18 November
2021

A few thoughts on highlight before and during the pandemic

After a year and a half of covid-world, and the prospect of another tough winter taking precautions regarding covid-19, I am have been thinking about some of the great experiences I was lucky to have in the preceding few years. Many of these are personal, and related to time spent with my family, but here are 3 of the generic ones.

I visited Delhi in 2010, and especially Old Delhi. For a North American like me, Delhi was an eye-opening experience, with a panoply of culture, sights, smells, people, and modes of living. While there, I took time to visit Agra and the Taj Mahal, which is certainly one of the most impressive human artifacts on earth. The trip was made even more exceptional by the fact that my friends Yogesh Girdhar and Sofia had their wedding while I was in town, and the chance to attend was a very lucky opportunity for me.

In past years I have had the chance to work in Barbados almost every year, and even gone scuba diving as part of my work there. Barbados was been a very special place for me and I have always been very fond of the people there and the culture that they embody. Our robotics work on the reefs has let me observe their unfortunate decline, but despite that the ecosystems there are strikingly beautiful.
For several years Iíve been on the board of the Bellairs Institute there. Providing some advice targeted towards developing that facility has been a job I feel fortunate to have been involved in. The last time I was there was right at the start of the pandemic in 2020, and hope I can back sometime soon.

In 2019, I was able to start building the Samsung AI Center in downtown Montreal.
Itís hard to believe that we have been out of the office almost completely for over a year, while we are still building up the lab. There are people on my team that I work with regularly, yet whom I have only met briefly in person. That is just beyond any mode of operation I had ever expected. Maybe itís not that strange for some teams that are used to outsourcing, but for a small research-intensive team, itís very unusual by the standards of 2019. Nonetheless, it has gone much better than I would have anticipated.

As many aspects of life inch toward normalcy, it's both good to reflect on what was missed and the ways we have adapted.


By Gregory Dudek at | Leave a comment |    
03 October
2021

Lanterns and displays in the Chinese garden

The "Gardens of Light" exhibit is on in Montreal on the grounds of the botanical garden, and they are well executed and seem quite safe in the context of covid-19. My daughter Natasha brought came with me and we saw a range of charming and ethereal displays. It's a very mellow experience and one walks from one kind of display to another, some with sound effects and others with a continual otherworldly mist. Especially in this year where big events that are also safe are so scarce, this is a welcome treat.

Official site: https://www.mtl.org/en/what-to-do/festivals-and-events/gardens-light

















By Gregory Dudek at | Leave a comment |    
01 January
2021

Best wishes for 2021.


By Gregory Dudek at | Leave a comment |    
05 August
2020

After several attempts, the clouds and weather allowed me to capture comet NEOWISE in the evening (well, not really on "film" since I used a digital camera). The most painful sessions were when I went driving for an hour at 3:30am only to get views of low-lying clouds. Somehow, it was very satisfying to be able to snap my own photo of this phenomenon.


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https://www.dudek.org/blog/blogpics/512AA856-4963-48EF-8DD2-3C1C851BBA9F_1_105_c.jpeg
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By Gregory Dudek at | Leave a comment |    
14 June
2020

As we adjust our mode of living to COVID-world, a strange sense of unreality pervades life. At times, it should be possible to completely forget about the new reality, but that is actually quite hard to achieve in practice. That said, we are relatively lucky in our ability to cope.

Notably, like everybody else, we are using the Internet even more than previously. Here's an actual tip for your having read this far. Like many of you, I am annoyed by those popups incited by the GDPR that make it necessary for me to acknowledge the presence of cookies on every web site. Notably, these popups do not increase anybody's level of privacy, but merely provide an annoyances to all web uses (they very rarely if ever actually allow cookies usage by the site to actually change).

Well, you can get rid of these advisories with a simple browser extension. In fact, several extensions can do it including AdBlock. I prefer "uBlock Origin". If you go to the setting for the extension, then the "Filter Lists", then check filters for "annoyances" you can turn on either "easylist-cookies" or install the optional "I Don't Care about Cookies" filters and bingo!


I feel I should have more to say, but I'll just stop here so that the odd friend wondering if we are still around can find some trace of our continuance.


By Gregory Dudek at | Leave a comment |    
26 February
2020

Stephanie Dudek passed away in Feb 22, 2020

Stephanie Dudek passed away on Feb 22, 2020 at the age of 98. As emeritus professor at Universitť de Montreal, a specialist in the psychology of creativity, a practicing clinical psychologist, former psychologist at the Allan Memorial Institute, and a seasoned world traveller, Stephanie Dudek had a passion for art, animals, and humankind.

She was an exceptional woman who almost single handedly raised a son Gregory who, with his wife Krys, produced two grandchildren Natasha and Nicholas, whom she adored.

She was one of the happiest people around, and had an exuberance for life that was unparalleled. With her enthusiasm for dancing, she came close to killing many a dance partner from exhaustion over the years, even in her 80s. In her university life, she published numerous papers on the nature of creativity, its relationship to personality, the genesis of creativity in children, and the signature of creativity in projective tests such as the Rorschach.

She obtained her MA at McGill University and her Doctorate at Columbia University in New York. Some of her professional recognitions included the American Psychological Association Farnsworth Award for outstanding service, and the Canadian Psychological Association Award for Distinguished Contributions to Psychology as a Profession wherein she was cited as "a brilliant clinician, inspiring teacher and creative researcher, unifying these three roles in a remarkable and outstanding career."

She was married to Louis Dudek and helped launch him on his literary and professional career and remained close to him his entire life, even after they divorced. She eventually found Fred Martin, longtime administrator and Professor Emeritus at the San Francisco Art Institute, a warm, creative and loving man who brought exceptional richness to the second half of her life. With him she explored China and California and developed her own poetic vision using her maiden name Stephanie Zuperko. California flea markets will also miss their most avid customer.

The Family received condolences at Cote-des-Neiges Funeral Center (Centre-Funeraire) at 4525 Cote-des-Neiges Road, Montreal, QC, H3V 1E6 on Sunday, March 1, from 11:00am to 2:30pm. The funeral service was held the same day at 2:30 at the same location, with a reception that followed.


If you wish to make a donation in her name, the World Wildlife Fund is a suitable charity: https://wwf.donorportal.ca/tributeim/Donation/InMemory.aspx?G=14&T=INMEM.

Stephanie Dudek
Stephanie Dudek
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By Gregory Dudek at | Read (4) or Leave a comment |    

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