Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Emma Bunton “Crickets Sing for Anamaria”

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Snowshoeing @ Cypress

Yesterday Biscotti and I went snowshoeing on Cypress Mountain with L&G. We trekked for three and a half hours - as high up as we could go, and then back down. Today my legs are very tired and my right calf is very sore. I'd do it again in a heartbeat. Click the pic to enlarge the pic. More pics can be seen on flickr.

Added Later: three videos from Snowshoeing @ Cypress now included in the by us group: King of the Castle and Lucy the Eagle and - surprise! - Snowshoeing @ Cypress

Friday, January 26, 2007

Tennis Challenges

Putting aside the debate of how reliable the animation is, I've been enjoying the challenge system at the Australian Open. But here's what I want to see. I want a player to serve a ball that gets crushed for a return winner, with a linesperson calling the serve "OUT!" and both players thinking that the serve was in. In this case, the server would be unlikely to challenge, as they would much rather take their second serve than be down a point. So the returner would challenge, for once hoping that a linesperson was wrong about a call in which the ball was called out on their side. Ya follow?

Straight 01/25/07

Global warming cover story - clickie shoes.

The public is being misinformed on climate science by poor journalism that continues to tell both sides of the story even when there is no other side. The resultant political inaction might well kill the planet.

"...there is no more [scientific] debate on this, and we seem to be very far behind in Canada and the U.S. In the European media for years now, they have stopped with this debate.”
- Eric Jandciu, research coordinator at the UBC school of journalism

“What newspaper editors have to realize is that there are people out there who are using them. People don’t like being used, but they have to realize that they are being used.…Rather than thinking that they are serving the public discourse, ask the question, ‘Am I being used to further an agenda?’ And the answer with the issue of climate change is ‘Yes.’ ”
- Andrew Weaver, UVic climate-change expert and a lead author with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

Monday, January 22, 2007

AR All-Stars!

For the last few editions of Amazing Race I've organized a pool. First-come first serve, the pools are full when the number of teams has been met. I then randomly match participants to teams, with the help of at least one outsider to help prevent accusations of rigging. I announce the matchings, and participants then tune in to AR each week and cheer their team on. After each episode, I send out an update email with race-leg highlights and bidding adieu to the eliminated particpant. At the end of the race the winner of the race takes home the moola. How much moola? Well, depends on the pool; there's a $5 pool and a $10 pool. At $5 each with 11 teams, winner gets $55 - for a $50 profit. Double that for the $10 pool.

The next edition of AR is an All-Stars version! Starting on Sunday February 18th we get to see, among others, season 7 runners-up Boston Rob & Amber, season 7 winners Uchenna & Joyce, and, interestingly, haven't-raced-as-a-team-before Eric & Danielle from season 9.

I'll be sending out an invite email in the next two weeks. There may be a blog reader or two who watches AR and would like to be a pool participant. If I don't have your email address, please spark the glow expressing your interest. No guarantees of acceptance.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Premature Folding

Once upon a time there was a boy named Rob. One thing he liked to do was play poker. Not for huge amounts of money - $5 and $10 games now and then with friends. For his birthday in 2006, he received a poker table which made him very happy as it was a very nice table. Two weeks after his birthday he hosted a poker night - a good time was had and the table proved to be most excellent.

A week later he opened up a belated birthday present and much to his surprise he received a very nice case of poker chips - what a great present; Rob could hardly wait to host another poker night. He would no longer have to borrow the necessary supplies from friends and family when hosting poker nights. Excited, Rob sent out an email to 19 friends on Monday January 8, 2007. Here is that email in its entirety:

Gentlemen, start your poker faces. Next poker night is Saturday January 20, 2007. 6:30pm. Who's available? RSVP!

From that, is one expected to RSVP only if they're coming, or is one to RSVP regardless of attendance or absence? Rob thought the latter. However, eight days later, Tuesday January 16, only 4 of the 19 had emailed a response; only one of those being a "yes". Disappointed, Rob then sent out an update email to 10 of the 15 non-responders whom he deemed to be most likely to attend. Here is that email in its entirety:

Hey Guys, There is currently insufficient people for poker. Please give me a "yes" or "no" by email by 9pm Thursday so I know if it's going to happen or not.. Gracias,

Rob had thought that the italicized-please begging would pull some heartstrings and get his friends a-typing. Rob thought wrong. 2 of the 10 emailed back; one said "no", one said "yes". Including himself, Rob now counted a total of three yeses. He demanded a recount. The first total was replicated, a total of three yeses. Three people does not a poker night make.

On Friday morning Rob let the two yeses know that poker night was canceled. He felt sad, and a little angry.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Rodney Dangerfield

I was so poor growing up... if I wasn't a boy I'd have had nothing to play with.

A girl phoned me the other day and said, "Come on over, nobody's home." I went over - nobody was home.

During sex, my girlfriend always wants to talk to me. Just the other night she called me from a hotel.

One day I came home early from work and saw a guy jogging naked. I said to the guy, "Hey buddy, why are you doing that?" He said, "Because you came home early.

It's been a rough day. When I got up this morning I put a shirt on and a button fell off. I picked up my briefcase, and the handle came off. I'm afraid to go to the bathroom.

I was such an ugly kid... When I played in the sandbox, the cat kept covering me up.

I could tell my parents hated me. My bath toys were a toaster and radio.

I was such an ugly baby... My mother never breastfed me. She told me that she only liked me as a friend.

When I was born, the doctor came into the waiting room and said to my father, "I'm sorry. We did everything we could, but he pulled through."

I remember the time that I was kidnapped and they sent a piece of my finger to my father. He said he wanted more proof.

Once when I was lost I saw a policeman and asked him to help me find my parents. I said to him, "Do you think we'll ever find them?" He said, "I don't know kid. There are so many places they can hide."

I went to see my doctor. "Doctor, every morning when I get up and I look in the mirror I feel like throwing up; What's wrong with me?" He said, "I don't know but your eyesight is perfect."

With my old man I got no respect. I asked him, "How can I get my kite in the air?" He told me to run off a cliff.

Some dog I got. We call him Egypt because in every room he leaves a pyramid. Last night he went on the paper four times - three of those times I was reading it.

Monday, January 15, 2007

A Wii Bit Strange

"A woman who competed in a radio station's contest to see how much water she could drink without going to the bathroom died of water intoxication."

"Jennifer Strange, 28, was found dead Friday ... hours after taking part in the 'Hold Your Wee for a Wii' contest in which KDND 107.9 promised a Nintendo Wii video game system for the winner."

"It was not immediately known how much water Strange consumed", but they "found evidence consistent with a water intoxication death."

"Initially, contestants were handed 8-ounce bottles of water to drink every 15 minutes. 'They were small little half-pint bottles, so we thought it was going to be easy,' said fellow contestant James Ybarra."

"Ybarra said he quit after drinking five bottles. After he quit ... the remaining contestants, including Strange, were given even bigger bottles to drink. 'I was talking to her and she was a nice lady,' Ybarra said. 'She was telling me about her family and her three kids and how she was doing it for her kids.'"

From this article.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

BC Buries

There was another BC Ferries mis-hap (read: screw-up) recently. A guy driving a pickup truck was boarding - or at least attempting to board - when the ferry started pulling away. He braked, and the truck teetered on the edge: "It was surreal looking at ocean through my windshield". Shortly after he got out, the truck plummeted into the ocean.

This isn't the first time this has happened with BC Ferries. The above article mentions a couple of other cases, including "a 1992 accident that killed three people when the Queen of New Westminster pulled away early from Nanaimo's Departure Bay terminal, sending a van plunging into the water". (Not to mention the sinking of the Queen of the North, which had apparently been on autopilot. But that's another story.)

That a ferry can pull away prematurely even once is unbelievable to me. All it takes to prevent this is the same system that they have for the Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland; the person in charge of moving the vehicle does not do a thing until the person (or people) in charge of loading the vehicle gives the thumbs-up. Talking with my parents about the latest incident, I came up with an idea for when I next take a voyage. When it's my turn to drive on to the ferry, I will drive towards the ramp. Just before the ramp I will stop the vehicle and get out. I will then walk onto the ferry carrying the rope that I have brought, loop one end several times around a permanent structure, walk off the ferry with the remainder of the rope, and loop the other end around a landbased permanent structure. Returning to the car, I will drive on, park, get out, and retrieve my rope. Sound good?

The best part of the article is the very end, where B.C. Ferries president David Hahn is quoted as saying, "There are 180,000 sailings a year and things are going to happen. The question is how do we handle them and do we make it better?" Things are going to happen - seems like a shrugoff to me. How about being proactive and avoiding accidents and deaths? It just seems to me that it's a very easy thing to prevent: Tie the ferry to the dock and don't untie it until all the vehicles are on - what a groundbreaking idea! And I sure do hope that it was the article writer, and not Hahn, that left out the "how" after the "and" in his second sentence.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

My Soundtrack

If your life was a movie, what would the soundtrack be?

The rules:
1. Open your music library (iPod, Winamp, etc)
2. Put it on shuffle and press play
3. For Opening Credits, type the first song that plays
4. For each new event, press the next button
5. Play by the rules - don't lie

My Creative Zen is on. Here we go...

Opening Credits: What Would You Say by Dave Matthews Band - "I was there when the bear ate his head, thought it was a candy"

Waking Up: I Know There's A Word For This by Aimee Mann - "that uphill climbing is never through"

First Day At School: I'm Your Man by Leonard Cohen - "the moon's too bright, the chain's too tight, the beast won't go to sleep"

Falling In Love: Falling From Above by Neil Young - "a little love and affection in everything you do will make the world a better place with or without you"

Fight Song: Running To Stand Still by U2 - "you got to cry without weeping, talk without speaking, scream without raising your voice"

Breaking Up: Man On The Moon by REM - "hey baby, are we losing touch?"

Prom: The Luxury by The Tragically Hip - "she says,'why are you partial to that Playboy con, when you can see me naked anytime you want?'"

Life's OK: Passenger by REM - "everything will be alright, yeah everything will be alright, everything will be alright tonight"

Mental Breakdown: Baby Watch Your Back by Nellie McKay - "you walk down the street and I follow, wearing my wig and funny glasses, and I will follow you wherever you go"

Driving: Get Back Again by The Tragically Hip - "we never could go back, and I could never leave my home, why'd they change your face like that?"

Flashback: No More I Love You's by Annie Lennox - "they were being really crazy, they were on the come, and you know what mummy, everybody was being really crazy, uh huh, the monsters are crazy, there are monsters outside"

Getting Back Together: O Maria by Beck - "everybody knows the circus is closed and the animals have gone wild"

Wedding: Momentum by Aimee Mann - "oh, for the sake of momentum I've allowed my fears to get larger than life"

Birth Of Child: Toronto #4 by The Tragically Hip - "tell me when it's imminent, so you won't have to rise and fall alone, or endure the wonder of survival"

Final Battle: Rant And Roar by Great Big Sea - "I can dance, I can sing, I can reef the main boom, I can handle a jigger, I cuts a fine figure"

Death Scene: Treefingers by Radiohead - [instrumental]

Funeral Song: The Last Of The Unplucked Gems by The Tragically Hip - "when the mystique varies thus you can send a man to bury us"

End Credits: Drawing Curtains by Buck 65 - "love sick how much deeper still can this get, show me where it hurts and let me kiss it, je joue à l'envers de l'amour étroit, je jouie le mystère de l'amour courtois"

Took this idea from Betty, who has a great driving song - titlewise anyway, I've never heard the actual song. Like Betty, I'm tagging whoever who wants to play. If you don't have a blog, simply spark the glow with your soundtrack. And then start a blog.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

New Vids on the Blog

More videos added to the by us lot. The top additions, in my opinion: Dogs in the Snow; SOTW - The Crawl; and Happy Dogs II.

[Gotta give myself props for the title of this post - wicked awesome jblue, you've outdone yourself.]

Psychology of Language

If you see a small elephant and a huge mouse, does that make small bigger than huge?

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Burnaby's First Baby of 2007

Congratulations R&J! Not only did they recently welcome their first baby to the world, their first baby was the first baby born in Burnaby in 2007 - arriving two and half weeks earlier than expected. He's already got a sense of occasion. Click here for proof in the media, courtesy Burnaby Now.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Canucks - 2007?

How early in the year do calendar makers make calendars for the following year? Based on the following, it's gotta be unnecessarily frickin' early. We were at Metrotown today, decided to get a 2007 calendar to replace our 2006 All-Blacks one. I looked at a Canucks one - no intention of purchasing - to see what images it had. Each month had a featured player, and included in the twelve were:
  • Dan Cloutier - traded to Kings on July 5, 2006
  • Jarkko Ruutu - signed by Penguins on July 4, 2006
  • Ed Jovanovski - signed by Coyotes on July 1, 2006
  • Todd Bertuzzi - traded to Panthers on June 23, 2006
From the date of Bertuzzi's departure, until 2007, there was over half a year; and yet there he is, in a Canuck uniform, in the Canucks 2007 calendar. And yes, I double-checked that it was for 2007, not 2006. FYI, we came home with a soothing waterfalls calendar.