25 Date Ideas from XKCD

This list was formerly on my website but was removed this winter when I did a major redesign. Ever since then it has been a major cause of 404 errors due to the fact that it continues to draw a lot of traffic. Today I received a message specifically asking for a copy of the list, so I have finally decided to concede defeat and repost it.

Back by popular demand: the list of date ideas which may (or may not) have originated from Randal Munroe.

Take the Train!

Having purchased a ticket to see my all-time-favourite band Godspeed You! Black Emperor in Vancouver, my thoughts turned to how I would get there almost immediately. The concert was in the middle of the week, so I had enough time to get creative. Since paddling to Vancouver involves portaging across a major mountain range and cycling would take a little bit too long, I decided to travel like a brute and take the train.

Godspeed You! Black Emperor Live in Concert

Not content to wait until Godspeed You! Black Emperor announces more Canadian tour dates (or packs up and announces another eight year hiatus), I decided to buy a ticket to the closest show (in Vancouver) and make this happen. At last it was time to finally see my favourite band live in concert and also stroke another item off the bucket list.

Who's a Dirty Donkey?

Seeing as it's already mid-August, I decided to register for the Dirty Donkey mud run so I could finally clear one item off of my 2013 resolutions. My thoughts at the time were along the lines of "At least I can clear the easy stuff of off my resolution list!". Normally at this point you're probably expecting me say something to indicate that it wasn't so easy in practice, but in this case I'm pleased to report that it wasn't too bad.

Celebrating One Year of Uptime

Today marks a special day (if only for nerds like me). My long-suffering web server has now been online and running for a full year without any interruption. One full year without crashing or rebooting; but most importantly, one full year without requiring my physical intervention. Like a battery powered toy rabbit, it just keeps going, and going, and going...

Censor all the Things

Not to be outmatched, following a British announcement promising pornography filters on their Internet connections, a Manitoba MP has spoke up and recommended a similar scheme for Canada. Joy Smith applauded the British plans to install a “porn block” and said that she would bring this issue to the Prime Ministers attention. Unfortunately, I have strong doubts that she considered the implications of this proposal.

Pain in the Ass...iniboine

Looking for a challenge to tackle next, I decided to finally try the race I have been wanting to compete in for years - Pain in the Assiniboine. Pain in the Assiniboine is an adventure race in which participants start at the Forks then cycle west to Beaudry park along the Harte trail, and then hop into boats and paddle from Beaudry park back to the Forks again. The full course (referred to in the official literature as an 'extreme spanking') is roughly 32 kilometres in either direction.

The Taxonomy of Fun

Recently I was reading about peoples experiences on camping trips and someone mentioned 'the Fun Scale', a simple scale from one to three which measured how fun a trip was. Under this system a trip could either be truly fun, fun in memory, or not fun at all. I liked the idea but also noticed it had a couple flaws which needed to be corrected. To improve on this idea and remedy its shortcomings, I have created the Taxonomy of Fun.

Professor Elemental Builds a Great Machine

Recently legislation was introduced in the United Kingdom which would provide the police and government with nearly unlimited powers to conduct Internet surveillance. Nicknamed the Snoopers Charter, the legislation would allow the government to intercept communications and analyze them looking for indications of suspicious activity without any prior suspicion or cause.

Growth in Time of Debt

In 2010 Reinhart & Rogoff released a study entitled Growth in Time of Debt, containing a set of 'stylized facts' which claim to establish a negative correlation between GDP growth and debt levels. These findings have been often referenced by politicians who have been advocating austerity budgets and similar measures. Recently a group from the University of Massachusetts have released a study which challenges the process that Reinhart & Rogoff used to arrive at their conclusions.