About | RSS

Stung Eye

The eye of the bee holder.

e m a i l t o s i s t a

Infinite Mario AI

I’m guessing that the red lines and arcs you see are future moves the AI is choosing from. Moves could be selected by ranking their potential outcomes. A move’s score increases for positive outcomes like landing on solid ground, squashing an enemy, moving closer to the goal line, or headbutting a |?| box. The score decreases for negative outcomes like being killed by an enemy or falling in a pit.

The Loss of Parker Forest

Winnipeg city council has approved a city land-swap with developer Andrew Marquess of GEM equities. 59 acres of unserviced city land in the Parker neighbourhood will be traded for nine acres of serviced land in the Fort Rouge Yards. The city wants the Fort Rouge land for a future rapid transit corridor. Marquess wishes to build 3500 townhouses on the Parker land.

Nearly half of the Parker land being given to Marquess is forested. I spent a few afternoons in the summer of 2006 exploring the Parker Forest and I have returned to it often since. Here’s how I described it back then:

The forest is triangle shaped, with an estimated area of over 100,000 meters squared (or .1km2), and is composed of tall prairie grasses, dense forest (mainly Trembling Aspen with some Bur Oak), and (presently dry) wetland. It sits on what I believe to be CN land, south of Taylor Ave.

I discovered this forest during a Glutton University field trip in 2003. It remains my favourite secret forest in Winnipeg. It appears that I’m not alone; after following some human tracks we spied a campground, their tent fire red, camouflaged by the afternoon sunlight.

Hopefully this land is never sold for development.

The debate is complex. In-fill housing development is preferable over sprawl, especially if the housing is affordable. But the land they need to build this housing is of particular beauty and importance. Urban forests play a role in our communities as spaces of leisure, sport, relaxation and socialization. Most importantly they are home to numerous wild plants, insects, and animals. I’ve spied fire-files in the Parker grasses at night and local residents have spotted everything from deer to lynx.

The density of the proposed housing is also very steep. If we alot 5% of the land for roads, infrastructure and public space that leaves us with 56 acres. To accommodate 3500 townhouses they would need to build 63 townhouses per acre. (One acre is a little smaller than an American football field.)

For a better idea of what 63 dwelling units per acre (or du/ac) looks like, take a peak at these 40-60 du/ac communities and 60-80 du/ac communities in California.

Here are some excerpts of recent Winnipeg Free Press Letters to the Editor on the subject:

A Lot to Lose

If you woke one morning to find bulldozers tearing down the park that your kids play in to build a fire hall and had to open the paper or be called by a neighbour to find out what’s happening, would you be upset?


I live on Parker Avenue. I have a lot to lose. Collectively, our neighbours have a lot more invested in our neighbourhood than any developer or any elected official. I believe we have a right and a duty to speak out.

-Robert Lewyc

In Fill Instead of Sprawl

[The proposed development is] “infill” instead of sprawl. It is dense housing, compared to single housing farther to the south. And if rumours are true, it is low income housing, something the city needs more of desperately.


I hope city council will consider things like a linear parkway, bike paths and green space paralleling the busway, and I look forward to more decisions that recognize the value of building on lands inside the existing city instead of the constant sprawling so-called developments that left such areas vacant for so many years.

-Shane Nestruck

No Consultation

[T]his protest, for me at least, has nothing to do with keeping out low rentals. What it has to do with is the fact that nobody at city hall bothered to ask any questions before agreeing to this land swap. Nobody asked: What kind of community are we infringing on; what is on the current site; how is the current site being used; what would be lost if it was bulldozed; what is it really worth on the open market; is it even developable?*

All of these questions must be asked as part of a due diligence process, but were never asked. The people of Winnipeg deserve better.

-Cal Dueck

The world is mapped using a grid of longitudes and latitudes. There is a degree confluence point where each line of longitude crosses each line of latitude.

On the weekend Jody, Mike and I hiked into the woods towards an unvisited degree confluence here in Manitoba’s interlake region (just north of Gypsumville).

We brought a GPS and some maps. We were given advice and direction by the local Conservation Officer. Our packs were lined with garbage bags.

One the first day we crossed a swamp by convincing ourselves to walk in deeper and deeper water. Eventually we swam, but only for a few doggy paddles.

On the second day we crossed swamps by sloshing atop floating mats of tangled reeds.

See: Our Confluence Scouting Photos or Slideshow

Another attempt will be required to reach the point.

“There is a confluence point within 49 miles (79 km) of you if you’re on the surface of Earth. The goal of this project is to visit each point and to take pictures at each location.”

Handedness and Handedness Revisted

Sketching with all four appendages. [via]

Buggin Out 09’ by Consequence featuring KiD CuDi [via]

Shan and I met this happy angler by the Assiniboine river on Friday night.

In 2006/2007 I emailed various levels of government to see if it was safe to eat fish caught in our Winnipeg river systems.

Also: Assiniboine River Water Quality Study 2001/2002 - Water Quality Mgmt Section, Manitoba Conservation [pdf]

Related: More Photos - Early Summer 2009 (Flickr Set)

StungEye Affiliate:

“Literary Cat Celebrates 10,000+ Unique Visitors to Meow Reader.

The Internet Eats Novelty. View our monthly stats graph.

(Note that Stumple Upon sent us nearly 7,500 uniques in the first month.)”

George Boole was the inventor of a logical calculus of truth values which provided a basis for modern computing. The binary digits ‘1’ and ‘0’ are often used to represent true and false in boolean algebra.”

I am working on a new Introduction to Programming Logic course for RRC, afloat in a sea of Boolean logic.