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Wednesday, September 10, 2003

  • Gallery exhibits expose 'awful truth'
  • Scholarship remembers murdered grad
  • The key to reviving a keypad
  • Who and what and when and where
Chris Redmond

Shine on, harvest moon

First Gazette issue is due

This fall's first issue of the UW Gazette is due out today, beginning Volume 44 of the university's official newspaper.

The Gazette is published by the office of communications and public affairs, the same UW unit that produces this Daily Bulletin, and many items from the Daily Bulletin are also seen in print form in the Gazette. In addition, the Gazette -- which will be appearing every other Wednesday this year -- includes sports news, a two-week events calendar, an extensive music column and other arts reviews, research and "people" features, letters to the editor, and advertising. It's aimed at an audience of students, faculty and staff, and is distributed free across campus.

Look for today's Gazette a bit late -- there were some technical problems -- but it'll be there eventually.

Gallery exhibits expose 'awful truth'

Those chained books that have appeared around campus? They're part of an art exhibition -- one of two that officially opens tomorrow, as the new season gets under way for the UW art gallery.

Both exhibitions are intended to present viewers with cultural explorations -- from examinations of radical realism in "The World May Be Post-Dated", to a presentation of books as "symbols of resistance and intellectual freedom" in "Locked Knowledge", the formal title of the books in chains.

In "The World May Be Post-Dated", in the East Campus Hall gallery, Canadian artist Jennifer Macklem and Australian artist Luke Roberts present "a glimpse across the cultural fences of the here and now" in an exhibition assembled by "international, independent curator" Ihor Holubizky. Following its opening at UW, the exhibit will tour next year to the Université de Québec à Montréal and to the MacLaren Art Centre in Barrie.

The UW art gallery describes the works as "an on-going exploration and articulation of cultural inquiries which are essential and particular, i.e. forms of radical regionalism. From an overview perspective, their practices are non-conformist, idiosyncratic . . . and expansive; their studio practices include painting, drawing, photography, film/video, sculpture, public art and performance.

"The work of Macklem and Roberts is ripe with visual puns and irreverence, and distended linguistic and cultural rites. The title, 'the world,' refers to those possibilities and 'post-dated,' their manner of working outside of prescribed categories, yet slipping into them when the necessity . . . arises."

"Locked Knowledge" (below) is a different kind of art exhibition, with installations both at the ECH gallery and in the older UW gallery [Locked Knowledge] in Modern Languages, as well as at several other locations across campus. It presents the work of London, Ontario, artist Aidan Urquhart, and consists of books, bolted and chained together "as an expression of the power of letters and words to impart knowledge". Gallery publicity explains that the work may conversely be seen as "the power of books and higher education to control and own the knowledge that is available to impart".

In the East Campus Hall installation, "a single book is broken open -- its pages fly out and into the gallery -- releasing . . . the knowledge within its pages."

Urquhart's work is known for its "parody and irony, subversion and subtle deception. . . . Utilizing media that are anti-art, themes that are socio-political and methods that mimic the marketplace, Urquhart embraces today's North American culture in an effort to expose what cultural commentators such as Michael Moore, the rock group NOFX and other others have termed 'the awful truth'."

Both exhibitions will open with a reception on Thursday from 7 to 9 p.m. in East Campus Hall, and continue through October 9. Urquhart will speak about his work on September 25, at 1:30 p.m. in East Campus Hall room 1219.

Scholarship remembers murdered grad -- from the UW media relations office

A scholarship in memory of University of Waterloo student Ardeth Wood, who was murdered last month in her home town, has been established by the department of philosophy. The Ardeth Wood Memorial Graduate Scholarship in Philosophy will be presented annually to a female graduate student in philosophy to celebrate and preserve the graduate student's spirit.

As well, a memorial service honouring her memory will be held on Friday, September 26, at 4 p.m. in the Theatre of the Arts in the Modern Languages building. Members of the community are welcomed to attend.

Wood, who was 27, was out for a bike ride along Ottawa's Rockcliffe Parkway on August 6 when she disappeared. Her body was found five days later along the banks of Green's Creek near the Ottawa River. There have been no arrests in connection with the murder.

"This scholarship, created in Ardeth's name, is meant to recognize the very special person we had in our midst," says a statement from the philosophy department. "Ardeth was an outstanding young woman whose positive thinking, keen mind, and strong work ethic eagerly embraced a non-traditional area of study. In addition to her course load, Ardeth co-edited Eidos: The Canadian Graduate Journal of Philosophy and was active in the organization of the Philosophy Graduate Student Conference and the Philosophy Graduate Student Association."

She was also a recipient of UW's Provost Doctoral Scholarship. "Ardeth's intellectual ability was complemented with vitality, thoughtfulness, involvement, and an independent style. This was evident in her teaching and she was well on her way to becoming an outstanding teacher of philosophy."

Donations to the scholarship can be sent to Debbie Dietrich, secretary in the philosophy department, and inquiries can be directed to her at ext. 2245, e-mail ddietric@uwaterloo.ca.

[Distorted keyboard]

The key to reviving a keypad -- by John Vanderkooy of UW's department of physics, reprinted from Phys 13 News

Most of us have experienced the frustration of an electronic device with a malfunctioning keyboard or keypad. Computers, cell phones, remote controls, cordless phones all become objects of rage when our keystrokes are no longer faithfully accepted. For some time, these gadgets can be made to work by pressing harder on the keys, or pressing enough times until we hear the telltale beep that it has responded. It's even more maddening if there is no beep; who knows then what the device thinks you are commanding it?

Being the sort of person who does not give up easily, I have taken apart a number of wireless phones and remote controls in an attempt to fix them. A close look at a disassembled remote control shows dirt on the turned-over portion of the rubber keypad. This rubber membrane has a series of molded recesses each containing a central rubber key with a thin surround to allow it to be pressed in. On the bottom of each key is a black pad, also rubber as far as I can determine, which is electrically conductive. The printed circuit board has a set of interdigited fingers that are not covered by the insulating coating over the rest of the board. When the key is pressed, the conducting rubber pad bears down on the fingers, shorting them and causing a keystroke signal.

In my first attempts at repairing these keypads, I would clean the printed circuit board and the rubber membrane with isopropyl alcohol. The keypad would work reasonably well for a while, but would inevitably become erratic again after a month or so.

I determined with an ohmmeter that the conducting rubber pad seemed to have a higher resistance for those keys that were more heavily used. Thus what seemed to be happening is that the pads under the keys that were pressed most often were not as conductive as they should be, even after cleaning.

In an attempt to bring back good conductivity, I tried a bit of fine emery sandpaper to remove a bit of the pad, and found that this made the electrical properties similar to relatively unused pads. Perhaps the rubber is impregnated with carbon particles to create electrical conductivity, and the surface needs to be removed to reactivate the action. When this is done, I find the keypad works with very gentle pressure, just like it did when it was new, and I believe the rejuvenation will last a while. Inevitably, the keypad will again become less responsive, but probably on a time scale similar to that which caused the device to fail the first time.

Be careful when you open a cordless phone, because there are wires joining the several parts such as switches, microphone, earpiece, and RF receiver. The RF board must be lifted so that the small screws holding the keypad can be removed. Remember where each screw went! Flexing the various components may cause wires to break off. You must resolder them back into the correct position. Another word of caution: always remove the battery or the power supply before opening any electronic device.

Who and what and when and where

The key control office will be open over the noon hour all this week, making its hours 8:30 to 4:30 without the usual lunchtime break. Key control, in the General Services Complex, is where hundreds of people -- particularly new graduate students, and those connected with the new building -- will be going to sign out the UW keys they need.

Graduate student "welcome week" continues. From noon to 2:00 today, grad students are invited to the Graduate House to meet Ranjana Bird, the new dean of graduate studies, and (if they're among the first 200 arrivals) enjoy a free burger, either beef or veggie. This evening brings a less academic activity, namely an outing to LaserQuest for grads and their kids; tickets are on sale at the Grad House counter.

Reminder: library books borrowed on term loan before early August are due today, and can now be renewed for a new due date in January.

The Muskoka Club, UW's most purely social organization, will hold a 50-cents-a-cob corn roast beside the Student Life Centre today from 12 noon to 3 p.m. . . . Edgar Wambaa, the biology student who's charged with robbery and other offences following an incident in Waterloo on August 2, is due in court today in Kitchener. . . . The baseball Warriors, who were 1-2 in pre-season action, will host the Wilfrid Laurier University Golden Hawks at 7:00 tonight at Jack Couch Park, off Ottawa Street in Kitchener. . . .

'Got Jesus' event is happening Thursday, not today
Campus Crusade for Christ invites all comers to "a day full of fun, fellowship and worship" today, under the title "Got Jesus?" Plans, according to participant Heidi Prins, include sports on the biology green at 2 p.m.; a free barbecue supper at 5:30, also in that green area between Biology and Math and Computer; and at 7 p.m. a free Christian concert by Audience of One, "with testimonies", in the Bombshelter pub in the Student Life Centre.

Gays and Lesbians of Waterloo will hold a pizza night at 5:30 in its office in the Student Life Centre; returning and new volunteers are both welcome. The weekly GLOW discussion group then meets at 7:15 in Humanities room 373, tonight's topic being "Gaydar: Fact or Fiction?" Finally, GLOW's weekly socials at the Grad House resume this evening at 8:30.

In the plan-ahead department:


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