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The 432 Sep 5, 2000

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 VOLUME FOURTEEN ISSUE ONE
05 SEPTEMBER 2000
In this issue:
Imagination UBC!
Alien Sex!
Bathroom Reading!
and so much more...
'Nothing is more conducive to peace of mind than not having any opinion at all'
-Georg Christoph Lichtenberg
Faculty of Science to become
Faculty of Computer Science
Campus Nerdidity to Skyrocket
Point Gray, CP
In a startling revelation, last week the UBC
Board of Governors luis voted to approve
the proposed factioning of the Faculty of
Science in response to a changing educational
forecast. The Faculty of Science will become
the Faculty of Computer Science, while the
other departments that were once the cornerstone of the Faculty will be distributed
amongst the University's other Faculties,
resulting in the largest post-secondary shake-
up the province has seen since the accreditation of Simon Fraser University in 1965.
The proposed restructuring will see the new
Faculty of Computer Science increase its
enrollment three-fold over a period of four
years, creating the largest technology education centre in Western Canada. The creation of
an entire faculty for the computer and technological sciences will allow for greater funding
per pupil for teachers and for equipment. The
funding will be greatly welcomed by the people in the department, as currently, the per student funding of those undergraduates in the
department of Computer Science is only two-
thirds that of those in other programs. Additionally, the graduating students will be welcomed into the Canadian and American technological professional workplaces.
A preliminary schedule of the reorganization
was released to the media yesterday. The plan
calls for the shuffle of faculties to be completed by April 2004, to coincide with the graduate of students entering the University this fall.
Science One and the Coordinated science
Option will join similar programs, such as
Arts One, in what is being tentatively called
"First-year University", clearing the way for
an entirely first-year program at UBC. "This
is a great thing, as all incoming first year students at UBC will be exposed to the best UBC
has to offer," said program head Bill Moran.
"Instead of applying to faculties before they
come here, all first year students will be
required to take a set course load of 32 credits
before they can register in the Faculty of their
choice. This year's frosh are the last of a dying
age, my friend."
The Science departments will be divided up
over the coming three years. Mathematics,
Statistics and the much-overlooked department
of Psychology will be amalgamated into the
Faculty of Arts. This step is scheduled first, as
the departments of Math and Psychology are
already partly within the mandate of Arts.
Physics and Chemistry will become part of
the Faculty of Applied Science (Engineering),
to fill the gap made by Engineering's Computer Engineering department moving over to the
new Faculty of Computer Science. The Dean
I
AT EtfGlMEERWG pAftTlGS.
of Applied Science was unavailable for comment, but physics engineering student Andrew
Tinka is 'pleased' by the restructuring. "There
are some great profs in Science's physics
department, and I'm confident that the professional world will recognize the value of a UBC
Physics Engineering degree."
As probably the most profound result of the
faculty restructuring, the Faculty of Medicine,
previously a graduate-only faculty, will incorporate the department of Biochemistry and the
Cell Biology and Genetics options of the Biology department to offer a pre-medicine undergraduate degree. There are also talks of forming a working partnership with Engineering.
The animal and plant Biology options will
merge with the Faculties of Forestry and Agricultural Sciences to create the newly-named
Faculty of Natural Resources. MacMillian
Blodell company spokesperson Sandy Beeches
reports that the forest giant cannot wait for the
first graduates of the new program, hoping
that is will "offer a more diverse education,
one that will create the kind of environmental
scientist we here at Mac-Bio want to work for
us."
Dr. Martha Piper, during her explanation of
the reorganization, let slip that the move is not
entirely academic in its origin. "We felt it necessary to move in this direction, as the econo
my moves in an increasingly technological
direction. The world has changed more in the
past 100 years than in the previous 300, so this
move is seen by some as long overdue."
Not all of those contacted by 432 staff are
pleased by the move. AMS Vice President
Academic and Science student Erfan Kazemi
said "the AMS cannot condone a course of
action which will lead to the breakup of our
University. UBC has been a model of post-
secondary education in Canada since 1918.
The concept of a Faculty of the Sciences is
cherished world-wide. We feel this move by
the University is geared more towards the
financial side than academic. Added to that is
the complete lack of consultation done with
students over the summer. Most people have
no idea what is going on, and we feel that this
is wrong."
Indeed, few students spoken to by the 432 had
heard of the plan or of the potential break-up
of their university. A common response was
"What?" when students on campus for orientations were asked about the restructuring.
Many incoming first years were pleased, however, by the creation of an actual pre-med program. "This is just so much cooler! I mean,
pre-med! It's what I want to do!" said incoming Science student Krista Gladstone as she
exited the UBC Bookstore Saturday afternoon.
PM Assasinated
By Poison Pie
Bobcaygeon, Ontario (Reuters)
Today a nation mourns as the figurehead
of its unpopular majority government
was assassinated by a pie... a poison
pie.
A fast-acting and fatal neuro-toxin, disseminating from a chocolate banana cream pie
thrown in Jean Chretien's face by a very unoriginal protester, infiltrated the Prime Minister's central nervous system. The momentary
euphoria over the sudden gain of control of the
left side of his face was quickly overshadowed
as he lost all control over his motor nerves,
causing him to awkwardly collapse on the
floor of the school gym of Bobcaygeon Middle
School, where he was touring as part of the
Liberal government's "Kids are People Too"
campaign.
The Prime Minister was rushed to rural Bobcaygeon Memorial Hospital, where he was airlifted to a much better hospital in Ottawa,
where he was declared dead on arrival.
The fatal pie was thrown by an activist Joel
Hunter, in a twisted copycat of a similar
protest of the imbecilic statement made by a
similarly unattractive, and unmotivated hippy
freak three weeks ago in Prince Edward
Island.
The RCMP, theoretically in charge of the
Prime Minister's security, issued a statement
that they 'couldn't have possibly anticipated
the incoming pie.' Speaking on behalf of the
RCMP, Cpl. Bill Sommers said that the
tragedy was "not just because we didn't have
an officer present. It was a pie! A pie, for
chrissakes! Who uses a pie? In Canada, no
less. Regardless, we are now instituting a pie-
registration policy for the Canadian Public.
All citizens in possession of pies are hereby
ordered to register them with their local law
enforcement. We hope this will stem the madness and anarchy that pies have brought to this
fair and gentle land."
A faction opposed tp pie-control has sprung
up, led by Torontonian pastry chef, Alphonzo
Vitielli.
"If pies are outlawed, only outlaws will have
pies!" Vitielli exclaimed at a recent press conference, moments before he was taken into
custardy for possestion of an illegal apple pie. PAGE TWO
THE FOUR THIRTY TWO
05 APRIL 2000
Volume Fourteen
Issue One
05 September 2000
Editor
Bree Baxter
bmonique@interchange.ubc.ca
Assistant Editors
Jay Garcia
Miyako Hewett
Andy Martin
Ben Warrington
Printed by
College Printers, Vancouver, BC
Contributors
Bree Baxter
Timothy Chan
Jay Garcia
Miyako Hewett
Andy Martin
Kiri Nichol
The Reaper
Andrew Tinka
Ben Warrington
You!
Web Sites
http://www.ams.ubc.ca/sus/
http://seercom.com/sus/432/
This issue made possible by:
The letter Z
Little Black Car
Guido the Dzzr
Legal Information
The 432 is published six times a
semester (wow!) from the basement
of the Chemistry Building, or wherever we happen to be. The 432 is
the official publication of the Science Undergraduate Society and
science students in general.
All views expressed in this issue
are strictly those of the individual
writers, and as such are not the
responsibility of The 432, The Science Undergraduate Society, or the
Faculty of Science. Writers and cartoonists from every faculty are
encouraged to submit their material to The 432. Submissions must
meet the strict requirements of
making the editor chuckle thrice,
and contain the author's name and
contact information.
Ok, when we say "not the responsibility of the Dean's Office," we
mean it. Any feedback or complaints should be made to the persons in SUS, or e-mailed to the editor, or voiced loudly in your Math
101 midterm. If you don't' tell us
what you don't like, we can't fix it.
Or at least pretend to fix it.
Glued to the Boob Tube
Andrew Tinka
Likes to Watch
Something about television has been bothering me lately. I finally figured it out
when I saw that smug, smarmy bastard,
Regis Philbin, on Who Wants To Be a Millionaire. That show isn't about watching someone
win a million dollars. Honestly, no one ever
makes it that far. That show is really about
getting to watch people sweat it out in the
uncomfortable chair with the lights flashing
and dramatic music playing as Regis leers and
gibbers in their faces. Why do you think the
producers stretch every question through two
commercial breaks? So that we can get up
close and personal with Joe Nobody from
Asshair, Arkansas as he wracks his poor brain,
damaged through too many years of moonshine and demolition derbies, trying to
remember whether the seventh Dwarf was
Humpy, Pukey, Gooey, or Doc.
Pain and suffering - that is, other people's
pain and suffering - is like a drug. As time
goes on, we're developing a tolerance for it.
There was a time when we could get our fix
from soap operas and sitcoms, when the pre-
chewed mush fed to us by the studios was all
we needed. Bruce is cheating on Samantha
who's carrying Nigel's child from the night of
passion just before he got run over by Felicity
who has had a drinking problem ever since
Carter came back from the POW camp and ran
off with Jennifer who later dumped him for...
you guessed it... Bruce! Fantastic! Anyone
who has ever watched a soap opera knows that
you can quit watching for six months, turn the
TV back on, and find everything's exactly the
same. Nobody's woken up from her coma,
nobody's forgiven his partner for sleeping
around, nobody's found the real killers,
resolved any of the problems, gotten on with
their lives, or changed a damn thing. Why?
Because we're not interested in watching people solving their problems and living happily
ever after. We want to watch people hurt.
Synthetic suffering, of course, was only the
beginning. Once the audience got hooked on
other people's pain, the dosage just got
stronger and stronger. The second wave
arrived when Phil Donahue invented the talk
show, where real people came on and talked
about their cheating wives, or kinky husbands,
or shirty children, or satanic house cats. Of
course, the audience was instantly hooked.
Other people's pain is like Coke; you can't
beat the real thing. But our addiction grew,
and the talk shows got sleazier and sleazier,
until one day we woke up to find ourselves
watching Jerry Springer unleashing the freakiest scum he could drag out of the gutters onto
the stage. And as we watched the skinhead
security thugs wade into the flailing limbs and
flying chairs while the studio audience seethed
and howled and chanted "Jer-ry! Jer-ry!" in
some sort of primitive tribal orgy as their
unholy god devoured his chosen sacrifice, we
realized we'd been lead astray. We'd let the
glitz and glamour of the anorexic hermaphrodites and triple-nippled Ku Klux Klan chain-
saw prostitutes distract us from what was really important: the simple pleasure of watching
bad things happen to someone who wasn't us.
Along came Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,
and the second that pure, clean shit hit our
veins, we knew we'd never get off on that
tired old fluff again. Here was real, in your
face, stress and discomfort happening to real,
live people. What really separated Millionaire
from other, only slightly less successful real-
life-pain shows like COPS,
H*0*0*K*E*R*S, and When Chihuahuas
Attack Part Five: The Testicular Trauma is the
closeness and intimacy we got to have with the
victims. That little chat that Regis had with the
fresh contestant as they took the chair did
more than just fill time; it allowed us to get
inside their head, see the world through their
eyes, so that we could know exactly what was
going on when the hammer came down. We
could relate to these saps, empathize with them
- after all, who doesn't want to be a million
aire? And that connection, that empathy only
made it sweeter when the buzzer went off and
Regis shook his head mournfully and the tears
streamed down Joe Nobody's face as he realized he wouldn't be able to pay for Gramma
Lee's ovarian cyst operation after all. Suck it,
Joe. Go back to Arkansas. Next!
Naturally, the vultures from the other networks didn't want ABC to monopolize this
innovative new way of exploiting pain, so they
started churning out their own shows that got
intimate with people and then tortured them.
Survivor. Big Brother. Three's Company.
They all operate on the same principle: Get as
close as possible to the suckers, have them
reveal their innermost foibles, then FUCK
THEM OVER AS HARD AS POSSIBLE. It's
getting more and more blatant. Trust me, Running Man is less than five years away. Just
watch. Before you know it we'll be hooting
and cheering as the jack-booted bounty hunters
with mini-cameras strapped to their gun sights
chase down the poor slob who signed a very
binding power of attorney to FOX in exchange
for a chance at some incredibly large sum of
money providing he can evade his pursuers for
thirty days. And as the first round of automatic fire rips through the Running Man's midsection, splattering his vitals across the wall of
the filthy hovel in which he chose to make his
last stand, all across the continent will be
heard the simultaneous orgiastic sigh of a hundred million junkies as the drug kicks in and
we all get well off the death of one lonely man.
And we'll be satiated, at least until the next big
thing comes along.
The ancient Romans had it right: bread and
circuses keep the masses happy. The gladiators
of yester-year are the island castaways and
wannabe millionaires of today. But if you
think we've reached our capacity for watching
the suffering of others, if you think sooner or
later some higher instinct will kick in and stop
the escalating festival of pain on our television
screens, believe me: You ain't seen nothing
yet. Don't touch that dial.
Workin' it for the Man
yum   Bree Baxter
wl	
Voted off the island
Here we go again. Yup, it's Volume 14
(fourteen) for that illustrious campus
paper, the 432\ All cheer!
I'm so glad you're back at school this year.
Let's hope it's as fun and eventful as last year.
Minus the litigation. And the naked people.
I've spent the summer as a gainfully
employed student. I do believe my exact title
was "that student working on the web site."
As soon as I graduate, I can be "the graduate
working on the web site." Yay!
Enough about me.
The 432
You know you want to write for the 432. You
may have been too shy last year, but trust me,
there's no reason to be shy. The ones on my
editorial staff who bite have been spayed, so
it's safe to come into the office. Seriously, we
would love you to contribute to this paper.
Even if you're only a tiny bit interested, please
come on out to the new contributors meeting
on September 14th, at 4:32pm in SUS. If you
want to draw, write, edit or help with layout,
please come by! Or e-mail me! I'm desperate
for help! Look at me now, alone, scared,
yawning in the hovel that is the SUS office at
2 in the morning! Why should I hog all the
fun?
Skool
So you're here, you're either back or new, so
happy happy. If I may add to the heap of
advice for you in this issue, and say this: If
you're really hungry, you can always get free
food by following the film signs that say
"Extra Holding" and pretending you're supposed to be in there. Heck, you may even end
up in a film.
You should also get your ass involved in stuff
on campus. Club? Why not? Intramural? Whip
out that jock strap! If you use this place as a
glorified high school, I will personally track
you down and beat upon you.
Wildlife
I've been on campus this summer, and so I've
seen first-hand some of the... ahem, "wildlife"
that uses the facilities after dark. I used to
think one solitary raccoon was bad, until I saw
the family of raccoons cross the road a week
ago. A large family of raccoons. A large fam-
So
ttpi//www.
ily of large raccoons. And then there was the
skunk (I'm sure it was not a punk cat) which
waddled along Main Mall. How many drunken kids will be stumbling home late this Friday
night and try to "pet the funky kitty", if you
know what I mean?
And then there are the feral cats, but that's
another story. Evil little kittens, genetically
engineered on campus to be evil.
Survivor
Yeah, survive this. Andrew is right. You people are sick. What was I doing while Survivor
was on? If I recall correctly, I was cleaning
my room. Living in residence, even with a tv
in my room (with cable, for free), has killed
my viewing habits. Maybe it's because I'm so
damn busy. All I have time for these days is
the odd Star Trek rerun and Whose Line. I'd
watch more movies and stuff, but one of my
roommates keeps stealing my TV Guide.
Your Life
We can't tell you what to think. We can't tell
you what to do. All we can do it give you a
hand with the info, then you have to make yer
own damn decisions.
Welcome to the real world.
Caution: Cape
does not enable
user to fly.
-Superman Cos-
fume Warning. 05 APRIL 2000
THE FOUR THIRTY TWO
PAGE THREE
Poke Living
Stuff for
Fun and
Profit: Part II
Miyako Hewett
Scanning the skies
Another day, another pack of young impressionable
frosh. Entering the leafy malls of UBC, I can tell
that many of you are thinking it. Aren't you? Aren't
you!? Pre-med. I can see it in your eyes, in all your glory of
four-coloured pens, packs of different coloured highlighters
and pack-mule backpacks. And how many of you are in biology? That many? Well, let me tell you my story.
I'm a third-year biology student, and I love biology. You
know, most pre-med students are in Biology, yet how many
of them actually like biology? Week after week, I listen to
these keeners whine about labs. So you think they're a waste
of time, eh? What the hell are you in Biology for, over half
of your degree is labs!
Imagine this: You, in a lab, staring blobs of moving goo. Do
you care? At all? No. How many of you would stand knee-
deep in the mud, in the rain, notebook in one hand, binoculars, recording device and miscellaneous equipment in pocket, while you are tying to gather data on local chickadee populations? Or sitting for several hours staring at tropical fish,
willing them telepathically to do something, anything, in
response to a blue vaguely fish-shaped fimo model? How
many of you would do that? Because that, my friend, is biology. There is also stuff that has to do with cells, plants and
fungus. It's all biology and I love it. Even the genetic bit. I
know so many pre-med-ers that shudder at the though of,
horror of horrors, touching and tampering and poking stuff.
What do you think biology is? If you didn't enjoy this, maybe
you should entertain the though that biology is not for you.
Do something you enjoy. Really.
Now, why this rant, you ask?
As a biology student, I am sick of people going, "Oh, pre-
med?" when I tell them I'm in biology. I find myself constantly explaining that not all biology is pre-med. I'm an ecology major, and interested in evolutionary and exobiology.
Ya, aliens. I'm an alien hunter, life on other planets. Aww
yeah. Not realistic, you say? I'm not getting into med school,
but neither are you. So face it, don't give up your dream, just
do something you enjoy. Trust me, or you'll regret it.
(You also have to understand that med schools don't give a
rat's ass about your cell biology major. They care about
your MCAT scores, your overall GPA (even the arts courses) and your interview. Yeah, you need to take a few prerequisites to stand a chance, but you can take those from
Arts just as well as Science. And Arts don't force you to
take Math 200.
My favorite story is the one of the History major who got
accepted into the Med School of his choice because his
grads kicked ass and he was, as they say in the business,
"well-rounded. " Guess how many genetics courses he took?
-ed.)
What does biology have to offer? Lots. Have a look in the
calendar. There is animal biology, conservation biology,
developmental biology, marine biology and more. How else
can you dissect a cat in one hour, then decode DNA in the
next, then sit in the grass listening to birds sing, while contemplating going down to Kits beach or Wreck beach to collect seaweed? If you don't enjoy this, there are other things
to do. Want to model population growth of dung beetles? Go
for it. If you don't believe me, go ask a prof. Want to know
more? Come talk to me. I've basically carved my ass into the
SUS couches, either that or I'm outside somewhere, in that
case there is my mailbox. Until then, keep smiling, stop
stressing, and watch for falling frogs from the sky. It happens.
Miyako forgot to mention the best part of biology: Sex.
Sexual competition, sexual selection, and sexual reproduction. She's too much of a lady to say it, but she's really in
it for the exobiological sex.
-ed.
So, You Wanna
Win a Contest?
TM
How well do you know your
campus? We want to know. If you
can answer 14 of these 15 questions, you will be entered into our
draw for cool prizes*! You can
either drop off the answers in the
SUS office, or e-mail the editor at
bmonique@interchange.ubc.ca
between now and September
15th, 2000. Every entrant will
receive candy, because that's the
kind of organization that we are.
Winners will be published in the
432, issue 2, on September 27th.
This contest also appears in the
Guide 2000. As part of our fun
tie-ins, you can find some of
these answers in the Guide 2000.
If you want to see the on-line version, please visit the SUS web
site! The SUS web site lives at
http://www.ams.ubc.ca/sus/
Good luck, and we love you.
*Prizes will be given to one first-place winner,
two second place winner and three third place
winners. That's on top of the candy.
Hey you! Are you any good at filling
these random awkward spaces?
Write for the 432
Contest Questions
jl. Name two places that sell UBC Cin-
inamon buns.
|2. What is the name of the campus stu-
ident paper that comes out every Tuesday and Friday?
|3. What are the names of the traditional first-year residences on campus?
14. Name the Nobel Laureate in Chem-
Hstry who worked at UBC.
|5. What does the acronym AMS standi
[for?
|6. Where is the SUS office? (Building!
land room number will suffice).
17. In the middle of Main Mall, there is ai
jlarge concrete cairn with the letter "E"
Ipressed into it. What does the "E" standi
Ifor?
|8. What is the name of the UBC Varsity!
Isports teams?
|9. What colour are the vans that Plant;
lOps drives around campus?
|10. Name the University's Vice President Students.
|11. How many departments are there inl
Ithe Faculty of Science?
112. Where   is  the   Dean   of  Science!
joffice?
113. How many libraries are there on!
]campus?
114. When is SUS's first bzzr garden of|
jthe year? What is its name?
!l 5. When is Science Week 2001 ?
First Year Committee
First Meeting: September 13th,
_. ■v-^^*^»^^^L^^_ Contact KeKa bztopa
::(£•**'" rsztopa@interchange.ubc.ca
• -l for more information
BBQ Time!
and...
It's time for the Science FirsTYetfTbbCJrhfoo burgeT-arad pop for
first year students at UBC. (If you're not in first year, wellstiU feed
you. Hamburgers are $2 and pod is 75$)
Frija
I     I   ■ *a___wr__t__z*-*'*'mtjr&i PAGE FOUR
THE FOUR THIRTY TWO
05 APRIL 2000
Overactive Imagination UBC
Andy Martin
Canadian Psycho
Welcome fodder, I mean frosh, to the futility that is the
University of British Columbia education. Your
scheduled tourleaders have boon gagged and throtled
are sick and asked me to take over our little orientation of the
place that will be your home for the next 6-14 years of your
undergraduate career. Huh? Done in four years?! Hahahahaha-
hahahahaha... [gasp!] Don't make me laugh while I'm high!
But I do love hearing you bright-eyed and idealistic frosh say
that. I bet you think a job's waiting for you when you get to the
other side too! You will learn. Like your backpacks, your idealism will shrink over the years, to the point where you end up
stumbling into class 10 minutes late, hungover, with only a collapsed cardboard box and red crayon in hand.
Please open your Overactive Imagination UBC Survival
Pak. First, bound in purple cashmere, is your copy of 'Animal
House'. Watch, learn, imitate. This is the standard that your
University 'education' will be held up to. The rest of the binder
is hollowed out to fill with your favourite hard alcohol. This
will help you survive Math 101. I said survive, not pass. We
supply the painkillers, but the miracles are up to God.
Now, the first thing you must memorize, before Shakespeare,
before optimal foraging theory, before any of Ferment's theorems, are the locations of the bars on campus: The Pit, the Pendulum, the Gallery, Koerners, the Cheeze, 99 Chairs, and the
Thunderbar. Good job! Next, we have to break you of your
high school education of bzzr. Bzzr doesn't actually have to
taste bad. But I digress.., let's get going with the tour.
Here you are sitting on the wonderful, finely cultivated grass
in front of the SUB building, just like a bunch of fucking hippies. Get the fuck up, do you think you own that grass?! What's
the matter with you?! Un-fucking-believable! You're here for
one day, and you think you own the place.
The SUB is where you will find most of the food sources on
campus, as well as three of the campus bars. It would do you
good to memorize the outlay of the plaza, as you will likely end
up stumbling drunkenly through it to find food/buses/more bzzr
when supply runs low in your previous habitat. Oh yes, on this
campus we call beer 'bzzr' for some Allah-forsaken reason.
(It's illegal to advertise alcohol. We don't want the campus
cowboys coming after us. Again -ed.) As well as the bars, there
are several bzzr gardens at various locales around campus
every Friday starting at 4:32pm. Bzzr is often cheaper and the
lights are brighter than inside the bars, which simultaneously
hinders and helps in avoiding errors in the selection for the
night's mate.
Going directly west from the SUB, we run into the Hebb
building, which, along with Hennings (just to the north, connected by the sky stairway), is the physics core of the campus.
At least, the safe physics core. In the engineering section they
have a wind tunnel and in TRIUMF (really south campus) they
have a cyclotron. That thing could fling a spitwad so hard it
could take out every building in its path before eventually burying itself halfway through Cypress Mountain. All we get here
is some pathetic radioactive material and smallish anvils.
Going through the parking lot of Hebb, we come to the Chemistry building. A beautiful, aged structure that houses your
chemistry classes; a huge, publicly-available supply of very fun
liquid nitrogen (on the top floor); and rows upon rows of closely packed, dangerous, explosive, carcinogenic and tasty chemicals. Going west through the building, we find another road.
WOW! Look at the fine pavement and the exquisite grasswork
on the median.
The 432 Wants
New contributors
meeting is
Se^terfibet 13th  ,-
at 4:32 prrPin the
SU| office!
Wherever that is!
Please! E-mail the editor
__ ^y-^4
bi^que^intefcha|ge.ui
" »jmatj0n
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Meandering south, you can see the aptly-named Biology Building on the next block. If your science-educated future doesn't
involve spending 3/4 of your life nerding it up in front of a goddamn screen, this will likely be your base of operations for
your undergraduate career. Biology encompasses everything
from incomprehensible genetics to incomprehensible ecosystems, and all the other smelly things in between. Zoolab is just
inside: lots of free, fast, non-Microsoft dominated, internet
connected computers, where you will quietly write and submit
your first article to the 432. Be sure to visit the Biology huts
behind the building to see exactly what kind of luxurious working conditions a tenured professorship gets you.
From here we can see the dreaded UBC Bookstore to the east.
My spine liquifies when I remember how much time, money,
and lifeforce I wasted in that infernal building buying overpriced books that I hardly ever used. I still have roughly $1000
of textbooks that I will never open, but are too expensive to
throw out, taking away valuable space on my bookshelf from
my pe*a-literature collection. Three tips:
1. SUBTitles, the AMS Used Bookstore (in the SUB) is way
cheaper, with shorter lines. It's new, and it's consignment, so
you can set your own prices for your books... that may be a
good thing. There used to be a bookstore in the Village, but
they tore that down. Bastards.
2. Books can be returned within 2 weeks, no questions asked.
3. Ask your prof if they actually use the text. Half the time
they don't, and you won't have to bother with one more trip to
that hellhole to buy $100 of useless drivel.
Just south of us is 'Geertown, home of the engineers. Beware
the roaming pimply-faced red-jacketed 'Geers, especially during Tanking or Rose-Bowling season. They're based around the
Cheeze and the Cairn (the big concrete thing in the middle of
Main Mall that will change colour several times in the next
eight months). Further south are the Forestry and Aggie sections, faculties that get off on cutting down phallic symbols and
artificially inseminating cows. Beyond that are the B-lots
(watch out, they're actually beginning to check for parking
fraud down there) and way south is Thunderbird Stadium,
home for Arts County Fairs and other similar outbursts. Scattered in the southern and western edges of the core campus are
the residences, sleeping and fucking quarters for this, the modern day sharashka. (Crikes, they were the political prisons for
scientists in Stalin's Russia;' why doesn 't anyone else know this ?
-Andy.)
To the north of us is the Arts section of the campus. It is a cold
and desolate place where Subway grows their free range Soylent Green. You need know only this: The big, tall building is
Buto (Buchanan Tower). It has the highest roof you can easily
access for an unbelievably interactive potty-time. Stay out of
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the rest of the Arts section except while running to Koerner's
pub, weekly Arts bzzr gardens (in the godforsaken glorified
high school that is Buchanan building) or to drunkenly climb
the totem poles behind the anthropology museum. Further
north of that is Tower's and Wreck Beach. Believe it or not,
it's even scarier than the Arts section... [fade into 1997 flashback]... This looks like a good place to swim, I'll just take my
shirt off, now my shoes, now m... Oh my GOD! It's 3501bs,
50 years old, naked and COMING RIGHT AT ME!!! Game
Over, man, Game Over! (fade out)]
That's pretty much all they pay me for. Of course we can't
take you everywhere, so here are some parting words to live
and learn by.
1. The roadways to UBC are hotspots for photo-radar. When
speeding to campus, be sure to be using your boss's licence
plates with your arse hanging out.
2. Don't schedule classes at 8:30am. Especially math classes.
Especially boring math classes. Especially required, extremely
difficult and boring math classes where the prof turns off all the
lights and reads, in a monotone voice, notes from an overhead.
3. If you're going to live in residences, learn to masturbate
quietly.
4. Regrets pile up exponentially. Sins can be confessed later in
life, but regrets remain and leave you a withered, bitter shell of
a man, ranting to others who really don't care about how the
bitch hurt you. In the same octave, too many of you come here
just to study. Fuck you. Go to bzzr gardens, go to parties, join
several clubs and find your life, cause it ain't in the library.
Books can be your best friends, but they can't buy you drinks,
let you copy the answers for the assignment due in five minutes, or act as the distraction while you plant the explosives.
5. Write for the 432. It isn't as hard as it looks, gives you campus-wide fame, fringe benefits (the AUS couch is still spiritually unclean) and gives you a sex life like no other (notice that
that wasn't actually meant as a positive term). And don't write
for the Underground until we at least turn you down.
6. You can never go home again. Welcome to the rest of your
miserable little lives.
Andy would know. He was here for four years "or so", but
even after we ship him out of here on a freakin' boat, he manages to find his way home. As you read this, he's on a boat
bound for the waters off the Washington coast. Next month,
he's going to Hawaii.
Damn him.
But he does know.
red.
1
<x\V Nj0U^ keR.VR C/oot) 05 APRIL 2000
THE FOUR THIRTY TWO
PAGE FIVE
Flushed With Pride
The 432 presents a guide to UBC's non-urinal water closets
Kiri Nichol
On Her Throne
So your first class of the morning has just
finished and that one litre mug of coffee
you had for breakfast is starting to reach
the end of the digestive cycle: where are you
gonna go? If you're a disoriented frosh, you
might consider asking someone of a similar
anatomical persuasion the way to the nearest
loo; however, that doesn't guarantee that there
isn't a mile-long line-up for a single toilet that
doesn't flush properly. Besides, finding good
bathrooms is sadly not something your average
MUG leader has been trained to discuss at
length. But thanks to your Science Undergraduate Society, you can now avoid hours of wandering empty halls by simply perusing this
easy guide. Note: This piece only reviews
women's washrobms; if we get enough interest from the guys, maybe we can get Bree to
hire a male bathroom critic next year. (Who
said anything about hiring? -ed)
Main Floor, SUB: Conveniently located
between Blue Chip Cookies and the AMS job
board, the cleanliness of this location is highly
variable and despite the large number of stalls,
there is often a long line-up. The walls of this
bathroom have hosted some very intelligent
abortion debates and if you pencil your
boyfriend dilemmas on the dividers, you can
probably get some pseudo-professional relationship help. There is also a condom dispenser, although it looks like it's been a while
since it was operational.
3rd Floor, Music: The generous floor space
is a thoughtful touch for students toting large
music cases, but this washroom otherwise
remains undistinguished.
Chan Centre: Frankly, it's worth going to a
concert just so that you can use the washrooms
here. Once you get over the vast expanses of
spotless mirror and marble, you get to the real
attraction: toilets that flush automatically.
While you wash up at one of several sinks set
around a circular counter, you can admire a
gorgeous native sculpture of some sort of leaping fish.
1st Floor, Buchanan Block A: While large,
this bathroom can get busy and messy at times.
The graffiti can be amusing but not interesting
enough to extend washroom breaks any longer
than absolutely necessary.
1st Floor, Biology: Good luck in finding the
bathrooms in this building. By the time you
figure out what floor you're on, you'll probably have wet your pants. The one washroom I
was able to find is a triangular afterthought
near the stairwell in the south-east wing. The
closet-like ambience is accentuated by the lack
of lighting and entering the toilet stall is akin
to climbing into a refrigerator. It is heartening
to see that a toilet plunger is kept close at hand
in case of mechanical problems.
2nd Floor, Hennings: Until last year a sign
on this loo read "Please Note: This Is Now A
Women's Washroom".'Nuff said.
2nd Floor, Chemistry: Kind of on the small
side, and it can get messy during busy times.
One afternoon, I was rather alarmed by the
presence of a reagent bottle (ammonia) left sitting on the counter.
3nd Floor, Hebb: Fabulously clean and well
lit, this washroom is used exclusively by
female physics majors, of which there are
approximately two.
3rd and 4th Floors, LSK: Plagued by malfunctioning sinks for most of last year, the
third-floor washroom was recently renovated.
The fourth floor location remains one of the
best bathrooms on campus, with its comfy
couch and big skylight. Perpetually clean, the
hand-lettered "Do Not Pour Coffee Grounds
Down This Sink: It Will Clog" lends a homey
touch.
2nd Floor, Woodward Library: This is
apparently the only bathroom in the library,
although once you find it, it is small and clean.
2nd Floor, Curtis (Law): Another building
with a lot of triangles. A small stairwell near
the ground-floor entrance to the library takes
you up to an oddly shaped room with a bunch
of doors which, for all I know, lead off into
Narnia. But if I remember correctly, one was
a bathroom.
Main Floor, Scarfe: Although the floor in
this bathroom suffers from some sort of
drainage problem, the large, south-facing windows let in plenty of natural light. This is a
large but high-traffic location, conveniently
found on the north side of the library by the
main stairwell.
2nd Floor, Koerner Library: This washroom is located on the first floor below the
main floor, just behind the stairwell. As none
of the other floors in Koerner are equipped
with facilities, this bathroom, although well-lit
and modern, loses some of its attractiveness
because of over-use. One nifty feature is the
high-tech toilet roll fittings, which have the
axle placed slightly out of the centre of mass
of the roller; because of this, a little tug will
instantly give a foot-long ream of toilet paper.
(Actually, the upper levels have washrooms
tucked neatly into the corners, but finding one
of these places is like finding Larry King's hair
piece during a wind storm -ed.)
2nd Floor, Main Library: Another campus
bathroom with a lot of potential, this location
could use some renovations. For much of last
year, there was a hole in the south wall that a
small child could have crawled into. Upon
opening the door to this loo, you enter the first
of two rooms, an empty void emphasized by
the vaulted ceiling. The second smaller room
contains two toilets and a sink. This bathroom
accentuates the slightly lurching and stuffy
ambience of the rest of the building and it is
easy to see why this library was used as an X-
Files set.
Sea-Level, Wreck Beach: Another good reason to go to the bathroom in groups, this WC
is standard port-o-potty fare. Chief among its
attributes is its location at the bottom of the
Wreck Beach stairs, rather than the top.
Do you have any idea how much coffee I had
to pour down Kiri's throat to get this article
finished? All in the name of information, my
pretties, -ed.
Want to write bathroom reviews for the 4321 We want you to want to write for you. It's worth it.
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same edition. PAGE SIX
THE FOUR THIRTY TWO
05 APRIL 2000
Dear Abby: There's this Albertan...
Ben Warrington
Too Lazy to Care
Well, school is starting for another
year, and this is the traditional time
that 432 writers give their ancient
and sage advice to incoming first years on how
to hack university life. This is where all the
myths and half truths about the university are
dredged out once again to amaze a new crop of
incredulous students. I thought that I would
buck the tradition seeing as no one pays any
attention to these advice articles anyway, but
what the heck, I'm too damned lazy.
I know that frosh are used to getting eighties
and nineties in school. You need them to get
into this university. Well, don't expect those
marks anymore. The reason you got such high
marks in high school is not because you are
smart. It is because high school is easy. Face
it, everybody here is at least as smart as you,
probably smarter (with the possible exception
of a couple of people, whom I will not name
for liability purposes). You are going to get at
least a few bad marks; you will probably fail a
course or two. Don't worry about it. I mean it.
If I hear you whining about your grades, I am
going break both of your legs and stuff them
down your throat - just so we're clear.
Besides, for the most part, the mark is not that
important. You are here to learn. At least, I
hope you are. If you are just here to get a good
high paying job, you are in the wrong place.
Try a technical school. Anyway, as I was saying, nobody really cares what your mark is, or
even whether you have a degree. People care
about what you know, and of what you are
capable. For example, if you are capable of
downing a pitcher Wednesday night and passing an exam Thursday morning, you are the
kind of person who will get the most out of
university.
Enough about marks. Despite what you may
have been led to believe, university is not all
about classes and higher learning. It is probably cliche to say this, but kicking back and
having a good time is almost as important (or
p'ossibly more important) an aspect of the university experience. Go to bzzr gardens. Sneak
into clubs/bars if you are siill 18 (I'm from
Alberta, so I figure 18 is legal anyway). You
do not have to become a raging alcoholic
(though that's fun too), but go. Who knows,
you might wind up in another municipality
with a 22 year-old for the night. You might
meet someone who lasts much more than a
night. You might, horror of horrors, (whore of
From the 432 archives:
This little piggy went to market. This little piggy stayed home. This
little piggy had roast beef. This little piggy had none.
And this little piggy went "wee wee wee!"
Dead Pool V:
The Discovered
Country
The Reaper
Sister Soul
Welcome back to another year of the
SUS official Dead Pool. Prizes and
fame await you if you're cool
enough to smack down your favorite death
potentials. If you can't join them, bet on them!
While it may be true that we may be guilty of
a bit of bad taste, that doesn't eradicate the fact
that death happens every day, sometimes even
to famous people. Nothing can be as definite
as death, and that's what makes it the perfect
contest for us to have, as very few people
come back from the dead these days.
Rules:
1. Your people must be famous. That means
that if I look at the list and don't know how
you're talking about, too bad.
2. Your people must be dead before April 1st,
2001, at 4:32 pm PST. Your people cannot be
dead before you hand in your list, because that
would be cheating and cheating is wrong.
3. No death-row inmates. None. Especially
Mumia.
4. You're allowed to enter the contest at any
time, but only deaths after your entrance and
before April 1st will count towards your point
total.
5. If you kill someone, their death will not
count towards your point total. It may very
well count towards our scores, but not yours.
6. You are not allowed to enter my stunt double.
7. No dead people, because they are already
dead.
Order your list carefully, because your top
entrant (that at position number 1) is worth 15
points. The bottom entrant (at number 15) is
only worth one.
Person with the most points wins. Depending
on my year-end budget (damn scythe goes
through blades like there's no tomorrow),
there may be second and third place winners.
I'm not sure what your prize will be, but I
assume it will include some form of ACF tick-
etry.
Just because I'm bored, I'll hold a random
draw on September 28th at 4:32 pm of my
already-entered players, and the randomly
chosen entry will receive a t-shirt. Enter soon.
Some perennial favorites are the Queen Mum
(100 and going strong!), the Pope, Bob Hope
and Boris Yeltsin. I know we've been saying
that these people have the potential to die for
years and years now, but hey, everyone has to
die sometime.
Alec Guinness went on over to the other side
during the summer, as did Maurice "Rocket"
Richard, Walter Matthau and Gordon Solie.
While I saw a few entries with Walter Matthau
last year, no one had Alec Guinness. Now, it's
too late. Don't let it be too late this year!
If you need a bit of help in choosing your candidates for death, here's what you can do. Pick
your favorite internet search engine, type in
"Dead Pool" to the search line, and you'll be
smacked with enough sites to keep your hot little mouse hand busy for days. Err, yeah.
More rules: Fill out the handy entry form and
drop it off in SUS before October 1st in the
Dead Pool/Reaper mailbox, or e-mail the
Reaper at deadpool_432@hotmail.com.
Good luck, and don't fear the Reaper.
whores? -ed) have a bloody good time. So
what if you fail a test? You usually get three
tests in each class anyway. Besides, you may
be surprised how much better your brain
works when you are happy and relaxed than
when you are stressed out over studying. If
nothing else, you have eight years to graduate
before your first year credits become invalid
(by that time, you'll have figured out how to
talk your way out of that too).
So what else is there to say about the University of British Columbia? A lot, really. That is
why these advice articles continue to get written and published, and why, annoying as they
are, they remain relatively fresh.
If you have ever seen The Big Lebowski, you
know all about the Dude. He walks around all
day in his bathrobe, and is known for saying,
"Ah, fuck it; let's go bowling." Follow his
example. That is the way that everyone should
approach university not to mention life
(though you might not want to be so apathetic
as to not go to class occasionally - you can fail
out, after all). As it was put so elegantly in
another great classic, The Hitchhiker's Guide
to the Galaxy, "Don't panic." Nothing matters
too much. I am not saying, "Don't care." I am
just saying to not freak out too much over
unimportant things. It happens.
Anyway, this has become too much of the
advice article that I said I wanted to avoid back
in the first paragraph. I promise that I won't
let it happen again, but allow me to leave you
with a few final thoughts.
Don't whine. Read the 432. Come visit SUS.
Smoke crack. Watch Trainspotting. Urinate on
a tree outside Buchanan. Explore the mysterious depths of the steam tunnels. Get drunk.
Sober up. Have frequent sex. Make it kinky.
Vote RBF. Stay up late writing pointless articles for the 432 instead of that essay that is due
the next day. Forget about sleeping; you are
not going to get very much the next few years.
Learn something new and interesting. Experiment with dangerous chemicals be they consumable or combustable. Above all, have fun.
Some people pontificate with a sense of
panache, yet they have done none of it. Ben
has done it all. All of the things listed in the
paper, Ben is pur expert, including most of
what Andy mentioned. He's also halfway
through coop and is therefore more employable than six of you put together.
Oh well.
-ed.
Dead Pool V
Entry Sheet 05 APRIL 2000
THE FOUR THIRTY TWO
PAGE SEVEN
Page o' Powertrip
Every year, your Science Undergraduate Society is led by ten fearless crew members. Sure, it would be more
interesting if it were ten topless co-eds, but we can't do that anymore. In their place are the following ten people, who will risk life, limb and libido to assist you. Read on, good Pluck!
Senate
Tim Chan
Greetings to all my fellow Science students at UBC. I am SO not ready to
come back to school, but I'm here anyway. Instead of boring you with the details of
what's happening at school, I'll just bore you
with these three pieces of advice for all new
(and returning) students:
1. Get your course outlines. This way, you'll
know when you actually have to show up for
midterms, and who to email when you have
complaints... er... I mean questions.
2. Get a chicken sandwich from the Delly. No
explanation necessary.
3. Enjoy the sunshine while it lasts! Pretty
soon, the campus will turn into a jumble of
umbrellas and soggy leaves. This message will
self-destruct in 5 seconds...
Or so Tim thinks...
-ed.
timchan@interchange.ubc.ca
This is what the executive reports would look like, had the
exec actually written them. Just so you know for next time.
Public Relations Officer ZTZ —y
known as Perfectly-Coifed Man, can be found
in Gage somewhere. He's, like, hard-core into
sports, man. He's the guy I thought would run
for Sports. But he didn't cuz hey, PRO is so
much cooler.
Adam Mott
PRO's are fun people. They get to take
posters (pre-made) around campus and
use staple guns to deface University
property. They also take posters (pre-made) to
AMS council and use staple guns to deface
admott@interchange.ubc.ca
External Vice-Prez
Ajay Puri
Ah, Ajay. How can I possibly describe
Ajay? Ajay is one of those people who
you see in Rave ads, but he has the
added touch of being in Psychology, so he
knows exactly how the drugs would, in
theory only, affect his system. Ajay was
SoCo last year, and so he knows how we
book a band, especially for Cold Fusion
(which is held during Science Week, January
22 to 26, 2001). He runs Science Week, in
association with the Science Week Committee. .. So get into Science Week!
Gtou rs@bc.sy mpatico. ca
Internal Vice-Prez
Reka Sztopa
Attention all first-years! You want to get
involved in SUS? Join FYC! Reka
heads this committee. See the ads
interspersed in this paper. Oh, what the heck.
The first FYC meeting is in SUS on Septem
ber 13fh at 5:30 pm. You should be there,
because all of the cool kids will be.
If you're even more keen than that (and if
you're not in first year), consider running for
SUS Council. The departmental elections are
in October, and it's a great way to get involved
in the student body.
You know you want to!
rsztopa@interchange.ubc.ca
Sports
Sara Stamm
The sports rep makes sure YOU and your
Science intramurals team gets to have
loads of fun while getting half of your
fees reimbursed! (Don't quote me on that number, we'll see how it goes). Sara wants to
make sure that you have your best sports year
ever. Working this summer as a customs
inspector was just enough to make her the best
person to make sure you're not smuggling
illicit substances into your games.
Sara says get involved!
I'm not sure if Sara actually said that, but it
sounds good and I'm sure she won't object to
having said it.
-ed.
sastamm@interchange.ubc.ca
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Publications
Breeonne Baxter
Publications does happy happy fun stuff,
like editing the 432 and Paradigm. I
also sit on the AMS Council, and I
make decisions like how much health care you
get (that's right, I voted yes for the mandatory
health plan!) and other such stuff. I'm one of
the five Science reps who pretends to know
what you want.
Onto other things. If you want to help out
with any aspect of SUS, be it writing, advertising, selling stuff, or just goofing off and
having it count as "campus involvement",
please drop me a line. I'd love to tell you
where to go.
Someone just wants me to tell you that she'd
love to have more external
involvement,  because she's
sick of dating within the gene i
pool.    She   wants   outside ~    'JSK"1*^!
blood. ^>     ,
She's not picky. -i»'t k -
bmonique@interchange.ubc.ca
Secretary
Sherry Yang
Secretary, at SUS Council meetings,
"takes minutes" and "organizes our
paperwork". Technically, we haven't
had minutes for three years, and our office
supply selection is more limited than your
chance at being on Who Wants to be a Mil
lionaire, but I'm sure Sherry will remedy that.
Sherry is new to the world o' SUS. She's so
young and fresh that we've taken to referring
to her as Mentos Girl. Hopefully, she'll be so
happy with the world that we can convince her
to run for President next year while we all run
away and hide.
Not that it's a bad thing to be president.
sherryyyang@yahoo.com
President
Keri Gammon
If Keri were an insect, she would be a bumblebee. She's busy, she's buzzing, and she
has cute little antennae. She's your SUS
president! She's also your at-large senator,
which means that no one can find her. As I
write this, she's deep in the bowels of Ontario.
We hope she'll be back before school starts,
but who know what she's up to these days?
She promises me that she'll have lots of fun
articles for me by the next 432, but I've heard
all that before.
She chairs the SUS Council meeting, and I
hear tell she's found a replacement gavel, to
make up from when she "lost" the last one.
Uh huh.
kagammon@interchange.ubc.ca
Finance JJ
Jag Dost
e's the
money man.
He manages
your twelve dollars
and spends it in areas
such as this paper, your sports fees, and other
fun fun stuff!
Umm, that's about it.
Jag517@home.com
Social Coordinator
Katharine Scotton
S
ocial Coordinator is the coordinator of
all the drunkon dobauohory social events
for Science students. Let the drunkon
dobauohory social events begin! If you
want to get involved in our social events,
why don't you contact Kat? She'd love the
help and frankly, so will you.
kscotton@interchange.ubc.ca
Guide 2000
The Guide 2000 is ready
for pick-up in SUS, Chem
B160, right now!
Cartoons!
Intro to SUS!
i
Teaching statistics!
I^#P*$
You can also find an on-line version
of the Guide at the SUS web site
http://www.ams.ubc.ca/sus/
SCIENCE
UBC PAGE EIGHT
THE FOUR THIRTY TWO
05 APRIL 2000
Going Once! Going Twice! Sold?
WUs    Jay Garcia
G
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t would seem that I am now gainfully
employed, working on campus and making
decent money. Who woulda guessed? Hell,
most of my friend figured that I would either
be stuck as a perpetual student or otherwise
heading the military dictatorship of a small
South American nation.
Regular employment is something of a step up
for me; then again, begging for change on
Robson street would probably be a step up,
especially since I've spent most of the last several years as a student, living off of loans —
federal, provincial and parental. The job I'm
working at is salaried, which is also a huge
difference from every other job I've held. It
seems like yet another step into a larger, more
fiscally-active world. However, with one
small step for a man comes one giant leap
from the bill collectors, in all their varied
forms. Student loan officers are coming out of
the woodwork and pestering me to pay back
all the money I spent on bzzr and computer
hardware. The Visa people want their money
for that trip to Brazil. Even my parents want
money for "mental and physical anguish",
whatever that means.
This adulthood/responsibility issue seems further compounded by yet another complication.
See, I'm moving out of the place I've been living for the last several years, to a nicer,
roomier apartment. This is, as I'm discovering, not an easy task. First off, have you ever
wondered how much inane crap you can accumulate, just living in a place for any decent
amount of time? I mean, where did I ever get
several dozen baseball caps emblazoned with
all kinds of stupid slogans like "Mean People
Suck; Nice People Swallow" or "Surrey
Rules!" Who gave these to me? Was I drunk
at the time? And whatever convinced me to
keep them?
It's just like the paper situation. Why do I
have so much of it around? It's my educated
(hah!) deduction that, if you're a student, you
accumulate paper. There's just no way around
that. Handouts; syllabi; Add/Drop forms; Student Loan applications; letters to bankers and
credit card companies telling them to hold
their horses, you've got the money you owe
them, and other suchlike detritus of an active
student life. And of course, there are the
notes. Copious quantities of smudged, torn,
and coffee-stained paper covering every topic
from axial morpheogenesis to conditional IF/
AND/OR operators, all stuffed into battered
binders and jammed into already overburdened
shelves. What has this got to do with moving,
you ask? Well, normally, my room is a fire-
trap waiting to happen, whose condition conjures up visions of Chief Fire Inspectors nodding their heads sagely over the charred ashes
and saying "Yep; he shouldn't have kept that
bottle of pure ethanol sitting on that pile of
school notes right next to the space heater".
The process of moving, though, has exacerbated an already bad situation. Now, instead
of little islands of paper piled on my floor,
there's a barely-discernable path leading from
my door, to my bed, computer table, and closet; though it's still one heckuva fight to actually get the closet door to open. It's not just a
matter of pushing the matted, beaten-down
piles of paper aside, it's all the solid, heavy
bits interspersed with the paper.
Metal drinking goblets. Pieces of CPU heat
sinks. No less than seven broken Discmen and
a few dozen crap CD's (whatever possessed
me to pick up Right Said Fred? Or Milli Vanil-
li? All I can say in my defense was that I was
young and impulsive, and I've paid for my
mistakes; my ears still haven't forgiven me).
What am I going to do with all this crap? Cart
it off to the dump? I don't really want to do
that, seeing as it actually costs money to drop
that stuff off at the nearest landfill. Plus, I'm
way too busy, what with work and having to
go and actually buy some decent furniture, and
boy, is that setting me back a pretty penny.
Man, I had no idea that furniture costs so
damn much. The double bed alone was almost
a grand, and I don't even want to talk about
how much the shelves are going to hurt my
bank balance — though I have to admit, I do
need shelves; the fewer books and things I
have on the floor, the less likely I am to stumble around in the dark, trip on my copy of
Variant Genetic Analysis and crack my head
against my desk. Not like, uh, that's ever happened before. Or anything. Heck, at least the
desk is cool (not to mention padded at the
edges, just in case).
I was sitting at the aforementioned desk, pondering the fate of the ever-increasing pile of
things to be carted off when I was struck by
inspiration. A wise man once said that "one
man's garbage is another man's complete collector's edition set". I think he may have been
drinking a little too heavily, or was probably a
rabid collector of strange ephemera, but
there's truth in them thar words. Nowhere is
this truth more manifest than in the only place
in the world which hooks up people who have
crap to sell with other people desperate enough
to buy said crap. eBay.
Ah, magical eBay. I've always thought of it
as the bastard child of flea markets and auctions, midwifed, as it were, by the World
Wide Web. Need a complete set of Thunder-
cats Action figures (even the ultra-rare See-
Through Snarf)? Find it on eBay. Want to sell
off your entire 1968 edition of the Collier's
Encyclopedia, complete with 1971 and 1975
World Appendices? Sell it on eBay. It's a bargain or rarity-hunter's paradise.
I put up a whole whackload* of my stuff for
auction. Within two days, every last unit lot of
it was bought up, including the silly baseball
hats, Micronauts figurines, comical ceramic
chihuahua/taco holder and all of my course
notes. I used the money to pay for my desk
and shelves.
You know, I think I could easily supplement
my income doing this; I could go to garage
sales, grab everything in the "Free" box (perhaps even including the box itself) and sell it
on eBay. It is, as the Dire Straits once put it,
money for nothing. (Yes, but are the chicks for
free? -ed).
God bless the internet! So if you're moving
into Res and have a lot of free swag hanging
around that you don't need anymore, and you
want to make some quick cash without having
to resort to walking Davie street performing
dubious services for middle-aged gentlemen,
you can drop your "priceless collection of
near-mint items" at Biological Sciences 1505
or at Buchanan A2000. Don't forget to include
your name and contact information, as well as
an inventory list; and certainly don't worry
about leaving it in messy piles all over the
place; we'll pick it up and share the proceeds
with you once all bids are in. Remember: Capitalism rules!
I'm leery of actually purchasing anything
from any kind of on-line place. You may think
you're bidding on a really cool still-in-the-
box Hotwheels you've been missing for your
collection, but how often is it a three-wheeled
matchbox? You can't be sure of what you 're
getting. Add to that the Big Brother tracking
ability of anything you buy with your credit
card on the internet, and I just think I'll build
that bunker up in the hills.
-ed.
*By the way, whackload is indeed a standard
unit of metric measurement; it's larger than a
"collection of crap" and smaller than a
"honkin' huge pile" and is measured in units
of milliliters per femtosecond. What? You've
never heard of it? What kind of school are you
attending, anyway?
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