The Rise of the Cyberneticists: The Return of Systems Thinking to Prince Edward Island Politics

In his book The Human Use of Human Beings, first published in 1950, author Norbert Weiner describes his coining of the term cybernetics:

Until recently, there was no existing word for this complex of ideas, and in order to embrace the whole field by a single term, I felt constrained to invent one. Hence “Cybernetics,” which I derived from the Greek word kubernetes, or “steersman,” the same Greek word from which we eventually derive our word “governor.”

Paul Williams is Still Alive

Last night on Netflix I came upon a movie called Paul Williams: Still Alive and, more intrigued, I must say, by the typeface on the poster than by any strong memory of Paul Williams, I started to watch.

And then, all of a sudden, my childhood started to flood back.

"Who the hell would leave their credit card at the cash register anyway," he thought to himself...

Over the course of my weekend spent obsessed with snow and ice removal, I made several trips to Sherwood Home Hardware.

On my first trip, to buy an extension ladder, I paid with my MasterCard.

I remember, while I was paying, seeing a sign on every cash register alerting the cashiers to make sure that customers didn’t leave their credit or debit cards in the machine.

And I remember thinking “who the hell would do that?”

Damn Ice Dams: A Weekend Spent

It snowed. And snowed. And snowed. Over a metre of snow over a couple of weeks. So that by last weekend our back yard looked like this:

Back yard + Snow

That’s a 5 foot fence, to give you a sense of the how deep the snow is.

And that’s a tree, not a bush.

And so we ended up with a lot of snow on our roof.

Dog, Ethan Dog

Section 2.1 of the City of Charlottetown Dog Control Bylaw says:

Any dog owner residing in the City who does not register a dog with the Clerk on or before the 31st day of March in each year, and does not pay a license fee as set out in Schedule “A” annexed to this Bylaw, is guilty of an offence.

7 Million Dump Trucks

Wikipedia tells us that the surface area of Prince Edward Island is 5,660 km2.

The square root of 5,660 is 75.23, meaning that, if reconfigured to be a square, PEI would be 75.23 km by 75.23 km.

NASA tells us that “freshly-fallen snow has a density of 50 kg/m3.”

One centimeter of freshly-fallen snow on a 75.23 km by 75.23 km box is a cube that’s 7,523,000 cm by 7,523,000 cm by 1 cm.