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Le plus ca change…

There’s a good number of Serious Topics that I’ve been meaning to write about for some time now, but work keeps getting in the way. So, you get the Hipster Kitty instead.

This page has more info on the credits, history and context; that’s also where the image above came from. This one, too.

More images here, along with dinosaurs and superheroes. (Thanks to Matt for the link.)

So. Hipsters. According to Wikipedia:

Hipster is a slang term that first appeared in the 1940s, and was revived in the 1990s and 2000s to describe types of young, recently settled urban middle class adults and older teenagers with interests in non-mainstream fashion and culture […]

In the late 1990s, the term began to be used in new, sometimes mutually exclusive ways. In some circles it became a blanket description for middle class and upper class young people associated with alternative culture, particularly alternative music, independent rock, alternative hip-hop, independent film and a lifestyle revolving around thrift store shopping, eating organic, locally grown, vegetarian, or vegan food, drinking local beer (or even brewing their own), listening to public radio, and riding fixed-gear bicycles. Time described them as follows in a 2009 article: “take your grandmother’s sweater and Bob Dylan’s Wayfarers, add jean shorts, Converse All-Stars and a can of Pabst and bam — hipster.”

But wait… Terminology aside, the phenomenon of putting together personal lists of top 10 albums of the year that nobody else has ever heard of was already kind of old back when I was growing up in the 1980s, as was the phenomenon of ridiculing such lists. (It indeed goes back to when those things were called “albums”.) The Hipster Kitty captions might as well have been targeted at my generation, and in some cases, specifically at me.
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CMS program update

If you’re in Vancouver and are attending the CMS meeting, we have a couple of changes in the program of the Harmonic Analysis session:

  • Neil Lyall’s talk has been moved to Monday, 9:00 am.
  • Ciprian Demeter’s talk has been moved to today (Saturday), 17:00 – 17:25
  • Nets Katz will speak tomorrow (Sunday), 14:00 – 14:25

Coast Plaza hotel, room: Guilford.

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I’ve had it for 2 weeks now and I quite like it. Here it is:

Kobo is a bare bones e-reader. It does not have a wi-fi connection, a built-in dictionary, a keyboard or touch pad. It does not have search or annotation capabilities. It won’t make me scrambled eggs for breakfast, either. All it does is display the text of the book I’m reading, with a minimum of fuss. And that’s all I want, really. Kobo doesn’t even try to replace my laptop; instead, it will replace a few hundred paperbacks that I would otherwise buy in dead tree format and that would take a good chunk out of my ever-shrinking shelf space. It’s small and lightweight, perfect for reading in the park or at the coffeehouse, not to mention travel. It’s comfortable to hold and much easier on my eyes than the laptop.
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Seeing what you want to see

This is quite something.

More info here.

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There’s not much I can say or do, so I’ll just link to a few things:

That’s all.


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Everything is better with the Muppets.

Happy holidays.

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(Can you tell that I’m on vacation?)


Maenam is a new restaurant in Kitsilano that has already started making waves with its innovative and sophisticated Thai cuisine. It opened just a few weeks ago to enthusiastic reviews:

If […] you are the least bit curious about the pungent taste of rarely found holy basil, the mouth-popping sensation that occurs when you bite into the bitter shell of a berry-sized pea eggplant or the bracing vibrancy of a perfectly balanced grilled prawn salad, I highly recommend this new Kitsilano restaurant that promises to revolutionize Thai food in much the same way that Vij’s changed everything we thought we knew about Indian.

Sure enough, just as our party of 3 was finishing dinner there last week, Vikram Vij walked in, chatted with some people in the doorway, then took a place at the bar. We didn’t stay long enough to see what he was having, and didn’t have a chance to ask what he thought, but based on our experience the comparison is well enough justified. We had green papaya salad, Thai sausage, crispy pork belly with green peppercorns and a red duck curry (hope that I’m getting it right), all of which were absolutely delicious. Unfortunately I didn’t have my camera with me and couldn’t take photos of food. Then again, it’s not really the photos that you’ll want.

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E-mail notice

Evidently, some of the e-mail sent to me at my UBC address isn’t getting through. I do not receive it and I don’t even know that it has ever existed. This has happened to several e-mails that I found out about later on, coming from several different addresses. Edited to be more specific: I have had incidents in the past when the UBC spam filter was blocking some of my legitimate correspondence. There was no possibility of a manual fix or override. If that’s what is happening again – my best guess at this point, though I could be wrong – then I will not be able to do anything about it.

Hopefully this is only a temporary malfunction. In the meantime, though, you might want to write to me at my gmail address instead ( Also, if you have recently sent anything to my UBC address that you expected me to respond to, and if I didn’t respond, please feel free to resend it with a copy to my gmail address.

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But if you prefer your worms roasted…

Go to this post and click on the photos for a nice close-up.

More substantial blogging will resume soon. I promise.

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You’re so cute when you’re eating live worms

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