Not To Be Trusted With Knives

The Internet’s leading authority on radicalized geese


Things of Awesomeness

A LOLcats references and hating on Internet Explorer… together at last!

Props to Jordan Behan, who tweeted about this awesomest of awesome sites.

Also awesome is this cheque seen on the Fail Blog:

I especially like that the memo on this cheque says, “What now, bitches?”

Also, I conferred with my Official Statistician and Tattoo Consultant about the sheer awesomeness of this cheque and his reply was:

We’ve been debating the value of the cheque.  In the text below the cheque, it uses e^(2*pi).  However, we think it actually says e^(i*pi), i being the root of -1.  Best part is, if that is the case, e^(i*pi)=-1.  Wild huh?  I mean, it’s an equation that looks scary, includes the most awesome of numbers (e, i, pi and the unit 1) and yet it all works together with basic mathematical operations – exponentiation, multiplication and addition (oft it’s rewritten as e^(i*pi)+1=0).  Regardless, if it is exp(i*pi) than the cheque is for $0.002.  AWESOME.
Even better, if you go back a few entries, you’ll see this one – definitely related – look at the names. HILARIOUS.  I <3 MATH.
The “this one” in that last paragraph refers to this video, which, upon watching, made my brain explode:

The best part of the whole thing is:

“Do you recognize that there’s a difference between $1 and 1¢?”


“Do you recognize that there’s a difference between half a dollar and half a cent?”


“Then, do you therefore recognize that there’s a difference between $0.002 and 0.002¢?”




Welcome to my new site!

So, I finally decided to take the plunge and self-host my blog.  I registered my domain ages ago and signed up for hosting last month, but hadn’t gotten around to actually diving into until today.  And, despite the fact that I probably should have spent the afternoon working on my lectures for next week, I decided I’d take a “short break” from that work to pick a theme and import my blog.  And, yeah, well now it’s past midnight, but isn’t my new blog site shiny?

After looking at all 566 themes in the WordPress theme directory, I decided to go with redtopia by Jeremy Clark.  But then I discovered that since my blog title (which is written in red) is so long, it partially covered the ugly red flower in the header for that theme.   And red on red is rather difficult to read.  Plus, the ugly red flower was, well, ugly.  So I removed it.  But then the header looked a little too plain, so I put in a picture of my face.  Because, really, who doesn’t want to look at a picture of my face?

Then I realized that the ugly red flowers were also in the footer, only they were much smaller than the one that was in the header; so small, in fact, that you couldn’t even tell they were flowers anymore – they just looked like ugly red blobs.  So I decided to cut them out and replace them with red shoes.  Because red shoes rock.  I searched on Flickr for a Creative Commons licensed photo that would allow me to modify/adapt a photo of red shoes and ended up finding this photo, in which the model is wearing a very fine pair of shoes, which can now be seen in the footer of my blog.  In the course of looking for a usable photo of red shoes, I also discovered that searching “red heels” on Flickr will provide you with a lot of photos of very scantily clad women (and in one case, a very scantily clad man [warning, that link is NSFW]) wearing red heels.   Just putting that out there, in case you are interested.

Mad props go to Kalev for his help getting me set up; specifically he found a server for us to use, installed on the server, then re-installed it when I told him I wanted the main page ( to use WordPress (not just the /blog subdirectory), made my too large of an xml file small enough to import so that all my old blog postings are now here, figured out why the text was so small (and the superscripts so messed up looking) in the theme and how to fix the CSS to make it look better and probably a bunch of other things that I forget.


Babies Galore!

It seems like everyone I know is having a baby.  My cousin, Andy, and his wife, Cristine, just had their second a few weeks ago.  My cousin, Lori, and her husband, Eugene, are expecting their second any day now (theirs was due Nov 8).  My good friend (and resident historian), Sarah, and her hubby, Dave, are expecting their first in January.  Then her friend Deepa, and her husband, David, are due in February. And then my friend Clayton, and his gf, Jodelene, are having one in March.  (Interestingly, Sarah & Dave refer to their wee one as “humpy,” while Clayton & Jodelene’s is known as “bumpy.”  No relation.)

And my blog friend (my bliend?) Stacia is having a baby.  Like right at this very moment, as I type this, she is having a baby!!  How freaking exciting is that??  Stacia & Wes – best wishes for a safe and quick delivery. Can’t wait to see photos of your little Navy Bean!

Updates on 15 Nov 2008:

#1 My cousin, Lori and her husband, Eugene, had actually had their baby when I original posted the message.  Little Beatrice Dale Anne, a baby sister for Imogen, was born at 8:30 p.m. on Nov 10.  Everyone is doing well.  I’ve gotten pics via email, but I’m sure they will put some up on their picture blog soon and then I can link to those.

#2 Little Navy Bean was born on Nov. 11, 2008 at 9:43am.  Check out her pics – she’s adorable!


True or False

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!


Third Tuesday

Went to Third Tuesday tonight!  I’ve missed the last few due to having other events that I was committed to on those nights, but I managed to get out to tonight’s 3T at Republic1.  Which was good, ‘cuz I was quite interested in the topic: Marketing New Media to Traditional Decision Makers: Overcoming the Challenges.  I work a lot with what you might call “traditional decision makers” – people who aren’t overly familiar with social media and I was eager to hear more about ways of convincing them that engaging in social media would actually help them meet their goals!

The speaker, Mhairi Petrovic, gave a list of 10 common barriers she runs up against when trying to convince “traditional decision makers” to use social media and some of them totally related to what I’ve seen.  Stuff like people saying “I already use social media” and really they just have a static website with their email address on it. I’ve talked with a few people recently who have asked for my advice on what it would take to “set up a podcast”2 and when I dig for future details, it turns out that they want to record one audio file and then put that on their website and figure that their target audience will find it there.  So I find I’m often having to explain that podcasts are not one-offs and that if you are trying to reach a new audience, you have to get out and engage with them over time – people won’t just randomly show up at your website on the off chance that there will be an audio file to listen to.  It seems that because I’m pretty involved in social media – even though it’s for fun, not work – I forget that many other people I work with aren’t and so it was cool to hear about some of the barriers that the less tech-savy perceive, as well as some ammo with which to address these concerns.

For more, check out the liveblog of the event over on Raul’s blog.

Thanks to Tanya & Monica for organizing the event. Also, props to Miss604 who collected donations for the Food Bank and arranged for prizes to encourage people to donate to the Food Bank.  She collected a lot of food and also is still collecting money in the form of a raffle for Canucks tickets for Saturday night’s game”3.  Good work, Rebecca!

1I’ve only been to Republic once before and I have to say I like this venue much more for a Third Tuesday event than I did for a night of clubbing. It’s too small for clubbing and has a feel like you are in someone’s basement. For 3T, it felt cosy! Also, I liked being in Republic without having to pay $18 cover.
2Which is kind of funny, because I’ve never done a podcast in my life. Not even as a guest. But I’ve listened to podcasts, which makes me the resident expert in podcasting at my work.
3Ooooh, I hope I win! They are lower bowl tickets and the ‘nucks are playing the Oilers. Fingers crossed!!


"Go To Hell Stephen Harper" Apple Crisp

Tonight I baked a most delicious batch of “Go To Hell Stephen Harper” Apple Crisp:

Fresh baked Go to Hell Stephen Harper Apple Crisp

Fresh baked "Go to Hell Stephen Harper" Apple Crisp.

I got the recipe from my friend Rebecca, who baked (and, I believe, invented?) this delicious delicacy on election night.  In her words:

“Go To Hell Stephen Harper” Apple Crisp is made like normal apple crisp, but with added funding for the arts, social programs, and sensible health care reform 🙂

“Go To Hell Stephen Harper” Apple Crisp is best served warm from the oven with a scoop of “Don’t Vote for John McCain” ice cream.


(no title)

Saw a link to this article over on Derek’s blog:

“Consider the rather startling fact that you will never know you have died. You may feel yourself slipping away, but it isn’t as though there will be a “you” around who is capable of ascertaining that, once all is said and done, it has actually happened. Just to remind you, you need a working cerebral cortex to harbor propositional knowledge of any sort, including the fact that you’ve died—and once you’ve died your brain is about as phenomenally generative as a head of lettuce.”

It’s an interesting read – check it out over at the Scientific American website: Never Say Die: Why We Can’t Imagine Death


I am awesome

And not just awesome. Fucking awesome.

It says so on the internets:

Props to Miss604, on whose site I saw the awesomeness that is


Hockey Hotties

This Saturday I’m going to be participating in a draft for a hockey pool.  Since I pay little to no attention to teams that aren’t the Canucks, I’m not overly familiar with non-Canuck players.  In fact, unless someone is a mega-star a la Sydney Crosby, I’ve probably not heard of them.  Thus, my draft strategy will be: draft the hottest players.  If I can’t win the most points, I may as well have the prettiest boys on my team, right?

Rick Dipietro. Rawr!

Rick Dipietro. Rawr!

So far, the pretty boy hockey players that come to mind are:

My research, thus far, has been watching videos of the “10 or 20 or 30 or 50 or 62 Hottest Hockey Players” on YouTube. I’ve noticed that these videos all seem to have the following things in common:

  • very poor production values
  • a plethora of copyrighted images being used
  • music that makes no sense (e.g., what does “I Kissed a Girl” have to do with hockey hotties??)
  • each contains at least 2 of the Staals, none of whom are good looking
  • each contains at least 4 fuglies for every decent looking player

Also, any “hottest hockey players” list that doesn’t include Taylor Pyatt and/or does include Evengi Malkin or Scott Gomez has some serious problems.

OK, blog readers, now help me out.  What hockey hotties are missing from my list?

Image Credit: Posted by Francis Larrede on Flickr.


Be a Guinea Pig. You know you want to.

As you know, I love being a participant1 in research studies.  As a scientist myself, I know how difficult it can be to recruit participants, so I thought I’d write a posting about some of the research participation opportunities that are out there.

First up, a friend of Raul‘s (and a colleague of mine) is looking for women who are less than 13 weeks pregnant to take part in a study assessing environmental chemicals & maternal-fetal health (check out Raul’s posting for the deets).

Other research studies looking for willing participants include:

  • The UBC School of Human Kinetics is often looking for people to participate in their research studies – you can check out their site for a list of current opportunities.
  • Researchers in my old department (Nutrition @ UBC) are looking for healthy woman in Vancouver aged 50 to 65 years for a study on dietary fats and chronic disease – check out this site for more info.

And if you don’t even want to have to get up from your computer to become a research guinea pig, why not check out Steven Pinker’s website2, as he often has online survey research projects on the go3.

Have you ever been a research participant? If so, what did you think of your experience?

1The PC word is “participant” rather than the traditional research “subject,” as it recognizes that the people who are being researched are actively and willingly participating, rather than being “subjected” to the research
2Dr. Pinker just so happens to be giving a public lecture in Vancouver this month: “The Stuff of Thought: Language As a Window Into Human Nature”
3At the time of writing this posting, he had a “Violence perception questionnaire” on his site.