Friday, February 28, 2014

learning! hobson's choice

I came across the term "Hobson's Choice" the other day while doing some research for a play I'm currently working on.  Not knowing what it was, I naturally turned to Google, which pointed me at Wikipedia.  Here are some handy definitions for you next time you want to sound like a smarty pants at a party:


Hobson's Choice: A free choice in which only one option is offered.  The choice is between doing something (accepting the one option) and nothing.

Hobson was a dude who lived in the 16th century who had a big ol' stable full of horses that he would rent out.  He would, however, only let people rent out the horse who was in the stall closest to the door, so while they may have expected to have a lot of horses to choose from, there was only one, and they would take it or leave it.  He did this to prevent his best horses from being taken out constantly and being overused.

The term has made it into popular culture - sort of.  There is a play called Hobson's Choice as well as a few movies.  The one that I have vague remembrances of, however, was a TV show called The Early Edition that ran in the 90's where a man named Gary Hobson (wink, nudge) would receive tomorrow's newspaper the day before it was published, and then have to decide if he was going to act on it and try to change the future or not.

Misuses/Terms that are confused with Hobson's Choice but are different:

Dilemma: A choice between two or more options that are probably undesirable.
Morton's Fork (or double bind): Different choices will yield the same result, and that result is probably undesirable.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

inspiration! a child is (almost) born - a photo series by lennart nilsson

Life is amazing! So is science! And art! Without them all we would not be able to have this incredible series of photos charting the life of a foetus from sperm to nearly-born. What a fascinating journey. We all know the basics of how life begins, of course: sperm finds egg. Egg is fertilized, attaches to uterine wall, and begins multiplying. The multiplying cells specialize and suddenly we have a heartbeat, a brain, organs, bones, finger nails. Dang, we are amazing.

Also, the closer these little guys get to looking human the more they look like creepy aliens, but hey, that's cool too.

Photo of a sperm in the fallopian tube. By Lennart Nilsson.
See the entire series here.

Monday, February 24, 2014

cute! cat yoga

Sometimes Gertie joins me for my morning yoga practice. And by sometimes, I of course mean every time.


#cutemonday

Sunday, February 23, 2014

singalong: settle down by kimbra

This weekend's singalong is Kimbra's Settle Down. Kimbra is super cool. Her voice is unique, her lyrics are clever, her music has heft, and did you see her sweet moves? There might be a layer of darkness I'm missing in this song (especially judging from the music video), but I first was drawn to this song not only for its sweet tune, but because it seemed refreshingly rare to hear a song about wanting to get domestic come from a strong, artistic, empowered female voice.


SETTLE DOWN
by Kimbra

I wanna settle down
I wanna settle down
Won't you settle down with me?
Settle down

We can settle at a table
A table for two
Won't you wine and dine with me?
Settle down

I wanna raise a child
I wanna raise a child
Won't you raise a child with me?
Raise a child

We'll call her Nebraska
Nebraska Jones
She'll have your nose
Just so you know

I wanna settle down
I wanna settle down
Won't you settle down with me?
Settle down

Run from Angela Vickers
I saw her with you
Monday morning small talking on the avenue
She's got a fancy car
She wants to take you far
From the city lights and sounds deep into the dark

Star so light and star so bright
First star I see tonight!
Star so light and star so bright
Keep him by side!

I wanna settle down
I wanna settle down
Baby there's no need to run
I'll love you well
I wanna settle down
It's time to bring you down
On just one knee for now
Let's make our vows

Star so light and star so bright
First star I see tonight!
Star so light and star so bright
Keep him by side!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

inspiration! buffy

I love love love Buffy.  She is super powerful and funny and clever and awesome. And she weapon trains for fun.

Photo found on Fanpop, submitted by robyncampbell13.

Inspired!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

singalong! wouldn't it be nice by the beach boys

Let's launch The Day After Valentine's Day with The Beach Boys' sweet and innocent love song "Wouldn't it be Nice".  It's just …. so… cute.  You know?



WOULDN'T IT BE NICE
The Beach Boys

Wouldn't it be nice if we were older
Then we wouldn't have to wait so long
And wouldn't it be nice to live together
In the kind of world where we belong

You know its gonna make it that much better
When we can say goodnight and stay together

Wouldn't it be nice if we could wake up
In the morning when the day is new
And after having spent the day together
Hold each other close the whole night through

Happy times together we've been spending
I wish that every kiss was never ending
Wouldn't it be nice

Maybe if we think and wish and hope and pray it might come true
Baby then there wouldn't be a single thing we couldnt do
We could be married
And then wed be happy

Wouldn't it be nice

You know it seems the more we talk about it
It only makes it worse to live without it
But lets talk about it
Wouldn't it be nice

Goodnight, baby,
Sleep tight, baby

Friday, February 14, 2014

learning! the science of kissing

In honour of kissing day (oh, sorry, love day?  Greeting card day?  Okay, okay, St. Valentine's Day), today's Learning! post is about the science of kissing.


via It's Okay to be Smart, the funnest little science blog that could.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

inspiration! be passionate

A friend of mine works in one of those hip arts offices where they have a chalkboard with new artsy-fartsy inspirational quotes chosen by a different staff member each week.  I like this one.


The company is Laura Murray PR.  Follow them on Instagram or Twitter for weekly bites like this.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

sweet nothings for valentine's day

I like to make valentines.  This year I made these.  Some are happy and some are cynical.  You can decide which are which.













me & ryan gosling on the beach, in the good ol' days

Ah, this one brings me back!  Just a few friends hanging out on the beach.  As you can see from Ryan's hair, this was back in the old days when he was rocking that cute floppy flip in the front.  Now you can see just how far back my relationship with Ryan goes!


Want to see more of me and Ryan Gosling?  Here it is!

Monday, February 10, 2014

cute! an adorable moment of serene cat-ness

This week's cuteness is a picture of Pharaoh, the dear ward of my friends Brian and Zoe.  A couple of times I have gone in to kitty-sit for this little nugget, and when I saw him, all curled up in a little ball on their large white bedspread, I couldn't resist taking a picture.  Such a perfectly adorable moment of serene cat-ness.


Saturday, February 8, 2014

singalong! bittersweet symphony

To me this song sums up life perfectly. The music rolls on over and over again, like the day-to-day reality of living. The lyrics sum up the deep beauty and deep pain of life. Of course, I've never actually read the lyrics, and now that I look at them, it's a little more on the pain side of things.  In my mind it always sounded like he was going back and forth between saying "I can change" and "I can't change", which to me encapsulates so much of life in one sweet turn of phrase. I also always thought he was saying "have you ever been down?" but it's "[the only road] that I've ever been down" - the one implying togetherness in our feelings of being down, the other implying that there is only one path we can take in life.

Alas! I still love the song and want to sing along with it, just with my own small tweaks on the lyrics.


BITTERSWEET SYMPHONY
Verve

'Cause it's a bittersweet symphony, this life
Trying to make ends meet
You're a slave to money then you die
I'll take you down the only road I've ever been down
You know the one that takes you to the places
where all the veins meet yeah

No change, I can't change
I can't change, I can't change
But I'm here in my mind
I am here in my mind
But I'm a million different people
from one day to the next
I can't change my mind
No, no, no, no, no, no, no,no,no,no,no,no(fading away)

Well I never pray
But tonight I'm on my knees yeah
I need to hear some sounds that recognize the pain in me, yeah
I let the melody shine, let it cleanse my mind, I feel free now
But the airways are clean and there's nobody singing to me now

No change, I can't change
I can't change, I can't change
But I'm here in my mind
I am here in my mind
And I'm a million different people
from one day to the next
I can't change my mind
No, no, no, no, no, no, no
I can't change
I can't change it

'Cause it's a bittersweet symphony, this life
Trying to make ends meet
Trying to find some money then you die
I'll take you down the only road I've ever been down
You know the one that takes you to the places
where all the veins meet yeah

You know I can't change, I can't change
I can't change, I can't change
But I'm here in my mind
I am here in my mind
And I'm a million different people
from one day to the next
I can't change my mind
No, no, no, no, no

I can't change my mind
no, no, no, no, no,
I can't change
Can't change my body,
no, no, no

I'll take you down the only road I've ever been down
I'll take you down the only road I've ever been down
Been down
Ever been down
Ever been down
Ever been down
Ever been down
That you've ever been down
That you've ever been down

Friday, February 7, 2014

learning! depression

This is a fantastic comic by Robot Hugs that illustrates the messed up way we talk about depression, and all mental illness, really.


I've had my battles with depression, and while I was able to get through it without needing medication (counselling was helpful in my case), the one about taking medication really hit home for me.  Maybe it's because I'm heavy into the yoga/all natural/DIY world where people make off-handed statements like that all the time.  Or maybe even because, as a member of the yoga/all natural/DIY world, I've thought or said things like that myself.

It is, however, a horrible, insidious lie.  A person with a depression may need to take medication for a little while, during counselling, or for the rest of their life, and that's OKAY.  End of story.  It doesn't matter if you (or you friend, brother, or aunt) were able to get through your tough time without medication, or if you think doctors are over-medicating people.  You don't take away medicine from sick people because sometimes people who aren't sick get it by accident.  Yes, they are imperfect medications that sometimes have nasty side effects or don't work as well as we would hope.  Do not write them off.  If a person feels able to live a fulfilled, effective life by taking a pill or two every day, then why on EARTH would you judge them for that?

Also, Robot Hugs appears to be an excellent little comic, so maybe subscribe to it.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

inspiration! roy orbison in cling film



My friend Alex found this website, called Ulli's Roy Orbison in Cling Film, and it is a true inspiration.

What on earth is inspiring about short stories about Roy Orbison wrapped in cling film?  It is the pure dedication and bizarre niche love of one Mr. Ulrich Haarb├╝rste, who is so into this idea that he has been posting stories since at least 2007.  He also posts other peoples' stories, was interviewed for a newspaper, and has PUBLISHED A NOVEL!

Let this be a lesson to us all to pursue our dreams without shame.

Monday, February 3, 2014

cute! panda cam

Panda Cam! Watch pandas LIVE! There is a mummy and a baby and they eat plants, roll around, play, and spend a lot of time just lying there. It is adorable.


San Diego Zoo Panda Cam

Sunday, February 2, 2014

advice for the online date-o-sphere: the profile

As anyone who's looked around on here knows, of late I have been venturing, once again, into the realm of online dating.  It's an odd arena.  Part of it feels like I'm attending a huge party full of people I don't know, with a friend whispering little facts about them into my ear.  Part of it feels like I'm shopping.  Part of it feels fun.  Part of it feels pointless and reductive.

The usual spelling and grammar issues aside (even my writer friend has told me I need to let that one go), there are some things that men tend to do on their profiles, and these things might really be reducing their chances with the ladies.  Now, to be fair, women may be doing all these terrible things and more, I just don't know because I don't look at those profiles.

Here are my latest 6 things that men need to stop doing on their online dating profiles:

1) Weak Introductions

"This is my first time doing something like this, but….", "I'm not sure how to talk about myself…", "I don't really know what to say here…"  I get it, you are not 100% comfortable with the fact that you're doing online dating.  Who is?  We all thought we would meet someone in real life, but so far, we haven't.  So here we are.  In case you didn't realize it, anyone else who reads your profile is in the exact same boat as you, so there's no point in acting weird about it.  What you're really communicating is a lack of confidence.  So cut the rambling introduction and tell me about yourself!

2) Non-answers

"Ask me anything" is not an intriguing item on your profile.  The whole point of a profile is to tell me something about yourself so I can a) decide if I might be interested in you and b) have a starting off point in messaging you.  Remember the whole analogy about being at a party?  Your profile is the friend whispering in her cute friend's ear.  What do you want that whispering to say?  Probably something that will make her want to talk to you, something that will help her figure out if she has anything in common with you.  Something more specific than "if you want to know something about him, just ask."  That makes you sound boring and un-confident.

Other non-helpful non-answers include statements like "looking for someone who is my kind of crazy", "I'm into everything", or "I need someone who shares my values" - without elaboration.

3) Interests

Men of Vancouver: some of you must enjoy activities besides hiking, camping, and generally "getting outside"!  I get it - that's a big part of what this city has to offer and it shows that you're active and down-to-earth.  Great!  I would love to meet someone who would help me get outside more often.  I would also like to meet someone who shares at least one of my other interests.  What else do you do for fun?  Do you like hosting games nights?  Dressing up for costume parties?  Going to comedy shows?  Art openings?  Wine tastings?  Dog grooming sessions?  Pig roasts?  For goodness' sake!  Tell me!  I don't think you realize it, but every single one of you lists outdoor activities, so you might want to take this chance to list at least one thing that sets you apart.

4) Cynicism

"We all know you're not even going to bother reading this and will only message me if you find my picture attractive."  Really?  Do we?  Or do we look at your picture, and, if we find it attractive, read on to learn more about what kind of person you are?  Do you really want your first impression to be that of total cynicism and a slight insult?

5) Negative Nelsons

Often paired with the cynics.  These are the "don't bother messaging me if"-types, usually followed by a list of obviously negative traits.  There are a two key flaws with this approach.  First of all, it makes you sound kind of super conceited, like you're constantly encountering people who are beneath you.  Secondly, it probably won't even work.  No girl walks around telling herself that she is vapid, self-centred, and materialistic.  Vapid, self-centred, materialistic people don't tend to be all that self-aware.  So your negativity will likely filter out a lot of the good ones (who can't be bothered with someone whose defences are so high), all while letting the ones you're trying to deflect slip through.

6) Age Issues

This is a new one that I've never noticed before, but what's with all the guys who apparently only want to hear from women who are younger than them?  I get that in general, given the choice, women will choose someone their age or older and men will choose someone their age or younger.  But to actually list in the parameters that are visible to everyone that you only want girls younger than you?  Just kind of makes you look like a sexist creeper.  Give it a range.  Or, actually, don't, because if that's how you feel then I'd rather have the advanced warning of your sexist creeper-ness.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

singalong! all is full of love by bjork

This is one of the most beautiful songs of Love ever written. Capitalization intended - it's big-picture Love that Bjork reminds us of in this song, not romantic snuggly love. This fact also makes it the perfect song for healing heartache because it nudges your little soul to remember how much Love is out there.


"All Is Full Of Love"
BJORK

You'll be given love
You'll be taken care of
You'll be given love
You have to trust it

Maybe not from the sources
You have poured yours
Maybe not from the directions
You are staring at

Twist your head around
It's all around you
All is full of love
All around you

All is full of love
You just ain't receiving
All is full of love
Your phone is off the hook
All is full of love
Your doors are all shut
All is full of love!

All is full of love
All is full of love
All is full of love
All is full of love
All is full of love