When I was ten, my family picked up an exchange student from the Regina airport. It was Winter. As the South American boy rode with me on the van bench, across an open prairie between Regina and Moose Jaw, he asked how many people lived in Wood Mountain. I replied proudly, “Forty people live in Wood Mountain.” I knew, because I could count every one by going through each home in my mind, up and down the three streets, and three avenues. “Forty thousand?” he prompted for more details. “No, forty people.”
The school closed about three years later. The second last elevator burned in 1997 due to lightning strikes. The last wooden elevator in the village was demolished in 2014. There’s still a Community Hall, a rural post office and RM/Village office, a fire hall, a church, and Department of Highways buildings, and there are 21 people who live right in the village. More than a few live on the farms and ranches nearby. It’s still a community, and it still matters. Now, it’s Population 21.
It’s not even the second time Wood Mountain has been featured in a National Film Board documentary, but it is the first with my parents.
I brushed the snow off my solar panels a couple times on the weekend, and it helped with their production a fair bit. The full sun came out, and melted the remaining flakes off too.
We watched Star Wars episode IV [8/10] and Empire Strikes Back [9/10] (Have them both on VHS), and several Star Trek The Next Generation episodes. On Friday we were at the Southland Mall to get a photo with Santa.
My family saw the RCMP Heritage Centre for the first time. It’s priced like a tourist trap, especially compared to the admission-by-donation Royal Saskatchewan Museum. It was fun overall. Naturally my Dad and I weren’t entirely pleased with the total lack of mention about one of the first two semi-permanent NWMP presences in southern Saskatchewan, at Wood Mountain. They’ve a Sitting Bull artifact, mention Little Big Horn, and mention Walsh, but I don’t think you could find the words “Wood Mountain” if you tried. That’s a shame. It was the site of one of Canada’s first successful peace keeping missions, assigned to Walsh of the NWMP.
There are companies like Lockheed Martin making autonomous killing robots, and there are companies like Google making self-driving cars (which kill people by accident or poor design). At least cars don’t tend to kill on purpose, and the Google self-driving car hasn’t had a deadly accident (or one it caused, of any kind). So, what’s worse? Intentionally creating machines that can destroy humans, or accidentally doing it? Let’s aim at neither.
@dylangallagher People should be worried. I say this as a Computer Science trained person, and a cyborg.
Many people have seen the Sci-Fi movie Terminator and Terminator 2. They were made before the WWW, and before Skynet seemed like a possibility. Now we have 3D printers, we have walking and flying robots who can shoot, and we have a global intelligence network those machines connect directly to. We need to be very cautious in Artificial Intelligence development over the coming years, or a small group of people could make a mistake that could cost millions (billions?) of lives.
We kicked off a Netflix addiction with “The Croods” [5/10] last night, and “Megamind” [8/10] this morning. At Christmas we replaced a tube TV with a more modern LED version that can get free broadcast channels and hook up to a laptop. Cutting the cable was made possible also with the prospect of Netflix, which I managed to hold off pushing the go button on until last night. My parents stopped by with some pencils for the kids, some cell phone stands for us, and some birthday cards from The White House for my Grandmas’ birthdays.
I’ve spent enough time transcribing my Grandma’s journal over the last month to get a jump start on February a little bit even. This comes at a slight cost of blogging my own thoughts, but I’m finding it interesting to learn about the mid 1980s from her perspective, and the arts and culture that I’ve never heard of in some cases. It’s fascinating to put what she was watching/listening-to on TV/radio and in theatres into Google and see what comes up on YouTube. Her journal is a perpetual time capsule set to ~30 years ago. I also find it amusing that I wasn’t the first in my family to write down which movies I’ve watched.
I saw the last Hobbit [8/10] movie on Friday, with Jeri. We had food at Montana’s just before. I had the veggie feta burger and it was very good, it tasted just like a meat burger. My distant cousin ended up being seated at the table next to us.
The most exciting part of the movie was in the first ten minutes, but it was overall enjoyable. It was plain that if you hadn’t seen earlier installations of this series, you’d feel a bit left-out. The part of the plot depending upon the Dwarf king’s promise was a bit weakened by the promise not happening in the same movie! “You promised!” OK? I guess, but I as an audience member will just have to trust you over him, because I can’t remember details from a flick a year ago.