Hacking public transit infrastructures.

A link to HeHe Association's designs for personal transportation using abdanoned railways.


A message from management.

I'll be mostly updating the travel blog, at least once a week, so consider this blog defunct until I return. I may occasionally post something here.

Take care, now.

To see for oneself.

Yesterday was a whirlwind, yes it was. We woke up relatively early to continue arranging our finances overseas: our respective student loans require some bureaucratic shuffling to get them cashed, like having them sent to Slovenia then back to Canada. Lisa's parents have kindly taken power of attorney over our administrative documents so they can deposit them into our accounts.

I should take a moment here to thank our wonderful friends and family for helping us move, driving us around, providing company and support and all the other favours that have made this whole process easier. You know who you are! You are a nice and wonderful!

Later, we met with Chris for a coffee and a chat at Trees (which, by the way, has an incredible apple pie) and then we met Kevin and Tania for dinner at their place and then a late-night excursion to Science World for the Body Worlds exhibit.

What can I say about this exhibit? Well, I was thinking about the secularization of the body. For centuries, the body was considered sacred (and, of course, the male body was privileged), since the body was considered the center of experience (indeed, it is) and hence the center of the universe. Furthermore, human dissection was limited or outright banned until the Catholic church deemed it acceptable in the 17th century. Body Worlds posits that the body is malleable, made of common components found in other living beings. By lifting muscle groups to expose organs or cutting away at the cranium to display sliced brain tissue, the exhibit is presenting the body as a biological wonder that is understood and thus controllable.

Although other cultures practiced body modification for centuries, "Western" culture is only now catching up. Subdermal implants and plastic surgery are here (for extreme examples see ModBlog, but be careful: definitely NSFW) and new methods are approaching fast. Surgical techniques enable doctors to perform radical facial reconstructions or attach severed limbs. The body is up for grabs.

Kevin problematized my idea. By removing the sacred from the body, the danger lies in how the body is intellectually conceived. The body can be abused by feeding it unhealthy food or not exercising it because there is no real investment, nothing to protect. Post-modernism counters metanarratives; if the body was confined by narratives defining its sacredness, then is the secularization of the body a post-modern endeavour?

Autopsy is derived from the Greek words "auto" and "opsis," meaning "to see for oneself." We really did see for ourselves.

Okay, I am packed. We only have a few small details to finish up. Our flight is eight hours away. Here we go.



I'm Nicola Tesla! Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzt!
Which Historical Lunatic Are You?
From the fecund loins of Rum and Monkey.

Belated 2006 summary.

I've had wonky internet access for awhile, so now that I have a decent connection it's time for some catch-up.

I spent New Year's Eve with Chris and Carla (Lisa went to the wedding reception) and we watched cartoons, movies and ate snacks courtesy of Carla. I had a lovely time.

We got back from Victoria last night. Nothing too big, we just hung out and exchanged presents. My mom rented a half-hour trip on a horse carriage for us through James Bay, Victoria's oldest neighbourhood. We thought it was fabulous. The driver told us about some of the architectural curiosities in the area, and the weather was perfect - a little breeze and a little sun. Hearing the rhythmic clip-clopping of the horse's hooves as we cruised through the serene streets was a great way to say good-bye to the Island for six months.

I just finished writing a make-up exam. I did okay.

Carla asked me what my highlights were for 2006. I initially said "nothing," then made a few remarks afterwards. Now that I've thought about it, I came up with a much more comprehensive list:

1. My 30th birthday party, sans head injury.
2. Gaming with friends and trying to get a gaming crew together.
3. Seeing friends get married.
4. Spending time with Lisa.
5. Getting a form letter from the English department asking me to be an English major. They liked my grades.
6. Moving out of our God-forsaken house.
7. Being accepted to the University of Ljubljana.

Ah hell, there's probably more but I'm stuck for ideas. Overall, a fine year. Lots of adventure and experimentation, I met new people and continued to stay close to old friends. You've all been great, you know that?

Alright, see you when I see you.