30 March 2012

Ask your friendly neighbourhood statistician,

because I sure as hell have no idea. 

I spent the last few days at a statistics course in Moncton. It was still winter in Moncton, not that we were outside enough to be bothered by the snow or windchill. It was mostly staring at slides like this all day, then running scripts in R.

Even the smart people taking the course found it to be a bit much. It's amazing the detail you can cram into three days and 507 power point slides.

Happy Friday


29 March 2012

26 March 2012

24 March 2012

This could be our reward.

I went to a Hey Rosetta! show last night. The show was great. They even did an awesome cover of Graceland. I’m tempted to complain about the stupid teenage-heavy audience, but I’ll just come off sounding really old. So I won’t complain. Well. Only a little. There were two girls in front of us and they had very intense hair fetishes. They were constantly playing with their hair – running their hands through it, pulling it back into ponytails or twists and then dropping it, shaking it around. These are all normal girl-hair interactions, but the frequency is what was so alarming. At one point they were facing each other and playing with their hair as if pretending the other was a mirror. It was just disturbing. The rest of the audience also sucked.

What I want to write about is the opening act. A local band I’d never heard of called Heavy Meadows. When I see a band live before I know any of their music, I tend to pay more attention to the performers than the music. I really only enjoy live music when I know most or all of the songs. It was a standard four-man band, all older guys. I was really unimpressed with the bassist, initially because it looked like he was wearing a cardigan over a hoodie over a button-down shirt, and I thought he was too old for such ultrahipsterism. I eventually figured out that he was just wearing a hoodie and button-down shirt. Still, that’s way too many layers when the humidex is 28°C. The guitarist, who I didn’t watch much because he was pretty boring, was a “bobble head” according to Alej. The singer was okay. I generally prefer more awkward dancing from my lead singers, but he was perfectly fine. It’s the drummer I really want to talk about. The highly entertaining drummer who made me smile and laugh. Take a moment, right now, to air drum your favourite drum solo or riff. I’ll wait. Go ahead, no one is watching. If you’re like me, your eyes are closed, your head is shaking in a small arc back and forth, your mouth is pursed into a funny shape, and your whole face is happy as you hear that song in your head. The drummer was the extreme of that image, for every single song. He was so totally in a world of his own, playing all his favourite songs and he was freakin’ loving it.   

14 March 2012

The transit strike is over! Yeah! I can keep driving to work.

The general feeling I'm getting is that people are glad it's over, but angry that it happened at all, and not pleased with the final agreement. I'm just glad I can take the ferry again. I love those boats.

13 March 2012

I can't not share this.

My favourite YouTube video of all time is the talking dog video. I can't imagine anything else ever being created that is so watchable and still awesome after repeated viewings.

Last night, The Daily Show tried to explain what was going on in Syria to that same, poor dog.

I find the Kijiji daily deals to be unsettling.

11 March 2012

Look around, leaves are brown/There's a patch of snow on the ground... it's a Halifax shade of winter.

This past Thursday the high was 12oC. Today is the Spring Forward. The oval is closed.  Winter, if you can call it that, is over. It's so wrong. Usually I welcome these harbingers of warmer weather. But usually I've been through an actual season of cold and snow. Not so much this year. This year it totally feels like we didn't earn the nicer temperatures. We haven't paid our proper Canadian winter dues, even by Halifax's relatively-mild-winter standards.

Yesterday, in a last ditch attempt to experience winter, and eat pancakes, Alej, C, and I went north to the maple syrup farm Sugar Moon. We ate too many pancakes, drank too much coffee (that was me), and set off on their ~6km trail. Last year we snowshoed part of the trail in February. There was still snow on the trail, but it was either packed down into ice, slushy, or an icy crust over older snow. It wasn't worth snowshoeing, so we walked. I took this video, because I love the crunchy sound.

The adorable dog in the video is C's dog Mylo. Today is his birthday! He's one year old.

10 March 2012

Two Things That Make Me Feel Old

The one most of you will appreciate: Buffy premiered 15 years ago.

Everybody headbang!

The other is more personal. March 3rd was the 15th anniversary of the U2 album POP.   It was the first U2 album that was new to me - the first U2 album I didn't hear second hand from my brother's room.

08 March 2012

And...back to the frivolous


From the frivolous to the serious

I'd seen headlines and heard bits and pieces on the radio about the Kony 2012 campaign, but no one had sent me a link, and I'm blissfully disconnected from Facebook, so I wasn't exposed to it. Then this afternoon I saw a poster near the Dal campus so I decided I would actually check out what all this is about. I haven't really formed an official opinion yet, but while the video was slick and inspiring, there are an awful lot of articulate detractors out there. I'm not going to post the video, it's not hard to find. But read a bit about them before you give them money. 

Raising awareness is our generations pat on the back, our absolution of guilt, our mechanism for maintaining our neo-liberal, do-good Whiteness which separates us from those OTHER horrible people who ‘do nothing.’ Source.
Military intervention may or may not be the right idea, but people supporting KONY 2012 probably don’t realize they’re helping fund the Ugandan military who are themselves raping and looting away. Source.
On the other hand, I am very happy – relieved, more than anything – that Invisible Children have raised worldwide awareness of this issue. Source.
Further reading someone else compiled.

If I had a god, I would thank her for this:

05 March 2012

Forget about the polar bears, an even more important Canadian icon is facing extinction due to climate change.

The polar bear may be the poster animal for climate change, but there's more at stake than just an entire species if this environmental crisis continues apace. We, my friends, are in danger of losing our outdoor skating rinks.

04 March 2012

I don't know how it's possible, but every time I watch The Daily Show,

I love Jon Stewart just a little bit more


01 March 2012

I'm living for doughnuts and venison.

Don't watch this while eating, unless there's someone present who can perform the Heimlich on you.

After you watch it, everyone who doesn't have a thesis to write should go to the site and spend (don't waste) time watching everything else. Awesome.

Late-Middle Aged Men Know The Most About Everything

The whole women's reproductive health debate thing going on in the States is just, excuse me, fucking insane.  It's 2012 and this is still a debate? It's so frustrating. I don't get it. I just don't get it.

Thankfully, it's an easy situation to make fun of. That, at least, will soften the blow as we land back in the 1950s.