Not To Be Trusted With Knives











{November 11, 2008}   Babies Galore!

It seems like everyone I know is having a baby.  My cousin, Andy, and his wife, Cristine, just had their second a few weeks ago.  My cousin, Lori, and her husband, Eugene, are expecting their second any day now (theirs was due Nov 8).  My good friend (and resident historian), Sarah, and her hubby, Dave, are expecting their first in January.  Then her friend Deepa, and her husband, David, are due in February. And then my friend Clayton, and his gf, Jodelene, are having one in March.  (Interestingly, Sarah & Dave refer to their wee one as “humpy,” while Clayton & Jodelene’s is known as “bumpy.”  No relation.)

And my blog friend (my bliend?) Stacia is having a baby.  Like right at this very moment, as I type this, she is having a baby!!  How freaking exciting is that??  Stacia & Wes – best wishes for a safe and quick delivery. Can’t wait to see photos of your little Navy Bean!

Updates on 15 Nov 2008:

#1 My cousin, Lori and her husband, Eugene, had actually had their baby when I original posted the message.  Little Beatrice Dale Anne, a baby sister for Imogen, was born at 8:30 p.m. on Nov 10.  Everyone is doing well.  I’ve gotten pics via email, but I’m sure they will put some up on their picture blog soon and then I can link to those.

#2 Little Navy Bean was born on Nov. 11, 2008 at 9:43am.  Check out her pics – she’s adorable!

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{October 29, 2008}   True or False

I was named after this song:

Geek neophyte question: Does anyone know how to make that poll centred?  Right now I have <p style=”text-align:center;”>POLL CODE</p>, which is how I have the YouTube video centred, but it doesn’t appear to actually make the poll centred =(

Update: Via Twitter, Raincoaster suggested trying <div style=”text-align:center;”>. This works in Internet Explorer, but the poll remains uncentred in Firefox and Sarafi.  Weird.  But thanks to Raincoaster for getting me part of the way there!



{October 21, 2008}   Third Tuesday

Went to Third Tuesday tonight!  I’ve missed the last few due to having other events that I was committed to on those nights, but I managed to get out to tonight’s 3T at Republic1.  Which was good, ‘cuz I was quite interested in the topic: Marketing New Media to Traditional Decision Makers: Overcoming the Challenges.  I work a lot with what you might call “traditional decision makers” – people who aren’t overly familiar with social media and I was eager to hear more about ways of convincing them that engaging in social media would actually help them meet their goals!

The speaker, Mhairi Petrovic, gave a list of 10 common barriers she runs up against when trying to convince “traditional decision makers” to use social media and some of them totally related to what I’ve seen.  Stuff like people saying “I already use social media” and really they just have a static website with their email address on it. I’ve talked with a few people recently who have asked for my advice on what it would take to “set up a podcast”2 and when I dig for future details, it turns out that they want to record one audio file and then put that on their website and figure that their target audience will find it there.  So I find I’m often having to explain that podcasts are not one-offs and that if you are trying to reach a new audience, you have to get out and engage with them over time – people won’t just randomly show up at your website on the off chance that there will be an audio file to listen to.  It seems that because I’m pretty involved in social media – even though it’s for fun, not work – I forget that many other people I work with aren’t and so it was cool to hear about some of the barriers that the less tech-savy perceive, as well as some ammo with which to address these concerns.

For more, check out the liveblog of the event over on Raul’s blog.

Thanks to Tanya & Monica for organizing the event. Also, props to Miss604 who collected donations for the Food Bank and arranged for prizes to encourage people to donate to the Food Bank.  She collected a lot of food and also is still collecting money in the form of a raffle for Canucks tickets for Saturday night’s game”3.  Good work, Rebecca!

1I’ve only been to Republic once before and I have to say I like this venue much more for a Third Tuesday event than I did for a night of clubbing. It’s too small for clubbing and has a feel like you are in someone’s basement. For 3T, it felt cosy! Also, I liked being in Republic without having to pay $18 cover.
2Which is kind of funny, because I’ve never done a podcast in my life. Not even as a guest. But I’ve listened to podcasts, which makes me the resident expert in podcasting at my work.
3Ooooh, I hope I win! They are lower bowl tickets and the ‘nucks are playing the Oilers. Fingers crossed!!



Tonight I baked a most delicious batch of “Go To Hell Stephen Harper” Apple Crisp:

Fresh baked Go to Hell Stephen Harper Apple Crisp

Fresh baked "Go to Hell Stephen Harper" Apple Crisp.

I got the recipe from my friend Rebecca, who baked (and, I believe, invented?) this delicious delicacy on election night.  In her words:

“Go To Hell Stephen Harper” Apple Crisp is made like normal apple crisp, but with added funding for the arts, social programs, and sensible health care reform 🙂

“Go To Hell Stephen Harper” Apple Crisp is best served warm from the oven with a scoop of “Don’t Vote for John McCain” ice cream.



{October 18, 2008}  

Saw a link to this article over on Derek’s blog:

“Consider the rather startling fact that you will never know you have died. You may feel yourself slipping away, but it isn’t as though there will be a “you” around who is capable of ascertaining that, once all is said and done, it has actually happened. Just to remind you, you need a working cerebral cortex to harbor propositional knowledge of any sort, including the fact that you’ve died—and once you’ve died your brain is about as phenomenally generative as a head of lettuce.”

It’s an interesting read – check it out over at the Scientific American website: Never Say Die: Why We Can’t Imagine Death



{October 7, 2008}   I am awesome

And not just awesome. Fucking awesome.

It says so on the internets:  http://drbethsnow.isfuckingaweso.me/

Props to Miss604, on whose site I saw the awesomeness that is isfuckingaweso.me



{September 25, 2008}   Hockey Hotties

This Saturday I’m going to be participating in a draft for a hockey pool.  Since I pay little to no attention to teams that aren’t the Canucks, I’m not overly familiar with non-Canuck players.  In fact, unless someone is a mega-star a la Sydney Crosby, I’ve probably not heard of them.  Thus, my draft strategy will be: draft the hottest players.  If I can’t win the most points, I may as well have the prettiest boys on my team, right?

Rick Dipietro. Rawr!

Rick Dipietro. Rawr!

So far, the pretty boy hockey players that come to mind are:

My research, thus far, has been watching videos of the “10 or 20 or 30 or 50 or 62 Hottest Hockey Players” on YouTube. I’ve noticed that these videos all seem to have the following things in common:

  • very poor production values
  • a plethora of copyrighted images being used
  • music that makes no sense (e.g., what does “I Kissed a Girl” have to do with hockey hotties??)
  • each contains at least 2 of the Staals, none of whom are good looking
  • each contains at least 4 fuglies for every decent looking player

Also, any “hottest hockey players” list that doesn’t include Taylor Pyatt and/or does include Evengi Malkin or Scott Gomez has some serious problems.

OK, blog readers, now help me out.  What hockey hotties are missing from my list?

Image Credit: Posted by Francis Larrede on Flickr.



As you know, I love being a participant1 in research studies.  As a scientist myself, I know how difficult it can be to recruit participants, so I thought I’d write a posting about some of the research participation opportunities that are out there.

First up, a friend of Raul‘s (and a colleague of mine) is looking for women who are less than 13 weeks pregnant to take part in a study assessing environmental chemicals & maternal-fetal health (check out Raul’s posting for the deets).

Other research studies looking for willing participants include:

  • The UBC School of Human Kinetics is often looking for people to participate in their research studies – you can check out their site for a list of current opportunities.
  • Researchers in my old department (Nutrition @ UBC) are looking for healthy woman in Vancouver aged 50 to 65 years for a study on dietary fats and chronic disease – check out this site for more info.

And if you don’t even want to have to get up from your computer to become a research guinea pig, why not check out Steven Pinker’s website2, as he often has online survey research projects on the go3.

Have you ever been a research participant? If so, what did you think of your experience?

1The PC word is “participant” rather than the traditional research “subject,” as it recognizes that the people who are being researched are actively and willingly participating, rather than being “subjected” to the research
2Dr. Pinker just so happens to be giving a public lecture in Vancouver this month: “The Stuff of Thought: Language As a Window Into Human Nature”
3At the time of writing this posting, he had a “Violence perception questionnaire” on his site.



I had to go pick up a desk from my friend Alicia’s place today.  The desk I had been using for the last 2 years actually belonged to my old roommate, Danielle.  She’d moved to a furnished place on the island, so I was babysitting the desk, and her dresser, until such time as she needed them back.  As she’s now moving to an unfurnished place, such time has arrived.  Fortunately for me, my friend Alicia was looking to get rid of a desk1 right around the same time, so said I could have it for free!  And you know how I feel about free stuff.

So tonight I booked myself a pick-up truck from the car co-op and bribed Kalev with a trip to the grocery store2 if would help me pick up the desk.  It’s one of the many great things about the car co-op – whenever you need a truck or a van to move big stuff, you can have your pick.  I chose a 2007 Mazda B3000, a pretty big truck for a wee-sized girl like myself.  I hate driving pick-up trucks because (a) they are a bitch to park and (b) I had a horrifying experience driving my dad’s pick-up truck when I was younger… a horrifying experience involving a very, very large spider.  *shudder*

Anyhoo, we managed to get the desk moved into my place all in one piece, as well as get a ridiculous amount of groceries – virtually all of which was on sale and/or came with bonus AirMiles.  And now I’m very, very tired!  So my desk setting up adventure will have to wait until tomorrow.  But I’ll post a picture once I have it set up all nice like.

Props to Alicia & Paul for letting me have their old desk/dresser thingamabob, and to Kalev for helping me move it!

1It’s actually a dresser with a spot for a chair – like where you’d have a chair and could sit and put on your makeup at your dresser – but I’m going to use it as a computer desk. ‘cuz that’s the way I roll.
2Kalev, like me, is carless, so an opportunity to be driven to a grocery store where he can buy any heavy items he wants, is an excellent bribe.



{August 19, 2008}   Fun With The Elements
Because you never know when you might need to know the atomic weight of thorium while standing in your kitchen.

Because you never know when you might need to know the atomic weight of thorium while standing in your kitchen.

Looks like my sister is on a roll in getting shout outs her on NTBTWK.  Yesterday it was for bacon band-aids, today it’s for a magnetic periodic table of the elements.  She actually gave me this gift of awesomeness when I was visiting back in June, but I, like the ingrate that I am, forgot it there.  I also forgot my phone charger and am very stoked to have both of these items back now, my sis having mailed them to me.

As you know, I’m a bit of a nerd, and I’ve long had a thing for the periodic table of the elements – I have it on my Palm Pilot, I had a poster of it on my bedroom wall as a kid, and I’m even able to sing several pieces of the Periodic Table of the Elements song1.  And now I have it on my fridge.  You know you are jealous.

And the extra fun thing about this particular set is that every element is its own individual magnet.  So you can rearrange them and spell fun things.  If you are lucky2, like me, you can even spell your name3:

Or other fun words:

And I can’t believe I’ve never noticed this element before:

1But only pieces, because it’s a really hard song to sing!
2Not every letter of the alphabet is available as an elemental symbol. For example, there isn’t a element represented by “T”; for my name I can use “Th”, but if your name has a T that’s not followed by an “i” (Ti = titanium), a “c” (Tc = technetium), an “e” (Te = tellurium), an “a” (Ta = tantalum), an “l” (Tl = thallium), a “b” (Tb = terbium), an “m” (Tm = thulium) or an “h” (Th = thorium), or preceded by a “p” (Pt = platnum), an “a” (At = astatine), an “m” (Mt = meitnerium) or two “u”s (Uut = ununtrium), then you are SOL.
2Alas, there’s no “D” or “Dr”, so I couldn’t do “Dr. Beth Snow.”



{August 18, 2008}   Update on My Knee Injury

Yesterday, I wore these bacon band-aids to cover up my hideously scraped knee:

Props to my sister who gave me a pack of bacon band-aids. She thinks it’s funny to get me things that look like meat, what with me being a vegetarian and all. These band-aids got me a fair bit of attention and I am, after all, an attention whore.



{July 26, 2008}   Shout Out to the Blogathoners

I’m in between hockey playoff games – we won our game this morning against the last place team1 by a score of 13-12, but this evening we play the second place team, so we are going to have to work our butts off to have a chance at this one – so I will make today’s blog entry brief.  But fear not, as there is tonnes of stuff to read out in the blogosphere – today is Blogathon 2008!  Be sure to check out Rebecca’s posting which lists all the people crazy intrepid enough to post a a blog entry every half hour for 24 hours straight.  And everyone is blogging for charity so if you can afford to, donate to some of the worthy causes for which they are raising money.

And if you are all like, “Oh noes! But I wanted to read something written by Dr. Beth!”, you can check out my guest posting over on Hummingbird604.  And then you can buy me a MacBook Pro.

Now if you’ll ‘scuse me, I have to go put my hair in braids for hockey game #2 (of our 3 games within 24 hrs!)

1We finished in third place, with six teams in the division.
2And I scored a beautiful goal from my office.



{July 15, 2008}   I can has Zazzle?

A while ago I Twittered this plea:

Does anyone know of anywhere that I can get Moo-sized cards that aren’t from Moo? I want some, but need to get them in less than 27 weeks.

I recalled a number of people complaining that the Moo cards they ordered for Northern Voice or SXSW took forever to arrive, so I was hoping that there would be a quicker alternative. And Flying Spaghetti Monster bless Twitter, Miss604 came to my rescue with the suggestion that I try Zazzle!

After much hemming and hawing over what to make my cards look like, I settled on two designs: one featuring a photo of my eyes1 and the other featuring a brain2.

Photo credit: Miss 604 on Flickr

And why, you ask, do I need these cards?  Because I’m going to BlogHer3 on Thursday!!

My attendance at BlogHer, just like my using Zazzle for my cards (and the above photo of my Zazzle cards), is thanks to Rebecca.  About a month ago, she wrote about how she was looking to sell off her BlogHer registration as she was no longer able to attend, so I contacted her and we worked out a deal. So excited!4

1props to photographer Jorge for taking this photo
2that I licensed from iStockphoto.com
3I am a bit choked that Kris won’t be there this year. Every year, Kris goes to Blogher and I’ve been dying to meet her since forever. I guess she’ll just have to come out to Vancouver to visit me some time =)
4Plus, I’m staying at my friend Katie’s place and it will be awesome to see her again!



For those of you who are *dying* to know exactly how far Kalev and I walked during our great Slurpee adventure yesterday – 5.8 km1.

Props to Kalev for making this super map, which includes not only the 7-11 stops, but our various other bathroom/Lululemon knockoff clothing/sex toy & bookshop browsing stops.

1That’s 3.6 miles, for my American readers.



{July 7, 2008}   Happy 7/7!

Although not as exciting as last year’s 7/7/7 date1, today is 7/7.

7/7/8 to be exact. Which just so happens to be my area code2.

And this is my blog posting #779.  I noticed the other day that I was on posting #777, which would have been cool to have posted on 7/7, but I have this crazy idea about wanting to publish at least one blog posting every day3, so it just wasn’t possible.

Today’s blog posting has, paradoxically, been brought to you by the number 104.

1Which, apparently I didn’t think was exciting as the previous year’s 6/6/6
2As I’m not one of the cool kids with their 604s.  And their pants.
3Now at 38 days and counting, btw!.
4Why not 7? Because 7 8 9a, and is currently awaiting trial for the murder.
aProps to Nancy, Jeff & Madeline for introducing me to the good times that is Snacktime!



et cetera