I'm Alex Kearney, a PhD student studying Computer Science at the University of Alberta. I focus on Artificial Intelligence and Epistemology.


It is noon, and the smoke blanketing Edmonton is so thick that it feels like sunset. #yeg


Yesterday I made it to the top of mount Hieie: the second highest mountain in the Kyoto prefecture (according to the family I met at the top). At the top of the mountain I took a break to enjoy some tea and met three groups of people who made it to the top.

The first was a Canadian from Toronto who was traveling.

The second was a trail-runner. He started digging around behind one of the trees and retrieved a mysterious granite pyramid which he placed in front of the tree. He said it was famous. I’m still confused by this.

The third was a Japanese family who hiked the mountain. The father started telling me how young Japanese people don’t like hiking and that Japanese people don’t hike anymore. He told me about all the mountains in the area, the number of mountains in japan, and the heights of their peaks.

I left the mountain informed.

Kyōto Station → Ōtsu → Mount Hiei


Wandered up to Kiyomizu-dera yesterday: a temple founded in 778. The view of Kyoto from the pagoda is breathtaking. Overlooking the city there’s an architectural gradient from the ancient to the modern. Like many Buddhist temples in Kyoto, the gardens have a dense canopy covering the paths. I found a spot where the pagoda was peeking through the trees.


Photograph of the the moment I consider giving it all up to become a tea-farmer. Maren recommended coming to @obubuteafarms for a tour of their estate. The tea tasting we had was so memorable because we also got to see the whole process: from tending to the bushes, to harvesting and processing! I even learned a few new brewing techniques 🍵

Kyōto Station → Kamo, Niigata → Wazuka, Kyoto


The Okinawa airport has orchids all over the airport, even in all the jetways leading to the plane. It’s a nice way to be greeted when you land 🌸


Last day of diving in Okinawa. I’m glad I decided to pack my dive computer last-minute. Exploring the reef in Okinawa has been an absolute treat—so much life!

On to Kyoto!


Unexpected upside to traveling in a country who’s language you don’t understand: all location-based ads are effectively blocked by being uninterpretable.

It’s like Lorem Ipsum.


I found this little friend yesterday! A cute little Nudibranch. I love how varied the colours and shapes and sizes of sea-slugs are! They’re so delicate and beautiful. I could sit and watch these guys inch along all day 🐛

I’m really fortunate my trip aligned with the right season to see them. They only come out when the water is cooler; when it warms up, they head inside the coral to avoid the heat.


It’s my first day diving in Okinawa! Plenty of fish hiding away in sea anemone 🐟 This is my first time diving in Asia, and I’m really enjoying taking in all the surprising differences to what we see in the Americas.



Today was the last day of Haru-no-Taisai, the spring grand festival at the Meji Jinju. Today’s service is the largest Shinto ceremony of the year for the shrine. Amongst the rituals is a sacred dance based on a poem written by Emperor Showa that calls for world peace.


I was wandering around Shinjuku looking for food and found this little flower shop with a tea house in the back 🍵 I ended up waiting in line for over an hour, but it was totally worth it. The parfait has rose jam and edible flowers, and the mojito was one of the best I’ve had. Of course, sitting in a little indoor garden probably helped, too 🌿 . . . . #tokyo #japan #travel #travelphotography #yummy #foodporn #explore #flowers #food #foodphotography


The pagoda at Sensō-ji with the Tokyo sky-tree peeking through the trees. A mixture of the old and the new.


Shibuya Crossing is one of the busiest crossings in the world. People pour into the scramble from all directions, zig-zagging frantically as they all meet in the center of this vast intersection.


I’m compensating for my shortness by getting on my tippie-toes.


Caught Akiko mid sneeze. She looks a lot more ferocious than normal🐅

#aww #cats #rescue


Playing hookey at @sunshinevillage.

#canada #travel #mountains #ski


I was walking downtown this morning and caught the last moments of sunrise painting the buildings. The way the light reflects off the golden glass makes the neighboring building look like it has calligraphy scrawled all over it. #yeg #yegdt #urbanphotography


I finished some green socks just in time for St. Patrick’s day ☘️🧦 ended up re-knitting the heels three times trying to get the fit right. During the process, I discovered that I have a fairly high instep, so I can’t use a number of toe-up heel patterns. The fit turned out great, especially considering this is my first pair of socks! I can see custom socks being a regular fixture on my needles this year 🍀

Colourway is ‘Endor’ by @blackcatcustomyarn


Making more friends 🐒


Making friends 🐠


My cousin was visiting Edmonton today, so the family got together to make tacos. It's a tasty way to keep warm, I guess.


Went for a chilly afternoon walk in Belgravia with my uncle and his dogs. We made a few friends along the way.


Tried making ratatouille for the first time today 🐁 Yummy, but I think next time I would add more garlic 👌🏼✨


Lazy Sunday.


Hot off the needles, my first pair of socks! The yarn is from @lichenandlace in wildflower, which I picked up from @yarnsuntangled in #yyz during the summer. I really like how the colour way looks like flowers on a mountainside—it really reminds me of spring! 🌱🌸


The most difficult part of any knitting project: unraveling because you dramatically underestimated how much yarn you have 🤦🏼‍♀️ I suppose I should be more mindful of my gauge.


I was in the middle of doing laundry when Akiko decided to make my laundry hamper her new throne.

#pet #cat


Oh hey, I found an obelisk.


America: A Still Life 🥤

#travel #travelphotography


My aunt took me out to Stoney Plain to hit up Jo's Yarn Garden: one of the best yarn stores in Alberta. As a thank-you I decided to make her a cabled tam.

I used some ice-blue yarn with a white heather that my cousin got for me from Iceland. I was looking for something simple, but with cabling to add some visual interest. I opted for the Bramble Beret, which felt appropriately Scottish.


New signs at the border crossing for #legalizationincanada at PET. There was even a can to bin your bud before the border 🚮


It’s really impressive to see so many women in #tech in the same room for #ghc18 . Even the nosebleeds are filled! #WomenInTech


Phew, just landed in Houston for #ghc18 🛬. Sharing a lovely castle with my labmates 🌞


Last day of summer in Edmonton! ☀️🌿🌱 #yeg #summer #notfair #notfairatall


September in Edmonton 🤷🏼‍♀️✨☃️ #yeg #snow #thisisnotfall


Everyone in the lab is using macs now; to prevent mixups at conferences I used #washitape to mark which chargers are mine. #diy #crafts #technology


One of my favorite parts of @edmfolkfest is the @ckuaradio tent with their live broadcasts. Had a chance to listen to @shakeygraves perform some songs acoustic and talk about songwriting. Dozens of people were huddled in the rain and mud to listen to Alberta public radio! #publicradio #livemusic #indie


Trying to keep dry on the last day of folk fest. Trying.


One tarp up and one tarp to the right of the golden tarp!


Recovering from DLRL summer school by scrambling for tarp space at the Canmore Folk Fest 🎻 🎶


Happy Canada day 🇨🇦


Red means fast


I had a little bit of time to kill before the neuroscience symposium, so I went and found chocolate 🍫 #yvc #phdlife #gradschool #travel


I made my first 3D print today! Now I have an adorable Gengar desk friend 🔮 #3dprinting #tech #phdlife #pokemon


Today in #gradschool : bags of robot digits. . . #robot #tech #phdlife #cs


The gang goes to an art lagoon. #travel #gradschool



Yesterday I hade Thai tea ice cream 🍦 and learned about dialog systems #gradcohort2018 #gradschool #tech



I’ve been waiting a long time for this! My @inputclub white fox keyboard is finally here! So excited to start typing on my hako trues 😍 . . . #mechanicalkeyboard #mechkeyboard #whitefox #tech


I knit a toque because spring wouldn’t come 🌱 . . . #diy #diyfashion #spring #knitting #yarn #knit #crafts #fashion


I went to see @alvvaysband at the starlight room last week. The serendipitous highlight for me was getting to see @thisisfrankierose. They were in a few playlists that I used to listen to in highschool, but lost their music when my harddrive died. Im getting crazy nostalgia after finding them all over again.


Meanwhile in the BLINC lab: a bag of San Franciscan street lizards 🦎


I am unreasonably excited about this Grace Hopper sticker my lab-mate gave to me.


In line to see Michelle Obama’s talk. Hoping for a good conversation on global education. #yeg #cndpoli #education



UofA looking all pretty at sunset 🌅 a rainbow building with neon clouds. . . . #yeg #yegphoto #alberta #canada


I finally had the chance to make my way out to Ritchie market. I had a flight of beer 🍻 the best was a beer with notes of tea; it tasted slightly like an oolong. I had a platter of ham, persimmon, and mustard to go with it ☺️ . . . #beer #craftbeer #brewery #foodie


More progress on my fisherman sweater! I don’t like seaming, so I followed @bygumbygolly’s instructions for modifying patters for set in sleeves. Just two sleeves to go!

@brooklyntweed docklight sweater with @malabrigoyarn in archangel . . . #yarn #fiber #diy #diyfashion #crafts #crafty #knitting #knittersofinstagram #workinprogress #fashion


Doing some late-night adventuring though the buildings downtown 🌵


Late night second-hand book store haul: a magical copy of Robert Brandon’s “Making it Explicit”: the big-kid version of my favorite philosopher’s work . . . #book #philosophy #secondhand



Pulling the goalie worked!


We are not doing well.


Pretending I’m at hockey night in Scotland 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 but I’m really just in Edmonton 🤷🏼‍♀️ there is a shortage of wine and cheese and commentary from @jammy_stuff


Rappelling the ceremonial puck into the game. • • #hockey #oilers #yeg


Napping away while I’m coding 🐕


Enjoying some cello suites at @yellowheadbrewery with the @edmontonchambermusic society. The best part of chamber music is how intimate the venues are ☺️ and I love it when artists talk about the pieces they perform • • • #yeg #yegarts #music #classicalmusic #arts #livemusic


There are some crazy ice sculptures at @iceonwhyte. It’s one of three international competitive ice sculpting competitions in Canada and all of the sculptures were made in 35 hours.

The detail on some of the sculptures is incredible, and the use of transparency and opacity in the ice is really neat. • • • #art #sculpture #ice #yeg #yegwinter #winter


Everything’s okay. 🍷 • • • #foodie #food #yeg #yummy


Saturday afternoon tea tasting. • • • • #tea #afternoontea #teatime #puerh #puertea


I found the best little tea place in Edmonton. It’s a wholesale tea store and the only place where you can get good Taiwanese oolong. 🍵


The nao robots are positioned a bit ominously today 😐 • • • • #technology #tech #robot #robotics #artificialintelligence #ml


My pair programming partner keeps falling asleep 🤷🏼‍♀️ he’s napping on the job 🐕 • • • #dogsofinstagram #dachshundsofinstagram #dachshund #olddog #doggie #doggos #dog #pupper


At watari playing sushi go and eating all you can eat sushi 🍣 . . . . #boardgames #games #foodie #yummy #foodporn #sushi #japanesefood #tasty #instafood


When it’s warmed up a bit, but you still just want to stay inside wrapped in blankets. . . . #dogsofinstagram #dogs #dachshundsofinstagram #dachshund #petsofinstagram #cute #animals #adorable


This week for blinc lab Monday movie madness is “2001: A Space Odyssey” 🎥 🍿


Failed attempt at eggs Benedict 🍳


Homemade bagel -> breakfast sandwich. Everyone needs garlic in the morning 🙆🏼‍♀️ . . . #keto #breakfast #ketobreakfast #coffee #food #foodie #foodporn #eat #instafood #delicious #stuffed #yummy #yum 😋



We projected blade runner onto the lab whiteboard. 🤖


Enjoying a little cappuccino at @transcendcoffee while I work out what experiments I want to run. ☕️ Probs my my favorite espresso in Edmonton. #yeg #coffee #espresso #fountainpen #notebook #stationary


More holiday parties 🎈 more cat snuggles 🐈 #cat #catsofinstagram #petsofinstagram #christmas #family


My dad made me a hat 🎩 for Christmas 🎄🎁 #family #christmas #holidayparty #sendhelp



Helped my aunt decorate her house for Christmas 🎄 and hung out with her cats 🐈 Sir William Starburst was looking especially relaxed today.

#catsofinstagram #cat #cats #interiordesign #decor


#knitting and #coffee . The brownie is made with prince of darkness espresso and is probably the tastiest thing ever. #yarncraft #yarn #knittersofinstagram #crafts #sweaterweather



Working on a modified @brooklyntweed docklight jumper ✨using @malabrigoyarn arroyo in archangel. Swapped the lace out for a simple cable inbetween the fisherman’s rib. #knittersofinstagram #knitting #knittinglove #knitagram #sweaterweather #diyfashion #fibercraft #crafts #yarncraft


Good morning. Here are some waffles.


I swear there’s a mountain in there somewhere. 🏔⛷ #ski #canada


Making mountain friends. 🐕🏔 #dog #dogsofinstagram #canada #mountains


The ominous fortune cookie has a point 🤔


Hey @abethcrane, I found a HoloLens being used for visualizing the @cloud.dx tricorder data at @sucanadasummit.


I got to drive in a Canadian #autonomouscar today! 🚘 🇨🇦 # sucansummit



@hyperloopone hype at @peterhdiamandis’ @sucanadasummit talk. #tech #singularity


I’m at #sucansummit listening to @peterhdiamandis talk about exponential thinking and disruptive technology. #tech #ai #singularity


Food and Family 🙆🏼 but mostly food 🦃 #thanksgiving


Dog 🐕


Fall in the front yard. 🍁🍂🏡


Autumn at the UofA is so pretty. 🍁🍂🎃


Spotted at the UofA: the most adorable eldritch horror. 🐙 #cthulhu #eldritch #eldritchhorror #lovecraft #hplovecraft #callofcthulhu


Birthday Praha 🍷 #food #foodie


Birthday Praha 🍷 #food #foodie


Another year, another symphony under the sky with Edmonton symphony orchestra! Getting ready for some outdoors Tchaikovsky, Wagner, and Bruch. 🎼🎻🏞 #yeg #yegarts #music #livemusic #symphony #classicalmusic #tchaikovsky #wagner


Uncle Tetsu! 🍮 time for cheesecake. It took us half an hour for Beatrice and I to get them, but it was totally worth it.


Back in #yyz 🌃


I made a fire. 🔥🔥🔥


I made a dog friend. 🐕


Pre-flight walk around.


Go time. ✈️🌞


Landing in Billings; en route to the #eclipse ✈️


On an adventure heading to the #eclipse 🛩 🌚🌝 #eclipse2017


Landed in Great Falls, Montana for immigration ✈️ Apparently over 30 small aircraft came down in the morning heading to the eclipse 🌚🌝


There are supposed to be mountains in this picture. Clearly BC is still on fire. 🏔


Family festival tarp burrito to keep out of the torrential rain for the @edmfolkfest. We managed to stick it out until the end! #folkfest #music #folk #efmf17


10 tarps back for Friday folking. 🎼🎻✨#folkfest #efmf17 #music #folk #



Another year, another @edmfolkfest lottery. #folk #music #efmf17 #folkfest


Festival cardigan knitting progress. 🏔🎻🎼





Edmonton's summer music never ceases to impress. #yeg #blues #music


I made it to the top. #climbing #canmore 🏔


Approach in cougar creek. Getting ready for #climbing . 🏔 #mountains #canmore



When you're cycling with the gang, but also want to chat. #yeg


Harvest time.





My bubble tea kind of looks like sushi.


There is a candy store in Edmonton with portraits of the kids from Charlie and Chocolate Factory. #yeg #chocolate #yegphoto


Prairie flower 🌸 #yeg



🇨🇦🎷 patriotic saxophone solos. #yeg #yegphoto #yegarts #canada


Patriotic doggo. 🇨🇦🐕 #canada #yegphoto #yeg


🥓🍖🍗


@attaccaquartet performing for the @edmontonchambermusic's summer solstice festival. 🌞🎻#ssmf17 #yegphoto #yeg #yegmusic #yegarts #music



@edmontonchambermusic Other great Edmonton music venues: Corbett Hall . #ssmf2017 #yeg #yegarts #yegmusic


Things I am liking: the use of @yellowheadbrewery for the @edmontonchambermusic summer solstice festival. #yeg #yegarts #ssmf2017


Blossom season in Toronto is beautiful #yyz


I spent my first weekend in Toronto looking for two things: coffee and yarn.



I went back to Edinburgh for hogmanay this year and it was pretty excellent.


I played trains with Danny and Felicia at tabletop and created a glorious green-machine railway empire.


The local elementary school made and delivered christmas cards for the community and it's adorable. #yeg


People lined up for summary execution at the @edmsymphony. #starwars


I met this adorable tiny dog the other day. Its tongue hangs out. #yeg


Uh, so I saw this truck today. #yeg


The UofA is looking pretty today. #yeg


On the prowl with the #doge beast.


The saddest sandwich. #yeg #yegphoto


I can't tell if this is supposed to be a cheeky commentary on the #edinburgh fringe.


Open PCB surgery to try and extend my poor #cherrymx keyboard. #mechanicalkeyboard #tech


People keep destroying bus shelters. I don't understand it. #yeg #yegphoto


UofA is really good at thematic landscaping. #yeg #alberta


My last stop on the Danube: Passau, Germany. It's a tiny town which is notable for it's gothic and baroque architecture.


The sight I was most excited about: Melk Abbey. It's *very* baroque.


The most imperial city of my trip: Vienna.


An austrian monastery established in 1114.


A gothic cathedral in Vienna. It's got a really good clock.


The Viennese treasury. Filled with ridiculous things: The Holy Roman Empire's Crown, one of the largest emeralds in the world, etc.


Unexpectedly fun city of the trip: Budapest.


An odd foray into Serbia: It's a weird city with sad history.


This is the first lock I went through down the danube. It's got a fairly interesting history.


A stop in Romania to say I stopped in Romania. Went to see an oddity: a church built in the 1970s.


My last stop in Bulgaria before getting on a boat and heading down the Danube.


Greetings from Passau.


Day one on my trip down the danube: Sofia, Bulgaria. I walked around some of the popular sights, seeing orthodox cathedrals, Serdician ruins, and an actual yellow-brick road.


Greetings from wine (Wachau).


Greetings from Vienna.


Greetings from Budapest.


Stop one on my post-university adventures: Sofia.


Anna and I went to pekoe tea the other day. For the first time I was able to sit down and enjoy tea there. We both had a couple of green oolong teas which were served gong-fu style.


This year I completed my Undergraduate studies, graduating with a first in Artificial intelligence and computer science from the University of Edinburgh.

Unfortunately, due to refurbishment I didn't get to graduate in McEwan hall. As a result, the only time I've been able to appreciate McEwan was during my second year Probability exam. It wasn't really a good occasion to be staring at the murals on the ceiling.

As a surrogate we used Usher hall, the venue most of the symphony and chamber music events are held in.

Given how diminutive the informatics class is, we got bundled up with the school of Engineering. As a result, we had two honorary degree speeches. I forgot what the engineering guy did. The Computer Science speaker got the deal to develop minecraft for the X-box.

I guess that's vaguely interesting.

One of the quirks of the University of Edinburgh is that we don't wear mortarboard cap. Instead all graduates share the same hat. When walking across the stage, the vice-chancellor bops each student on the head.

Fun-fact: Piers Sellers offered to take the hat into space. Given space-ships occasionally explode (and the hat is sort-of important) a university emblem was taken to space and later sewn on the hat.

I got booped on the head with a space-hat.

I was fortunate enough to be able to get enough tickets for both my parents and grandparents. My family came over a couple weeks prior and we traipsed across Ireland and the highlands together.

I had one ticket left-over and Jammy had a free-morning. As a result, I was able to get Jam-Jam, father of polar bears, first of his name, to come along to my graduation.

Through Jammy's coaching, I was able to get booped on the head and collect a degree without falling in front of everyone.



Field trip to the highland wildlife park. The polar bears were eating meatcicles.


@summerhallery #EU flag at half-mast. Scotland in Mourning. #brexit #EDI


Taking my grandparents to the cat cafe was a success. Seems like a few friends were made. @maisondemoggy


Finally got to se an SR71! Fastest plane ever at a top speed of 3,540 km/hr. Why so fast? It's rated for after burner use 100% of the time.


Rebuilt Colossus: first digital computer.


Ahhhhh. Enigma machine!!😁


Bombe machine internals. Apparently the volunteers that maintain it have enigma code breaking competitions with GCHQ annually.


A thing to represent a thing that Churchill may or may not have stood on at some point.


I made a friend at the old Fargey family farm. 😁


Circular hill forts!


I know how to use a computer.


Pretty nice place to get stuff done. If only coursework didn't get in the way of holidays.


Loving the Robin Hood themed #hack . #hacknotts


artschool


Brainstorming how to improve use of small closes. #WalkHack #EDI


Goodbye #Canmore . Goodbye #rockies time to head back to #edinburgh .


70s night with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. #yegarts


Enjoying this Symphony Under the Sky pre-show #yeg


Found another adorable #3dprint in the lab.


The most adorable 3dprint I've found in the lab. It's a tiny elephant.


Yet another well placed tarp for the Edmonton Folk Fest.


Of Monster and Men hitting the main stage.


In case you needed a reminder, Edmonton is beautiful.



Killer tarp position at the @edmfolkfest for #ofmonstersandmen + #angusandjuliastone .


We will win the Edmonton Folk Fest tarp this year. It has been foretold.


openhandsurgery


I think this is the coolest invoice I've ever seen. Kevlar and Carbon Fiber.


Can't imagine a better place to hold a folk festival than cradled by the Rockies in Canmore!


Some stilted police officers keeping the peace at the Canmore Folk Fest.


Found this critter on my way to the lab.


Went for icecream

Includes:

  • red velvet icecream
  • dark chocolate icecream
  • almonds
  • coconut shavings
  • raspberry chunks

Type 2 diabetes, here I come.


Here's an example of a collection of images, or an album. So I've started this as a means of collating a group of related items.

I wanted the extension to be as minimal as possible. As a result, I treat a collection post the same way as any other post: there's no additional information or details associated with a collection. I manage this by making albums that are simply 'responses' to other posts on the site with the in-reply-to field. This lets me give all the individual images additional information, by letting them be their own posts. It's a bit of a hack and I'm kind-of using in-reply-to fields for something other than what they were originally intended for.

It's just a mock up, really, but it does what I need it to do. I still need to figure out what the most sensible way to display all this is. :/


Found this gem when going through photo's yesterday. Portrait of the Fargeys circa 1900.


Going through the old family photos with my grandfather. We're looking at archival. Happened upon this beauty: a photo of parade in front of buckingham palace circa 1975.


Perhaps the next disturbing 3D creation we print.


Deliciously sarcastic fortune: "your graceful qualities make difficult things seem easy". Yes, I did drop it in my tea.


On the prowl.


Killer dog napping.


Round two in the lab's disturbing 3D prints competition.


For our next instalment of things that don't look like they should be alive: this half-human half-elephant thing someone in the lab found in their shoe.

The more you look at it, the more disturbing it gets.


I won the 50/50 at the free will showing of Coriolanus! With ticket 2345, no less!