31 January 2009

Let me in the sound

U2 was supposed to release the video for Get On Your Boots yesterday. Apparently, it isn't ready, and you can see why in the "leaked" video: they don't seem to have permission to use some of the graphics, as the watermarks are clearly visible in some shots.

As for the video, I really like it. The opening is (to me) reminiscent of the Pop-era, but I can't really articulate why I think that. I like the video the most when they're more in the graphics, as opposed to in front of them, and I love the "let me in the sound" chant at the end.

[This video keeps disappearing from YouTube. Here's another copy (likely, for a limited time only)]

And just for fun, I'll embed my [current] favourite U2 video ever, for the song Window in the Skies.

30 January 2009

Where am I?

Email, received today, sent to me from Kimm: "Where are you? You haven't updated your blog in like 10 days... how am i supposed to procrastinate by reading your blog if you don't update it!"

Right. Like I'm going to feel sorry for all you employed people who are unable to procrastinate! Get back to work already! Be glad you have a job to procrastinate about doing!
I haven't had anything much to write about. Recently I went to the Fisherman's Market on the Bedford Highway to buy squid for a lab I'm teaching next week. I ordered 16 whole squid, and they were counted unceremoniously into a giant plastic bag. The person beside me at the counter thought I really liked squid. I had to correct her. I spared her my please-don't-eat-seafood lecture. Given where we were, I figured that as soon as I pulled out my soap box I'd be tarred and feathered. And after that it would only be a matter of time before pissed-off fishermen started throwing dead fish on my lawn, and leaving bags of flaming chum on the door step.

There you have it. Buying squid is probably the most interesting thing I've done in weeks.

20 January 2009

Fair Warning

U2 has a new album coming out on March 3. So, prepare yourself for some more U2-heavy content in the upcoming months. The first being a link to the first single on their new album (No Line On The Horizon, or NLOTH): Get On Your Boots.


I've always found advertisements for religion to be...odd. I mean, it's not something you look to billboards for advice on, you know? So, how am I supposed to feel about advertisements for nonreligion?

Such sentiments may soon be gracing Canadian buses. I wonder if some crazy cult will come up and protest that our public transit system is an affront to God?

16 January 2009

PETA follows my example

I like when people crazier than I am jump on my bandwagons. Then I feel less like a militant ecofreak, and more like the calm voice of reason. Not that I look down on those crazier or more radical than I am. We need people like that.

This is why I am overjoyed to welcome PETA to war on fishing. They have a new campaign (shout out to Oz for the heads up) called Save the Sea Kittens. This name is interesting to me for two reasons, the first being that when people are surprised that, as a person who studies fish I don't also enjoy eating them, I often ask in response, "Do vets eat kittens?" The second is that I had a friend who referred to fish as "hairless puppies." Not a far leap from there to sea kittens.

From what I can tell, it's a campaign specifically to get the US Fish and Wildlife to stop promoting fishing, and to get people (including so-called "vegetarians") to eat less fish. It's linked with another site called Fishing Hurts, that's all about the cruelties of fishing.

I think it's great that they're trying to raise awareness for animals so often ignored. I also think it's sad that people can't appreciate the beauty and importance of fish without having to dress them up. However, I recognize that other people's minds don't work like mine (e.g., not everyone buys plush cod fish) so, if this works to awaken people to the wonderful world of fishes, I'll be happy.

The Save the Fishes site has some brilliant "stories" about the sad lives of modern sea kittens. My favourite is the tale of Tony the trout, because I love a fish that can appreciate irony. And you can make your own sea kitten! And, finally, for those of you who don't know what to get me for my birthday, here's a hint.

15 January 2009

Snow Days

Yesterday was the monthiversary of my move to Halifax. I didn't do anything to celebrate. But as I rode the bus to "work" and looked out across the basin and harbour as we crossed my favourite bridge, I did observe that I'm still happy with my choice.

I was thinking about snow days. I miss snow days. We used to get them all the time in grade school and high school. I can remember sitting in the kitchen, over the heating vent with a blanket (the warmest places in our house. My brother and I would fight over who got the best vents. We ate the majority of our childhood breakfasts on the floor of the kitchen. The rest of our time was spent huddling by the wood stove. Did I mention it was a cold house?) listening to Chuck radio's morning broadcast. God, even as a small kid I hated the music they played. But they were the station with the bus cancellations, and I'm sure they relished the power it gave them. I'm convinced they played the crappiest music on the bad weather days, just to be mean. Some of the songs are still ingrained in my head: The Letter , Constant Craving (KD Lang, the opening lyric of which I always sang as "Lothar of the hill people" most likely because I watched more SNL than children should) and there was another song that I luckily can't remember, but I hated it so much I would turn the volume down every morning when they played it.

As I was saying, Chuck had the bus cancellations, which they would read out in numerical order, and we would just sit in anticipation of our number (which I can't remember now - 127? 129? Kimm, you probably still remember...). And it was such a great feeling when your bus number was announced. The whole, long, snow-filled day opened up. You didn't have to get dressed, you could even go back to bed. The feeling was even sweeter if you hadn't done your homework in anticipation of a snow day - a risky gambit, but it payed big dividends. The only bad part about snow days was shovelling the snow from the driveway. Although, I think I got out of it more often than not.

I wish there were fun, carefree snow days in the adult world.

P.S., Wikipedia informs me the Chuck no longer exists and is now calling itself something else and broadcasting under a different frequency. Like the radio equivalent of the witness protection program. You can't fool me! I know you still suck!

12 January 2009

late night ramblings, with very little point

Can't sleep. Usually when I can't sleep, I lie awake thinking about how I'm not sleeping. Apparently, you aren't supposed to do that. So I decided to get up and do something else for a while. Namely, think about other things than the fact that I'm not sleeping.

I just finished reading The Killing Circle. I don't usually read murder mystery-type books, but I've liked every other book by this author (Andrew Pyper), so it was a good bet that this would be good as well. And it was; it was also effectively creepy. But that has nothing to do with me not sleeping.

I don't know what I'll read next. I was thinking of reading something by a Bronte and upping my number. But I also recently picked up a Wayne Johnston book at a used bookstore, and I'm looking forward to it because the other books of his I read were fantastic. I read a lot now that I have nothing to do and nowhere to go.

I also realized that I didn't make any resolutions this year. I usually make really easy ones that are nearly impossible to not keep. Like resolving to not feel guilty about watching a lot of TV, or resolving to swear more. (Ironically, I find that as I get older, I just swear less. What the fuck is up with that? Also, as I am now living with impressionable children, I almost never swear anymore). So, this year, my resolution will be....to not get brain cancer from a cellular phone. Wish me luck!

We got a lot of snow this afternoon. So pretty. Oh, and for the first time in my life, I'm starting to appreciate all that crap about "damp" vs. "dry" colds. Hali is a damp cold, and it's a whole other beast compared to Edmonton. Having said that, I'll take a damp -19 with the 'chill over Edmonton's record lows any day.

Okay, I'm off to try sleeping again...

10 January 2009

Pour on the maple syrup and presto! Instant Canadiana

I found this while searching for shark pictures for my Chondrichthyes prelab talk. It's from a Canadian Film Festival.

I love it because despite the fact that I should (and do) know better, I often wonder if a giant shark is going to attack me while I ice fish.

There are a couple more at this site. I especially like the riff on Poltergeist.

Oh, and speaking of movies, I have something to write about! I had a 2-for-1 one pass, so Annie (recently back from abroad) and I went to a matinee of Australia at a relatively new theatre out on a huge new development that was probably once a productive wetland. Progress, yeah! Anyway, it was a mid-week matinee, so we weren't expecting many other people there. I was surprised by the attendance. Mostly retired couples, from what I could see, and maybe some unemployed souls. Other poor, jobless bastards drowning their sorrows in Hugh Jackman's awesome manliness.

The theatre is shiny new, with reclining stadium seating, and electronic posters in the hallway that play the trailer for the movie. With that sort of help, it's hard to go into the wrong theatre. So, imagine our surprise when, after 15 minutes of previews, we open on a scene of the starry night sky and the words "Keanu Reeves." We look at each other. Keanu Reeves is not in Australia, we were pretty damn sure. So, as The Day The Earth Stood Still began to play, we pulled out our stubs to make sure we were in the right theatre. There was a surprising lack of murmuring from the audience, but we were in the right theatre, and it was the wrong movie. I went out to complain, and by the time I came back in, I could hear the rest of the audience getting confused. Our Usher came to tell us that the wrong movie was playing, and that they were going to switch the reels and put the right one on. Then, inexplicably, he said, "If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask." What else could we possibly want to ask him?

In the end we got to see the movie we intended to see. We also got a free pass for a movie and $3 off at the concession stand for our troubles. Not bad for a day's work. Or lack thereof.

Also, the movie was great fun, and beautiful, and very Baz Luhrmann-y, and totally kicks Pearl Harbour's ass in the "Movies Where Places Get Attacked By Japan" competition.