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Aaron Genest
Ph.D. in computer science. Musician. Dad. Gamer. Cyclist. Also, I help good politicians get elected.
Ph.D. in computer science. Musician. Dad. Gamer. Cyclist. Also, I help good politicians get elected.

Aaron's posts

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Utterly fantastic.  From a big fan.

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Interesting stuff.
"The socio-economic conditions in which people are born and grow up largely explain why not everyone is equal in sickness and health. We have established that these conditions accumulate over time, resulting in ever-increasing health disparities over the course of a lifetime. Fortunately, our society can act on these disparities from the moment a person is born and throughout their life."

Excellent video from Agence de la santé et des services sociaux de Montréal.

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Why, hello, SV opportunity!

The ITS 2014 Student Volunteer enrollment page is now open and can be reached at

We are inviting students interested in the field of interactive tabletops and surfaces to apply as student volunteers (SV) at ITS 2014. This is an ideal opportunity to attend the conference and to connect with other members of the community. SVs also receive free conference registration as compensation for their work. Information about the benefits and duties of SVs can be found on the conference website:

If you have any questions or problems, please contact the chairs at

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Very excited about this.  I am Technical Director for this fascinating organization.
It's finally here! We are excited to officially launch our new website,, designed by the great people at @cStreet_ca. Claim your profile, read some stories, watch a video, share the site with a friend.

We've organized the site around three content streams, each of which tackles a different area of upstream thinking: At Home, In the Community, and At Work.

In addition to these thematic streams, you can also navigate by content type. You can browse personal stories of people working on upstream issues, actions you can take to move us upstream, policy ideas for upstream solutions, and news items related to upstream ideas.

We hope you visit us there often and join in the conversation!

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Great opportunity for community developers who just starting out in Saskatchewan. Lots of responsibility, the opportunity for significant growth, and an excellent organization.
Big news, everyone! We're hiring!

Upstream is seeking a dynamic, talented individual to join our team as the Director of Community Development. Those interested should check out the job posting here: and send us your application ASAP.

Please spread the word about this exciting opportunity!

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This was a great event.
You are about to enter an empowerment zone: Max FineDay- Saskatoon Change Makers @MaxFineDay at #yxechange @BroadbentInst

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Fantastic correlations here.  Uh...ok, not particularly fantastic in terms of outcomes...
Higher income, longer lives. More research, this time out of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.

As incomes have diverged between the country’s richest counties, like Fairfax County, Va., and its poorest ones, like McDowell County, W.Va., so have the life expectancies of their residents.

#poverty #povertycostsSK #upstream #sdoh

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Great piece of history, here!
15 years ago (on Feb 1st, 1999) I first set foot in a Google datacenter. Well, not really -- in the Google cage in the Exodus datacenter in Santa Clara.  Larry had led me there for a tour (I wasn't an employee yet) and it was my first time in any datacenter.  And you couldn't really "set foot" in the first Google cage because it was tiny (7'x4', 2.5 sqm) and filled with about 30 PCs on shelves.  a1 through a24 were the main servers to build and serve the index and c1 through c4 were the crawl machines.

By that time we already had a second cage, immediately adjacent, that was about 3x larger and contained our first four racks, each containing 21 machines named d1-42 and f1-42 (don't ask me what happened to the b and e racks, I don't know).  I don't recall who manufactured d and f but they were trays with a single large motherboard and a Pentium II CPU.  (Later, the g rack would be the first corkboard rack.)

Some interesting details from the order:

- Yep, a megabit cost $1200/month and we had to buy two, an amount we didn't actually reach until the summer of 1999.  (At the time, 1 Mbps was roughly equivalent to a million queries per day.)

- You'll see a second line for bandwidth, that was a special deal for crawl bandwidth.  Larry had convinced the sales person that they should give it to us for "cheap" because it's all incoming traffic, which didn't require any extra bandwidth for them because Exodus traffic was primarily outbound.

- Note the handwritten "3 20 Amps in DC" change to the standard order form.  At the time, DC space was sold per square foot, and we always tried to get as much power with it as possible because that's what actually mattered.

- This particular building was one of the first colocation facilities in Silicon Valley.  Our direct neighbor was eBay, a bit further away was a giant cage housing DEC / Altavista, and our next expansion cage was directly adjacent to Inktomi.  The building has long since been shut down. 

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Every time I think about how far behind Scandinavian countries we are, I get very sad.
The Case for Paternity Leave- How "daddy days" make for healthier families and more equal work-places.

"But here’s what men may not realize: While paid paternity leave may feel like an unexpected gift, the biggest beneficiaries aren’t men, or even babies. In the long run, the true beneficiaries of paternity leave are women, and the companies and nations that benefit when women advance."

Read on to find out how!

#ECD #sdoh #upstream #gender

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In Canada, you need more money to live like a Swede than you do in Sweden.
The Swedes are at it again with this fresh campaign designed to show how the collective agreement system they use creates working conditions that only the rich can enjoy in other countries.

Take a minute to watch the video here: Like a Swede (a way of living)

And learn more about the campaign here:
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