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The Engineer

The Life and Times of Donald F. Simmons

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Weekend Update

Friday I stopped by the Center for Inquiry to hear the Canadian Cynic speak. He's a very outspoken liberal commentator, who used to blog anonymously but was recently outed by some critics of his, a development he now sees as positive as it frees him to give talks, and it's actually gotten him more work (he's a freelancer Linux guy). Anyway he was talking about a debate he was involved in several years back on if "Creation Science" should be taught in the schools as science. Despite the many attempts by the other side to rig the debate (heavily slanted advertising, bringing in several busloads of supporters, the moderator being a friend of the other side, etc.) our guy pretty much cleaned their clocks, thanks to his being familiar with the other speaker, and preparing in advance to tear apart all his specific points.

The Cynic thinks that there currently isn't much danger of Intelligent Design making it into the schools as science in Ontario, but he is ever vigilant. We owe him our support.

Saturday started off really well, as it was clear and sunny without being really hot. I set off on my bike for a very pleasant ride down to Oakville, stopping at a Tim Horton's for lunch. While locking up my bike w\I chatted with these two guys who were unlocking their, and it turned out they had just biked up from Hamilton, they were now on their way back, and this Timmy's was also their turning around point.

However, about five km out of Oakville on the ride back home, I got a flat, my first in two years. I had been lulled into such a sense of complacency that I didn't have a spare or even a pump with me. After much swearing, I started walking my bike back along Lakeshore towards a distant motel, from which I called a cab to get back to Oakville and then to find a bike shop and a replacement inner tube. By the time I finished all this I was so far behind schedule I ended up taking the GO train back to Toronto, so I could take in a bit of the Jazz Festival that evening (Tyler Yarema down at the Reservoir Lounge). I was crowded and I was pooped, so I only stayed for the first set, but he performed my favourite song of his, so I got my money's worth.

Sunday I got up, made it to Yoga class, then caught up with a new cycling group in town for a ride out to the end of the Leslie St. Spit (with my ride the previous day cut short I needed to put on some distance). Later I caught a performance at the Music Garden, a children's opera call The Golden Harp that was pretty funny, and they could sing too.

That evening my brother and I went down to dwinghy and davemerrill place to watch Anime Hell, a collection of video insanity thatdavemerrill puts on at Anime North each year, and which of course I missed at the con itself. They actually cooked a turkey and were looking for some people to help them eat it, which was no problem for Dave and myself (we both got enough leftover for a couple of days worth of sandwiches). We also some some episodes of Round Vernian Vifam, a kick-ass anime from the 80s I've never heard of but now have to get. It's a pretty typical set-up (it's the future, there's a war going on between humans and aliens on colony worlds, a bunch of kids are trying to find their parents...) but the execution is first-rate. The science makes a lot of sense, the battle sequences are well-thought out, plenty of people on both sides think the war is stupid and are trying to end it. Now I have something else I need to watch.

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