Creuset of Ideas
A collection of various ideas

Archives of "General"


Dream car

2007-10-5 @ 11:01

Okay, I’ll admit it, I’m not into cars. I mean, they’re great to go from point A to point B, especially when you’ve got a lot to carry between the two, or you don’t want to spend too much time in-between. And they’re quite useful when you’re in the middle of nowhere. (They’re a bit less practical when you back into the ditch, but that’s another story.) The only car I have so far owned (actually, leased) was an Echo – not the best looking, but a lot of room and best fuel economy in its class.

My dream car actually doesn’t exist (let’s say yet). The make is not that important, it’s the inside (and part of the outside) that matters: wheel-motors (which a subsidiary of Hydro-Quebec invented some years ago), (organic) photovoltaic arrays over the paint job, cells based on so-called “cold fusion” (unbeatable efficiency: you get out virtually all you get in). I realize that most of the technology is far from ready (“cold fusion” cells are still very limited in size), but hey, I said “dream car.”


One-question meme

2007-09-18 @ 11:03

This one has only one question: how would you describe you current job (or any past job) to a young child?

Some are pretty easy, others quite tricky; a good example is my nephew’s parents: he works for Purolator, she’s a immigration officer. For him, it’s pretty simple: he’s some sort of mailman. For her, well, she told her kid that she helps nice people to come into the country and bad ones to stay out (or something like that). One of my friend’s kid said that what his dad does, is bring drawing paper home.

Mine is pretty straightforward: I take things written in English and rewrite them in French (or the other way around).

Back in the days I was studying linguistics, I used to answer, to people who were wondering what it was we did, somewhat cryptically: just like biologists study life, we study language…

So what about you: how would you describe you job to a young child?



2007-09-10 @ 13:03

Yesterday, on Dilbert:


Continued here.



2007-09-6 @ 11:00

It never struck me before, but there’s a big “full of yourself” side to some superstitions. Think about it: it basically amounts to saying that some small action of oneself will influence the universe. Not that I think that we’re not having an impact through all our actions, but there are limits. To take an absurd example, “step on a crack, break your mother’s back”: I am so powerful, I have such influence over matter, that doing this little thing will cause great misfortune to someone dear.

Of course, we all have idiosyncrasies; some people need to always go out the same door by which they entered a room, or need do always do specific things in a particular sequence. But that has more to do with rituals, and their various benefits, than some force over which we have a strange kind of control. Could superstition be some sort of over-compensation, like someone with low self-esteem feeling the need to project a successful persona? It would be an interesting compensation mechanism, seeing as the person both has power through their action, but is also prisoner of that power and its rules.


by the way

2007-08-5 @ 19:11

I’m now writing stories over at Self Portrait Challenge.



2007-07-17 @ 15:59



Eye of the insulted?

2007-07-6 @ 12:56

Have you ever asked yourself who decides what constitute an insult? If we’re talking about verbal insults, is it the one who says it, or the one towards whom it’s directed?

Let’s take two examples:

  1. Someone calls you a weirdo, a term which, to you, is accurate, even pleasant; does it become an insult by sole virtue of the insulter’s intention?
  2. Someone talks to you like you’re one of his palls, you find that insulting, but is it an insult?

In this second case, we could argue that it’s not, and that the situation can be easily corrected by informing the speaker of our dislike (it’s more a question of ignorance and etiquette). But in the first example, we can feel insulted by the intent, whatever the word used. But if we’re not, the insult can turn back on the speaker: if we choose to take it as a compliment, it becomes insulting in it’s lack of success.


Blind Cat

2007-06-15 @ 10:58

This seems to be a silly Friday, so I was glad to see that cmb, over at [insert witty title], came up with this funny challenge: the Blind Cat. The idea is simple: you close your eyes (or better still, blindfold) and draw a cat. So here’s my take (I have to say first that I’m not very good at drawing).

my blind cat

Well, except for the over-extended head, I’d say it’s not so bad ;-p

Hundreds have been collected in this gallery, you can submit your own efforts here.

Via the observers hunch


Grand Central Station

2007-05-25 @ 13:42


Interview meme

2007-03-19 @ 11:55

So, I’m getting interviewed by Thinking Girl. Here’s how it works: Anyone wanting to be interviewed leave me a comment saying, “Interview me.” I will respond by asking you five personalized questions, to be answered on your own blog. You have to include this explanation and an offer to interview other people. And so on. Depending on how much (or little) I know you, the question can be more or less intimate.

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