Monday, December 18, 2006

Monday Afternoon Poetry

Poem for a passive-agressive partner

You're pretty when you smile
You're ugly when you don't
If you're smiling, I might kiss you
If you're frowning, then I won't.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Double Delight Oreo Mint 'n Cream: A Review

Today I bought a package of the cookies mentioned in the title.

They tasted good. However, when I tried to twist open the Oreo it did not go very smoothly. There was resistance. Then, suddenly, the icing half of the Oreo flew out of my hands and into the dirty sink, rendering the cookie inedible. This was disappointing. This particular variation of the brand does not live up to the level of quality that I have come to expect from that brand.

Mr. Christie, you made a bad cookie.

Cleared for Takeoff

The RMC math department secretary has told me to contact the instructor of the other section of the course that I had been asked to teach earlier. I assume this means I have passed the security clearance.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Quote of the Day

"In fact, after suffering the spectacle for decades of Canadians trying to make American films, we may have finally seen the obverse: these Americans have made a Canadian film -- quirky, tiny, and seen by nearly no one." -- Frank Moher

Update: Click the Frank Moher link to find out the name of the movie.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Identity Crisis

I have nearly completed a Ph.D. in mathematics. Throughout my enrolment in the program, I had thought that I was an aspiring algebraic graph theorist. I have recently been informed, however, that I am actually an aspiring qualitative matrix theorist.

I don't know who I am anymore.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Back to the matter at hand

Not too long ago One More Epicycle asked what deep country was. I'm at loss myself. Googling for the phrase brings us back to the post in which the question was asked before we get anything close to an answer. As an adjective for country music, deep seems to be used primarily to describe The Be Good Tanyas. So things have come full circle. Deep country is what The Be Good Tanyas play. The Be Good Tanyas play deep country. Not very helpful. Call me crazy, but I hardly think that a band from urban Canada is going to define a type of country music, especially since much of the music on the CD of theirs that I own consists of covers and reinterpretations of traditional tunes.

A bit more sleuthing seems to indicate that deep country is "white man's gospel music". There's at least one song on Chinatown, which I own, that resembles gospel music to me. The Be Good Tanyas being white people, by this definition that song would qualify as deep country, so maybe this is what is meant. The term also seems to be used to describe country music that hasn't been corrupted by Nashville or at least is in an earlier stage of corruption[1]. This too would fit, but it's too vague of a description for me to think that that's what is meant when calling their music deep country.

Whatever was meant by deep country, it's got to be a better descriptor for their music than "like Led Zeppelin" as Conan O'Brien said. Owning one of their albums and having listened to it, I have no idea where he got that from.

Personllay, I'd prefer not to think of The Be Good Tanyas as country music at all, since I like them, but I don't like country.

[1] I really can't stand country music radio, metonymously known as Nashville, on the whole. Occasionally I hear something that doesn't make me want to change stations immediately. Lately though, I've come accross a fair amount of country music that I do like. It crossed my mind that my attitudes toward country music might be changing, so I tried to listen to country music radio or watch country music tv to test that possiblity. But no. I still can't stand it. It's not my attitudes that have changed. It's the music that I have access to. Thank you internet!

Rough Riders vs. Roughriders

People used to poke fun at the CFL because the league, with a meagre 9 teams, had 2 teams with almost the same name, differing only by space. Will people now poke fun at Canada for having our two major political parties being led by people with essentially the same first name in their respective languages?

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Water water everywhere... many drops to drink?

There's a common bit of wisdom floating around out there that we're supposed to drink about 8 cups of water per day. I've been skeptical about this wisdom ever since I tried to get those 8 cups one time and was required to leave my desk about 16 times. The 8 cups rule is often accompanied by a number of other dubious claims about water, such as that 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated, or that water cures certain diseases and ailments .

It turns out that it's "wisdom" and not wisdom. The 8 cups rule is an exaggeration, and we get most of the water that we need from the food we eat. The rest of the claims have no scientific basis.

Snopes contains a great deal of information on other urban myths, and I'm not going to post on all of them. In my experience, however, the 8 cup rule and accompanying "wisdom" is rather pervasive. It even appears on the bulletin boards in the hallowed halls of academia, where at least some of us should know better.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Let the celebrations begin

Once again, a new month is upon us, so I would like to wish everyone a Happy New Month Day[1]. Well, everyone except you.

[1] I guess if I wanted to be consistent with the yearly event that inspired this monthly event, I should call it New Month's Day. But nobody likes pronouncing an "s" after a "th", and I've been calling it New Month Day for, well, months.