29 September 2008

How could I forget?

I totally passed my M.Sc. defence last week, and by the end of this week (once I submit The Thesis That Would Not End Except Now It Looks Like It Actually Might) I will officially be a Master of Science.

Even I admit that title is misleading, I'm really just a Master on The Effects of Stocked Trout and Aeration on Native Fish and Littoral Invertebrates, but who the hell wants to put "M. ESTANFLI" after their name? I'll stick with the original, which makes me appear smarter anyway.

27 September 2008

ABC, Baby!

More election stuff for my fellow Canadians of similar political leanings.

The first just makes me happy, because I love how the NFLD Premiere is so outspoken in his hatred of Harper. I mean, I don't like him either, but I don't talk about it on national TV and start a web page about how he jilted my province. I wish the site would go one step further and link to voteforenvironment.ca - then the site would be perfect.

And speaking of environment, I finally got around to looking that the Liberal Green Shift plan. I'm all for it. I calculated my benefits, and (based on my current "income") I would get over $200 a year back! Also, I'm one of those people who thinks that gas is too cheap anyway, so I'm generally in favour of carbon taxes and the like.

I think the leader debates are coming up soon. Watch! Learn! Then vote for the non-Conservative person in your riding most likely to win.

25 September 2008

Vote Smart

All is not lost, if we all vote the right way. I agree, it sucks that we can't just vote for the party we think is best. Maybe some day we will have that freedom. Today we have to vote with the sole purpose of getting the Conservatives out of power.

24 September 2008

WTF Morrissey?

Morrissey is brilliant, and known for his political, social, and moral opinions. He is, one might say, a man of principle. Even though I don't agree with his recent boycott of Canada over the seal hunts (basically because he's just not famous enough in Canada to get anyone's attention), I still love his music, and think his lyrics are some of the best ever written.

So, imagine my shock when I discovered that he sold out to NFL. Granted, his song is only really apparent at the end of the commercial, and it's not him singing, but there's this unfortunate country twang in it and why the hell did he agree to this?

The actual song, in all it's unmolested-by-corporate-America glory, is here:

21 September 2008

Where am I?

I'm so damn curious as to how this can actually happen: "Booking mistake lands woman in Sydney, N.S., instead of Australia." I mean, it's not like taking the wrong exit off the highway. The accidental booking part is not hard to figure out, I suppose. You are given the chance to review your ticket selection at least twice before paying, and it's possible to not notice the "Canada" in place of "Australia." It's also possible that, if you used one, the travel agent was woefully bad at their job.

Although, how is it that these people didn't read their tickets? Were they not asked at check-in "Where are you going today?" (I usually get asked). How did they not notice that the flight they were boarding was going to Canada? Did they not see that they had no transfer ticket out of Canada? Did they think they would get one once they got here? How is it that people can get all the way to Canada from Argentina (or England) and only then think, "hmm, this doesn't seem right."

I suppose part of it is obliviousness - people chronically unaware of their surroundings. And while I think it is impossible to "accidentally" fly anywhere, I would pay good money to know the confluence of events that led to their supposedly doing so.

17 September 2008

Recreational Use of Deadly Weapons Fun: Experts

This past weekend I tried out archery. It was pretty damn sweet - although I kind of suck. I ended the 2h-long combined lesson and tournament with 75 points. Out of a potential 240. That's 31%. My arch[ery] nemesis Ozzy kicked my beginner butt with an Olympic-qualifying 81 points (3% better than me). I'm pretty sure anything I can do, Oz can do better.

One of the best parts about archery is the sound. (Oddly enough, one of my favourite things about badminton is also the sound). It's such a satisfying sound. I used to have this CD that had the archery sound-effects from Robin Hood: Price of Thieves on it. Archery also reminded me of the character Kevin, in the book We Need to Talk About Kevin, as well as Daniel Day-Lewis' character in Last of the Mohicans - which is odd, because I think that character was really good with a gun, not a bow.

12 September 2008

Mary, your incredulity is offensive

As my great-grandfather Mungo used to say, “There are two types of people in this world. Those who like Mary Murphy, and those who aren’t deaf.” (For a man that died in 1956, Mungo sure was ahead of his time).

On the American series of So You Think You Can Dance, Mary is merely annoying. She seems to swing wildly between serious, thoughtful, constructive criticism, and nonsensical comments and high-pitch screaming. This is generally okay, since my TV has a mute button. But last night, she was a judge for the auditions of SYTYCD Canada, and she played this act (oh, God, I hope it was an act) that she simply couldn’t believe that these people were Canadian! That this must be some elaborate, expensive, international punking, because there’s no way that people raised in Canada could have any talent.

Come on. I’m so sick of this notion that Canada is some sort of cultural, intellectual, or technological vacuum. Canada is like Mars to people. "Canada can support life? Who knew?!" Did Mary Murphy arrive at the airport and marvel at all the wonders we have? Did she write home that we have taxi cabs and urban centers, and buildings made of stone? Was she shocked that she was able to get cell phone service on this side of the border?

It’s just annoying because certainly, at some point in her career, she met some Canadians who could dance. She was also sitting next to two seemingly successful and (I assume) Canadian judges and she spent the whole night insulting the country. I think one, “I didn’t expect this level of talent” comment would have been sufficient. She didn’t have to keep marveling that kids raised in igloos on nothing more than seal meat and moose milk could possible move so gracefully.

09 September 2008

Panda Groupies

I've put up a new poll. It was inspired by recent walks across campus.

As for the last poll "Which animal is cutest (over all life history stages)?" Giant Panda won with 46% of the votes. My personal favourite, the uberadorable Red Panda, was second with 23% of the votes. In third was White Bengal Tigers (15%), and the depressed pug and Atlantic cod tied for last. All I still think I'm right.

01 September 2008

It's worse than I thought, y'all

(Note. I’ve been criticized for my “excessive” use of “y'all.” To that I say: Screw all y'all. It is my cultural right as a ½ Georgian to use whatever Southern bastardizations of the English language I want. Just be glad I don’t adopt a Southern accent.)

The Republican candidate for VP is scary. And that’s scary above-and-beyond the regular creepiness conservatives usually project. It’s not that she’s pro-gun, pro-life, and pro-destroying the environment for big business. That’s par for the course, no? It’s not that she’s a former beauty queen with only two years of federal government experience. It’s not that her 17 year old daughter is pregnant (poor kid, to have that be international news). It’s not that she (apparently) used to be a commercial fisherman - nothing really wrong with that as along as she didn't sell endangered fish to the black market (although, I have no way of knowing if she did or not).

The worst of it, from my perspective, is a small thing, but it really says a lot about who she is. Of her 5 kids:

  • one has a marginally normal name (Willow)
  • one has a name approaching unusual (Piper)
  • one has the name of a city in the UK (Bristol)
  • two have fake names (Track and Trig).

Even giving her the benefit of the doubt for “Bristol,” what the hell is up with Track and Trig? How is Track a name?! And Trig, is that short for Trigger or Trigonometry? While we’re on the math theme, why not a kid named Stats or Al-geo? Or maybe she always wanted dogs named Track and Trig, but she’s allergic and can’t have dogs. I wonder if these names stem from her beloved pastime of hunting animals (my tone is judgmental, while I am not). Maybe I should name my kids after my pastimes? Little Remote and Deeveedee will be so popular and adored, simply because I didn’t name them Karen or Dana.

I can’t help but think that if she doesn’t have the sense to give her children actual names, then do we really want her one breath away from ruling the US? I think even Bush’s kids have normal names! Right? There’s Jenna and, um, The Other One. Regardless, she has less sense than Bush! God help us.