27 December 2008

Reading by numbers

My sister-in-law received for Christmas a book entitled, 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die. The list (which you can see here) was complied by a large group of people, but still tends to be British and American-biased. Also, some of the "books" are short stories, novellas, or, in the case of one, technically an essay. As comprehensive as the list is, going back to the 1700s, some of their book choices are lacking in logic. How is it that The Shining made the list, while Generation X did not?

Aside from the list's obvious faults, it didn't take long for us to turn it into a competition by figuring out how many we had each already read. My middle brother won with almost 100, I came in 2nd with 79. My mom was third with mid-50s and my eldest brother was last with an abysmal 20-something.

My eldest brother would have had a higher number, he argued, if "watching the movie" counted as a half point, and having read the Illustrated Classics version was also half a point. He lost the argument, however. It only counts if you've actually read the book. Sadly, merely knowing the book exists doesn't even garner you a quarter point.

So, have a look at the list, and tell me your number.

24 December 2008

Merry Christmas!

My move across the greater part of the country is complete (the last of my boxes arrived a couple of days ago). Nova Scotia welcomed me back with rain, hurricane-force winds, and almost an entire day without power! It's good to be home:)

I also have goodish news: I got a job! Kind of. I mean, I'll be doing work and someone will pay me for it, but it's...wait for it...6 hours a week. I'm basically still a TA, although I get to call myself a "lab instructor." It's a start.

I hope everyone has a great holiday season. I hope you spend just enough time with your family to appreciate them, but not enough to tire of them.

Speaking of family, here are some holiday pictures from my (I assume) 1st, 2nd, and some-undetermined-age Christmas.

12 December 2008

Weather wise, I'm clearly making a good choice by moving to Halifax. Although, the "Air Quality Health Index" is ominous - why does Hali have one and Edmonton doesn't? And is "2" good or bad?

Downhill Hockey Death Race

For some reason, I'm really suspicious of new sports. If a sport hasn't been around for at least a hundred years, I tend to look at it with incredulity. Especially since most "new" sports aren't really that new. Like, parkour is cool and all, but it's just running, jumping, and climbing. What's so innovative about that?

This is a completely illogical stance, I realize. I mean, every sport was new at some point. But, had I been around in 1891 when my maybe-ancestor started tossing balls into peach baskets, I'd be all, "WTF, James? Aren't cricket and football good enough for you?"

So when Oz told me about this new sport called Crashed Ice, it just sounded like hockey players racing each other. But as I learned more, I discovered it's hockey players racing each other. Downhill. To the death.

My favourite part, however, is that the course takes over part of Quebec City. Have a look, it's actually pretty wicked:

Much in the same way that badminton is a sport for boring people (e.g., myself), Downhill Hockey Death Race is a sport for the clinically insane.

05 December 2008


A while ago, I pledged to give up the news again. But it's hard, man. It's hard to avoid information - it's everywhere. They give it away for free.

Besides, if I gave up reading the news, I wouldn't get to see gems like this: "...It was the third suspected homicide in Edmonton this week." On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being "meh" and 10 being "holy crap, that's alarming" I put that statement at about a 8.9. I mean, if it was any other city (aside from, say, Murderpeg) I would probably be more shocked. If there were three suspected homicides in WhooVille this week, then I'd be surprised.

Also, giving up the news would mean that I wouldn't have noticed the new, creepy trend of murder suspects having Facebook pages. My dislike of Facebook is well documented (by me), and I dislike it even more now that you can look up murder suspects and become their friends (William is feeling incarcerated; See my Arraignment photo album!). I would think the fact that murderers like it should totally count as a Facebook con.

I don't have a logical end to this post, other than the fact that it's nearly impossible to avoid news or information. Oh, and never, ever, ever read the Comments sections on the CBC.ca stories. Ever!

02 December 2008

Send an email form letter to your MP today!

For those of you who are loving the government drama we've got going right now: you too can be part of the action. You can show your support of the coalition by visiting Make Parliament Work [For You!]. You can send emails to your MP (whom, if you're like me, you didn't actually vote for), and make plans to go to rallies.

If you happen to not want a coalition (as is your right, however wrong), then I suppose you could check out the anti-coalition site. If you're so inclined.

Also, this site already has the answer to the question on everyone's lips: Is Stephen Harper Prime Minister?

01 December 2008

When Politicians Attack

Short of a food fight in Parliament, this is about as exciting as Canadian politics will ever get. As I understand it, 3 of the Big Four are joining together and plan to oust Harper. Which, apparently, they can do. There's no law against them going over the head of the Prime Minister and getting him fired. This is pretty sweet when you think about it. I wonder why they waited so long?