gordon.dewis.ca - Random musings from Gordon


Archive for June 2008

Water is an amazing substance

June 30, 2008 @ 23:58 By: gordon Category: Current affairs, General

Everyone should have a respirator!It’s amazing just how much of an effect two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom can have on one’s life.

It is absolutely necessary if you wish to stay alive.  For example, you can survive for about 9 days without water when the temperature is 80F, but raise the temperature by just 30F and this drops to 3 days.  And that assumes you’re in the shade while you’re without water.  If you’re in the sun, you’re basically screwed.

But the presence of water can also be a bad thing, such as the Saguenay region in Quebec experienced in July 1996 or the tsunami that devastated countries in the Indian Ocean in 2004.

Or when it’s in your living room.


Update on Donald the Sun Worshipper

June 27, 2008 @ 18:12 By: gordon Category: Travel bugs

moz-screenshotUpdate: I’ve fixed the link to the pictures.

My Donald the Sun Worshipper travelbug (TBGMFH) has been visiting geocaches in Denmark lately.  A relatively new geocacher who goes by the name martsviolen found him recently and took a couple of pictures of him on the beach in eastern Jutland.  Check out the pictures here.

Something to watch: WordPress 2.6

June 26, 2008 @ 01:27 By: gordon Category: Seen on the 'net, WordPress

A recent entry by Ryan Boren talks about the features that will be added to WordPress 2.6.  Some of them are performance-related or bug fixes, while there are also a number of features that some people will probably find useful.

One I’m glad to see listed is the ability to move wp-config.php out of the root directory of the webserver.  This file defines a number of mission-critical variables that are used by the rest of a WordPress installation, including the connection information for the MySQL database, information about the database schema and other things that you don’t want to have accessible to the general public because they can be used to exploit vulnerabilities in your system.  Fortunately, if your server is properly set up anyone trying to access it through conventional methods will get an empty file for their efforts.  But, if your server isn’t properly set up then it’s possible that they could get a copy of the information contained in it, which is a Bad Thing.

As well as the security tweaks, there is a feature to make it easier to track changes to entries called post revisioning.  Though I use Windows Live Writer to write most of my entries, this will still be handy.  And if you’re running a multi-author blog using WordPress, this will help you track changes made by different authors working on the same entry and even go back to a previous version, if necessary.

The next version is currently in the beta-testing stage and if you’re really keendaring, you can download the WordPress 2.6 Beta 1 here.  Assuming everything goes according to schedule, the production version should be released sometime in July according to Ryan’s entry.

Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival: Day 2

June 22, 2008 @ 11:16 By: gordon Category: Current affairs, Dragonboats

The weather here at the ODBF isn’t as nice today as it was yesterday. It’s not actually raining at the moment, but it’s overcast and windy and every time the trees sway drops of water fall on us. The conditions on the course weren’t the greatest — choppy and windy — but we were third in our race this morning and just a few tenths of a second behind the boat just ahead of us.

Out final race of the day is a 200m sprint at 2pm. This is the first year they’ve held a 200m race. In years past, there were two 500m races, but the second race rarely had a significant impact on the overall standings, so they’re trying something new. Should be a lot of fun! 🙂


June 21, 2008 @ 21:59 By: gordon Category: Current affairs, Dragonboats

The conditions for our second were not bad for an afternoon race — there was a slightly stronger tailwind and there was a little more chop as a result.  However, this didn’t prevent us from shaving a bit more time off, giving us a 2:18.  Overall, the boat felt better than the first race and we are all very happy with the results.

This means that we’re advancing to race on Sunday, with out first race at 10:00.

First race results

June 21, 2008 @ 15:13 By: gordon Category: Current affairs, Dragonboats

As I’ve mentioned, I’m the steersman on the Algonquin College Singapore Slings dragonboat team. This weekend is the Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival and our first race took place at 10:30. Our goal was to race 500m in 2:20, which we felt was attainable based on our past years’ performance. I’m happy to report that we completed the race in 2:19.

The conditions were perfect — no waves and a slight tailwind. Since then, the wind has come up a bit, so it’s entirely possible our next race at 4:30pm will be a little faster.

Guys more likely to swallow than girls…

June 19, 2008 @ 22:55 By: gordon Category: Statistics, Wii

… chewing gum.  (What did you think I meant?)

According to the Everybody Votes Channel on the Nintendo Wii, guys are more likely to swallow their chewing gum when they’re finished than girls are, but overall both groups are much more likely to spit it out when they’re finished.

Question: After you’re finished chewing gum, do you…

  Spit it out Swallow it
Canada 85.5% 14.5%
Males 84.6% 15.4%
Females 87.7% 12.3%

National predication accuracy: 89.6%