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Archive for December, 2005

Moving, moving, moving…

Last Sunday I helped Joe and Trish load up the moving van because they’re going back to Halifax for good; Joe will finish writing his dissertation there. Two hours of carrying stuff down three flights of stairs. Joe has lots and lots of books… I am rather sad to see them go since I’ve known them for the past three and a half years, they’re a very charming couple. I wish them the best. (BTW Trish if you’re reading this, good cookies, my sister likes them too.)

I believe most everyone else who is leaving left over the past week, so I expect the astro hallway to feel dully empty once I get back to Kingston. Most should be returning to defend at some point, though.

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Perhaps the thing I particularly dislike about Kingston is the quality of the snow clearance in winter. It’s now about 48 hours after a major snowfall, and while the roads were quickly cleared, the sidewalks remain hidden under mostly unbroken snow. Sometimes you see footprints where somebody tried to walk, but most people walk in the street to avoid hacking through a foot or more of snow. This does not work on main roads with lots of traffic, so you’d think the city would at least try to clear, say, Princess Street’s sidewalk. But no. Heading downtown via Princess earlier today to do some Christmas shopping, I soon realized that very little effort was made to get those sidewalks cleaned, which is major annoyance due to aforementioned traffic preventing me walking on the relatively clear street. Let me clarify: the sidewalks were, at one point, visited by a snow removal machine, but for some reason they seem to simply roll over the snow without actually clearing any of it. I don’t remember this type of annoyance happening in Montreal… (OK, minor annoyance. But I got mad at the lack of snow removal and swore I was going to blog this while trudging through to the snow today and by golly, I’ve done it.)

In more pleasant news, the world chess cup is over in Khanty-Mansiysk, Siberia. Levon Aronian beat former FIDE champion Ruslan Ponomariov in tiebreaks to win. The top ten (eleven?) qualify for the next round of the world championship cycle according to FIDE’s convoluted rules, meaning that 15 year old Magnus Carlsen is into the candidates’ matches. Hooray! Youngest ever, younger than Fischer I think, and he’s the brightest light in chess right now. (He gained a whopping 25 ratings points here and scored impressive victories against several players rated ~100 points higher than him). Go Magnus!

Cheers

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Christmas is coming…

Everything is slowly winding down here at Queen’s, as people begin leaving for Christmas, and I have nothing to do but run simulations and wonder what to get everyone back home for Christmas. In theory, an unusually large number of students should be graduating with degrees soon (not me, who is stuck here for the next few years). This Christmas is about the target for about a half dozen of the astro-grads to finish, and I now realize that none but one has actually finished a thesis.

This comes as absolutely no surprise, since the astro-grads at Queen’s are notorious for taking an eternity to finish their degrees, and in many cases staying on after they’re done (in theory, it’s four years for a PhD and two years flat for a Master’s). Most of the current crop are leaving and finishing their work over Christmas, and will come back to defend early in the new year. In theory. (Really, I’m not being snarky. This just seems to happen a lot here. Yes, it will probably happen to me too.)

On a completely unrelated note, let’s see if I know how to create links in a blog:

Go Magnus!

Cheers!

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Hello world!

Yes, hello world indeed. I have finally decided to join the hordes of people already publishing slices of their lives for all to see on the web… I have no idea what I’ll do with this blog, I’ll just let it evolve over time and see what happens.

Cheers!

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