academia aunty blogging awesomeness BC birthdays blog Blogathon Blogathon 2009 Blogathon Vancouver 2009 book learnin' Canada Canucks coffee doing good events family food friends funny geek Geekery hockey Longest Game Longest Game For CF NaBloPoMo Nerdery people who are cool enough to travel with me photos politics rampant consumerism rampant narcissism random rants running science shoes shout outs sports stuff on the internets tech stuff thesis travel travels Vancouver wtf
Hey, remember that time I walked on the outside of one of the tallest buildings in the entire world? No? I can see how you’d have forgotten about it, since the photos I posted don’t nearly do justice to the terror of actually being there. Also not quite doing justice, but much closer to conveying the terror, is this video of the adventure, which was painstakingly uploaded to The YouTube by Dr. Dan:
Notice, if you will, how freaking HIGH we are. Those tiny looking buildings you see waaaaay below us are freaking SKYSCRAPERS!!
While I was on the YouTube page for this video, I noticed a button that I have never noticed before on a YouTube page. The button, when hovered over, says “Interactive Transcript”. Now, I’m guessing that this is supposed to be a transcript of the audio using some newfangled technological magic, but since our video consists of rather poor audio thanks to the 50 KM PER HOUR WIND (!), the transcript ended up being a bunch of gobbledygook. Naturally, I went through it all and picked up the funniest parts to share with you:
Also, I realized that I neglected to share with you a few photos that I took while we were safely *inside* the CN Tower after our adventure on the outside of the building.
First, this is the sign that tells you not to climb on the window of the SkyPod. I found it hilarious:
And this is a photo of Dan, Nancy, & Jeff waiting on the left side of the elevator, next to a sign that says to wait on the right side. Because that’s the way this crew rolls.
And lastly, here’s a picture of the emergency exit on the CN Tower observation level:
The observation level is 160 stories up. In the event of an emergency, you are supposed to go to the outdoor deck… and then what?
In other news, now that I’ve leaned over the ledge of the CN Tower, I think I need to look into some skydiving!
But not today. Today I shall post the video I mentioned yesterday. Now, I’ll give you fair warning – this video may not be amusing to anyone other than me. Also, the frogs spend a lot of time frozen still, so in the 7.5 minutes of video, there’s probably 1 minute of any kind of action and 6.5 minutes of us saying “What the hell are these crazy frogs doing??” Also, please tell me that my voice doesn’t actually sound like that.
So while I’m on a healthy living kick, I figured it was a good time to share some of the things that have been inspiring said healthy living kick. I mean in addition to the fact that I can’t fit into a fair number of clothes that I could fit into mere months ago (!).
First, there’s been a lot of reports lately about research showing that sitting all day is going to kill you. Now, I have an office job and, depending on what phase I’m at for different projects1, I can find myself spending 7.5 hours sitting at my desk, day after day. And when you combine that with hours upon hours of sitting doing homework when I get home, it really is a miracle that I’m still alive. It sort of makes sense – we didn’t evolve to sit for prolonged periods of time – and I can tell you that my massage therapist can tell when I’ve had a week of lots of sitting as opposed to a week when I’ve been on the go. My muscles are full of nasty knots and various sorts of ugly tightness when I’ve been sitting – much worse than when I go in for massage due to my running- or hockey-related muscle tightness.
Given that ever doing exercise2 does not make up for the damaging effects of prolonged sitting on one’s health, I’ve been looking for simple ways to break up my sitting. I still do my teleconference yoga whenever I have a teleconference or webinar, but since I don’t have those with any regularity, I’ve tried to find other little ways to break up the sitting – apparently moving at least once per hour is what’s needed. Getting up to make tea, walking to the far bathroom instead of the closer one3, and even just stand-up-and-stretch breaks4. I do find, however, that I can get lost in my work sometimes and a few hours will go by where I don’t move anything except my typing fingers. Starting tomorrow, I’m setting an alarm so I’ll get up and stretch every hour!
One thing I’ve never been good about, even when I’m at my most active, is weight training. I’ll run, I’ll bike, I’ll swim, I’ll play hockey, but I’ve never really been into lifting weights5. But the thing is – lifting weights is good for you. Here’s a video with a prof from my favourite of my alma maters talking about it:
Simple Advice for Better Weight Training (sorry, this video won’t let me embed it, so you have to click the link)
The exercise room in my building has a few weights, so I’m thinking perhaps I should actually use them!
Just 23.5 Hours Per Day
But the thing that’s most inspired me lately is this video, which I saw awhile ago, then promptly forgot about, but then my sister just reminded me of it the other day, after Dr. Dan posted it on Facebook:
Can you limit your sitting and sleeping to a mere 23.5 hrs per day? When you put it like that, it really seems ridiculous to say “I don’t have time for exercise!”
And one bonus tip!
Being healthy isn’t just about physical activity, of course. Nutrition plays into as well. I’ve long been a fan of the book Intuitive Eating, which essentially brings the concept of mindfulness to eating. When I get really busy, though, I often forget and I scarf down my lunch at my computer – or sometimes even just while engaged in a good conversation – without even noticing. So I’m now trying out a tip I read recently: eating with my left hand. But doing this, which isn’t my usual pattern, it forces me to be more mindful of what I’m doing, rather than just eating automatically, just out of sheer habit. I just started this, so I’ll let you know how it goes!
- For example, if I’m in a data analysis or writing phase (e.g., writing plans, writing reports, writing emails, etc.) vs. if I’m in data collection phase (e.g., going off to various locations to do site visits, run focus groups, conduct interviews, have meetings). [↩]
- Such as going for a run/bike ride, going to the gym, playing hockey, etc. [↩]
- And given my continuous consumption of coffee and tea, my trips to the bathroom are frequent! [↩]
- Conveniently for me, my officemate is equally terrified of death-by-sitting, and will join me in said stretch breaks. [↩]
- Though I do have my pushups thing going on during homework times – so that’s something. [↩]
Today, my adorable nephew turns 1!
For your birthday, Thomas, we made you this video:
Hope you like it!
So, as I mentioned yesterday, I went to the dentist. When I started seeing the orthodontist to get my braces, I also decided to switch dentists, both because my old dentist’s office is located in Vancouver near where I used to live (and that is oh so inconvenient for me to go to now) and because apparently it’s important for your ortho and your dentist to work well together and so I decided to move to a dentist that works quite often with my orthodontist and whose office is located in my neck of the woods. Of course, seeing a new dentist means you end up with a bunch of appointments – first a new patient exam so she can check out every square millimetre of your mouth in case you have cavities, gum disease, cancer, hoof & mouth disease, zombism1, or Leprechauns2 growing in there3. Then you get an appointment for dental hygiene (the part where they scrape junk off of your teeth) and then you get an another appointment to fix your fissure sealants that you got like a million years ago but are only expected to last for like five years due to the wear and tear of eating. Plus they had to fill a wee cavity4. While filling said cavity, the dentist used a dental dam. Is it just me or is dentistry not the first thing you think when you hear the words “dental dam“?
In other news, I can’t get Lady Gaga’s “Show Me Your Teeth” out of my head. This video is probably NSFW, depending on where you work. You know, like if you work in a dental office, this might be considered an educational video.
I credit/blame Dr. Dan for introducing me to this particular song.
- screw you, Spell Check, zombism is too a word! [↩]
- the word “Leprechaun” is capitalized? Are you fucking with me, Spell Check, just because I said “screw you”? [↩]
- Dr. Dan, tell Rick I wrote that last one just for him! [↩]
- thankfully, my teeth and gums are overall quite healthy and there were no signs of cancer, zombism or Leprechauns. Just a wee cavity, to which my dentist actually said, “We just have to fill a little cavity. Yay!!” [↩]
I think the best part is that her costumes are made out of lab supplies!
Props to Dave, my friend and co-blogger over on my science nerd blog, who brought this awesomeness to my attention!
OMG! Why did no one tell me that The Hockey Sweater is on YouTube??
This is a a Canadian classic! We watched this every year in elementary school, usually right before Christmas break when the teachers showed us a bunch of films1, probably because they knew we wouldn’t be up for learning anything at that point. We also watched a cartoon about Christmas and aliens and there was a goose in it. And the teenagers all wore bell bottoms ((my school only had really old films to show us). Wait, it was called “Cosmic Christmas”!! <searches Youtube> ZOMG, it’s on You Tube too!
- yes, I’m so old we watched movies on actual film projectors [↩]
Protect Insurance Companies PSA
Hollywood speaks out to help insurance companies
Props to Kalev for bringing this important public service announcement to my attention!
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!