Sunday, 30 March 2008

Sound Advice

Today in church we had a guest speaker, Ron Blue. The guy's been all over the place and knows a lot of people. I thought the message was excellent, but I mainly wish to share just one piece of it with you, which shall serve as today's quote:

"Dare I say it? Don't give until you hurt. What does the Bible say? 'God loves a cheerful giver.' So give until you're happy. If you're ever not happy, you need to give some more!"

The whole congregation laughed pretty hard at that.

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Are You Smarter Than A University Student?

Q: Is it smart to procrastinate a substantial ten-page, ten-academic-sources psychology essay, half a presentation on the esoteric Bonhoeffer, and three related history readings until the afternoon before they're due?

A: No.

'Nuff said. I'm drowning.


Calvin: You can't just turn on creativity like a faucet. You have to be in the right mood.
Hobbes: What mood is that?
Calvin: Last-minute panic.

Monday, 17 March 2008

And These People Sure Make Us Look Bad...

I was going to post something of more substance once I had the time, but this was too good to pass up. Anyone who thought Swan Lake was for pansies is about to proven very wrong.

I used to do pointework in ballet, but I can't say that I had this girl's insane sense of balance. She's like a plank, I tell you! Doesn't even flinch! I wonder how old she is.

Does anyone else want to play leapfrog? I guess that number had to be renamed from "Dance of the Seven Swans" to "Breakdance of the Four Frogs".

As for the pointework, I didn't even notice the spotter come in until the second time I watched this. He's there during the apparently "difficult" bit where the girl's on top of the guy's head, then leaves once the tough stuff is done. I guess if there's a spotter, that means it's probably legit, and she's not being held up with strings or anything.

One thing I don't understand, though, is how she manages to spin around while she's on his head, because she has no momentum, and he doesn't appear to spin her. Oh, well. Did you notice he was wearing some sort of head gear, there?

Wow, as a former dancer, I'm insanely jealous...

Could you imagine crossing this break/ballet dancing with castelling? I would definitely pay to see that!

While I'm talking about dancing, I should quote one of my former dance mates, Deanna McLennan (now Witwer):

The answer to all of life's problems and questions can be answered by one of these: God or abdominal strength.

Or, perhaps, insane balance?

Thursday, 13 March 2008

He's a Happy Shark

Seeing as how we've been discussing depth and motion perception in one of my psych classes at school, I thought this would be an appropriate addition to my blog. Hopefully you know how to look at stereograms.

It's a shark, thrashing about a bit. It looks somewhat painful.

Let's analyze this... We have apparent motion, like all animation, and binocular depth cues - convergence to be precise.

I love 3D!

And speaking of perception:
"I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.” Robert McCloskey

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Guilty As Charged

Hee hee...

It has been brought to my attention that, were he still alive, George Orwell would not be unlikely to dislike me. I'm not inexperienced at formulating precisely what he claims is contributing to the decline of the national political spectrum. Although certainly not unconsciously done, my actions were not the product of malevolent motives, and the tactics which Orwell describes were only utilized in order to secure more desirable gradings in academic work.

However, since I have been made aware of the issue, an attempt shall be made to rectify most of my ways... although surely it is not always unjustifiable to resort to vague language. One must admit that at times it may be convenient, not to mention in good judgment, to soften the effect of words and their meanings, for the sake of one's relationship to the greater population.


If you speak clearly, people will actually understand what you're saying, and if they understand you, you're bound to have more enemies. That could be disastrous. It's no accident people tend to speak in abstract terms and big, convoluted sentences, or without really making a statement at all. George Orwell says that when we cease to say what we mean, we cease to think about what we mean, too. And that just contributes to the disintegration of the nation.

And though it's not just politicians that do it, this is Jean Chretien, when someone asked him whether he was for or against abortion:

"Well, you know, my father's name was Joseph. My mother's name was Mary. I was raised on Holy Trinity Street. My initials are J.C. What do you think?"

Friday, 7 March 2008

Photo Shoot

I guess some family pictures are overdue. These were taken in the fall. I need to get my hair cut again, because I like the length it is in these pictures.

Lovely sister.

That is I.

Charming parents.

Obligatory "insane family" picture.

Attempting to photograph my sister and brother.

We should be on the cover of a magazine.

Awesome bro.

Finally settling down for a "real" family picture.

C'mon, Carla! Pucker up!

"Families are like fudge - mostly sweet with a few nuts." Anonymous

Thursday, 6 March 2008


I'm a student, and hence have very little to report or talk about during midterm week besides midterms.

1) Calculus - technically not a midterm, but a quiz, the score of which shall be combined with the score of the first quiz. I DID NOT FAIL! But I should have. Forty-nine percent or less is a fail. I got fifty. Twenty-five out of fifty marks. Except that the prof had originally written twenty-three, rather than twenty-five, then gave me two more marks (as far as we can tell, because he wanted me to pass).

I'm a good student. Last calc class, my final grade was A, and this semester was also going well. Until this test. It's not that I didn't study - I learned all those equations no problem. I just didn't know what equations to use to solve the problems. It's partly my fault, definitely. But at the same time, I didn't expect it to be so difficult. I have never had a problem with math before.

This year, however, the tutorials are in a completely different format from calc class last year, and I do not benefit from them. Therefore, if I wish to do well in this course, I shall have to take it upon myself to basically teach myself, using the few examples from the lecture, questions from the textbook, and sessions with Dad.

50%. As far as university is concerned, my first ever bombed test.

2) Ethics - I wrote it. With a pen, even though I like using pencils better. The prof wanted us to use a pen. Don't have the results for that yet. I think it went ok.

3) Psych 369 - Hasn't happened yet.

4) History - No midterm!!! (It's a full-year course. The Christmas exam was the midterm.)

5) Psych 203 - This was an interesting exam. Before beginning the test, the prof gave us evaluation sheets to fill out, so he could see what sort of things we wanted him to fix, and what things we liked. Fair enough, although I would have liked to fill it out after the exam, because then I could have mentioned a few more things...

Upon beginning the test, I was quite surprised to find a number of obvious and altogether ridiculous spelling mistakes on the test (and also punctuation errors). For example: "school" was spelled "shchoool". You'd think the prof would have turned on a spell-checker.

After hemming and hawing about a question for which none of the answers really seemed to fit (as far as I'm concerned, all four answer choices were wrong), I saw a classmate bring her test to the prof and ask if it was the right one. What do you know, it wasn't. Several other students handed their tests back, as well, while recovering from their panic attacks at not recognizing any of the material. I skimmed the rest of my test to see if it was the correct one. All the questions had to do with psychology, so I thought it was, but it wasn't. After several more minutes, the prof told everyone to stop and hand back their tests, because it turns out they were all wrong. The first page was from the right test, but every page after that was from a completely different class.

Apologizing, and stating that this had never happened during his ten years of teaching, the prof scampered off to copy out the correct exams, while we all had a ten minute break. Luckily it was only supposed to be a thirty-minute exam, so there was time to spare. The girl sitting next to me and I started chatting about coffee, the humour in the situation, and Hitch-hiker's Guide to the Galaxy. She brought up the question for which I hadn't seen any appropriate answer, and related her belief that none of the answers were right.

So I, and I assume she, when the exam started again, chose the answer that made the most sense, based solely on the information given in the question, and still wonder whether he made another typo and wrote "no" where he didn't mean to.

Otherwise, the test was easier than I had expected it to be.

That's all for now.

And speaking of Hitch-hiker's Guide to the Galaxy:

Mr Prosser said, 'You were quite entitled to make any suggestions or protests at the appropriate time, you know.'
'Appropriate time?' hooted Arthur. 'Appropriate time? The first I knew about it was when a workman arrived at my home yesterday. I asked him if he'd come to clean the windows and he said no he'd come to demolish the house. He didn't tell me straight away, of course. Oh no. First he wiped a couple of windows and charged me a fiver. Then he told me.'
'But, Mr Dent, the plans have been available in the local planning office for the last nine months.'
'Oh yes, well as soon as I heard I went straight round to see them, yesterday afternoon. You hadn't exactly gone out of your way to call attention to them, had you? I mean like actually telling anybody or anything.'
'But the plans were on display...'
'On display? I eventually had to go down to the cellar to find them.'
'That's the display department.'
'With a torch.'
'Ah, well the lights had probably gone.'
'So had the stairs.'
'But look, you found the notice, didn't you?'
'Yes,' said Arthur, 'yes I did. It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying Beware of the Leopard."

Sunday, 2 March 2008

Quote of the Day

I really can't shirk my homework duties any longer, now, so my entire post shall consist of this introduction and quote:

After Sunday School, six-year-old Esther glanced at six-year-old Isaiah, then looked at me, and said, in all seriousness:

"Miss Carla, I've always thought that I might marry Isaiah one day."

I have to say that it made my morning, and maybe my afternoon, too.