Absent, abstentions, absynth…

Feb. 19, 2014: Day 4 of the Belgian Adventure
Another lovely morning in Mons. Got up earlier and got plenty of hot water. Dirty guests must have left. Try different yoghurt and fruit compote at breakfast: exploring different cultures is so enriching. Keith leads us on trek around the bus loop in nearby square, eventually taking us back to start point to catch free bus.

Bus Code:
while (bus==noBus) {
wanderSquare(tempo = largo);
if (bus != noBus && newBus == ourBus) {
runToNewBus(tempo = presto);
crowdNewBus(density = infinite);
pretendToKnowBusRoute = true;

Arrive at Polytechnique and get organized. Groups plan rehearsal/coding schedule, activate the coffee machine (“set to stun!”) and begin a very profitable day. Studio, upstairs lounge, and programming room all busy. Samantha moves harp between various rooms, serenading other researchers. Expect long list of lesson requests. Day could be even more profitable. Form/texture of one piece reflected in hair design. Note to self: must grow more musical form…

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Joined by Belgian students at various times during day. Project developing: multitouch iPhones have pretty circles that are pretty useful. Kinect students decide to work with “garbage bag” blob tracking for dance. Diana possibly not amused — must gain a lot of weight for this to work. Plexiglass + Leap project discussions continue while Ethan works on Schoenberg analysis — both equally opaque.

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Exhaustion from late nights and coding pace kicks in. Nicolas attempts to emulate Duchamps with ready made Kinect sculpture. Now difficult to sit in lounge to have coffee — end up sitting on bodies. Some of the best work is done in the lounge.

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Coffee consumption and student exhaustion increases proportionally. Might be a research paper in there, but too tired to think about it. Lab members offer large wall screen projection of Canada-Latvia hockey game. Offer gratefully accepted. How many technologists does it take to hook up a projector? We do not have critical mass and projector hookup is a fail. Again. Not good at rocket surgery. Must find some tech people. Settle for large screen in lounge, but sit on cushions.

Head out for more research after game. Students and UMONS researchers compare Belgian beer. Bob makes faux pas of asking for vinegar for fries. Nearly causes international incident. Bad Bob. Again. Waiter ignores request until Belgian researcher asks again. Embarrassed Bob. Still ate fries. Travel is so broadening.

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Stroll back to hotel. Send email letting everyone know of late start tomorrow morning due to general exhaustion. Doubt students will get it — all asleep. Will get up early and curse Bob when they read email. Bad Bob. Again. Console myself with stolen biscuit.



Arts, Science, and Engineering students working on gesture-tracking environments for use in responsive/interactive performances.
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