Kevin O'Donnell's blog


Hello again, world. I've finally had time to delete my temporary 2014 campaign website and restore this personal one back into place. So here's a perfunctory post about that.

In the last few months I've thought of blog posts I could write - but didn't - for lack of a place to put them. Perhaps now I will write them, time willing. As a tangent, it's a good idea to own your own domain.

Fort Reading

That moment when you feel like a bad parent because you haven't spoken to your kid in an hour, then realize they're reading a book in the fort you helped them make an hour ago, and then you feel alright and then some.


Earth Hour 2014 on Parliament Hill - Ottawa

The Green party is hosting a candlelight vigil on Parliament Hill for Earth Hour again this year - this is becoming quite the tradition!

Lights out at 8:30 so arrive a bit early. We're handing out beeswax candles on a first-come first-candled basis.

A special voting day at Carleton University? Yes please.

On Tuesday the FEDCO committee will consider a new idea in the City of Ottawa - "anywhere" voting days. In addition to regular advance vote days, the City of Ottawa is considering three more "special" days where you can vote early at three locations, regardless of where you live. 

The Lego Movie: Everything is not Awesome.

Everything is not awesome.

So, yeah - The Lego Movie. It passes the Bechdel test with a three sentence exchange between Wyldstyle and Unikitty, though the first sentence is actually Unikitty addressing every character as a group. Arguably the same could be said for the third sentence. Around 10 seconds in a 100 minute movie. That's 0.16% of the movie. Weak.

The asterisk on a "pass" rating really makes sense now:

New intersection at Byron & Roosevelt?

Update 2: I offered this feedback regarding the physical layout of the changes. They make sense to me, but I have no gauge on their feasibility. Will see what the staff member has to say.

Using small data to illustrate what Big Data can do

I'm using the Twitter API to scrape some data for a few projects I'm working on. From the scrape of my own account it's interesting to see the relationships that pop out - even in a rudimentary analysis of my tweets. The data I've pulled together is from:

  • All of my own tweets (and who is mentioned in those tweets).
  • All tweets where I'm mentioned (and everyone who is mentioned in those tweets).

Ok. So what?

My #BellLetsTalk Post

I've started blog posts like this one before - then delete them because of an indescript feeling that I shouldn't talk about things I don't really know much about, namely, feelings. I'm a guy - we don't do feelings. But it's #BellLetsTalk day and I have 28 minutes of Bridgehead remaining before work, so I've started another post. Perhaps you'll see this one.

Flashmob the Paint It Up murals

A random thing. Below is an #opendata map of murals in Ottawa. I think it would be cool to do a distributed flashmob and get new photos taken. What do they look like now? Covered in snow? Who knows?

So I propose we fan out and do a "distributed" flash mob. Same time period, different locations, snap-upload-share-discover. 

I almost didn't bike to work today, twice.

In the end I did bike to work today. But I almost didn't, twice. At my front door I made a split second decision to check when the bus was coming and started pulling out my phone. Then I remembered my Presto card is still bungled and the idea of paying cash (again) was enough to get me on my bike instead.

I know I'll enjoy the ride once I start - but the small, tiny hurdle of getting started can still stop me. Not today!