In elementary school, my teachers insisted I write four short stories a month; two in English, and two in French. I thought this was a tremendous amount of work, and way more writing than I had time for.
Hi. I’m Raymond Francis: stargazer, youth worker, flying instructor, military officer, sometime applied scientist, and all-around human being. I never really developed my skills in the other arts, so those years of writing assignments are all I’ve got to lean on for self-expression.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How do I get to the intercity bus from here?
A: In Ottawa, hop on the 7 Carleton or the 4 Hurdman from downtown. In Sudbury, the 142 Grandview/Shopping Centre, 301 Lasalle/Madison, and 302 LaSalle/Cambrian should do the trick. In North Bay, the 3E Chippewa and the 4E Birchaven should work out; get off at the mall and walk through it to the connecting tunnel to the station.
Q: What’s the deal with Legendre polynomials?
A: They’re just another way of numerically approximating a function. The function is expressed as a polynomial of the sum over all data points of terms with the form (y-coörd of known point)*(weighting factor), where the weighting factor is calculated by the product of all possible terms (x-xknown)/(x-coörd – xknown).
Q: Rope break now! Where do you go?
A: Downwind. Left turn into the wind, maintain 50 mph. Spoilers early and as required. Aim to land short and keep positive control, anticipating the tailwind. Keep that fifty, watch out for traffic and obstacles, and set it down on the pavement.
Q: Have you figured out what you want to do?
A: Lately, I want to make spaceships.
Q: Why ‘wolfstu’?
A: I picked it in a bit of haste back in 1996 because I wanted to make a webmail account, and couldn’t think of anything more clever on short notice. ‘Wolf’ was for an organization I was with, ‘stu’ was a nickname I aquired there by unimaginative means. I retain it as a reminder of the importance of originality, the value of social bonds, and the responsibility for long-term thinking that comes with things like giving names. It also has the advantage of being a string of characters that is both pronunciable and relatively uncommon.
Q: Which ones are those?
A: al-Nitak, al-Nilam, Mintaka. Betelgeuse, Bellatrix, Rigel, Saiph. This one over here’s Sirus, the brightest one, by appearance from here. It’s bright for real, but also it’s just nearby; only eight light-years or so.
Q: Are you actually wearing your grandfather’s shirt?
A: Sure. It fits, and he doesn’t use it anymore.
Q: What’s up?
A: Oh, same old. I’ve got to pack for the Centre, and get my lessons ready for next Tuesday. Shoes to shine, too.