Monday, October 19, 2009

Only in Canada...

...Battle of the Blades.

Teaming professional figure skaters with professional hockey players.

And making them do ice dance routines.




Monday, October 12, 2009

How to eat a banana like a monkey

I stole this from Xtreme English's blog, (which also has a very funny unrelated banana story), but I have to pass it on. Because it's just full of win! and awesome!

Now, I've never had the traumatic stem-end banana-opening experiences cited by the guy in the video - he reminds me of the people in the infomercials who are totally! incompetent! at wrapping food in plastic wrap (spill!), or saving leftovers in traditional containers (mess!), or using old-fashioned measuring cups (spilly mess!) - but I have to admit, this new technique borrowed from our primate brothers is, on the whole, pretty darn cool.

Saturday, October 10, 2009


Ironically, if this Ralph Lauren ad wouldn't put you off your food, nothing would.

After imperiously accusing Boing Boing of using this image without permission and threatening it and its ISP with legal action, Ralph Lauren apologized for the heavily, hideously photoshopped image which made already-slender but relatively healthy-looking model Filippa Hamilton look like a concentration-camp survivor. Scratch that - starvation doesn't make your pelvic bones shrink away.

Forget the hack who photoshopped this. Who approved it? Who thought this was an acceptable image of a living woman to present to us, the rest of humanity?

Heads need to roll. Seriously. This is beyond offensive.


Hello Kitty solar dance

So I mentioned my solar-powered Hello Kitty that I bought at the Saigon store last Saturday. I mentioned that she danced. Here she is dancing.

If you listen closely, you'll note that she makes a noise. A noise I was not aware of until I installed her in my office.

Fortunately, I managed to tune it out after a day or so. Because I'd hate to take her home. Particularly because she seems to ... hypnotize a certain coworker who stands in my office doorway every time she comes to ask me a question and sort of ... does the Hello Kitty dance in unison with Hello Kitty.

That alone is worth the price of purchase.


Friday, October 09, 2009

"My son... is a star!"

I was just watching "Power Play", Canada's version of, oh, I suppose, "The Situation Room", where the day's politics are debated and re-debated. It ended off, on this Friday, with a panel of CTV reporters offering tidbits about their week.

Veteran CTV reporter Craig Oliver offered this anecdote about standing next to the dad of Guy Laliberté, founder of Cirque de Soliel, who is a "tourist astronaut" on the current Space Station mission.

As the Shuttle took off, Oliver said, Laliberté senior turned to him and said, "My son is a star!!!"

"'In more ways than one', I thought to myself," Oliver said.


[UPDATE] Apparently tonight there's going to be an impressive chain of concerts organized by Guy Laliberté, in the pursuit of seeing that "everyone has access to clean water". Well, there are many worthy causes, but few I can think of that are much worthier.


Saturday, October 03, 2009

Kindly Eggs

Today we took a wander out to the Industrial Park, to Saigon Department Store and Grocery, another visible reminder of our city's growing diversity (and in particular, its burgeoning Asian community). I'd never visited Saigon before but when a work acquaintence told me last week it had an impressive collection of bags and jewelry I knew it was a must-visit.

She was right - they do have an impressive collection of jewelry and bags, along with a LOT of other interesting imports - but nothing that said "buy me" to me today. However, I did snag this incredibly awesome solar-powered Hello Kitty who does a bit of a side-to-side bobble-dance for your amusement.

I've been a Hello Kitty fan since I was a kid. Any new source of Hello Kittiness is a reason to celebrate. (I held off buying the Hello Kitty desk lamp. For now. [She types, using her Hello Kitty mouse.])

The store also has an impressive grocery section featuring packaged and frozen foods from India, Vietnam, China, Korea, and a few dozen other source countries.

That's where we found the Kindly Eggs. We didn't buy the Kindly Eggs, but we were impressed by the fact that they're proudly LEAD FREE. That's what I look for in my groceries, boy.

Fredericton's individual Asian communities are really each too small to support specialized stores (except for the Chinese community, here for a couple of hundred years - there are a couple of Chinese-oriented groceries) but this group has taken the approach of serving a variety of Asian communities. The place was busy on a Saturday afternoon, and I hope they do very well. We'll be back.

Incidentally, these photos were taken with my new cellphone, the Samsung M450, sold in the US as the "Rant" and in Canada as the "Slyde". Its selling point for us was the slide-out qwerty keyboard - because of my hearing disability and habit we still send about six texts for every one call.

We got the new phones when switching recently from Rogers to Koodo. Koodo we picked after about a year of research. (Among other advantages, I'll now have coverage while visiting my parents in Newfoundland - Rogers didn't cover their part of the island at all.) But the best thing about the switch, by a country mile, was being able to tell Rogers, with their incomprehensible bills, their "system access fees", and their recent decision to make people pay to receive text messages - as well as send them - to go royally fuck themselves.

Ahhh. Sorry to work blue... but it feels so good every time I say it.