Not To Be Trusted With Knives

The Internet’s leading authority on radicalized geese


Tweet 800

Yesterday I hit my 800th Tweet. In commemoration of this momentous occasion, and because I am putting all my mad writing skillz into writing this big ole report from my recent work in Yellowknife and thus have none left for blogging so I decided to steal my previous writing from Twitterland, and besides, everyone loves a list, don’t they?, I give you a list of my favourite Tweets:

  • Nutrition pop quiz: What would be worse for me to get for a lunch: a Tim Horton’s cheese scone or a Häagen Daaz ice cream bar?
  • Had a meeting this morning, followed by a post-meeting debrief meeting. Now, to change things up a bit, I’m going to go run a meeting.
  • Rest in peace, green pen I was using to mark exams. You will be missed.
  • Just knocked half a cup of coffee onto the floor, on top of a pile of papers. Awesome.
  • Summarizing a 500 page Senate report. You know you are jealous.
  • Parts of me that hurt: groin injury, neck, left triceps.
  • My amount-of-work-to-do to motivation-to-do-work ratio is waaay out of whack.
  • Flickr search for photos to use in my nutrition lecture reveals a surprising number of cats are named “Scurvy”
  • Best line from the meeting I was at tonight: If there’s one thing that this group needs to do, it’s… something.
  • @touchyoulast When is the movie marathon? What movies are you watching? Crimetime? Crimetime? Have you thought about watching Crimetime?
  • Not enough hours in the day. And my thigh highs are being less than cooperative.
  • I dropped my earring in my coffee this morning. And my very first thought was “I need to Twitter this.”
  • The Canucks *finally* listened to my advice to use a Sedin in the shootout. And by “advice,” I mean “yelling at the radio.”
  • Drowning Canuck-related sorrows with chocolate chip cookie dough.
  • Feeling pressure to Twitter something now that I’ve joined. I have Twitter block!

In an attempt to prove that I’m only partially, and not completed, ego-centric, here are the three Tweets written by other people that I’ve favourited:

  • touchyoulast Currently taking care of business. Every day, every way, it’s all mine, and working overtime. Also: work out.
  • todmaffin BREAKING: Parliament recommends funding increase for CBC. In related news, pigs have been reported flying and a cold snap in hell begins.
  • audihertz Aww… Adam Foote hurt his arme

Also, I just wanted to show y’all that I have 69 followers. Tee hee… 69.


Looking for a hot science nerd?

I just received an email about a new service from, “the magazine for life science professionals”:

And finding the world is a crowded petri dish?

It’s not always easy to find that certain person for a great symbiotic relationship. Enter Science Connection. The Scientist has partnered with Science Connection to offer our single readers of an intellectual bent a unique and open meeting place.

Join Science Connection today and meet other scientific professionals like you in a safe and specialized environment.

– Find a friend to meet at a scientific conference
– Meet a pen pal with similar interests
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Apparently there are plenty of microbes in the petri dish and maybe, just maybe, one of those could be your soulmate!

50 points to the first scientist who finds a date on this site and then comments on my blog to tell us about it.  You know you want to.


Annoyingness & bad spelling, together at last!

At last! Someone has combined two of my biggest pet peeves – pointless, annoying Facebook apps and ridiculous spelling errors!

All they needed to do was make this “Is spiders and the Calgary Flames really ment to be yours?” and it would be perfect.

Name and profile pic have been blurred to protect the annoying.

</Monday morning bitching>

Also, my apologies for not posting this week’s installment of my prime ministerial series, which I know you are all dying to read, yesterday. I blame (a) too much exam marking this weekend, and (b) my first hockey game of the spring season¹. I’ll try to get it up posted tonight, although I have a nerd meeting to go to, so we’ll see.

¹The game, which was an exhibition game, ended tied 2-2.


Rejoice, for the exams are marked!

In case you were wondering, I haven’t actually dropped off the face of the earth. The lack of blogging around here has been due to me spending the last several days marking exams. But I am finally, finally, finally done with the marking! Rejoice!

And now that all the students, some of whom apparently read this blog occasionally, have written the exam, I would like to share with you one of my exam questions:

Estimate the daily total energy expenditure of a 38 year old, 220 lb, 6’4” Vancouver Canucks centreman during the hockey season

25 points to the first person who can tell me who the player in that question is!


The tale of a woman, trying to mark some exams, besieged by a monstrous flying insect in her own home…

… as described via Tweets on a night that the Calgary Flames play the San Jose Sharks in a winner-take-all Game 7:

8:01 p.m.: The world’s largest flying insect is in my kitchen and it’s freaking me out!!!! HELP!!!

8:03 p.m.: Seriously, I can’t get to my tea ‘cuz the bug is over there

8:23 p.m.: Please San Jose, please win! If this giant bug kills me, I don’t want to die knowing the Flames made it to the next round of the playoffs.

8:30 p.m.: Techniques used for defending self against giant flying bug: swiping at it with hockey stick; throwing exams at it.

8:49 p.m.: Crisis averted. The monster has been captured & released outside my apartment. Please resume your regularly scheduled Calgary Flame hating

And in case you don’t believe it was huge, I took a picture. It was a monster!


*The* Skirt

The pictures don’t really do it justice, but here is *the* skirt:

The tale of this skirt is one of intrigue and mystery. OK, not really, but it is a tale of social networking, nerdy geeky goodness. And it goes like this:

My freakin cool and totally hot friend Jen sends an email to a bunch of her friends saying she has some clothes she wants to sell –> I buy a skirt –> I Twitter about wearing my new skirt –>@jenmae Twitters:are there pics of this new skirt you can share with us? –> I reply-Twitter: “I will take a picture and it will be blogged!”

Then I start getting Twitter-compliments on my skirt from people who haven’t even seen my skirt!

–> I post pictures of the skirt to Flickr –> blog the skirt [i.e., this posting] –> this blog posting will automatically imported into Facebook & a Tweet will go out about it –> there will (hopefully) be comments about my skirt here, and possibly in Facebook.

Probably far more attention than a skirt should get, really.

And before you ask, yes, I am wearing thigh highs in that picture.


Happy Earth Day… sort of

I went to Starbucks at lunchtime for a wee bit o’caffeine to get me through the afternoon and when I handed over my travel mug and asked for an Americano, the dude¹ said, “But it’s Earth Day. You get a free drip coffee.” My response, “But… [long pause]… I don’t like your coffee.” The long pause was because I was trying to decide if it would be too offensive to say “Your coffee tastes like you burnt the coffee beans in the seventh level of Hell for a few millennia before you brewed the coffee. I would rather eat poison than drink your coffee.” And so I got, and paid for, an Americano in my travel mug.

Anyway. If you like the taste of burning, go to Starbucks with a travel mug today and you’ll (probably) get a free coffee. A free coffee that you’ll sweeten with tiny packets of sugar or sweetener (since they don’t have a bowl of sugar) and then stir with a disposable wooden stir stick (since they don’t have reusable spoons for stirring) throwing out the packets and stir stick into a plastic garbage bag.

Also, for every Starbucks card you buy today, they’ll donate 5 cents to some eco-charity. Every plastic Starbucks card.

I mean, I’m totally down with raising awareness and having people use travel mugs and such, but I think, for the most part, “green” and “earth” are just marketing buzz words to many people.

¹I can’t bear to call them “baristas.” I’ve only just recently been able to order by saying “tall/grande/venti” instead of the proper words: “small/medium/large.”


Can’t blog. Marking.

It’s exam time, which means I’m now faced with a giant pile of exams to mark. *sigh* And they don’t seem to be marking themselves, so I’m resigned to the fact that I will, in fact, need to mark them myself. *double sigh*.

And, because I have this crazy idea that university should be about learning how to think critically, how to analyze and synthesize and evaluate using information rather than how to regurgitate random, out-of-contexts facts, I won’t give fill-in-the-blank or multiple-choice or matching questions, which are, of course, waaaaay easier to mark. So marking 94 exams is quite a project. Now, I suppose I shouldn’t complain too much, as at least I’m being paid to do this, whereas the students have to pay to take the course and write the exam!

But I still don’t like marking. I don’t like it in a house. I don’t like it with a mouse. I don’t like it in a boat. I don’t like it with a goat.


William Lyon Mackenize King is not William Lyon Mackenzie. You heard it here first.

I B in ur internets, writin’ abt ur Prime Ministrs.


Name William Lyon Mackenzie King
Born: December 17, 1874 in Berlin (now Kingston), ON
Died: July 22, 1950
Party: Liberal
Held Office: December 29, 1921 – June 28, 1926September 25, 1926 – August 6, 1930

October 23, 1935 – November 15, 1948

Best known for: -With more than 21 years as P.M., he was not only the longest serving Canadian Prime Minister, but the longest serving Prime Minister in the history of the British Commonwealth!-He led Canada through WWII.

-He was big into exerting Canadian autonomy – arguing for greater autonomy at the Imperial Conference of 1926, deciding that Parliament would vote before Canada went to war, and creating the idea of Canadian citizens (as opposed to British subjects) with the Citizenship Act of 1946.

-He held seances to talk to, among other people, his dead mother. Oh yeah, and his dead dogs.

-He’s on the $50 bill.

Some Things I Didn’t Know About This P.M. -Mackenize was one of his given names, not part of his last name (although it was his mother’s maiden name, so you can see where the confusion comes from)-his little brother’s name was Dougal MacDougall King. Who the hell names their kid Dougall MacDougall?

-he won the first ever Liberal Leadership Convention, which was held in 1919. All the Liberal Party leaders before that were chosen by the party caucus.

-he was never married and had no children… that he knows about.

-he led the first ever minority government in Canadian history.

-he introduced old age pensions

-in 1930, he appointed the first ever female senator, Cairine Wilson, in Canadian history

-he created the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) in 1936 and the National Film Board (NFB) in 1938 (yay CBC & NFB!). He also created the precursor to Air Canada (called Trans-Canadian Airlines) in 1937. I’m pretty sure it’s not actually his fault that Air Canada sucks so bad.

-he expanded the National Research Council, mostly with nuclear research

-4 jackass things that Mackenzie King did:

  1. Investigating narcotics in Vancouver after riots in Vancouver’s Chinatown & Japantown led to claims for damages by opium manufacturers, King freaked out that white women, not just Chinese men, were using opium. He then started a process that led to the first anti-narcotic legislation in Canada. Now, I’m not saying that I think narcotics should be legal, but rather I’m calling Mackenzie King a jackass for this racist behaviour.
  2. Speaking of racists, he said this about Adolf Friggin Hilter “I believe the world will yet come to see a very great man – mystic in Hitler […] His dictatorship is a means to and end – much needed perhaps to make the Germans conscious of themselves – much I cannot abide in Nazism – the regimentation – cruelty – oppression of Jews – attitude towards religion, etc., but Hitler him, the peasant will rank some day with Joan of Arc among the deliverers of his people, & if he is careful may yet be the deliverer of Europe.”(right from his journal, March 27, 1938, p. 4). Awesome.
  3. The limitation of immigration of Jewish people trying to escape the Holocaust under his government. It was consistent with other governments of the day, but that doesn’t make it right.
  4. His government interned Japanese-Canadians on the west coast, giving Japanese-Canadians 24 hrs to pack and get out and then sold all their property & possessions.

You can read William Lyon Mackenzie King’s diaries online! God, I hope my journal never ends up online1.
If you are just dying to read more about W.L.M.K. written by people who have read his diaries, then check these out:

I like top hats.

And if you think that reading is for suckers, you can watch this.

Image credits: From from the Library and Archives Canada, copyright is expired.

1Yeah, I keep a journal, where I write all the juicy stuff that I don’t want y’all on the internets to read about!


Biological agents that are made in Vegas…

I saw this news story on CNN the other day – a man was arrested in Las Vegas the other day in possession of the biological agent ricin. The news articles didn’t say any reason why this dude was making ricin, or what he planned to do with it.