Not To Be Trusted With Knives











{December 5, 2008}   Foie Gras

As a vegetarian, I’m not going to be eating foie gras. Foie gras, in case you don’t know, is the liver of a goose that has been force fed to the point that it has developed fatty liver. Sounds rather disgusting to me (both the idea of eating a fatty liver and the force feeding of the poor geese), but people who eat it swear it’s delicious. Anyway, I watched this TED video of a story of foie gras being made a different way:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Dan Barber’s surprising foie gras par…“, posted with vodpod

I especially like how he takes what he learns about this “natural” foie gras and extends it to industrial agriculture as a whole.

Advertisements


It seems that every time I go to Ontario, I come back with the plague.  On the day of the pig party, my sister was totally wiped out by a nasty, nasty cold.  Like, so sick that she went to bed immediately after everyone left (about 5:30 p.m.) and slept through ’til the next morning.

Now I appear to have come down with the same thing.  Sore throat1, headache, runny nose, achy sinuses. My apologies to all the people on the bus yesterday when I had a sneezing fit.

So, since I’m not capable of writing anything coherent today, I give you this video: How Hockey Sticks Are Made:

I hadn’t realized how much of the process was done by hand.

1though not as bas as the sore throat I had last month.



Yesterday’s posting got me thinking about a blog posting that’s been kicking around in my brain for quite some time, but that I’ve never gotten around to writing.  Here, in no particular order, are some of my favourite lyrics (I think you will sense a theme):

From “What’s My Age Again” by Blink 182:

Then later on, on the drive home
I called her mom from a pay phone
I said I was the cops
And your husband’s in jail
The state looks down on sodomy

From “Holy Virgin” by Groove Coverage1:

I am your holy virgin,
Be gentle all the time
I am your holy virgin,
I’ll blow your mind

I am your holy virgin
And if you touch me right
I’ll be your nasty virgin

From Alice Cooper’s Poison2:

I wanna hurt you just to hear you screaming my name.

From “You” by Groove Coverage:

My emotions getting strong your heart be close to mine,
If I can be your girl tonight across your soul I’ll sign.

Would you say my name when I’m sleeping next to you,
And would you say it loud when I’m lying over you.
No one does it better no one loves the way you do,
As long as there’s eternity believe me there is you.
Would you say my name when I’m sleeping next to you,
And would you scream it loud when I’m lying over you.


From “Animals” by Nickelback3:

You’re beside me on the seat
Got your hand between my knees
And you control how fast we go by just how hard you wanna squeeze
It’s hard to steer when you’re breathing in my ear
But I got both hands on the wheel while you got both hands on my gears
By now, no doubt that we were heading south
I guess nobody ever taught her not to speak with a full mouth

From “She’s Not Me” by Madonna:

I just want to be there when you discover
When you wake up next to your new lover
She might cook you breakfast and love you in the shower
The flavor of the moment, cause she don’t have what’s ours

From “Cemetery” by Headstones:

Went down to the cemetery looking for love
Got there and my baby was buried
I had to dig her up
[and]
There’s only one point that I’d like to make
These kinds of things deteriorate
It’s the gospel truth man
She’s embalmed in love juice


From “Drugs Are Good” by NOFX:

1-2 fuck off, drop out, never trust a fucking hippie4
And for that matter don’t trust anyone.
[and]
Drugs are good, they let you do things that you know you not should.
And when you do ’em people think that you’re cool.

And when you do ’em people think that you’re cool.

From “My Alcoholic Friends” by the Dresden Dolls:

I’m trying hard
Not to be ashamed
Not to know the name
Of who is waking up beside me
Or the date, the season or the city
But at least the ceiling”s very pretty

From “White America” by Eminem:

(As you’ve probably noticed, most of they lyrics I like are just dirty.  But Eminem constantly amazes me with his talent with language.. here’s just two of many examples).

Until I met Dre
The only one who looked past
Gave me a chance
And I lit a fire up under his ass
Helped him get back to the top
Every fan black that I got
Was probably his in exchange for every white fan that he’s got
Like damn we just swapped
[and]
To spit liquor in the faces of this democracy of hypocrisy
Fuck you Ms. Cheney
Fuck you Tipper Gore
Fuck you with the freeness of speech this divided states of embarrassment
Will allow me to have

From “Tap That” by Megan McCauley:

I’m gonna teach you how to scream my name
You’re never gonna get away from me
Yeah, I kinda like that
I wanna tap that
You can bet I’m gonna get you (YOU)
Come over here and play with me
Let me be your dirty fantasy


I’m pretty sure that video got the lyrics right, but clearly the people working at various other lyrics websites didn’t see this particular video and resorted to a lot of guesswork as to what Megan was saying in this song.  A few examples of where two song lyrics websites disagree:

From Metro Lyrics From Lyrics Mania
Don’t play dumb you know you wanted to
feel my cup, that’s what we came to do
Really? Well, I guess maybe he does want to
feel your cup.
Don’t play dumb you know you wanted to
fill my cup, that’s what we came to do
I’m the boss, keep that in your head I’m no monster keep that in your head
Snicker.
Let me be your dirty fantasy Let me be your tiny fantasy
“Tiny” fantasy? What? Like a midget fetish or something?
Head to toe priceless Heads are so priceless

This is my favourite misheard lyric EVER!

1I would like to point out that this video appears to have nothing to do with this song. But I was worried that no one was going to rescue that poor singer who seemed to be inexplicably stuck in that phone booth, so at least they paid that off in the end.
2I’ve included the video of the Groove Coverage cover of Poison here for your viewing pleasure, because I like it better than Alice Cooper video. And it’s not as weird as the GC video for Holy Virgin.
3That is quite possibly the worst directed video in the history of music videos.  And the guy in the car just looks like a is a total douche nozzle, doesn’t he?
4That one’s for you, Dave.



{November 4, 2008}   Babies for Obama

In honour1 of today’s US Presidential election, I give you this: Babies for Obama:

I saw this over at Feministing, where I also read that in the U.S., if you bring in proof of voting, you can not only get free ice cream from Benny & Jerry’s, but you can also get a free silver bullet and sleeve1 at the New York and Seattle locations of Babeland sex toy store.

Given the pathetic voter turnout in our recent election, maybe Canada needs to look into this free-ice-cream-and-sex-toys-for-voters idea.

1Yes, I am spelling honour with a ‘u,’ even though I’m talking about the U.S. ‘cuz that’s the way we Canucks roll.
2I especially like that this particular model of sleeve is called “The Maverick”a
    aJust don’t picture John McCain using “The Maverick.”i
        iI *told* you *not* to picture it.



As the election1 approaches, I’m starting to get a little frightened. Polls are suggesting we may end up with a Conservative* majority.

George Strombo invited all the party leaders to be interviewed on his show, The Hour.  Not surprisingly, Stephen Harper has REFUSED to go on the show.  Harper appears to be frightened by the thought of people hearing what he or his party members say unless it’s under very tightly controlled circumstances. He avoids talking to the media (other than handpicked reporters who will ask the questions Harper tells them to) and the public as much as possible.  Strombo is an excellent interviewer – he cuts through the bullshit and asks some really direct questions – and I’m sure Harper would be way too terrified to be asked real questions.

If you are at all interested in the federal election, be sure to check out the interviews with each of the leaders EXCEPT scaredy cat Harper (and possibly not Gilles Duceppe):

And you definitely have to check out this clip of Strombo inviting Harper to come on to The Hour:

A few random interesting things I learned from these interviews:

  • Jack Layton’s great granduncle was a Father of Confederation and his dad was Conservative minister under Brian Mulroney.
  • Elizabeth May was an adviser to Brian Mulroney’s government!2
  • Elizabeth May is working on a degree in Theology.
  • I’ve heard this before from a number of sources, and Elizabeth May and Stéphane Dion both allude to it in their interviews – Stephen Harper is a micro-managing control freak.  In response to Conservatives’* accusation that the Liberals plan to raise the GST, Dion said: “Mr. Harper wants to control everything, to the point that he would like to write the Liberal platform.” Dion states that the Liberals won’t raise the GST, nor will they go into deficit.  Their plan is to lower income tax and replace the difference with a tax on pollution.

Also worth watching is this video showing Stephen Harper giving a speech that was plagiarized from Australian Prime Minister John Howard, and comparing it to Howard giving the speech:

Astonishing.

Another interesting site worth checking out is Vote for the Environment.  As shown there, if people were willing to vote strategically, we could avoid a Harper government at all (let alone a Harper majority):

If those of us who care about the environment don’t work together across party lines, the pro-environment vote will be split as it was in the last election and Harper will be re-elected.

We are the majority. But our electoral system hasn’t kept up with Canada’s changing political landscape.” (Vote for the Environment)

The site will show you “which candidate in your riding supports action against global warning AND has the best chance of winning”3

Rebecca recently posted a summary of the candidates in her riding, Vancouver Centre, and has inspired me to do the same.  So look forward to a summary of the Vancouver Quadra candidates here, probably on Monday.  In the meantime, what are your thoughts on the Canadian federal election?  Are you going to be voting strategically?

1The Canadian federal one. The US presidential one, Vancouver municipal one and then, not too far after those, the BC provincial one, are all also approaching, of course, but first up is the Canadian feds.
2What’s with all the lefties having ties to Mulroney?
3There’s a video on the site explaining “how it works” and this quotation is taken from that video. To watch the video, go to their site and click on “Vote smart so the majority wins – FIND OUT HOW HERE.”

The * is there in recognition of the fact that Stephen Harper’s “Conservative” party is not the real “Conservative” party… it’s the Reform-Party-cum-Canadian-Alliance-in-Tory-clothing.



Watch as someone on stage with Stephen Harper faints and Harper shows no compassion, no human emotion whatsoever:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Stephen Harper is a Dick – SPIKE“, posted with vodpod

 

Robot, much?

And why didn’t I see this in the news?

UPDATE: VodPod FAIL!!! Using VodPod to embed the Harper clip isn’t working – it keeps embedding some random weatherman! For the real clip, go here.



{September 3, 2008}   First Day of School

In honour of today being the first day of school1, I decided to share with you some education-related podcasts I’ve listened to/watched lately.

First, up from the Philosophy Bites podcast, I give you M.M. McCabe talking about the Socratic Method.

The Socratic Method is:

a form of philosophical inquiry in which the questioner explores the implications of others’ positions, to stimulate rational thinking and illuminate ideas2

It’s an form of “investigation through dialogue” and one of the key things I take from my reading about the Socratic Method is the reminder that in order to learn anything, you need to first recognize that you don’t already know it!  Typically in our educational system, we make students afraid of saying, “I don’t know,” but really, that’s just the thing we need to say in order to figure out what we need to learn.  When I teach using Problem-Based Learning (a student-centred technique that requires students to determine what is the problem they need to solve, what do they already know that can help them solve the problem, and what do they not know, but need to know, in order to solve the problem), I use Socratic-style questions to help students recognize for themselves what they know and what they don’t (and, in many cases, it turns out that people assume they know something, but once questioned, it turns out that they don’t actually know it!). Although the course I’m teaching this term isn’t PBL, it will be student-centred, involving debates and student-led seminars, so I anticipate using a fair amount of questions to get critical thinking happening. Some of my favourite questions for use in this reals are:

  • how do you know that?
  • how did you come to that conclusion?
  • what is your evidence for that?
  • why?

One time, a student got a bit, shall we say “annoyed” with my questions – students are used to asking the instructor a question and being told the “right answer,” so my always answering a question with a question can bit a bit off-putting3. Exacerbated, the student exclaimed: “Can’t you ever just answer a question without asking another question?!”  To which I replied, “Why do you think I always answer a question with a question? What education benefit might there be to my doing this?”  Hmm… I think I’m starting to see why Socrates was forced to drink hemlock and die because he annoyed the hell out of everyone with his infernal questioning.

“The unexamined life is not worth living.”
-Socrates

Next up is an interesting talk I saw in the TED podcast – Ken Robinson’s talk: “Do Schools Kill Creativity.”

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Ken Robinson says schools kill creati…“, posted with vodpod

And finally, since I teach nutrition, I give you this clip from the Onion Radio News:

Also, as a scientist, I feel the need to share these Onion Radio News clips:

Here’s to a school year filled with Socratic questioning, creativity and french fries.

1Well, technically yesterday was the first day of school, but the course I teach is on Wednesdays, so today is the first day of school for moi.
2Socratic Method. Wikipedia.
3I always explain why I do what I do when I’m teaching and that usually helps. But it does appear to take some getting used to.



Once before I presented you with a video that I said you should never, ever watch.  While the video below isn’t nearly as graphic as that one, it does make you want to harikiri yourself.  So really, just don’t watch it.

You’ve been warned.

My favourite line is “we’ll live out our core values.”



{June 28, 2008}  

I now forgive Stephen Colbert for what he did to the Hockey Night in Canada theme song.  Because this video was made as part of his “Project Make McCain Exciting“:



{June 11, 2008}  

OMG! You won’t believe what Stephen Colbert did to our Hockey Night in Canada song!

http://watch.thecomedynetwork.ca/the-colbert-report/full-episodes/june-10-2008/#clip59077

The bit on HNIC starts at 3:43 of this clip.



et cetera