Not To Be Trusted With Knives

The Internet’s leading authority on radicalized geese

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I Am Only One Degree of Separation From Being Published in Science!

Today, my friend Erika’s paper, based on her PhD research, was published in the prestigious journal Science!

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This is the front page of Science’s website today. That red arrow shows you where the story on Erika’s paper resides!

You may remember Erika from such blog postings as her wedding and several 12Bars of Christmas. But in addition to being a thrower of awesome parties, she’s also a ridiculously good scientist. The significance of being published in Science is, no exaggeration, like winning a gold medal at the Olympics. Seriously. Remember how big a deal it was when Alexandre Bilodeau won that gold medal last year1? It’s that big. Seriously.

Also, my friend Linda is a co-author. You may remember Linda from such awesomeness as Team Cupcake and several 12 Barsof Christmas2.

So congrats to Erika, Linda and the rest of the co-authors on this ridiculously amazing achievement. And congrats to me on being only one degree of separation (x2) from a publication in Science!

  1. Assuming you are Canadian. If you are not, insert the name of some important gold medal winner from your country! []
  2. Including the fact that she let me pass out at her place after this year’s 12 Bars Bethy FAIL []

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Happy 10th Blogiversary to Kimli!

So Kimli has been blogging for 10 years! 10 years!!! OMGWTFBBQ!!

Haven’t ready Kimli’sblog yet? You should. As her tagline suggests, it’s full of unapologetic inappropriateness. Which, of course, is the best kind of inappropriateness! It’s only her 10th blogiversary for 45 more minutes, so you should go there posthaste!! And then go there again, because she blogs hilarity just about every day!

P.S. Remember that time I went to a party and got a smutton1? Smuttons are Kimli’s work of genius. Don’t have a smutton? You should.

  1. I thought I’d blogged about it, but a search of my blog shows I did not. I’m pretty sure I tweeted it, but since I have no idea how to actually search through my old tweets, I can’t link to it. []

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Pimp My Stick

Since I broke my hockey stick in my playoff game the other day, I’ve been using my back up stick. The thing with my back up stick is that it’s too small. I used to use it for ball hockey and it was fine, but when I’m on skates, it’s just not long enough. And since I have at least three more hockey games with my other team this season, and then spring season, and then the 10-day long hockey game, I figured that I better get myself a proper stick.

A friend of mine informed me that he’d seen hockey sticks on sale at Costco for super cheap, but when he checked the website, they weren’t listed. I called Costco and they informed me “Hockey sticks are a seasonal item, so we don’t sell them in the spring.” Clearly, they’ve not heard of spring hockey leagues! Seeing as it is Costco, they’d probably only sell them in packs of 20 anyway.

So off I went to Cyclone Taylor Sports, where I got some advice on how to pick a hockey stick. I really didn’t know what to look for in a stick (other than “short” and “left-handed”) – and it probably didn’t help that I went there after work so I was wearing heels and skirt! But once I got chatting with the salesguy, he was able to see that I do, in fact, play hockey and helped me pick something good. I ended up buying a composite stick, which have come down *a lot* in price since the last time I bought a stick. I mean, the last time I was looking at sticks, composites cost a few hundred dollars, so I went with a wooden one. But this time it only cost me $60! So cheap they were practically giving them away!

Here are some pics of my shiny new stick:

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Next up, I had to tape this new stick of mine. Taping the blade is easy, as I’ve done that countless times, but I needed to check out a few YouTube videos in order to adequately tape the grip.

Pre-taping of the blade:

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Post-taping of the blade:

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Yeah, I got skull and crossbones tape!

And finally, my freshly taped grip:

Day 282

I didn’t notice this until I got home, but my stick is “made in China”. One Year, One Canadian will be disappointed in me!

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You May Be “Here,” But Don’t Ask Me Where Anything Else Is!

Is it just me, or does the “you are here” map become a lot less effective when *nothing* else on the map is labeled?

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Do you have an RV you could lend us? It’s for a good cause!

RVI went to a player meeting for the 10 day long hockey game on Friday. I’ll write more about the meeting soon, but first and foremost I want to put out a plea for RVs!

As you know, during the 10 day long hockey game, the 40 women who will be playing are not allowed to leave the facility. But we will have small chunks of time during which we can catch a few zzz’s. Which raises the question: where do we sleep?

Well, we are hoping to get some RVs that we can keep out back in the arena’s parking lot. Unfortunately, since the event goes over the Labour Day long weekend, no RV rental companies are able to donate them to us, as it’s their busiest weekend of the year! We’d prefer not to pay to rent them, as we want all our money to go to Cystic Fibrosis Canada, the charitable organization that we are raising money for.

This is where you come in, gentle readers. Do you – or anyone you know – have an RV that you can lend to us between August 26 and September 5, 2011? We will have access to the bathrooms in the arena and all our food is being cooked and brought in for us, so we won’t need to use your RV’s kitchen or bathroom facilities. We just need a place to sleep. Hockey players gotta sleep, y’all!

If you have an RV that you could lend, or have any other ideas of people we might approach, please let me know (either via email or in the comments section)!

Image Credit: Posted by escalade328s on Flickr.

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Hello, Hockey Playoff Finals! Fancy Meeting You Here!

So it seems that my hockey team has made the finals, being played this afternoon, despite coming in last in our division in the regular season! So perhaps my stick did not give her life in vain1!

The team we play in the finals is the same team we played this morning – we tied 1-1. They are a tough team and we had to play hard to get that tie, so I think we are in for quite a game this afternoon!

Wish us luck!!

Update: We did not win the final. But considering we came in last in our division, were plagued by injuries, and didn’t have a regular goalie for the entire season, we were pretty pleased to make the final and give the winners a run for their money!

  1. incidentally, I saw my stick today! As I was leaving the ice after this morning’s game, I spotted her in a garbage can next to the rink. So splintered! So sad! []

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Chicks With Sticks

For as long as I’ve played hockey, I’ve alway brought two hockey sticks with me to the rink in case I break one. I’m only 5 ft tall AND I play left-handed, so I figure if I break a stick, there’s very little chance that someone else on my team is going to have a short lefty stick I can use. So for the past 7 or 8 years, I’ve brought two sticks to every game I’ve played, though I’ve never, ever broken a stick… until today!

Our first playoff game for my Coquitlam team was held this morning and part way through the game a girl from the other team and I collided as we tried to get the puck. Collided and fell. And she fell right onto my stick! When she got up, I saw that my poor innocent little stick had splintered right in half! The ref yelled, “Leave it! It’s broken!” and so off I skated to the bench so someone who actually had a stick could jump onto the ice. And I never saw my poor baby stick again!

At least I have this photo to remember her by:

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So now I only have my (too short) back up stick to play with! Wish me luck that I don’t break it in this afternoon’s game!

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Hey Lady, Step Away From The Caffeine!

Shortly after signing up for the Longest Game of Hockey for CF, I came to a stark and unwelcome realization: I have to stop consuming caffeine! Playing hockey all day, every day means I won’t have time for such things as drinking coffee. And I know that whenever I go a day without drinking coffee, I get a caffeine withdrawal headache. From what I’ve read, those last for several days – unless of course, you go back on the caffeine, which I won’t have the option to do given the aforementioned playing of hockey all day, every day. Since the last thing I want is do is suffer through several days of headache while I play hockey, I figure I should stop with the caffeine already.

Day 273 Consuming less caffeine – ur doing it wrong.

I have been a caffeine addict1 for my entire adult life. It started when I got a job in a coffee shop at 14 years of age. Having to be up at 5 a.m. to get the store opened + access to an unlimited supply of free coffee = one bad coffee habit. University didn’t help, with its several all nighters per week in undergrad and its round-the-clock lab sessions in my doctoral studies2. Thus, coffee has long been a staple in my life. In addition to coffee, I’m also a big drinker of diet Pepsi. And black tea. A typical day of caffeine consumption3 for me looks like this:

Item Amount of Caffeine
pot of coffee in the morning4 (800 mL) 450 mg
Diet Pepsi at lunch5 (355 mL) 38 mg
Pot of tea at night (1000 mL) 224 mg
TOTAL: 712 mg

To put that into context for you, Health Canada’s recommendation is:

For women of childbearing age, the recommendation is a maximum daily caffeine intake of no more than 300 mg, or a little over two 8-oz (237 ml) cups of coffee. For the rest of the general population of healthy adults, Health Canada advises a daily intake of no more than 400 mg.

Holy crap. I knew I consumed a lot of caffeine, but I didn’t realize I was getting more than TWICE as much as is recommended6. And this doesn’t even count days that I go to Starbucks or Esquires7 for an afternoon cup of joe.

Day 275

Coworker came into my office with chocolate covered espresso beans. Mmm, chocolate covered espresso beans!

Obviously, I need to do something to bring my caffeine consumption into check. My first action on this front has been to mix my regular coffee beans with decaf ones8. This brings my daily total down to a mere 487 mg. Still too much, but it’s a start. My initial plan was that I would gradually up the decaf-to-regular ratio over the course of the spring/summer, and switch to decaf Diet Pepsi9 and decaf tea in order to gradually wean myself off caffeine. But now I’m wondering if it wouldn’t be better to just go cold turkey, suffer through a week long headache and be done with it. I guess I still have some time to decide. But I’m curious – anyone out there have any experience with giving up caffeine? Any thoughts/recommendations for me?

  1. Technically, I should say that I’m “dependent” on caffeine rather than addicted, as my requirement for caffeine does not really fit the definition of addiction, primarily in that I don’t “compulsive[ly] drug seek[…] and use, despite harmful consequences.” []
  2. When we had experiments running, our schedules were totally dependent on the circadian rhythms of the rats – we needed to weigh and feed them in the afternoon, take blood samples at midnight, and be back in the lab very early for the morning sampling, which would last until it was time to weigh and feed them again. []
  3. Source of these caffeine contents data: Centre for Science in the Public Interest. It was easier to Google it than to get up and retrieve one of my textbooks. []
  4. I drink one mugful while I’m getting ready in the morning and put the rest in my travel mug to take to the office []
  5. Or sometimes at dinner, if I don’t have one at lunch []
  6. Even if I go with the fact that I know I’m not knocked up and use the “regular” healthy adults recommendation, rather than the one for “women of childbearing age,” I’m still consuming 178% of the recommended amount!! []
  7. Which are rare, thanks to my cheapness. []
  8. This was something that a naturopath recommended to my ages ago. []
  9. Or, really, just cut out the Diet Pepsi altogether. []

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Phoning It In

This is me, phoning in today’s blog posting:

Day 276

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Are YOU Prepared For The Zombie Uprising?

Zombies of BroadwayA few days ago, Dr. Dan alerted me to the work of a very important organization – The Zombie Research Society. The ZRS does the critical work of raising awareness and preparedness for the coming zombie apocalypse. In their words:

The Zombie Research Society (ZRS) is dedicated to raising the level of zombie scholarship in the Arts and Sciences. ZRS Members represent diverse backgrounds, interests, and theories, but are unified in their support of the Society’s three foundational principles:

1) A zombie is a biologically definable, animated being occupying a human corpse.

2) The zombie pandemic is coming. It’s not a matter of if, but a matter of when.

3) Enthusiastic debate about zombies is essential to the survival of the human race.

Naturally, given my work in zombie scholarship (see hereherehere, here, and here), I needed to know more about their work. Upon perusal of their website, I was shocked and horrified to discover that Vancouver does not have a chapter of the ZRS! In fact, Canada is woefully unprepared for the zombageddon, with only two chapters – one in my former home, the city of Hamilton, and the other in Calgary1. I guess I’d assumed that since there is a zombie walk in Vancouver every year, our officials were taking care of this. Clearly, I was gravely mistaken.

Thus, I’ve been in contact with the ZRS executive to determine what needs to be done to establish a Vancouver chapter. The requirements for a chapter of the ZRS include:

  1. Each local chapter has to have at least 3 lifetime ZRS members to act as the core leadership of the chapter. This includes a President, Vice President, and Sergeant At Arms.
  2. The chapter must complete at least 2 “research” projects per year.
  3. You must have at least 5 meetings a year and at least 2 of these meetings need to be open to the public.
  4. Each new chapter is on a probationary period until it completes two projects and has three meetings.

And this is where you come in, dear readers. Assuming that you are in Vancouver2. Obviously, I can’t do this alone. So this blog posting is a call for expressions of interest. Are you interested in joining me in creating a Vancouver chapter of the ZRS? Dr. Dan is currently on a parallel mission to protect his hometown of Guelph, ON and I think that together, along with the other chapters in the great white north, we can come up with a made-in-Canada solution for the coming zombie scourge. But we need your help. Drop me a comment or send me an email if you’d like to be involved. Because, as they say at the ZRS: The life you save may be your own.

Don’t let this happen to you:

Zombie Walk 2010

Image Credit: First one posted by Eric Brochu on Flickr. Second one posted by rodolpho.reis on Flickr.

  1. And you know how I feel about Calgary, so I’m rather suspicious of that one. It is probably staffed by actual zombies who are trying to infiltrate the ZRS to take it down from within []
  2. If you aren’t, I suggest you check the list of ZRS chapters to see if your city is covered or if it is woefully unprepared as mine is. []