traffic “vapour lock”?

vapour lock isn’t really the right term, but I can’t think of a better fluid-dynamics term right now.

In the sudden torrential snowfall this afternoon, I got stuck south of an intersection for about 20 minutes, unable to move. The traffic lights were synchronized, which works for normal traffic flow, but with the snow everyone was going slowly. The net result was that:

  • when the light was red to me, there was space north of the intersection for cars, but that space was quickly filled by people turning from the cross street.
  • by the time the light was green to me, there was no space left on the north side of the intersection. In fact, there was no space in the intersection, because the turning traffic was consistently filling the intersection. So I was stuck, along with everyone else.

I finally gave up, turned around, drove all the way around the block, and came at the intersection again from the cross street :). After which I encountered another roadblock; York Mills eastbound was closed at Don Mills, because cars could not make it up the hill.

It took me 1:45 to get from my office to the school…

posted at 8:13 pm on Friday, February 29, 2008 in Personal | Comments (1)
  1. Helge says:

    The word you are looking for is “grid lock”. Streets are laid out in a grid and if you cannot get anywhere it is gridlock. Old term that’s been around since cars.


episode one

Episode One of Shadow Unit is up. In case you were actually thinking of getting work done today…

posted at 11:24 am on Monday, February 18, 2008 in Links | Comments Off on episode one

AFI top 50 SF movies

SCI-FI Wire announced today that AFI has picked a “Top 50” list of science fiction movies. I’ve taken their list and bolded the ones I’ve seen. I have 18 16 movies to see to catch up!

  • A.I. Artificial Intelligence
  • Alien
  • Altered States
  • The Andromeda Strain
  • Back to the Future
  • The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms
  • Blade Runner
  • Children of Men
  • A Clockwork Orange
  • Close Encounters of the Third Kind
  • Cocoon
  • Contact
  • The Day the Earth Stood Still
  • Destination Moon
  • E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
  • Escape From New York
  • Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
  • Fantastic Voyage
  • The Fly (1986)
  • Forbidden Planet
  • Frankenstein (1931)
  • The Incredible Shrinking Man
  • Independence Day
  • Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)
  • The Invisible Man (1933)
  • It Came From Outer Space
  • Jurassic Park
  • Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome
  • The Matrix
  • Men in Black
  • Minority Report
  • Planet of the Apes (1968)
  • Repo Man
  • RoboCop
  • Rollerball (1975)
  • Silent Running (one of my favourites)
  • Soylent Green
  • Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan
  • Star Wars: Episode IV—A New Hope
  • Starman
  • The Stepford Wives (1975)
  • Terminator 2: Judgment Day
  • Them!
  • The Thing From Another World
  • The Time Machine (1960)
  • Total Recall
  • Tron
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey
  • The War of the Worlds (1953)
  • Westworld
posted at 1:37 pm on Friday, February 15, 2008 in Movies, Personal | Comments (3)
  1. Helge says:

    A Clockwork Orange is not really a Sci Fi film. It a future film based on the book by Anthony Burgess about a foursome of British “droogs” or stoners who beat people for fun. Their main guy, played by Malcolm McDowell, gets caught, is sentenced and has to watch “deconditioning” film until he goes mad.
    The only thing fantastic in Fantastic Voyage is Rachel Welch.
    Soylent Green is a new food for all the world’s masses of people to stop everyone from starving. Guess what it’s made of? People!
    Westworld is very scary in which the story is that Westworld is a theme park a la Disney where you get to play gunslinger. A robot gunslinger played by Yul Brynner has one of his safety circuits blow and he becomes a real killer contrary to everything Isaac Asimov ever preached about Robots.


  2. Viper Pilot says:

    Clockwork Orange not science fiction?

    Erm, the government uses new scientific methods to curb antisocial behaviour. That’s an application of technology affecting mankind. That’s pure science fiction. You can’t really have science fiction without the science, otherwise it’s just fiction.

    Unlike, say, Star Wars which is just a western fantasy and keeps getting called science fiction simply because it’s set in space and they use blasters instead of six-shooters.

    -Viper Pilot

  3. […] sf film canon and AFI Tpo 50 SF Movies […]

419 spam

after a long drought, I added another country to my 419 spam list : Iran!

posted at 9:16 pm on Tuesday, February 12, 2008 in Personal | Comments Off on 419 spam

it’ll be lonely

The entire development team here in Toronto has been “WFRed”, HP’s fancy term for “your job no longer exists, thanks for playing”. (To be fair, HP’s process is actually quite generous; they offer everyone lots of time to try to find another job inside HP, resume services, interview skills training, and so on).

I’ve been asked to stay on, because my job has always been customer facing, and they need someone with that experience to help with the transition. I’ve always joked that I’d be the last one let go; I didn’t actually believe it though! Anyway, for a lot of different reasons, I’ve decided to accept. So while everyone else is out looking for work now, I’ll be looking for work in November.

It’s going to be a lonely 9 months. On the plus side, I don’t have to start commuting to Mississauga every day! I’ll have the ever so challenging “three flights of stairs” commute…

posted at 10:53 am on Saturday, February 09, 2008 in Personal | Comments (2)
  1. Reid says:

    There’s always Alias Research, er Alias|Wavefront, er Alias Systems, er.. Autodesk. Ya, that’s it..

    A lot of people have mellowed over there..

  2. […] not allowed to say much in public, so I’ll link to these stories without comment. 31 words posted at 9:09 pm on Tuesday, March 04, 2008 in Personal […]

keep flying?


From the site:

We are looking to push the envelope of episodic television by offering Season Two of Firefly in a groundbreaking new format. Each episode (or the entire season) would be made available for purchase in Standard or Hi-Definition.

Head over there and fill out a survey. And while you’re at it, check out Sanctuary , a show that was developed first on the web, and has now been picked up as a 13-episode series by the SCI-FI Channel. Anything is possible…

posted at 7:18 pm on Thursday, February 07, 2008 in TV | Comments Off on keep flying?


I predict that there will be six more weeks of winter…

posted at 3:16 pm on Monday, February 04, 2008 in Current Events | Comments (1)
  1. CL says:

    The thing I’ve always loved about groundhog day is living somewhere where 6 more weeks of winter is pretty much the same thing as an early spring.