Mid Jamboree Update from the 40th Scouts at WJ’07

31 07 2007

It seems our leader has managed to squeak in some time at the “Internet Cafe” at the World Jamboree.  His latest update:

Hi,

If it seem like I am rushing through this, I am….it’s £3.50 per hour for Internet here!

Wow!  Our first 5 days here at the 21st World Scout Jamboree has been amazing!  We had our opening ceremony on the 29th and The Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Phillip and his son, William were there.

The highlight of the opening ceremony was when all the flags were paraded in and it finally dawns on you just how many people from all over the world is here.  Amazing that we can all live together here being so close together but not around the world with so much more space…..

Weather has been great!  It drizzled a bit when we arrived but now the forecast is for sun for the next week.  The only thing I have not gotten used to is the constant wind…it’s always windy here!

For those who have not visited the site, you can get all the WJ news here:

http://eng.thejamboree.org/

You can find the WJ radio station, Promise FM [editorial note – this link was bogged down when I tried to get there], and listen to the different people being interviewed.

There are so many people from all over the world here, it is incredible.  The logistics of moving people from one place to the next is mind-boggling.  Each session is at least 2000 people…that’s almost all of the PJ participants that needs to be moved every 3 hours…for ONE event!

Those of you from HK will be interested to know that they brought 450 Scouts and 150 IST (leaders that pay to come here to do service).  There is a massive contingent from Korea and Japan as well.

We are camping with people from Mauritius and they are very nice.  Most speak English but they all speak french.  It seems most people here know how to speak french.  Funny that the official languages are both so anything from the Jamboree is done twice!

Programming started three days ago.  First was Splash! which is a water activity though there is no swimming as we are doing our activities in a reservoir.  I went sailing with the Leader from Mauritius (Benjamin) and flipped as we caught the heavy wind the wrong way.  Funny thing was that we chose the largest sailboats (5 man boats) and was told it was very hard to flip.  Henry, who sailed in the another large sailboat did fine!

Yesterday was Terraville where participating countries set up exhibitions and games for people to play.  It was a lot of fun and I thought Taiwan did the best job.  I learned how to make a dragon ball!

Jousting with horses during lunch was extra entertainment for everyone.

Today was an educational day with Trash! which is a morning activity that focuses on conservation.  The afternoon was at the Global Development Boulevard which focuses on poverty issues.

Tommy, Kyle and Devin had a great time today when they went scuba diving in the dive tank today.  The water was a bit cold but they certainly wanted to do it again.

One thing in common about this international crowd is their liking for signing….they love to sing and sing all the time.  It’s amazing and I wish we do that in Canada.

Tomorrow is the big day!  Our Sunrise Ceremony will take place at 0800 so we have to get 40000 people there starting at 0600.  It takes quite a while when there are so many people to move.  I hope everyone will be able to wake up on time!

On a side note, fish and chips here is quite good!  Showers are HOT!  Nothing like PJ here.

I will update again as soon as I can!

EAu

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Why do people NEED to use the mouse????

30 07 2007

I was reading a post by Jeff Atwood about Google’s dumb “I’m feeling lucky” button which devolved into a generic “What’s wrong with users” post and I got to thinking.  I see users making dumb decisions EVERY day it seems.

The one that really gets me is when they sit down and login to their computer:

Cursor is on password field with the wrong name.  Here is the sequence of events:

  1.  go to mouse and moveto and click on the username field.  Click again (often accidentally) and then hit combinations of delete and backspace to clear out the last username.
  2. Type username
  3. switch hand to mouse and moveto and click in the password field.
  4. Switch back to keyboard, type in password
  5. Switch back to mouse and moveto and click on “OK”

It PAINS ME!!!

This could easily have been achieved, never moving your hands from the keyboard:

  1. Hit- SHIFT TAB to go back to username field. (Automatically selecting all text)
  2. Type username
  3. Hit TAB
  4. Type password
  5. Hit Enter

DONE!!!!!   No back and forth from the mouse to the keyboard… No weird clicking and moving and hoopla.  Quick and efficient.  Please do your part to help a person gain that little efficiency in their life!  PLEASE!

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Last day in Kingston-on-Thames for the 40th Marpole

26 07 2007

This may be the last dispatch we get from our Scouts abroad.  Tomorrow they head to the World Jamboree.  We don’t know what connectivity our leader in the field (or mud puddle) will have when he’s there.

After an excitement filled day in London yesterday, today was set aside for Leader meetings and packing.  The Scouts were allowed to sleep in but everyone was awake by the time my meeting finished at 1030.  For you parents who are worried about lost passports at WJ, no need to do that anymore as they will be kept in a safe at Canada House – our WJ Headquarters.

The weather seems to alternate between days here the UK and today’s turn belonged to fierce winds with occasional pelting rain.  Though the winds are a constant, the rain seems to not last for long periods of time here.

We held our daily patrol meetings as usual in the kitchen during breakfast and everyone quickly dispersed to first wash all their clothing and then package them for WJ.  One item of special concern is the red cotton t-shirts of which everyone had two.  If it had not been previously washed, it will leak red dye on contact with water.  Whether it is the rain or the sweat from the sun, we had to make sure that we rinsed the shirts so that they did not pose a threat to turn us red.

Before heading out for lunch, we threw a load of dark colours and washed our uniforms and pants.  We needed them for the formal dinner at the University tonight.  We decided to have fish and chips for lunch and the hotel reception pointed out to a little shop just down the block called the Deep Blue.  It is funny that the cod and chips were sold separately.  Each order came out to about six pounds sterling but the quality of the cod was much better than that found in Vancouver for similar pricing.  Interestingly, the tartar sauce is also a side dish and will cost you 0.25 pounds sterling for each package the next time you go.

Despite having been told that the meals are smaller here than back in Vancouver, we have not noticed that at all.  Everywhere we have been eating, we have been satisfyingly full.

After lunch, we headed across the bridge into the town of Kingston to purchase some snacks that would certainly cost more at WJ.  Armed with two bags of chips and two bottles of pop, I headed back to the residence along with the patrol. There was a short demonstration on how to set up the tents which were purchased from MEC. Then it was an afternoon of drying clothes and relaxation until the formal dinner.  We got dressed for the departure time at 1700 and headed off to the university restaurant.  It was about a ten minute walk across the campus. It was a traditional english dinner with salad and roast turkey as the appetizer.  There was so much meat that I actually thought that was the main course.  However, the main course was beef stew with potatoes and vegetables.  Dessert was bread pudding which was interesting.  We then listened to presentations by candidates on why he or she would be the best candidate to represent Canada on Brown Sea Island.  The adults were not allowed to vote but some candidates were very articulate and could have easily gotten my support.  Now, that I’m finally packed, I’m looking forward to moving onto WJ.  I hope to be able to provide another update when I am on site!There was a short demonstration on how to set up the tents which were purchased from MEC.

Then it was an afternoon of drying clothes and relaxation until the formal dinner.  We got dressed for the departure time at 1700 and headed off to the university restaurant.  It was about a ten minute walk across the campus.

It was a traditional English dinner with salad and roast turkey as the appetizer.  There was so much meat that I actually thought that was the main course.  However, the main course was beef stew with potatoes and vegetables.  Dessert was bread pudding which was interesting.

We then listened to presentations by candidates on why he or she would be the best candidate to represent Canada on Brown Sea Island.  The adults were not allowed to vote but some candidates were very articulate and could have easily gotten my support.

Now, that I’m finally packed, I’m looking forward to moving onto WJ.  I hope to be able to provide another update when I am on site!

EAu

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Celestial Bodies and Navigation by Stars

26 07 2007

I found a good site for Cubs or Scouts that need to learn a bit out celestial bodies.  When you’re done, you get to ID Orion, the big dipper, Betelgeuse, Cassiopeia  and Polaris, even find North.

Pretty cool

How did you do?





Now this is WAYYYYY cool!

26 07 2007

A SMART RAID system.  Self monitoring, self growing RAID…. Drobo

Check out the demo video here.

It’s USB 2.0 and it’s only $500 US.  (which soon will be cheaper than $500 CAD 😉

This product was mentioned by Scott Kelby in his photoshop insider blog.

 

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Another Rootkit detector for your Arsenal!

26 07 2007

McAfee has released their rootkit detector to the general public.  FREE!

If you do any kind of IT support (either corporate or for Aunt Martha), this should be on your USB keychain.

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Pictures Available from England

25 07 2007

Big Ben - London England

Here are some of the photos taken by the 40th Marpole Scouts as they continue on their adventure in England:

http://www.slacker.ca/brian/webpics/showpix.aspx?200707WJ01

I’ve cut it down to about 80 representative shots from their first 4 days.  They have already got 300+ that they’ve taken.  Looks like they’re having a blast!

[edit 2007-07-26 – Picture link was wrong… sorry, fixed]

 








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