gordon.dewis.ca - Random musings from Gordon


Archive for April 2007

Go And Get ‘Em 10

April 28, 2007 @ 21:23 By: gordon Category: Geocaching

I went and got 'em!Go And Get ‘Em 10 (GC11RNC) started Friday evening at 6pm and ran through to 6pm Saturday, followed up by dinner. I went caching Friday evening until about 23:30 and then Saturday morning with the geoMob, a group of local cachers who get together every Saturday morning for breakfast and caching. While it was damp and misty, the weather was actually pretty good for caching. It didn’t rain while I was out, though there were definitely a couple of caches that were very wet and muddy. Darin and I went caching Friday evening and shared a couple of first-to-finds.

Overall, I logged 19 caches of the 66 that were placed for the event, including the event cache itself.

When the event was first announced, it looked like this would be the last Go And Get ‘Em event because they’re victims of their own popularity. However, the organizers announced at dinner that the tradition would continue, though possibly in a slightly different form. It’s become increasingly difficult to find reasonably priced venues that can accommodate more than a hundred hungry cachers. We were at an Italian buffet this evening and we managed to fill the room. In fact, things were a little cozy, so we really need an even larger place.

The event cache brings the total number of caches I’ve found to-date to 286.

Virginia Tech shooter’s videos

April 20, 2007 @ 22:14 By: gordon Category: Current affairs

There’s been a lot of discussion over the last couple of days as to whether the videos sent to NBC by Seung-Hui Cho should have been aired. CBC was the first broadcaster to declare that they would not show the videos nor pictures of Cho holding guns. FoxNews changed its mind and stopped airing them and other news outlets, including CNN, have established policies on the use of the footage on their networks.

Should NBC have aired the footage? I don’t think they should have.

People who commit atrocious acts like this often want to receive attention and be remembered. Having their images and videos appear on virtually every television station and newspaper front page means that they’ve achieved this goal. Because many news outlets have websites, this inevitably means that it’s going to be immortalized forever because the Internet never forgets. Other people who are perhaps teetering on the edge of committing a similar act will see this attention and some will decide that it’s the way they can be remembered by history, as grusome as that may be.

One deterent would be to virtually eliminate this opportunity for celebrity by refusing to air the videos, pictures and writings that people like this create. It would go a long way to the person being little more than Seung-Hui Cho, 23, killed 32 people at Virginia Tech before taking his own life. No good is served by giving them an ever bigger soap box than they’ve already got.

The event was sad enough without having to subject the families of Cho’s victims to his rantings. And this includes Cho’s family.

Four days after the terrible shootings in Virginia, on the eighth anniversary of the Columbine shootings, a NASA contract worker at the Johnson Space Centre in Houston took two hostages, a man and a woman, and ended up killing the man before taking his own life. One has to wonder if this would have taken place if Cho’s videos and writings hadn’t been published.

CBS News’ website has an article that talks about NBC’s releasing the videos. It ends with the following, which I think hits the nail squarely on the head:

…FBI profiler Clint Van Zandt told MSNBC’s Tucker Carlson: “He wants to be able to reach his hand out of the grave and grab us by the throat and make us listen to him one more time.” He got his wish.

Incidentally, I have not seen any of the videos that Cho left behind and I have no desire to. My life will not be enriched by my seeing them.

My condolences go out to the families, friends, students and staff at Virginia Tech; the families, friends and co-workers of the NASA employees; and everyone affected by the shootings eight years ago at Columbine.

Congratulations to the PodCacher podcast!

April 16, 2007 @ 11:30 By: gordon Category: Current affairs, Geocaching

Today marks the 100th edition of the PodCacher podcast! (In fact, they’ve produced more than 100 podcasts when you include the Midweek Micro podcast, but those are typically numbered .1 (eg: this week’s will be 100.1).)I’ve been listening to Sonny and Sandy since the very early days of the podcast and the quality of their podcasts have improved steadily. They have interviews with various geocachers and stories of both their exploits as cachers and listeners who send in their stories. Ieven had the privilege to do the intro for one of their shows in the fall. 🙂

Congratulations guys!

Go And Get ‘Em 10 Geocoin

April 11, 2007 @ 18:07 By: gordon Category: Geocaching, Geocoins

gag10-geocoin-artwork.pngGo And Get ‘Em 10 (GC11RNC) is taking place in Ottawa April 27th and 28th. In recognition of it, Darin and I are producing a limited edition trackable geocoin. If you want to purchase one (or more than one), please visit our online store at http://geocoins.pinetree.org.

Great Firewall of China

April 02, 2007 @ 22:55 By: gordon Category: General, Seen on the 'net

As you may have heard, China is firewalling sites on the Internet they feel do not conform to their content standards. There’s a website called Great Firewall of China (greatfirewallofchina.org) which allows you to test whether a website is available from inside China. According to that site, my blog is not available from China, which is a bit puzzling. According to something I found on the WordPress dashboard, there are other WordPress-based blogs that appear to be inaccessible. The Great Firewall of China website also says that there could be “technical reasons” why their service can’t confirm a website, rather than Chinese policy blocking access to my blog.

I know some people heading to China in a few weeks. I’ll have to see if one of them can access it from inside China.