December 12, 2003

UBC History

Today I was looking up some information on the history of UBC to show thrust how the stones for main library and the chemistry building were delivered. In general the library archives website is an interesting place to visit and the building UBC 'virtual display' has some interesting information and pictures that answered my questions for thrust

For the UBC CS undergrads this picture may be of interest to you

Thrust and I investigated the Old Auditorium to see if the sweet roof ornament was still there (it isn't)

We investigated the old engineering labs too. Two of them are still standing, they have some fine art classrooms and some unused space as well, but they used to have cool stuff like this.

And who knew there was a Player's club.

My old apartment building used to be a hotel.

While I was at the archive site I decided to see exactly how much they have scanned in. I think that there are over 3000 images that they have digitized so far. (check that, >28000 on the site) Having talked to a few older Engineering graduates I decided to see if there were any pictures of the Lady Godiva ride around campus, and to my surprise they have the 1980 and 81 episodes documented. (I prefer 1980, just look at those cowboy hats)

I just found this website and it looks very interesting too, better browsing and searching.

And everyone should start their day with a little hail UBC.

Posted by bforsyth at 04:51 PM | Comments (1)

January 06, 2004

Christmas Holidays

Sarah and I spent two weeks in Smithers for Christmas and New Years. It was a really good time, here are the pictures. As you can see we did some cross country skiing and got spoiled in the present department. We also got a chance to do some real Ukrainian cooking with Sarah's Baba. I just about exploded from too many cabbage rolls and peirogies (aparently the is how you spell peirogies, I always thought it was perrogies). We also learned how to play bridge, seems like it could be a fun game, very challenging. I went for a swim in frozen lake and thawed out in a sauna after. That was to recover from partying at the Driftwood Hall just outside of Smithers for New Years where they rang in the New Year by jumping a little bike over something infront of the stage.

I found out that they have wireless internet available in the Smithers/Telkwa area provided by Cybernet Communications. Telus offers ADSL in Smithers but I'm guessing that there are plenty of places that ADSL doesn't reach to not too far outside of Smithers. An interesting point about cybernet is that I think they get their Internet access from Navigata who I had never heard of before but aparently they have a deal with BC Rail that lets them use railway land for their network which gets out to the boonies in BC. The only problem I see with the cybernet wireless setup is that they actually charge you for traffic which Telus/Rogers doesn't do quite yet.

Posted by bforsyth at 03:09 PM | Comments (4)

September 29, 2004

Starbucks Prices

I read an article today in the Vancouver Sun about Starbucks increasing their prices by an average of 11 cents per cup of coffee starting next week. Coincidentally (or not) the Starbuckses on campus are giving out free satchels of ground coffe today.

Posted by bforsyth at 04:02 PM | Comments (0)

October 12, 2004

Blatant Cash Grab

Does anybody have an idea why it would cost $40 to rent a graduation gown ($45 for Ph.D.s) for graduation congregations at UBC? Do they buy new gowns every year? Does PlantOps do the dry cleaning and charge out at exorbitant prices? Or does the bookstore just enjoy f**king people over? In 2002 there were 8104 grads, lets assume that 3/4 of those people attend graduation. 8104*3/4 * $40 = approximately $240,000. To me that seems a bit excessive. Where is all that money going?

Posted by bforsyth at 11:25 AM | Comments (2)

November 09, 2004

Maclean's University Rankings

The latest issue of Maclean's magazine is their annual university ranking issue. This is the first year where they asked graduates what they thought of their Universities. While I think that this is a good thing to do, I think that Maclean's could have done this better.

Continue reading "Maclean's University Rankings"
Posted by bforsyth at 09:48 PM | Comments (0)

December 25, 2004

A Good Essay

I just read an editorial essay in the Georgia Straight by David Orchard on the use of a quote from Mackenzie King by G. W. Bush during his recent visit to Canada. I was surprised there wasn't more vehement criticism of this blatantly inappropriate use of the quote from the popular Canadian media (well, at least the popular Canadian media I choose to consume), this is the first intelligent criticism I have seen.

Posted by bforsyth at 12:43 PM | Comments (0)

January 28, 2005

Downtown Transportation

My work's office is downtown on Homer Street and I have noticed that they are planning on making Homer a two way street. Today I finally remembered to look into why they are doing this and I found out that Vancouver has a whole Downtown Transportation Plan. Its nice to know that they are putting some planning into this as it seems that there are more and more apartment towers going up.

Posted by bforsyth at 10:03 AM | Comments (1)

February 21, 2005

April 03, 2005


Just over a year ago Sarah and I wrote from Cordoba, Argentina about what we had been up to in Buenos Aires. One of the things we wrote about was a guy that we met in our hostel that was walking from Tierra del Fuego to Alaska. Well today we were showing a friend our trip pictures and we got to talking about this guy and I finally managed to find his website, He is still taking his time and is just about in Peru (as of his last update) after 2 years on the road.

Posted by bforsyth at 09:50 PM | Comments (0)

April 05, 2005

UBC Architectural Contest

If you are a UBC student, alumni or staff member I encourage you to vote in the University Boulevard Architectural Competition. Once you log in you will be able to view the three finalists. You can see them here without having to log in.

I was on campus today and checked out the presentations in the Belkin art gallery. Team A's entry looks nice but it does too much and I have questions about the long term maintainability of the covered area and the stream between East Mall and Main Mall.

I voted for Team C because it is the only one that doesn't treat the underground bus loop as a dungeon and it felt like the least offensive entry. The buildings are a bit boxy but they don't seem like they are as invasive as the other teams' buildings.

Posted by bforsyth at 03:42 PM | Comments (1)

April 27, 2005

Vancouver Sun Article on Universities letting more students in

I quickly skimmed through an article in today's Vancouver Sun entitled "Ivory Tower Opens its Doors", which appeared to be about how the big Universities in BC are dropping their admission requirements and letting more students in. The article didn't seem to say that there probably isn't any more room for these students than there were before. However, since the current Liberal government lifted the tuition freeze more and more of a University's income comes from students, so fiscally they need to bring in more students if they want more money. Not that this means they will add more resources to handle this influx of students. In fact it seems that UBC is more interested in building private housing and retail spaces than improving the infrastructure of the academic core of the institution. I could rant on about this for much longer but this is enough for now.

Posted by bforsyth at 01:58 PM | Comments (0)