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The Random Thoughts Thread


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2 hours ago, OC Transpo/STO Fan said:

Update:

My father emailed my counsellor the other day and asked her NOT to switch me into college level English. She apparently called back this morning (don't know why she did that instead of emailing) and said that there's a very high chance that I won't pass based on my time in the course so far. She's obviously trying very hard to convince my dad to switch me considering she was at the parent-teacher meeting with my English teacher.

We basically told her (politely of course) that we were not changing our decision and that was the end of it. A week was obviously not enough time to prove some understanding in my class.

I got a 75 in grade 11 university English as well so I should be prepared to do well in grade 12 English.

Wow, they really have the hard sell going on about switching your class.

I have to admit to some bias about the public education system in Ontario, specifically the Toronto Board of Education, based on what I experienced when I was in it.  Admittedly, that was a long time ago.  I'm assuming you're up in Ottawa based on your username?  If so, that's a different board as well as a different time, but my experience was that they pigeonholed students in high school.  If someone decided you probably weren't going to go to university, it was almost an exercise in futility trying to keep your education moving in that direction.

I can think of many examples but there are two incidents from high school stick out in particular.  The high school had quite the collection of math teachers and after two go rounds with this lady who was a nasty, caustic piece of work, the guidance department recommended I switch from advanced math to general.  Sound familiar?  My parents being from the generation of people that accepted whatever anybody in a position of authority in a large business or government institution said without question couldn't agree to this fast enough.  So, I ended up in a grade 11 business math class which was a general level class.  It was also a very good, comprehensive class where they taught a surprising amount of accounting related material along with how to prepare tax returns, all of which has been useful to know.  Later in the year, someone else in the guidance department corrected my parents and said no, you need advanced math to meet university admission requirements, so then my parents couldn't agree to that 180 degree reversal fast enough and I ended up doing the regular grade 11 advanced math in summer school.  That was actually quite enjoyable since it got me out to a different school in a different part of the city with different people and with only one class per day, it was an easy term.  Plus, I got to ride Montrealers, which at that point were about the most exciting subway cars still running, both ways almost every day travelling to and from.  So, it worked out.

The other incident will probably cause the people who've read my posts and the handful of people here who know me in person to have a good laugh over how wildly off base it was.  I went in early to get some help with something in physics.  The guy told me that he wasn't able to help me because his limited amount of time available was needed to assist the students in the class who were going on to study science and engineering at university whereas I was unlikely to make it in to university at all much less into any science or engineering program.  That was that and I had to fend for myself the whole rest of the course.  I honestly have no idea what this guy thought I was good for since he made it well known that he thought I was useless for anything STEM related!  Boy did that leave me wondering what I should be doing in life!

So yes, I'm deeply skeptical when someone in the education system recommends backing off the throttle when there isn't a strong set of evidence to support it.  When university level courses can be used to apply to colleges but not the other way around, I'd personally default to the university level ones since they cover both possibilities.

 

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1 hour ago, Downsview 108 said:

I am seeing a few GO trains with two of the newer locomotives in 2L12 configuration and rode a few. I just realized I'm behind 11,800 horses of pure Grade A beef 😮🚇🥩.

I was on one of those about a month ago.  It was able to accelerate from stops almost as if it was an electric train.  The fuel bills must be horrendous though when I think back to how much it cost to fill the oil tank in my house from near the bottom...

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Am I the only one that thinks Christmas is now overrated to the point where it's gone excessive? I went to a Drug Store on November 2nd and noticed Christmas decorations and toys up for sale. Also, going to the doctors, they are playing Christmas music. At least wait till after Remembrance Day, it's bullshit. 

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7 hours ago, Greatcoinz said:

Am I the only one that thinks Christmas is now overrated to the point where it's gone excessive? I went to a Drug Store on November 2nd and noticed Christmas decorations and toys up for sale. Also, going to the doctors, they are playing Christmas music. At least wait till after Remembrance Day, it's bullshit. 

Personally I love the time of year, but I have to agree with you. It's way too early. At least wait until the Christmas market opens and Remembrance Day is over. 

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9 hours ago, Greatcoinz said:

Am I the only one that thinks Christmas is now overrated to the point where it's gone excessive? I went to a Drug Store on November 2nd and noticed Christmas decorations and toys up for sale. Also, going to the doctors, they are playing Christmas music. At least wait till after Remembrance Day, it's bullshit. 

I agree.  I swear it gets earlier every year too.  Take a careful look at this picture I snapped on September 19:

4F5FEF52-04E0-4E5F-87C1-E1D400486286.thumb.jpeg.41b4db431ecdb85a9e26e208b2cb3a8b.jpeg

Why wait for Halloween to end to start up Christmas marketing when you can do both at the same time?  Look at the back wall behind the costumes and the scary decorations.  See the snowman and the other Christmas characters already on display and ready to go including Santa laying on his back (too much Christmas cheer?) at the left edge of the frame.

September 19.  That’s way over the top for doing Christmas crap too early, before Thanksgiving, before Halloween, before Remembrance Day, way too early.  Technically it was still summer for three more days when I took that picture!

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I got on O-Train Line 1 @ Blair and a passenger leaving the "back of the train" told me "hey man, bikes are suppose to go the front!". Umm dumbass, did you forget the "back of the train" becomes the "the front of the train" at Blair Station? Some people... I guess he was trying to "educate me", but I'm not sure in which part of his thought process he did not account for the fact that Blair is the last stop, there for switches direction towards Tunney's Pasture...

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Some time ago, the transit company in Bratislava got new management, and from what I've been seeing, they've been implementing some positive changes, namely in their approach to their historical fleet.

A few weeks back, there was a charter, much hyped up by the organizers themselves as well as by the transit company, hosted of a pair of vintage-but-not-really (1980s) trolleybuses. Tickets, unlike here in Toronto, costed a mere symbolic €1 and the charter was sold out in MINUTES, which necessitated adding a second trolleybus to said charter. The charter visited both trolleybus garages, allowed visitors a look at the maintenance facilities as well as a freshly restored historical vehicle, and was well attended not only by the safety vest brigade, but also by families with kids and other people with a casual interest in transit.

They have recently reactivated a new-ish trolleybus that ran irregularly from 2004 to 2009, and has been missing in action ever since (busted solid-state converter). It's going to be used for driver training purposes, but before it's transferred for that purpose, they are going to be running the bus in passenger service next weekend, and have been hyping that up on their social medias, too.

I could've been living in Europe by now (for reasons not exclusive to transit, of course) but I made the executive decision to stay behind until spring of next year. Fortunately there are more interesting events still in the pipeline (next year being the 125th anniversary of transit in the city) but I'm a little miffed that I won't get a chance to see this vehicle. Maybe if I write to them next year and pull the tourist card, they'll be able to tell me where and when they plan on dispatching it so that I can grab some photos? :P

Then there are, of course, continuations of what the company was already doing beforehand. Running historical trams in a circular route during the Christmas season, or running all types of historical vehicles in the springtime as the city awakens and starts putting on a whole host of varied cultural events, and they want to get people there in style.

Anyway I suppose my point with all of this is that with a tiny bit of initiative, you can draw a lot of interest in transit from the general public, especially if you make it cheap and affordable. Perhaps Toronto ought to try something like this, instead of leaving their historical units parked inside dark buildings where no one can see them, except during the Beaches Easter Parade and maybe shuttles to open houses, or charging so much for charters you'd think they were transit memorabilia salesmen. What they did with the GM and the New Flyer electric at the end of September was a step in the right direction.

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1 hour ago, PCC Guy said:

Some time ago, the transit company in Bratislava got new management, and from what I've been seeing, they've been implementing some positive changes, namely in their approach to their historical fleet.

A few weeks back, there was a charter, much hyped up by the organizers themselves as well as by the transit company, hosted of a pair of vintage-but-not-really (1980s) trolleybuses. Tickets, unlike here in Toronto, costed a mere symbolic €1 and the charter was sold out in MINUTES, which necessitated adding a second trolleybus to said charter. The charter visited both trolleybus garages, allowed visitors a look at the maintenance facilities as well as a freshly restored historical vehicle, and was well attended not only by the safety vest brigade, but also by families with kids and other people with a casual interest in transit.

They have recently reactivated a new-ish trolleybus that ran irregularly from 2004 to 2009, and has been missing in action ever since (busted solid-state converter). It's going to be used for driver training purposes, but before it's transferred for that purpose, they are going to be running the bus in passenger service next weekend, and have been hyping that up on their social medias, too.

I could've been living in Europe by now (for reasons not exclusive to transit, of course) but I made the executive decision to stay behind until spring of next year. Fortunately there are more interesting events still in the pipeline (next year being the 125th anniversary of transit in the city) but I'm a little miffed that I won't get a chance to see this vehicle. Maybe if I write to them next year and pull the tourist card, they'll be able to tell me where and when they plan on dispatching it so that I can grab some photos? :P

Then there are, of course, continuations of what the company was already doing beforehand. Running historical trams in a circular route during the Christmas season, or running all types of historical vehicles in the springtime as the city awakens and starts putting on a whole host of varied cultural events, and they want to get people there in style.

Anyway I suppose my point with all of this is that with a tiny bit of initiative, you can draw a lot of interest in transit from the general public, especially if you make it cheap and affordable. Perhaps Toronto ought to try something like this, instead of leaving their historical units parked inside dark buildings where no one can see them, except during the Beaches Easter Parade and maybe shuttles to open houses, or charging so much for charters you'd think they were transit memorabilia salesmen. What they did with the GM and the New Flyer electric at the end of September was a step in the right direction.

Agreed, I hope that TTC offers a better charter rate for the New Look so more people can take it for a spin or use it for events....
This should be the same for any transit agency with any model since chartering a transit bus has significant advantages over a school bus, especially in terms of accessibility and passenger capacity for shuttle work

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Just now, Downsview 108 said:

Is transit Toronto working for anyone? It's been down for a few days. Usually doesn't take this long to recover from a denial of service attack if that was the case.

It’s working ok for me. I have noticed that it is a bit slower than usual but still works. Especially in loading a photo. The photo slowly shows up on the screen, and if you want to go to another page it takes about 10 seconds before it loads the page.

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Just finished reading an article on Things Successful People Do.

https://getpocket.com/explore/item/14-things-ridiculously-successful-people-do-every-day?utm_source=pocket-newtab

This one paragraph jumped out at me because of how true it is (I've been to a lot of meetings..)

"Meetings are notorious time killers. They start late, have the wrong people in them, meander around their topics, and run long. You should get out of meetings whenever you can and hold fewer of them yourself. If you do run a meeting, keep it short and to the point."

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Anyone else here a fan of really old movies? I spent much of my summer watching classic Hollywood and I'm coming back to some of those movies now and being reminded of just how much I enjoyed them. In the good ones, anyway, I find that there's a kind of quaint, simplistic charm to them (especially films like Roman Holiday or Casablanca) which I find I just can't really get from a lot of more modern movies. It's really nice, exactly the sort of stuff I'd want to put on in the miserable weather we've been having as of late.

Though it is a bit of a bummer when the realization hits me that the vast majority of people on the screen are now dead. :( Especially Audrey Hepburn, who is easily one of my favourite actresses and the only person whose entire filmography I have (and probably ever will) watch.

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Old movies are definitely fun to watch, however, I found watching old TV shows from my childhood to be far more interesting. 

From the cringe to the genuine, you begin to pick up on nuances and adult humor that totally went over your head as a child. Sometimes you respect it, other times you can't help but laugh at it far more than new Comedy Central shows. Other times you just torture yourself with bad acting, cheesy dialogue, and bad storylines. 

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3 hours ago, Streety McCarface said:

Old movies are definitely fun to watch, however, I found watching old TV shows from my childhood to be far more interesting. 

From the cringe to the genuine, you begin to pick up on nuances and adult humor that totally went over your head as a child. Sometimes you respect it, other times you can't help but laugh at it far more than new Comedy Central shows. Other times you just torture yourself with bad acting, cheesy dialogue, and bad storylines. 

When I lived in Vancouver, my basic cable package included METV which airs all the old shows. Watching them again with an adult perspective and renewed appreciation was definitely one of the highlights of my stay there.

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I had a random question regarding an idea I thought of the other day. 

These days, there is a strong movement in urban centers towards improving safety for pedestrians and cyclists etc., with cars being squeezed out gradually as cities try to introduce more eco-friendly, safer environments. And cities are willing to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to introduce bike lanes, walkways, bike lane protections etc.

Getting straight to the point, is it a good idea to install spotlights at pedestrian crossings at intersections for improved night time safety (perhaps less so in urban centers, maybe more concentrated in suburban areas with larger intersections, roads etc. where lighting is less abundant)? Essentially, what I'm thinking is when the light turns green and a pedestrian has pressed the button, or is crossing, an extremely bright spotlight shines the crossing from both sides of an intersection (ideally the light would have "blinders", like a race horse, so the illumination is concentrated on a certain area).

This way, at night time, when cars are turning left or right and it isn't particularly well-lit, its very obvious that there is a pedestrian crossing because their presence is illuminated. Let's remember that say, if you're at a suburban intersection that isn't amazingly lit, you have to look at traffic coming the other way, your have to squint to see if there's any peds, and you also have to look around your A-pillar (and if your car is newer, its likely to be thicker, making things even more difficult).

Given how much governments are willing to spend to improve safety, is this too much to ask? Has it been done elsewhere? Is the idea flawed?

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9 minutes ago, Doppelkupplung said:

I had a random question regarding an idea I thought of the other day. 

These days, there is a strong movement in urban centers towards improving safety for pedestrians and cyclists etc., with cars being squeezed out gradually as cities try to introduce more eco-friendly, safer environments. And cities are willing to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to introduce bike lanes, walkways, bike lane protections etc.

Getting straight to the point, is it a good idea to install spotlights at pedestrian crossings at intersections for improved night time safety (perhaps less so in urban centers, maybe more concentrated in suburban areas with larger intersections, roads etc. where lighting is less abundant)? Essentially, what I'm thinking is when the light turns green and a pedestrian has pressed the button, or is crossing, an extremely bright spotlight shines the crossing from both sides of an intersection (ideally the light would have "blinders", like a race horse, so the illumination is concentrated on a certain area).

This way, at night time, when cars are turning left or right and it isn't particularly well-lit, its very obvious that there is a pedestrian crossing because their presence is illuminated. Let's remember that say, if you're at a suburban intersection that isn't amazingly lit, you have to look at traffic coming the other way, your have to squint to see if there's any peds, and you also have to look around your A-pillar (and if your car is newer, its likely to be thicker, making things even more difficult).

Given how much governments are willing to spend to improve safety, is this too much to ask? Has it been done elsewhere? Is the idea flawed?

Not sure if it violates highway safety standards. The biggest concern most traffic engineers would have is whether the floodlights would blind a driver. You'd have to consider things like sunroofs, refraction/reflection in rainy conditions, among so many other things. One thing to note: when a pedestrian is half-way across a road, a driver has the right to make a right turn past the pedestrian crosswalk, so drivers wouldn't be out of the LOS of the floodlights themselves.

 There is merit, but the luminance/brightness levels would need to be studied extensively to ensure cost/benefit and safest conditions occur. 

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