What is a science poster anyway?

So what’s a science poster anyway? It’s not a commercial poster, obviously, but what is it exactly?

So as I’m pulling my hair figuring out how to fit everything into the space, I suddenly realized a science poster is an exhibition design problem. What it is, really, is a 48″ × 36″ 2D exhibition space, complete with artefacts (photos, illustrations, charts and tables) and integrated explanatory panels.

No wonder font size adjusted for anticipated viewing distance is so important. We aren’t really designing posters; we are actually designing mini exhibits.

liminality

Today is September 11.

Yesterday was a deadline; I mentioned it on Twitter and that got picked up by Sarah Mulholland because after the initial curiosity I started ranting about OCAD’s new website. But my own personal deadline was not yesterday but the day before, and I never knew there is still an “internal verification” (probably just meaning checking if the profs really signed the forms I turned in). Now that even the rhetorical deadline has passed, I’m not sure what to call myself any more.

Danica asked me how I felt when I dropped by at the AV desk today. “Weird,” I told her. And yes, that’s exactly how I’m feeling right now.

According to the registration system, my thesis is still “in progress.”

But that still doesn’t change the fact that my library card has just expired, or that I’m not registered for anything.

Nor do I really want to unless there’s some way to register for something without triggering the full grad tuition fees.

What can I say? This question of liminality just keeps cropping up. No longer here, but not there yet. Everyone, including my advisor, is asking me about what my plans are. I really just have “some sort of a plan” right now.

one year too late

So yesterday I was at 205 because I was to be at an SU meeting and then stayed in the building afterwards because I was trying to see if I could get other things done there or was needed there. Yes, a most atypical day since I usually don’t stay in that building. But since one of the things was to see if a prof happened to be there (and because I don’t want to stay on the 2nd floor and I knew I wouldn’t be able to stay on the 5th floor), I went to the 7th floor, and was surprised when someone called my name.

Danica had told me she’s working for AV now; still, I was surprised to find her working on this side of AV.

Actually, I never associated the 7th floor with AV, even I knew (in an intellectual sort of way) the AV desk is there. Why? Now that I think of it, people in my program (including profs) never borrow stuff from the 7th floor; we all automatically borrow from the 2nd floor, as if the 7th floor AV desk didn’t exist.

No wonder I never knew there’s a common room on the 7th floor until I found my thesis advisor.

No wonder we feel so disconnected. (I mean more disconnected than the typical grad student.)

I wonder: If someone I know had been working on the 7th floor AV desk way back when I was in first year, would anything have changed?

That is why they do it in SuperCollider

So this is why they use SuperCollider for sonification, I think. First a lot of things like metronome beats are just one line of code. And second how do you record something written in WebAudioAPI? If I did this in SC that would be one line of code (I have already forgotten what that one line was but I remember it was just one line), but since I did this in WebAudioAPI I’m still scratching my head.

And I don’t even have a lot of time left. I basically have to get up at 5am tomorrow, which means I have to sleep at 9pm or something today…

A time bomb, accidentally discovered?

(I’ll adjust the vocabulary so that it’s understandable by most OCAD students. But nothing essential is changed. In fact by adjusting the vocabulary it becomes clear why I say the situation is ridiculous.)

So what essentially happened in the past couple of days was that I have been banned from a studio. The tech specifically requested that I be banned only from his studio, but what happened was that I seem to have been banned from the entire building, including the elevator.

Now this is a serious problem, because there can only be so many reasons how this could even have happened:

  1. The person who made the change intentionally made the wrong changes (malice);
  2. The person who made the change on the computer made a mistake and did not check their work so they never noticed there was a mistake (carelessness);
  3. The person who made the change on the computer did everything correctly but the computer did something else and then lied to the person saying it did what was asked (logic error + bad UI);
  4. The computer is incapable of making the requested change and does not provide any feedback as to what it has actually done (software deficiencies + bad UI);
  5. The computer does random unexpected things from time to time, possibly when people try to make certain changes (random errors).

Any of these reasons are serious, and with the SU office having moved to 205 Richmond they have become more serious than ever. Just imagine, if a student has been unfairly banned from a studio and needs the help of the Student Advocate, they might not actually be able to get to the SU office to get help. Or students could be banned from the SU food bank. Worse, the entire SU staff could be shut out from their own office for no reason.

(Even the second possibility is serious. I have basically been banned for carelessness. But if the person who banned me is as careless as I was they should be banned too =P)

I think this needs to be looked into as soon as possible, before the Fall semester kicks in and make this problem one that potentially affects >4000 OCAD students.

205 Richmond

You know, I have never felt a connection to 205 Richmond, even though that’s supposed to be my building.

But how could anyone blame me? If all a student could do is to go into the building to borrow the wifi and the bathroom (and it’s just the wifi and not even a power outlet), it would be a miracle the student felt any connection. So what does it mean to have the privilege of borrowing the bathroom revoked too? Can anyone say “Not much, I suppose”?

Anyway, since this ridiculous thing has actually happened I’ll have to say it’s a good thing that the Student Union moved into this building and literally took over half of the fifth floor. Honestly I used to think it was a bad idea that they moved here since it’s so far away (for most students and ironically that also includes me, since my home base is not 7220 but 253). But I think the move has accomplished something very important, namely to—what’s the right word? “detoxify”? “cleanse”?—anyway, to make the environment feel less intrinsically hostile.

I really hope the SU will do well here. In a sense, I really hated this building. And yes the SU moving there really sort of caused it harder to hate it as a whole.

How to *really* disable Roots activation

So I thought I disabled Roots activation. I was wrong.

Activation still caused trouble, and digging deeper I eventually found a way to completely disable it. Ironically, the correct way that I eventually found was my initial gut instinct that I had before I made the fateful mistake of deleting the file instead of doing this correct thing.

And what is this “correct thing”? Just replace activation.php with a blank file. (That is, a file with a length of zero bytes if I’m not clear enough.) Yes really.

Astonishingly, even with activation completely disabled WordPress is still acting strange. Apparently it gets wonky if you are using more than one menu. Since I need eight to pull off this project, I’m sort of doomed to failure.

I’m going to resurrect activation.php to automatically reassign the menus. It’s ridiculous I have to do this but it looks like this is the only way out.

How to completely disable Roots activation

[The information written in this article has proved to be wrong. See the follow-up to this article instead.]

Roots is pretty cool, but a major problem is the “activation” page. I’ve lost work more than once because I pressed the “Save” button by mistake, and my latest mistake involves having to ask someone to fix things up by FTP. It seriously provides no benefits at all and it has the potential and is very likely to do a whole lot of harm. So why is this dangerous page in there, and why is there no official way to completely take it out?

After breaking a site (by removing activation.php — bad idea), I poked around safely in my dev environment and found out that patching Roots in the following way will completely disable this dangerous “feature”. From WordPress’s point of view the activation page doesn’t even exist any more, even the activation link is gone, so this is perfect:

diff --git a/lib/activation.php b/lib/activation.php
index 4b677d6..a1b7c34 100644
--- a/lib/activation.php
+++ b/lib/activation.php
@@ -2,10 +2,12 @@
 /**
  * Theme activation
  */
+if (false) { // disable the dangerous "activation" page
 if (is_admin() && isset($_GET['activated']) && 'themes.php' == $GLOBALS['pagenow']) {
   wp_redirect(admin_url('themes.php?page=theme_activation_options'));
   exit;
 }
+} // disable the dangerous "activation" page
 
 function roots_theme_activation_options_init() {
   register_setting(
@@ -21,6 +23,7 @@ function roots_activation_options_page_capability($capability) {
 add_filter('option_page_capability_roots_activation_options', 'roots_activation_options_page_capability');
 
 function roots_theme_activation_options_add_page() {
+  return; // disable the dangerous "activation" page
   $roots_activation_options = roots_get_theme_activation_options();
 
   if (!$roots_activation_options) {

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