Archive for May, 2011

Look At This Photograph

Two years ago I wrote a short blog on the inability of photographs to convey motion. I’d like to expand on that idea with another short blog tonight.

Photographs, as mentioned, do a good job capturing the image of a person, but they can’t capture motion. That’s okay though, right? One out of two isn’t a terrible score.

The thing is that it’s not one out of two. It’s one out of six. There are four other senses which photographs leave unsatisfied.

Hearing is one of them. Photographs, as you may be aware, produce no audio output. And that’s a shame, since the sounds that a particular person makes are almost as defining as their image. No two people sound exactly the same, after all, and you can probably tell your friends apart just by their laugh. But you can’t convey the sound of a laugh through a photograph. That’s one of the things you miss out on.

Smell is another thing. Like it or not, you produce your own unique smell. Some people’s scents are more prominent than others, to be sure, but everyone has a distinctive scent to them. Some people smell like shit. Some people smell really alluring. But in all cases it’s a distinctive scent. Have you ever been in a crowded place and suddenly thought “Wow, someone smells just like _________!” It’s not a frequent occurrence, but it does happen from time to time. And, even though you might not admit it, catching a whiff of someone you know is comforting, even if they don’t have a particularly pleasant aroma. It’s the familiarity that makes it so nice. But you can’t capture that in a photograph either.

Then there’s touch. This one is pretty straight forward. Only the most jaded of human beings will tell you that (nonviolent) physical contact with another person does not feel good. A handshake. A high five. A hug. A handjob. All very good shit. And again, touch is something that varies from person to person. Everyone has a slightly different handshake. Everyone high fives a little differently (and with varying degrees of accuracy). Everyone hugs a little differently. I was, of course, joking about that last one. I just wanted to add a fourth thing that started with H to the list. But yes, everyone administers a handjob differently as well. You can’t convey any of that through a photograph. Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could look at a photo of someone a receive a high five or a hug (or a handjob, for that matter)? Alas, photographs cannot do that either.

And taste, well… You’re probably not tasting someone unless you’re really friendly with them or really hungry. Either way, you can’t duplicate that through photos either.


Like I’ve said before, photographs are wonderful for capturing a moment in time and making it eternal. But although photographs have the incredible power of being able freeze time, they also have the weakness of only being able to convey the image of a person, while dropping everything else that makes that person real.

And so, I beg of you: When you have a living, breathing human being in front of you, do not take it for granted. Cherish every wave, every laugh, every hug, every whiff of bad breath, and, if you are so inclined, every taste. Everyone, sooner or later, is reduced to a photograph, and while photos are nice, they’re just not the same.

Fortunately Unfortunately

Life is a mixed bag at the moment.

On the one hand, I’m going through a bit of post roadtrip withdrawal. Life was so full of things to do and places to see during those three weeks that life now seems so dull and boring in comparison.

On the other hand, the future looks bright as well. I’ve just received confirmation (albeit a month later than I expected to) that I’m going to be allowed to return to my residence for next year. Not only that, but I’ve been offered the super awesome room once again. Unlike the Queen’s lottery system, which sought to screw me over at every possible opportunity, the U of T lottery system seems to like me. Only 14 out of 94 new upper year students received awesome rooms last year, and I was one of the lucky ones then. This year I’ve been even more lucky, as only 15 out of 211 returning students received awesome rooms. Hurrah for good fortune.

Unfortunately though, I can’t imagine that next year will top last year in terms of sheer mind blowing awesomeness. Floor 12 was one of those once-in-a-lifetime deals, and there will be several irreplaceable figures missing next year.

Fortunately, at least those of us who remain will all be in the same building together, if not the same floor. I’ve requested to be on Floor 12 again, but there’s no way of knowing whether or not that will actually happen. Nonetheless, now that I’m in, the worst case scenario is that I’ll have to climb a few sets of stairs or ride an elevator for a few floors in order to see my friends. It could be much worse.

Unfortunately, I’m getting sick. That sucks.

But I might be going to Aruba, Wasaga, and possibly even Spain before the summer ends. For those of you keeping track, that would make a total of four trips this summer if all three were to transpire. Good times.

In hockey news, the Canucks have looked somewhat dominant, so that sucks…

…But the Winnipeg Jets look to be making their return to the NHL for next year, so that rocks.

Sadly, my marks have come in, and across the board they’re all lower than what I had at Queen’s.

But, looking at class averages, I am somewhat relieved to find that I was above average in all of my courses. I feel much better about my mid 70s knowing that the averages for all but one of my courses hovered around 67.

I could go on, but I won’t. Like I said, it’s all a mixed bag. The next few weeks will be pretty key for setting the tone for the rest of Summer ’11. Hopefully the world doesn’t come to an end tomorrow so that I can see how it all pans out.

Lights On

And I’m back!

But you knew that already, didn’t you? I’ve atually been back for a few days, but the astonishing amount of engagements I’ve had with family and friends over the past few days prevented me from checking in until now.

How was the road trip? Fine, thanks for asking, but I’m not going to go into detail just yet. I’m planning on doing a Grand Blog on the subject, similar to the Cuba Blog or the Chicago Blog from years past. Given the scale of such Grand Blogs, it might take me a while to spit it out, but it’ll be here eventually. Some of the things you have to look forward to are:

  • Racism
  • Pokemon
  • Sexual intercourse
  • Stingrays
  • Snoring
  • Food
  • Frisbees
  • Irony
  • Innuendo
  • Inhuman odors
  • Checkmate
  • Cheesesteak
  • Cherry blossoms

Unlike previous trips, where I’ve had to rely on memory alone, I have over 1000 pictures to help me compose this blog. I don’t know how long it will take. It might be a week, it might be seven months. Probably somewhere in between that timeframe. So, stay tuned for that.

For now, we’re back to normal summer life. No essays to write, no classes to attend, no marks to worry about. Just 4 months of relaxation. And my old summer job, of course.

Sadly, barring any unforeseen occurrences, this will be my last year at the ol’ Mporium. As much as I enjoy this job, let’s face it. I’m getting too old to be working at a high school. Besides, this will be the last year for some of the better co-workers there as well, so it’s a good time to leave anyhow.

So yeah, here’s to a kickass remainder of the summer.