Monday, February 20, 2012

Weekly Press Review (2012/02/20)

This week, the news were dominated by Whitney Houston death and funeral and Apple quiet announcement of their new operating system, Mountain Lion, due next summer. Beside that it was a rather slim pick but I've nevertheless gathered a few links (after the jump):

Life log (2012-02-20)

It was another busy but quiet week. I am settling in well into my new job, but the long commuting is a real drag and I remain quite tired once I come back home which leave me not much time to do anything (like we say in french: it's “metro-boulot-dodo”).

There's little notable events this week. Last monday my wife and I saw a small woodpecker in our front yard's tree. I was able to identify it as a female “downy woodpecker.” I guess it is a sign of an early spring which is not surprising since day-time temperature remained slightly above zero celcius for most of the week (I've heard that the cherry flowers are already blossoming in Washington DC!). So far in Montreal we've had only one real snow storm. Where is my winter?

Yesterday I tried some warm spiced wine like they used to drink in the middle ages (or even in ancient Greece and Rome) and I found it horrible. I guess it is an acquired taste. I spent most of my days off re-installing a functional copy of Windows on my Mac (not much use for it beside getting to know XP better for my work, but it's rather amusing).

I've also started reading Haruki Murakami's Norwegian Wood (after watching the movie I was curious to see how different it was from the novel; I'll probably eventually write a short comment on both), I've watched the Canadian TV series Bomb Girls as well as another Ken Burns documentary titled Horatio's Drive, America's first road trip (which was quite interesting and entertaining). And, of course, I've read news online.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Bomb Girls

“They work in munitions factories, building the arms that keep their overseas husbands, lovers, brothers and sons alive and fighting. For these women, the freedoms they're fighting for… come to include their own. While they're building bombs, women also find themselves flourishing with newfound freedom, discovering strengths they never before imagined. At the same time they're often woefully under-equipped for the new challenges they face. Amid propaganda and sexual harassment, crossing social and cultural boundaries, these remarkable women form a sisterhood never experienced before.”

Monday, February 13, 2012

Weekly Press Review (2012/02/13)

Another busy week, but there is no news bits that particularly stand out. There are nevertheless plenty of worthy news and here are my suggestion of links (after the jump):

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Personnal Log (2012-02-12)

First full week of work at my new permanent job. The new schedule starts much earlier, so getting up that early is really killing me. I was completely exhausted at the end of the week. I hope I'll get used to that fast. But so far everything else is going well at the new job. However, my blood pressure and glucose level are much higher than usual (I don't know if it's due to the stress of a new job, the fact that I am so tired or because the pharmacist recently changed my blood-pressure medication for a generic brand -- or maybe all of the above).

Since my wife is unemployed (fortunately the employer finally paid what was due and provided the belated ROE) I had to help her with some paperwork (EI filing and such), but we spent more time together than usual. We watched movies almost every nights (Norwegian Wood, a couple of Shrek movies, Marmaduke, HereAfter and several Ken Burns' documentaries -- I couldn't watch the one I was most eager to see, about Mark Twain, but so far we've seen the ones about The Statue of Liberty, The Brooklyn Bridge, Lewis & Clark, and The Congress; they're quite fascinating).

Unfortunately that (as well as working more hours, being so tired and having a longer commuting) left me with little time to do much. My list of to-do (writing, order processing, basement clean up, research on manga, new publishing projects, &c.) keeps pilling up...

However, I have updated my bibliography. While doing some clean up I found a pile of old Le Sablier (the newspaper of the University of Montreal's history department). I delighted myself with the rediscovery of Mario Tessier's articles (historian, astronomer and librarian, he started writing with those “historical parodies” before writing sci-fi short stories, but is now mostly known for his “Carnets du Futurible” articles in Solaris) but also found a bunch of very short sci-fi stories and articles that I had totally forgotten writing! So I have added them to my list.

And I have also read a few interesting news stories and compiled their links for further sharing and usage.

And how was YOUR week?

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Eventus stultorum magister

Je suis quelqu'un qui ne croit plus beaucoup en l'humain. C'est une race stupide et malfaisante qui ne mérite pas toute l'attention qu'on lui porte et surtout pas la place qu'elle occupe sur la planète.

Et pourtant je suis toujours surpris par sa capacité à repousser les limites de la stupidité. Je ne devrais pas mais je me laisse toujours surprendre par la profonde bêtise dont l'humain peut faire preuve en toutes circonstances. On s'en rend compte presque journalièrement. [passez le saut de page pour un exemple]

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Weekly Press Review (2012/02/02)

I had such a busy couple of weeks that I skipped a week again (too bad for the “weekly” part of the press review). The news that were dominating the press lately were mostly Apple iBooks textbooks announcement, Obama's State of the Union (Huffington Post, NYT), the Academy Awards nominations, and the U.S. elections & Republicans Primary (Cyberpresse, The Gazette). Finaly, don't forget that today is Groundhog Day (Cyberpresse, The Gazette). There were a few other interesting stories for which you will find links after the jump:

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Personnal Log (2012-02-01)

I had a busy couple of weeks. So much that I had to postpone many of the “to-do” that I had planned (like, among other things, writing or the magazine orders' processing--delayed again!).

I had to deal with a recycling problem (the city doesn't pick it up when the container it not full enough and it doesn't pick it up when it is too full. What am I to do?).

I had to deal with problems at my wife's job (the japanese restaurant where she is working [in appalling conditions I'm sad to say] is moving, but the owner failed so far to provide the end-of-employment papers, the last couple of pays, as well as five-years worth of vacation-pay; the owner also has an history of ignoring labor laws and tolerating a work environment that foster psychological harassment (when she is not screaming and threatening herself), so I went to talk with her but without much success. All I got was promises, again.).

I had to deal with a couple of union-related problems at the job (investigating whether the printer's thermal paper we are manipulating every day contains BPA or not [still unresolved] and dealing with quarrelling withing our already disfunctional union [not much success there either]).

The greatest news is that I was unexpectedly offered a permanent position, which means a full-time schedule (more money and vacation) and employment security (I'll stop worrying about how much hours I'll get for the next season). However, the news left me with mixed feelings: I liked a lot the library and the team I was working with, the change was very sudden (the next day) and made in difficult circumstances (the guy I was taking the job from was told only the previous day), the commuting time is much longer (nearly an hour and half to go there from home) and this new library would not have been my first and best choice of workplace. But I couldn't turn down such an offer and, after working there for a couple of days, I must say I like it (the library and the new team) and I am sure it will all turn out well. In any cases, I have to work there at least a year, but after that I could always look for another permanent job closer to home if I am not totally satisfied there.

Despite all this, I still had a little time to write and to gather a few news links.

Compte-rendu de l'assemblée

Je n'ai pas l'intention de trop rentrer dans les détails (j'ai quatorze pages de notes!) mais je veux vous donner une idée sur ce qui c'est passé en gros à cette assemblée générale exceptionnelle du SFMM (pour un rappel de la situation qui a mené à l'assemblée, voir mon billet “Affaires Syndicales”). Comme à l'habitude, seulement quelques centaines de personnes sont présent sur les dix-mille membres du syndicat. D'abord, par soucis d'impartialité, Monique Côté a cédé la présidence de l'assemblée à un camarade du syndicat national, Serge Morin, directeur-adjoint du SCFP. L'assemblée, qui a commencé avec trente minutes de retard, n'avait que deux points à l'ordre du jour: faire le point sur la situation actuelle et adopter des mesures pour remédier à la situation. [ Continuez avec le compte-rendu après le saut de page: ]