December 30, 2004

Canada Beats Germany!
Canada beat Germany 8-0 today in the World Junior Hockey Championships.
Go Canada Go!!!

December 29, 2004

Tsunami Update...
The last I heard, over 77,000 people were killed in South East Asia due to the massive 9.0 earthquake just off the coast of Indonesia. However, some sources are saying that over 100,000 people may have died in the tsunami, including thousands of tourists.
On this side of the Pacific, thousands of kilometers away, the tidal waves have been up to 10cm higher than usual. It hasn't caused any damage, but that gives an idea as to how far the waves have travelled.
Here's a link to an animated version of the tsunami, showing how it spread through the Indian Ocean.

December 27, 2004

The News...
-Probably everyone has heard about the huge earthquake off of Indonesia, that caused a huge tsumani, killing thousands of people. The latest estimate is over 23,700 people, including at least 9 people in Africa.
-Yushchenko is almost certainly the victor in the Ukrainian re-election.
-Canada beat Sweden 8-1 in the World Junior Hockey Championship.

December 26, 2004

Christmas Stuffing...
Christmas Eve this year went as it traditionally does at our place. Christmas Eve church service in the afternoon, then dinner (sometimes at White Spot, but this year it was lamb chops, mmmm). Then we drove into Vancouver, and past my step-grandmothers' place (all the lights were out, so we didn't stop -thank goodness!). Then we went to the traditional Christmas Eve get-together with some family friends in Vancouver, where my Dad has been going for the past 33 years. You'd think it would be boring, but it's actually a lot of fun. Granted that I wasn't there last year, but it's still nice to see some of the people, and find out what they've done over the past year (or two).
Then on Christmas Day, it was present opening time, and I got some cool gifts. The turking dinner was at my aunt and uncle's place, with two of the cousins and their fiancées. That was interesting. When the turkey was carved, there was dark, white, and pink meat (yup, pink, under-cooked poultry, yum). Not to mention the soon-to-be in-laws (that should be outlawed). Mennonite truckers, I never knew that such a thing existed!
Of course today was Boxing Day, so I went out and got two CD's, nothing overly exciting. Anyway, it's time for bed.

December 25, 2004

Merry Christmas!

December 23, 2004

On Vacation...
It's great to be on vacation, finally.
On Tuesday evening I went into Vancouver with some people from the science department at my uni, and we had dinner at The Old Spaghetti Factory. I had the seafood fettuccini alfredo, which was excellent. We then went to Metrotown, and watched Oceans 12. It was a really good movie. I'd probably watch it again, when it comes out on DVD. Of course I had a bubble tea, because I can't get them in my town. What was cool though, is that the whole evening was paid for by the Science Student Association at my uni.
Then I met Amanda, a friend from Montréal who's out visiting her parents, for coffee yesterday. I think I'm going to get addicted to chai lattes. Of course, we'd have to run into a bloke from high school that neither of us really wanted to meet.
Today Amanda and I went to the local mall (is it really a mall?), and I did some last minute Christmas shopping, before we went for coffee at Starbucks. Amanda's leaving on Monday, which sucks, but that's life.
Now it's time for some last minute gift wrapping, and some mulled wine. Mmmmmm...
Merry Christmas everyone!

December 21, 2004

French Tongue Twisters...
Because my life is so boring, and I have nothing at all to say, here are some French tongue twisters for you to try:

Un chasseur sachant chasser doit savoir chasser sans son chien. Savez-vous chasser sans chien?
(A hunter knowing how to hunt must know how to hunt without his dog. Do you know how to hunt without a dog?)

Si six scies scient six cyprès, six-cent-six scies scient six-cent-six cyprès.
(If six saws cut six cypresses, 606 saws cut 606 cypresses.)

December 20, 2004

BC Grow-Op Board Game...
There's a new board game on the market. As I'm sure you guessed from the title, it's based on the BC marijuana grow-op market. What more need I say?
It was invented by a guy who used to grow weed in Vancouver, but got busted by the cops. In the game, you have to have sucessful grow-ops, avoid the cops, deal with floods, hydro, and neighbours.

December 19, 2004

Happy Birthday...
My grandfather is turning 75 this Christmas Day, so we (my family) decided to have a big party for him at our place. Of course, my mother would decide to have it at our place, so that she can stress herself out getting ready for it. I told her not to worry too much because most of my grandfathers' friends who are coming are old. Older folks generally have vision problems (so she wouldn't have to worry about having the place spotless), they have hearing problems (don't worry about the music and games so much), and their memories are generally getting shorter (who had that nice party last night, or was it three days ago??), but she was too stressed to laugh.
Anyway, it all went fairly well, even with the gaudy punch fountain thing. The cake was great though, and I had a few laughs with my cousins.
Well, that's about that. I haven't really done anything since exams are over. I should probably wash the basement floor tomorrow.
Less than a week until Christmas!!!

December 16, 2004

New Google Tool...
Google's got a new search engine tool out, that I think could be really useful. It's an academic search tool called Google Scholar.
Basically, it'll search academic journals and books for whatever you're looking for. It'll give you the source, a link to the source (where possible), the authors, and sometimes other sources that cited the article.
Something to keep in mind when you're working the night before to get an essay done that requires a minimum of 15 (academic) sources.

December 15, 2004

I'm done exams! I had biochem yesterday, and I just finished molecular biology. It feels great to have them finally done, behind me, and over with. Now I can do nothing for the next three weeks...
I ended up with an A+ in statistics, which I'm very happy about. That was a nice GPA booster :)

December 14, 2004

O Tannenbaum!
We got our Christmas tree up not to long ago. It's almost 7ft (2.3m) tall this year, which is a bit smaller than in past years. It's kind of a Charlie Brown Christmas tree though. My mom wanted my dad to take it back, but he wouldn't. In years past, we've cut down our own tree at a lot here in town, but the guy retired a year or two ago.
Anyway, we've got it all decorated now, and it looks a bit better, despite all the holes and drooping branches. I just has to make it until Boxing Day...

December 13, 2004

The Accident...
There was a huge accident outside our house this morning. Luckily no one was hurt (that I saw or heard of), but there was an ambulance, two fire trucks, two police cars, and two tow trucks that showed up. One of the vehicles crashed into the neighbourhood telephone/power box, which looked pretty beat up, but the power and telephone lines still worked. It caused a lot of havoc trying to get out of the driveway this morning, with all the cars trying to get to school (there's an elementary school just a few houses down from my place).
Luckily no one was seriously hurt.
I'm sure that most people have heard about Viktor Yushchenko's attempt to win the presidency of Ukraine, and the voting scandal that his opponent has been accused of.
Well now it's come out that Yushchenko had been poisoned by dioxin, a toxic chemical. Strange timing.
Here's his personal website, in English.

December 12, 2004

Harry Potter...
I'm reading Harry Potter et la Coupe de Feu (Harry Potter and the Cup of Fire, en français) at the moment (along with various textbooks).
One cool thing about reading it in French, is that you learn all sorts of useful (and useless) words, such as "Moldus" is the French word for "Muggles" (which is a made up English word).
Some of the more useful words that I've learned are:
louche - shady, shifty, fishy, suspicious (chelou is the verlan)
pêle-mêle - any old how
la pacotille - cheap junk, trash, showy stuff
glousser - to chuckle, cluck (péj.)
narquois(e) - sardonic, mocking, derisive
échevelé(e) - wild, frenzied (i.e. hair)
brouhaha - hubbub
maussade - glum, gloomy (avoir l'air...)
effondrer - to gobble up, gulp, wolf down, engulf (bouffer)
une lubie - fad, hair-brained idea, craze

December 11, 2004

Two Down...
And two to go. I had my statistics final this morning (yes, I know it's a Saturday). I'm hoping to get an A+ on the course (GPA booster), and all I need is a 93% on the final to get that mark. There was only one question that I was uncertain about, so I hope that I didn't make any stupid mistakes (as I all too often do).
Now it's fun biochem and molecular biology studying.
There was a free Christmas dinner at school today, so of course I went (free food, why not?!?). They had turkey with all the trimmings (salad, potatoes, stuffing, gravy, buns, & veggies). Not bad for the $25/semester I pay to the Student Union Society. We get free burgers in September, and a free Christmas dinner in December, all for $50 a year.

December 09, 2004

One Down...
No, I'm not talking football, I'm talking finals.
I had my first final, Plant Physiology and Anatomy, today. It went so-so. I know I did well on the global warming/CO2/effects on plants essay, but I'm not so sure about some of the other questions. We'll see.
Next one is stats on Saturday morning at 9A.M. Fun times. At least I'll be done all my exams by Wednesday evening.

December 08, 2004

French Police Lose Bomb...
On Sunday, the French police lost a bomb at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris, France. They placed some plastic explosives into the side pocket of a traveller's navy blue suitcase, as part of a training exercise for sniffer dogs.
In the process of the exercise, they lost the explosives, which are now somewhere in the wide world. The police didn't know the destination of the passenger's luggage, and figure it could have left on one of about 90 flights.
That was smart...
I hope the passenger didn't get stopped and arrested at the other end, because the airport officials in the destination city found the explosives. Le pauvre.
So, if you're reading this, and you left CDG Airport on Sunday with a navy blue suitcase, and you find five ounces of explosives in it, please return it to the French police. They will be very happy, merci.

December 06, 2004

One thing I hate about tutoring, is when the kids no-show. I went to Tim Hortons at the appropriate time, bought my coffee, and waited. And waited, and waited. After a quarter of an hour later, I left.
I don't mind if people call ahead of time and cancel, but it annoys me when I drive to meet them, and they don't show. It's a waste of my time, especially when I could be studying for final exams. I guess I shouldn't be too mad, since they'll have to pay anyway. That way no-shows are minimized, but not tonight...

December 05, 2004

Christmas Shopping...
I went into Metrotown yesterday with my sister, to do some Christmas shopping. We ended up spending almost five hours at the mall, and a lot of money. I finally found something for both my parents (it's always hard to find something for my dad), and I bought myself a cool shirt from Mexx. It's black, long sleeved, and instead of buttons, it's got these eye and hook things.
Once the mall closed, we picked up Julia, and went out for bubble tea with her. Mmmmmmm, I love bubble tea. It sucks that there isn't a place in my town that sells it anymore (it went out of business because most white people out here don't like to try new things). I had taro root, which is one of my favourite flavours. If you've never tried it, the only thing that I can compare it to is the colour purple. It tastes like the colour purple (sounds crazy, but it's true). After saying goodbye (she's moving to Switzerland in less than a week), my sister and I drove back home.

December 03, 2004

Christmas Lights...
My dad put up the Christmas lights a couple of weeks ago, and they look pretty good. I tried to take a photo of them in the fog, but it didn't turn at too well as you can see.

It's hard to believe that it's almost Christmas. I've got two lectures left, then my finals start on Wednesday.
It's time to study...

December 02, 2004

What Canadian Province are you?
When I took the test, I ended up being...
This is what a British Columbian is supposed to be: You're British Columbia. You're hip and happenin' but also a nice person who isn't a snob. Career is important to you but it isn't your whole life. People assume that your life is perfect and that you have it all, like you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth. But it's not true; you do have your own set of troubles just like everybody else.

Here's the website for Make Vermont Canada's 11th Province. It's put up buy a movement (I don't know how large) in Vermont to have that American State join Canadian Confederation. It'll never happen, but it's an interesting idea none the less.

In unrelated news, a CIBC cash machine spat out Canadian Tire money. Can you imagine wanting to take out $60 cash, and getting $44 in Canadian Tire money!

December 01, 2004

Bush Comes to Canada...
The President of the United States of America made his first official visit to Canada for the first time since he was elected about four years ago. Can you believe it? The first time in four years, and we're right next door! He has been here twice since he was elected, but only as part of the G8 Summit in Alberta. He's been invited multiple times by Jean Chrétien (the former Prime Minister), and by Paul Martin (the current Prime Minister).
He was originally planning on addressing Parliament, but decided not to because he didn't want to get heckled by certain Members of Parliament. I don't blame him. He was already heckled when he addressed Parliament in Australia.
Instead, he decided to visit Ottawa and Halifax for one day each. In Halifax he said thank you to the thousands of Canadians on the east coast who welcomed stranded American airline passengers into their home during the 9/11 crisis in 2001.
He also made a comment that I think was quite clever. Obviously there were a lot of people protesting his visit, so he said something to the effect of, "I'd also like to thank the Canadians who came out and waved with all five fingers". That's got to become a classic line! I guess he didn't appreciate the Trudeau salute (the one finger wave, or whatever you want to call it) that some of the protesters were giving him, lol.
It was also interesting to watch American news coverage of the event. They made a big deal over the fact that Canadians are opposed to the war in Iraq, but neglected to mention anything about the fact that the American Congress is screwing Canada over on various trade issues (softwood lumber, beef exports, etc.).
The truth is that most Canadians don't hate Americans, they just don't like or agree with the current Bush administration.