Friday, June 27, 2008

What's In A Name?

I read an article this morning in the journal that stated the majority of women still take their husband's last name after marriage (actually a slight increase from the 90's). I'm quite surprised really, I would've thought this tradition (like most) would've fallen slightly out of favour in the new millenium. I'm not sure what I would do, I guess there's a few options. Tradition versus convenience (unless kids are involved)? Friends in England combined both their last names to make an entirely new one, which was pretty clever. I certainly wouldn't hypenate, but I am pretty fond of my last name. There just aren't that many of us left (and those who are don't seem to be multiplying). It's not like I need to think about this though, as I'm fairly cynical about marriage anyways. And I'm most certainly not on the 'married and pregnant by 30' plan either. Any thoughts?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Pretty Praising

I work by myself an awful lot (something which will change once I get my masters, no one person libraries for me in the future!). Due to the lack of conversation and actual human contact, I tend to do one of three things with my time (while I'm actually working, of course): 1. worry/stress about life, the universe and everything. 2. daydream. 3. sing (sometimes aloud, mostly in my head, I'm not that crazy!). Nevermind about 1 & 2, I know you're all wondering what I sing. Usually it's the last song I heard in my car on the way to work. Sometimes it's something completely random (last week I had the theme tune for 'The Edison Twins' in my head for like five hours). I've been working in the library of a Catholic theological college, and came across a book about the prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi recently. The prayer sounded really familiar, but I couldn't figure out why. Then today it dawned on me: we used to sing the hymn version, 'Make Me A Channel Of Your Peace', when I was teaching in England! Here's something you might not have known: in English schools they have to have a time of collective 'worship' everyday. In our school this meant daily assemblies (sometimes whole school, sometimes year groups) where someone taught some sort of moral or talked about current events etc. Usually they were boring but there was meant to be a song at some point, and that was always my favourite part. I love to sing, even though I'm freakin' horrible at it, and used to join right in with the kids. Usually the songs were upbeat and kid friendly, but 'Make Me A Channel Of Your Peace' was really beautiful and frequently requested by the teachers. Imagine Ms. Gray playing the out of tune piano, and 350 kids, wearing maroon sweatshirts, singing these beautiful lyrics like little angels. It brings a tear to my eye. Click the picture to listen to a lovely version from youtube.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Stupid Skeeters

I went to a bbq on Saturday night and got two mosquito bites. Fine, whatever, they don't usually bother me at all. However, Sunday night I came to the realization that those mosquito bites had swollen to the size of quarters!!! I freaked out, and figured I had West Nile. Anyways,I got over it and did my research!
So, when a mosquito bites (an only the females bite) she leaves a bit of saliva and this causes us to have a mini 'allergic reaction'. Some people have really bad mosquito allergies and can even go into anaphalactic shock! If someone who hasn't been bitten in awhile (say because they lived in England for four years and those lucky Brits don't have mosquitoes) gets bitten, their reaction may be more severe because they've lost their mosquito saliva immunity. Or something like that. I reckon that's what's happened to me.
Quarter sized, swollen, mosquito bites are not attractive. It's going to be a long summer.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Marshmallow-y Goodness

Did you know you can freeze marshmallows? Apparently it keeps them fresh, you just thaw them out and then they are nice and soft. Who knew?!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Looks fun but...

Please, someone pay me lots and lots of money to make a new yummy, sugary food product. I could do a way better job than the people who designed this:

Think it looks neat? Read the comment on this blog. I bet Kellog's never thought of that. Some kid is going to choke.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Pretty Plates

Apparently Alberta is getting a new license plate design. I could care less what the new plates look like, but the whole slogan debate is quite interesting. There really isn't anything wrong with 'Wild Rose Country', mostly this whole thing is just an excuse to spend taxpayer's money. Some of the suggestions are interesting though. Apparently the front-runner is 'Strong and Free', yeah I don't like that at all. Sure, it's Alberta's motto (well in latin anyways, fortis et liber) but who actually knew that? Sounds too American to me.
If you go to the slogan debate link and scroll to the bottom, there's a list of some alternative suggestions. Most of them are pretty funny. My top three are: In Gopher We Trust, Klein Free 1 Year and Counting, and Alberta-Help Wanted.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

You've got to be kidding!

Everything has gone up. Tuition is crazy. Rent is crazy. Gas is crazy. And now car insurance rates are supposed to jump 37%! Not fair. I'm already paying more than average because I was abroad for four years. Small injury claims blah blah blah. Screw the average Canuck. Make me pay for those drivers who drive like maniacs. I'm with the lawyers on this one: "The Canadian Bar Association will release a report today that argues insurers can absorb higher injury claims because the companies have made more than 20 per cent profit each of the last four years." See, it's always about money. Believe me, I'd love to give up my car and get a bus pass, but that's just not realistic or practical. Bus routes around my place are crap, I'd never be able to stay out late and it would take forever to get anywhere. No, I've already done that for four years. Now I'm paying for my freedom. Good grief.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Finally!

I just ordered a macbook and an itouch! Yay!
That's all, I'm too excited to remember anything I actually did learn. Actually all I did today was shift book stacks and unpack and shelve 55 boxes of hardcovers. Just call me the manual-labour-librarian!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Morbid and Creepifying?

I've missed Body Worlds exhibits in numberous cities as I've been travelling, so imagine how excited I was when they annouced it was coming to Edmonton's 'Telus World of Science' (aka the Space and Science Centre)!
What is Body Worlds?
"Gunther von Hagens' BODY WORLDS: The Original Exhibition of Real Human Bodies, the most highly attended touring exhibition in the world. From individual organs to whole bodies, BODY WORLDS offers visitors a rare opportunity to see the complexity of human anatomy and physiology. BODY WORLDS features authentic human specimens preserved through a revolutionary process called Plastination. This remarkable preservation technique replaces bodily fluids and fat with reactive plastics, thereby preserving human tissue in its natural state. Visitors who embark on this amazing journey below the skin's surface will view an extensive collection including more than 200 authentic organs, systems and whole-body displays."
It seems this is one of those things that you are either really into, or really not into, and it certainly has come with it's fair share of controversy. I thought it was fantastic though. Body Worlds is such an amazing learning experience! We've all learned about it at school, seen it in textbooks, but this is real. All the specimans are done so artfully and tastefully; their purpose it not to gross you out, but to teach you about yourself. I didn't get the impression it was about death at all. It's more about life: a celebration of how amazing the human body really is.
It was truly fascinating. Go see it if you can.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Ask A Question?

Today I learned armadillos eat scorpions. How did I come by this knowledge?
As a library school assignment I had to do some research work for Ask A Question, an online question/answer servive run by libraries throughout Alberta. I've stayed on as a volunteer. My first question: how do they get the bubbles into an Aero bar?
It's a fun job, I get to troll the internet for random stuff. Seriously though, people are stupid. Why take the time to submit 'Do armadillos eat scorpions?' to AAQ when all you have to do is put in 'armadillo' and 'scorpion' to google. And there's always questions like: 'Does so-and-so like me?' or 'How do I get so-and-so to go out with me?'. Punk-ass kids.
Anyways, it makes for a fun (and super easy) job for me. Check out the archives, some of the questions are pretty interesting!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

What's your name? Part 2

I've been wondering why the usual cleaner hasn't been in at the law library the past couple weeks (now that I've finally learned her name!). Turns out she's had surgery and will be out for two months! That sucks for two reasons: 1. The 'substitute' cleaner doesn't do a very good job and I've yet to see him vacuum. 2. The 'substitute' cleaner watches me while I work, which is creepy! I'll be praying for a speedy recovery...

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

No Way! Part 2

"CTV has acquired the rights to the theme song that has played on CBC's Hockey Night in Canada for 40 years. Last week, the CBC publicly announced that it could not reach a deal with the song's copyright holders. CTV sealed the deal with Copyright Music & Visuals Monday morning. Beginning this fall, the song will now be heard in NHL broadcasts on TSN and RDS. CTV will also air the song as part of its hockey coverage during the 2010 Olympic winter games." http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20080609/hnic_theme_080609/20080609?hub=TopStories Did CTV steal the song? Were they just doing a great service to Canadians? Are they trying to make CBC look bad (not like that's hard)? I don't get it really. It kinda reminds me of a pair of kids fighting over a ball or a skipping rope on the playground. This just proves one thing: money is the root of all evil.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Bountiful Bunnies

The front page of the journal confirmed something I've noticed lately: the city is crawling with jackrabbits! Apparently not just rabbits though, gophers and squirrels are also becoming a problem. You can't blame the poor little critters, it's happening because we keep tearing up their territory to build more houses and big box strip malls. So what if they eat up your flower beds or garden, they sure are cute! When we were kids there was a gopher living under our garage and we used to feed him Cheerios. I think Dad got rid of him though (this is the man who used to get paid a nickel for a gopher tale and a quarter for a coyote tail when he was growing up on the farm). I wouldn't mind a jackrabbit living in our backyard. It's not like my parents will let me get a cat. And I don't much care for flowers anyways.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Stormchasing

I was watching a stormchaser documentary on tv today and remembered I meant to read up on a news story I missed from Friday: Experts warn Canadians to prepare for tornadoes. Apparently parts of Canada are beginning to see increased tornado activity, much like tornado alley in the American midwest. That's pretty scary, especially considering I live in Alberta, which is considered part of Canada's 'tornado alley'.
I remember Black Friday - July 31, 1987, when an F4 tornado drove through Edmonton. I was almost 7 years old. I remember the sky went pitch black, weird since it was only late afternoon. The winds picked up and then the rain slammed down. We took shelter in the basement and listened to the chaos outside. It didn't last very long. I remember watching the footage on the news and being really scared because my dad had to go out to work (at that time he worked as a plumber for the city). Twenty-seven people died in total. The tornado destroyed the Evergreen Trailer Park, killing fifteen people. That's a fifteen minute drive east of my house. Scary.
It wasn't till much later, after I saw the movie 'Twister', that I became fascinated by severe weather. That said, I'm not sure Alberta needs more tornadoes. Like I said, scary stuff. Beautiful, but scary.

Friday, June 06, 2008

No way!

"Negotiations to keep the Hockey Night in Canada theme song have collapsed, meaning the CBC program is now in search of another anthem."
You've got to be kidding. That song is a Canadian classic! What are they going to do next? Close all the Tim Hortons?! This whole situation only proves money is the root of all evil.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Oops...

Here's an interesting list called the 'Top 10 Scientists Killed or Injured by Their Experiments'. Perhaps a bit morbid and creepifying but interesting nonetheless.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

What's your name?

So here's the situation: you've got an acquaitance that you've known for awhile, quite awhile really. Problem is you don't know their name, and you've known them for too long that asking would just be...embarrassing. Well today I learned the name of the cleaner at the law library I work at. That's not at all interesting to anyone, but to me it was a breakthrough! I've worked there for almost a year and every night we would say hi and chat a bit. Today one of the security guards told me her name, so it wasn't embarrassing at all! It's the little things in life that make me happy.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Catholic Terminology

I just started a new summer job. I'm working at a Catholic Theological College Library as the special collections cataloguer. It's been really good experience so far, but quite a learning curve as well. Besides learning the computer system and all the cataloguing rules and MARC coding, I've learned a few new terms. I'm not from a Catholic background, but consider myself somewhat spiritual and academic. These words though I don't think I've ever even seen before: Homiletics - relating to preaching or homilies Heumenutics - relating to interpreting scripture Thanatology - the study of death Ecumenical - fostering Christian unity throughout the world Who knew?

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Lake Beaumaris

I've been walking from my house, to Lake Beaumaris (North Edmonton's prettiest man-made lake), around, and back for as long as I can remember. Walking at a pretty good pace I can do it in an hour. I learned today that it's about a 5.8km walk. I thought it was longer. Must be the hills.