.
Pretty soon I was bored.
Really bored.
Deathly bored.
Boredboredbored.
Whoo-ee, bored.
Suddenly, a door creaked
open and bright light
streamed in. I was in a small
room with the same rock
walls as the tunnels I had
been through.
"Aha!" said the voice of
one of the tough-looking
men. "We have found imperialist infiltrator."
Imperialist infiltrator? I
asked myself.
"Imperialist infilatrator?"
I asked aloud.
"Yes." The man's voice
was thick with a Russian
accent. "You have discov
ered secret hideaway, from
which we intend to mastermind takeover of western
imperialist powers. Now we
must kill you."
"Uh, but, er, who are you
spies for?" I blurted.
There was a hearty laugh
from the man and the
henchmen standing behind
him.
"Soviet Union, of course!"
They laughed again, muttering to one another in
Russian something to the
effect of, "Pretty stupid
imperialist infiltrator, eh?"
"Um, isn't it called Russia
now?"
"No! Russia is part of
Soviet Union. Soviet Union
is more than Russia!"
"Not anymore."
"What you are talking
about?"
"The U.S.S.R. disintegrated three years ago."
"What?"
I stared. "How long have
you guys been down here?"
The man looked back at
his companions.
"Six, maybe seven years?"
They shrugged in agreement.
"If you're working for the
KGB," I went on, "I'm sorry
to say that it doesn't exist
anymore."
The men laughed heartily. "KGB no longer exist!
Ridiculous!"
"But it doesn't! I mean,
Byelorussia and Ukraine are
separate countries in the
Winter Olympics. Soldiers
are selling off their medals
and hats to tourists. There
are advertising billboards in
Moscow. Leningrad has
been renamed St. Petersburg
again."
"Ha ha ha! Next thing
you say Democrats elected
in United States!"
"Well, yeah."
He turned dead serious.
"We kill you now."
"But I'm only a lowly
parking attendant! I don't
know anything!"
"What is capital of
Burkina Faso?" he asked
suddenly.
"Ouagadougou," I replied
without thinking.
"You know something!
We kill you."
"Oh great," I whined.
Never thought the life of a
parking attendant would be so
exciting, did you? (Maybe you
did, but I sure didn't.) Well,
we'll find out how much more
exciting it gets next issue, as
Dik Miller, Parking Attendant,
continues. The Drawers of SUS.
Sarah's Skivvies
Lynn's Lace
Laurie's Lingerie
Sarah Thornton
Well, it's article time again. It is so amazing how fast
time is going by. It's flying at such a great rate that
I think it's nearly approaching the sound barrier.
Not a bad feat for something that is confined, by definition,
to taking 24 hours to complete just one day. I get the feeling
it's travelling about ten times faster than it should. See, if
time is approaching the sound barrier, we can assume it's
travelling about 330 m/s. Now, normally, of course, 1
minute being equivalent to one nautical mile—around 2
km—time travels at something like 120 km/h, which is 33
m/s. There you go: time, while approaching the sound barrier, is just flying by, ten times faster than normal. Or, you
could just say I'm wacko, with just a bit too much work to
do! C'est la vie.
Enough preamble. The Editor (he-who-must-be-
obeyed...sometimes), tends to get peeved if I take too long to
actually say something somewhat SUS-related. However, I
think these meanderings on time came as a result of my realisation that this term, my entire undergrad career, and my
term in the President's office of this esteemable society are
rapidly approaching the status of memory-hood. The elections are this week, and—barring an unheard of number of
no votes—Ryan will become President-elect, (ed: Actually, I've
decided that my first act in office will be a presidential edict stating that I am to be called Prime Minister instead). It will be a
bittersweet moment when I hand over the reins. I have been
involved in SUS all my UBC life; I don't want to let go. I
haven't yet done everything I wanted to do with the job.
Ryan, too, has been involved forever, and I think he'll do a
great job. But... I have no desire to wish the problems on
him ... only the joys. But enough introspection. I still have
the power for another 32 days! There's still time! Bahahaha.
So, what's up in the next 32 days?
Well, you know about the elections. I hope.
And Class Act. It's ongoing too. (See the red issue of The
432 if you've forgotten already).
SUS has been approached for a travel grant for a student
going on a research trip to Benin, looking at indigenous
medical practices. Approval for it will be sought from council
this week. Also this week, there is a Faculty of Science meeting. All your Year and Department reps will be in attendance
to voice the students' opinions on certain curriculum
changes. Currently, proposals are on the table for new co-op
programs in Microbiology and Immunology and Statistics.
Also, there will be a new option in the Honours Chemistry
program — environmental. There's also some changes to
the Biochem and Biopsych programs. Of course, no changes
will take effect for at least a year.
But that's enough stuff for now. See you at the AGM —
Thurs 10 Mar, 1pm, SUB Partyroom.
AMS Briefs
Steve (Ed) Coleman
Nobody's answering the phone over at the AMS, so your
new exec must be hard at work, after the AMS Annual
General Meeting. To all fifteen non-council members
who showed up: thanks for not being part of the general apathetic student body. There were a few more who made it to
the party afterwards in the AMS offices, enjoying the beer and
dips (for the chips, you eediot.) Remember, AMS council meetings are open to all students, every second Wednesday at 6:30
in SUB 206. Get there early for muffins and cheese.
The federal budget came out yesterday, and the federal contribution to the KAON project was scrapped—the provincial
and private sector financing was secured, but you can be pretty sure the project is dead. It wasn't only science and tech here
that was cut; the Montreal contribution to the international
space station has been downsized. Imagine all the Quebequers
running around hopping mad if their space project had been
cancelled and KAON allowed to proceed. Can you say "western sacrifice"?
As for the AMS budget, just wait another week or two... no
comment.
On a more promising note, there's a new AMS
committee/task force/royal commission/action force for safety
on campus. That's straight from the mouth of Leah (Fluffy)
Costello just moments ago.
Also coming up is a second attempt at a Student Leadership
Conference at Whistler, this time at the end of April. Details
to come.
As for me, I now have eight oeven mi live fet* three fish left
alive in my new aquarium. Buying fighting fish may not have
been that great an idea.
Lynn van Rhijn
This past couple of
weeks have been a
very enlightening
time. I have been able to
find out a lot a nifty pieces
of information. I guess the
one of most interest is the
fact that we, the Science
Undergrad Society, do, in
fact, have money. I have
found it in the most unique,
out-of-the-way places and
accounts, but it is there
none the less. Never mind
that fact the half of it is in
the form of coins. (Does the
image of Uncle Scrooge diving into his life savings from
a diving board mean anything to you? ) I'm tempted
to throw a coin rolling party
and give a bzzr a roll (pennies not included). The
only advantage to having all
this excess coin is that I
don't have to go to the
Business Office for floats for
the Bzzr gardens and other
functions.   As well I am
looking for a better accounting system so I can tell at
any point in time how
much we have. If anybody
has any suggestions, feel
free to drop them off.
I have also discovered
that I am less computer literate that I thought I was. I
know that this may be hard
to comprehend considering
that I am using a Mac,
which is supposed to be
very user-friendly. In five
years, the only thing I have
been able to do is play solitaire on Windows. Thus, I
do have another request for
any accounting systems that
hordes of you are going to
bring in to me: make them
incredibly easy that even I
can use them (instruction
manuals optional, as I can
never understand them anyway). Now, how do I save
this @%$$# blurb? ...Uh,
Ryan....can you come over here
for a second...
Laurie Yee
Oh boy, here we go again... it's voting time! Be brave,
find that tattered library card with the green sticker
on the back (if it's pink, you haven't renewed it yet
this year), and get out to vote.
Last week, we held a Winter Thaw dance.
Were you there?
I didn't think so.
Everyone who did realize that SUS was having an event
last Wednesday had a great time. So for all of you frosh out
there that didn't make it, where were you? Seriously, the
First Year Committee wants your opinion. Come out and
brave the gauntlet (we only bite if you ask). If you're shy and
want to meet new people, and are trying to hide behind a
curtain of anonymity, I don't really care, leave me a note ...
uh, then we can do lunch or something.
Speaking of lunch, SUS is having its Annual General
Meeting on March 10 at 1:30. If you're in Science, you're
invited. Come out to the SUB Partyroom for the free food
and the chance to see which professor gets this year's
Teaching Excellence Award.
All the nominations are in and this year's nominees are, in
no particular order: Dr Swanson, Dr Gerry, Dr Kehl, Dr
Carrell, Dr PG Harrison, Dr Rosenberg, Dr Meyer, Dr Tufaro,
Dr Ahlborn and Dr Matthews. If you have an excellent professor that wasn't nominated, why didn't you do it before the
deadlineV.V. Oh, well, there's always next year...
On the other side of the coin, did you have any classes
that you needed help in? Did you have to find private help
(ie. tutoring)? Well, the Academics Committee has finally
decided on a project for this year: tutoring connections. We
want to know for which classes you needed tutors... in other
words, I'd like to find out which courses your TA's couldn't
help you in. So if you have any suggestions to which courses
these are please leave me a message.
Senate Shorts Circvs Scientificvs
Chris Woods
Onto Senate Shorts.
The Senate meeting,
which Itold you in
our last episode is a rarity in
February, was rather routine
and we passed a bunch of
housekeeping motions,
nothing too exciting or
provocative. Still working
on Reading break/week.
Amongst other things about
buildings, strikes, classroom
conditions, and various
exciting campus events. My
last meeting will be on
March 16th, after which
Kevin Douglas keep you
informed about the
University. Bye.
Delwin Yung
A storm is coming.
Storm the Wall registration, deadline
March 18. If you don't have
a team or need willing slaves
participants, drop by SUS.
We'll have sign-up sheets on
the wall. The rebates for this
very popular event will be
only 25% this year, for very
complex and detailed reasons.
All Term 2 rebate applications are due March 21, and
Science Sports Award applications are available now.
Awards will be given the
evening of March 30 at our
annual Sports Banquet,
Ready for a change? Looking for a group
with a difference? Join...
International
Congress
Membership fee only $5. Contact R.
Graeme McCuaig at 822-4235. From Our Fevered Minds...
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EXCERPTS FROM THE UCLA
CAMPUS SAFETY GUIDE
We all know that personal safety and security on the UBC campus has become a very
hot issue lately. The 432 shares students'
concerns in this regard, and invites students
to peruse these excerpts from the Personal
Campus Safety Guide of the University of
California - Los Angeles, and pick up a few
safety pointers from our friends down south.
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University
President
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Psychiatry
J!97!   •*•«.
75 Chairman of the Board
We live in an interesting age. After
learning from the
'80s that greed is good and
that digital watches could be
a neat and fashionable idea,
the '90s tell us that massive
spending isn't that important, that one should be
happy and take pleasure in
the simpler things in life, and
that if you so much as look at
our special-interest social
group wrong, we'll haul you
into court on a discrimination suit faster than you can
say "PC". If one had to personify what the Nineties have
become, I'd say you'd get a
cross between Barney the
Dinosaur, Sally Jesse Raphael
and that anti-abortionist who
shot and killed an abortion
doctor in Florida.
Pro-life death squads and
the like notwithstanding, I'm
not above participating in
this new Age of
Understanding. I recently
experimented with a different
way of life, in order to better
understand a group whose
questionable social habits,
reckless lifestyle and unsavory company have made
them an undesirable and
WATTS
even dangerous bane in the
eyes of society.
That's right. I tried snow-
boarding.
Snowboarders get a bad rap
these days from just about
everyone except other snow-
boarders. The ski establishment hates them; they claim
that boarders fly recklessly
down crowded hills, popping
over blind jumps without
warning, and making life less
than idyllic for the more conservative skiers of the world.
Witness the recent collision
involving a novice boarder
and the owner of Aspen
Mountain in Colorado. It
wasn't long before snowboards were banned from
Aspen altogether.
Those who belong to the
snowboarding clique are
almost all below the age of
30, and here lies the centre of
the debate. Snowboarders, say
the older members of society,
are all irresponsible, baggy-
clothed, nihilistic, grunge-
rocking freeloaders who need
something to do when the
snow's too deep to go skateboarding, and deserve to be
treated as such.
Like every other good prejudice, however, the problem
is exaggerated by a select
group of boneheads who ruin
it for everyone else. In the
case of our friends the snowboarders, this manifests itself
in the form of drunken
young hellraisers who roam
around Whistler Village at
night causing the sort of juvenile mayhem that one would
be accustomed to seeing at,
say, the Pit.
But is the abuse as bad as
the boarders say? Are snowboarders legitimately raising
hell on the slopes, or are they
merely being persecuted by
the alpine bourgeoisie? My
mission was to find out.
Well, okay; that was my
second mission. My first one
was to succeed in standing up
on the damn thing.
Snowboarding is harder
than it looks. Having been a
skier for 17 years, I wasn't
expecting this little gimmick
to be too difficult. Well, I
Build a Better Mousetrap
One of the stupidest
things I ever did in
my life happened a
couple of years ago. I
bought a Super Big Gulp,
stepped out to my car,
placed the cup on the roof,
fished around in my pocket
for keys, slid into the car
and backed up about nine
feet before my windshield
was covered in cream soda. I
assumed I had been terror-
bombed by one of those
teenage Slurpee surfers that
have the same attraction to
a 7-Eleven's neon lighting
as moths have to a zapper.
Only by noticing that it was
iceless—just the way I like
KENNEDY
it—did I make the connection. I had Gulped myself.
The combination of my
short stature and tendency
to mental fatigue made me
forget that my car did, in
fact, have a roof. The reason
I'm mentioning this now is
that I just noticed it again
the other day. My roof, that
is.
I was sitting at
McDonald's, looking out the
window in that catatonic
condition often brought on
by fry abuse, when I saw in
the same glance, the roof of
my parked car, and a sign
on a bench across the road
claiming "If you listed with
this bench, it would already
be sold." I wasn't sure why
somebody would want to
sell a bench, but it planted a
seed in my mind.
Advertising. My car is visible
from the sky! Or, more critically, it is visible from
above. I could sell the roof
of my car as advertising
space.
Now, there are drawbacks,
of course. I would have to
WEDNESDAY
"STRENGTH THROUGH SHARING"
FIRST NATIONS AWARENESS DAYS
MARCH 2, 3,4th 1994
SPONSORED BY NATIVE INDIAN STUDENT UNION
1JI0HSDAY
1:00-1:30
Opening Ceremonies
Prayer - EMef from Musqueam
1:30-600
Presentations shared by First Nations Students
and Fasttlty
Food, Crafts, Artists, First Nations UBC
Organizations
FRIDAY
1:00- fcOO
Dancer* * Singer* - Performers
Native Education DruMmers
Tzinquaw Dancers
Kwakiutl Dancers.
Heiltsuk Dqocers
Gitksan Dancers
Rick Patterson
Grandview School Dancers
Traditional Mothers and Parenting
Closing Ceremonies
1:00-6:00
Presentations in the form of songs, stories, readings from
works '" progress, sharing of thoughts and feelings by a
dynamic group of First. NatiOhs Students and Faculty.
Food, Crafts, Artists, First Nations tJBC Organizations
WHERE IS IT?
To be held in the First Nations House of Learning
Longhouse, 1985 West Mall, UBC, which is behind the
Geography Building and across from Place Vanier.
Sponsored by:
Native Indian Student Union
For more information please call 822-9834 or come visit
at the Longhouse.
never was a very good skateboarder, and it showed. The
social politics of snowboarding was periodically forced to
take a back seat to the more
mundane task of digging my
waterlogged butt out of the
powder drifts and shaking
most of the previous
evening's three-foot snowfall
out of the back of my coat.
Every now and then, however, I would succeed in
rolling/slithering/uncomfortably bouncing all the way to
the bottom of the hill, and it
was there, as I lurched triumphantly along in the singles line, that I gained my
first exposure to the kind of
persecution of which I'd
heard. When it was my turn
to jump in with a group of
three to fill up the chair, a
skier did the same, out of
turn, on the other side.
Despite my protests, the
group chose to ignore me,
make room for the other guy,
and leave me stranded on the
loading ramp. So, I waited
patiently for the next available space, all the while reciting a secret mental hex on
the clamp holding a certain
chair on the lift cable, when a
lift attendant was kind
enough to point out that
"maybe I should get on the
lift sometime today."
I thought about either
pleading my case to her or
telling her that I'd been skiing this hill far longer than
her unsavory little mug had
been working on it, but in
the end I simply smiled, said,
"Absolutely," and fell flat on
my face trying to get on the
chair.
There were a few other
such isolated incidents over
the course of the day, but I
have a feeling that they had a
lot to do with the fact that I
was negotiating the hill in
much the same way that an
Exocet missile might: travelling straight as an arrow at
Mach 2.4 before slamming
explosively into something.
Luckily for rne, I managed to
avoid targeting trees, boulders and other skiers' small
children, opting instead to
kick my feet up and cruise in
for a nice Snowbank Enema.
In the end, I suppose I got
some insight into the treatment snowboarders get: people are just that little bit less
tolerant, and are liable to
condemn you for your mistakes or shortcomings. It was
an interesting experience,
and one that I may be
inclined to try again sometime.
Like, say, next year, when
my ski suit dries out.
wash the car regularly. My
perception of birds is thus:
they are little, organic,
reproducible B-52 bombers,
and my car is Dresden.
Barring this, I can't see why
somebody who would consider setting a portrait of
himself on the side of an
oft-graffittied bus would
have even the slightest
reservation about pasting
his mug on the roof of my
Hyundai Pony, open only to
nature's hazards.
And now it's time for a
new segment: "WRATH OF
THE CONSUMER] UMER...
Umer... umer..."
I bumped into a friend in
Sedge on Monday night,
and when we got to that
"...uh, why don't I call
you..." stage in the conversation he suavely produced
a tiny little pocket-sized personal organizer, impressing
me with the level of technical sophistication that he
had achieved, which is especially noteworthy considering he's in Arts.
As he punched in the
numbers, I distinctly heard
him hiss, not unlike my cat
at the sight of me filling the
tub. He flipped the screen in
my direction: "Battery," the
little LCD explained,"...is
weak."
The man was holding
some of the most sophisticated consumer data storage
and management technology in the world right in the
palm of his hand, and we're
practically scrounging
around for a pencil stub and
shredded paper from the
recycling bin. Fifty years
ago, the Pentagon would
have offed him to seize that
little gizmo in an effort to
turn it into some kind of
anti-Red superkiller personal
organizer of death. I can just
see the Soviet agents, trying
to get their hands on this
secret. "We can't allow a
stealth personal organizer
gap, Mr. Chairman..." Now
all they would have to do to
make this device even
remotely formidable is
develop a better battery.
And this is what bothers
me. We seem to have
nineties technology with
forties batteries. It's the bottleneck of consumer product
development. Here's where
all this wonderful electric
car stuff falls short, aside
from the ridiculous theory
that hitching your car up to
a newly-built nuclear power
plant, petroleum-fuelled turbines, or dam and then losing 50% of that energy
across transmission wires as
heat somehow improves the
environment. But I digress.
Personal pet peeve. I just
think people should drive
less, xpizza and all. Nobody
wants to have a 5-mile limit
on their commute. Running
out of gas is embarrassing
enough, especially if you
have a real estate agent's
face plastered to the roof of
your car.

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