Thursday, April 30, 2009

I'm back!

I'm home! Did you miss me?
I had a lovely vacation, thank you. I spent some time in Vancouver with a friend and her family, as well as in Victoria with my cousins. Unfortunately, I got a brief but timely bout of food poisoning, so we never ended up going down to Seattle. Pictures will be up on my travel blog later tomorrow.
So it was good-bye green grass and cherry blossoms in BC, and hello to brown grass and no leaves in Alberta. Despite this, it's nice to be home. I missed my pillow...

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Gone, Gone Away

I'm on vacation for the next 10 days. I will be hanging out in Vancouver, Seattle and Victoria, catching up with old friends and family.
See you in May!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Bittersweet Library Desk Duty

*Sigh* 
Yesterday was my last shift at the university library. I think I loved that job more than I ever loved a job before (not like competition was stiff though). Fortunately, I also had an interview yesterday for the same job in the Fall. So fingers crossed and prayers, I'll get to relive all my desk memories in real-time next academic year too. I certainly will miss the library staff over the summer, but I'm sure September will arrive quicker than I need it to.
Another lovely bittersweet story came over the desk during my shift on Friday. A couple with two kids came up to us with a sweet story. The woman had with her one of the university's books, which had been written by her grandfather. The family didn't have a copy and they wanted to buy it from the library. The real kicker was that the book had only been signed out twice - once by her aunt (the author's daughter) in '76 and once by her (the authors grand daughter) in '93. And that's it. The book has just sat on our shelves collecting dust since then.
My colleague took the story to the collections librarian. Here comes the bitter part, which is completely understandable from a professional point of view. No, the library does not sell books (we are not a bookstore). No, the woman cannot have the book (we are not a charitable organization). We collect rare books in an attempt to archive civilization (etc). 
So the family left empty handed. They'd gone about the whole thing too honestly. The woman should've taken the book out, 'lost it', and paid the $150 lost book fee. 
Sometimes it's a bittersweet, twisted library world I live in...

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Eco Car Washes

Now that it's finally 'spring', and all the snow has finished falling (as of yesterday?!), it's time to think about washing all the mud and dust off my car.
So which is more environmentally friendly: washing your car by hand or in an automatic car wash?
Our Green Year says:
"As it turns out, washing your car at home (not a dry wash which is only good for small jobs) takes up 80 to 140 gallons of water. On the other hand, a commercial car wash uses 45 gallons of water for each wash. In addition, federal laws in the U.S. and Canada require commercial car wash facilities to drain their waste water into sewer systems, where they are treated and discharged back into the environment as clean water. Commercial car washes also use control systems to minimize water usage because too much water usage will cost them money. On top of that, there are many car washes that recycle and reuse their rinse water.
When people wash their car at home, the water and soap goes down the driveway and into the storm sewer, which then makes its way into the environment without being treated."
Of course they haven't cited their source so I went looking around and found a couple links to back that up: - Eco-Friendly Car Washing: Is It Better to Wash Cars at Home or at the Car Wash? (from About.com) - Eco-Friendly Car Wash (from Earth 911)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Re: Last Weeks Posts

Here are a couple follow ups to a couple posts from last week:
Why I Watch Curling - They actually sent out ballots throughout the stadium and voted on "Hottest Player of the World's 2009"! You can view the top 5 here. My top two came in #3 (David Murdoch) and #1 (Thomas Ulsrud)! And Murdoch ended up winning the whole darn event!
Science-y Brilliance - here's another comedic look at one of my favourite shows, Mythbusters...
I personally love it when they blow up stuff (the cement mixer is my absolute fav!). GraphJam is one of my favourite webcomic type site thingys, so definitely check it out.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Seriously?

I can't believe it. Canada lost the gold. On an unbelievably bad call.
I don't even want to talk about that.
Scotland won though, and since I'm a big fan of Murdoch and co., I guess the week wasn't a total bust.
Let's all just forget the whole World's and move onto the last event of the season, the Grey Power Players' Championship. I think I shall cheer for Howard and Koe...

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Curling - The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

To continue this series of 'sports' posts, I now present to you 'The Good, The Bad and The Ugly' of this weekend's curling news.
The Good: Team Kevin Koe has directly qualified for the Olympic Trials, joining Teams Glenn Howard and Kevin Martin (more teams have yet to qualify, Al Cameron will explain how it's working here). Yay! That's fabulous news as they're one of my most favourite teams, plus I'm volunteering for the trials, so maybe I'll get to meet them!! Tee hee.
The Bad: What is up with Kevin Martin at the World Men's Curling Championships?? They've lost two in a row to Scotland, and they weren't even good losses. I do love Scotland and want to be watching a Can/Scot final tomorrow, but really - two in a row is now acceptable for the Martin team. It's a must win game against Switzerland this afternoon - well right now really - Canada is up 2-1 for the moment.
and The Ugly: This was spotted at the World's in Moncton. Seriously, no idea what's up with this.

Friday, April 10, 2009

It's All Over For the Oil

Q. What do you call 26 millionaires sitting around a TV watching the Stanley Cup playoffs?
A. The Edmonton Oilers.
I hate to quote something from the 'other' local paper, but this is just too good. I hope my $60 isn't wasted tonight, it would be a shame to watch them lose the last game of the season to the Flames.
I'm an Edmontonian, so I'm kinda used to the disappointment regarding the Oil throwing away the last half of their season.
Better luck next year boys.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Why I Watch Curling

Ford World Curling Hotties Part I Ford World Curling Hotties Part II
No, this is not the reason I watch curling. I am not that shallow. Buy me dinner and I'll talk your ear off for an hour about why I watch curling.
I do agree though that women watch sports because of the good looking men. Would David Beckham (for the record I do not think he's good looking) be as popular if he looked differently? Will the Oilers sell less tickets when Souray gets traded (notice the when, not if)? Why are there so many 'Buckle Bunnies' and 'Puck Bunnies' and 'Broom Bunnies' (I made up the last one, not a bad idea though, maybe I'll dye my hair blonde)?
I found a couple articles about this (but can't give you the links because they were in the UofA's database system and you'd only be able to read them if you had a password) but here are the abstracts:
"Sexual selection theory argues that females invest more heavily in reproduction than males and thus tend to be choosier in terms of mate choice. Sport may provide a context within which females can gain information about male quality to inform this choice. Males may be able to display attractive traits such as athleticism, strength, and physique to females while participating in sport. We predicted that females would favor males that participated in team sports over individual sports and non-athletes because team sport athletes may be more likely to display qualities such as the ability to work well with others and role acceptance. We used a questionnaire, a photograph, and manipulated descriptions to gauge the effects of sport involvement, attractiveness, and status on 282 females' willingness to participate in various types of relationships. Team sport athletes were perceived as being more desirable as potential mates than individual sport athletes and non-athletes. It is suggested that team sport athletes may have traits associated with good parenting such as cooperation, likeability, and role acceptance, and/or these athletes may be better able to assert dominance in a team setting."
Schulte-Hostedde, Albrecht I., Eys, Mark A., and Krista Johnson. "Female Mate Choice is Influenced by Male Sport Participation." Evolutionary Psychology 6, no. 1 (January 2008): 113-124. Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed April 8, 2009).
"Athleticism is sexually attractive, indicating that it may serve as a sign of heritable fitness. We hypothesized that just as some sports may more honestly signal fitness than other sports, some positions within team sports may more honestly signal fitness than other positions, because success in such positions depends more strongly on traits associated with heritable fitness (e.g., agility, spontaneity, creativity). We conducted two studies in which women rated facial photographs of male soccer players and ice hockey players, and we found that the faces of goalkeepers/goalies and strikers/forwards were rated to be more attractive than the faces of their team mates. These results suggest that heritable fitness may influence athletes’ choice of (or assignment to) positions..."
Park, Justin H., Abraham P. Buunk, and Martijn B. Wieling. 2007. "Does the face reveal athletic flair? Positions in team sports and facial attractiveness." Personality & Individual Differences 43, no. 7: 1960-1965. Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed April 8, 2009).
Interesting, eh?
For the record, my Ford World Curling Hotties are #10 and 7, David Murdoch and Thomas Ulsrud, but you already know that because you are a regular reader of this blog, right?

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

The Death of Books/Democracy??

Here's an excellent article titled " Where's the Bailout for Publishing?" c/o Library Juice.
The author argues books are essential to life, and democracy, and without them democracy, thus life, will die. Interesting. He's got a lot to say, as do the comments after the article.
Some excerpts:
"Books are essential to democracy. Not literacy, although literacy is important. Not reading, although reading is wonderful. But books themselves, the actual physical volumes on the shelves of libraries and stores and homes, send a message through their very existence. In a world in which most things seem ephemeral, books imply permanence: that there exist ideas and thoughts of sufficient weight that they are worth preserving in a physical form that is expensive to produce and takes up space. And a book, once out there, cannot be recalled. The author who changes his mind cannot just take down the page."
"Whatever we finally learn from the science, we can be certain of one thing: A screen is not the same as a page, and, as the migration continues, the experience of reading will itself be altered. We can anticipate a decline in reflection, in the willingness to work hard to understand a point of view, and, perhaps, the loss of the ability to appreciate the value of ideas."
It makes me sad when I hear about the terrible state of the publishing industry. It makes me sad when I hear people don't read. It makes me sad when I think about having to read the newspaper online. It makes me sad when I think about what my world would be like without a book in my hand, and a pile of 2reads on my floor.
But one can't deny, or stop the wave of technology currently washing over us. Are ebook readers the next best thing? Will all the publishers go under? Will books become extinct?
*sigh*
Who knows? I hope I'm not around when all that happens (though I think it might be coming sooner than we think). It's an issue to ponder though, maybe more so after the term is finished and my final project has been handed in...

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Science-y Brilliance

I love this PhD comic. It's fantastic. I want to frame it and put it on my wall.
Yes, I am a huge forensic/crime drama fan, and Mythbusters is one of my all time favourite shows!

Monday, April 06, 2009

Library School Explained

It's the last week of my first year of school. What have I just spent the last year doing? 
This guy has got library school explained to a tee. That's how it is.
Minus the London, ON references of course.
The link is via Headtale, who also has a great explanation about library school.
Next time someone asks me what library school is like, I'm sending them to these posts. No we do not play with Dewey decimal numbers all day. It's freakin' hard and freakin' stressful and I wish it was finished. At least year one is almost over. One more to go...

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Curling Time, Again

It's one of my favourite times of year.
No, not the end of term (although yes, the end of term, three more days until freedom).
It's time for the World Men's Curling Championship!! It's in Moncton this year, and should be a good one (if the players can figure out the poor ice, or if the ice gets better, ditto). Edmonton's Kevin Martin should take it, but that's not a given (take for example, how the Canadian women ended up 4th at their worlds). The world has caught onto curling (and training in Canada with Canadian coaches), so the field is pretty stellar this year.
My picks? Canada's Kevin Martin (above) of course. Hands down, no contest. Trouncings all around.
But failing that, how about Scotland's David Murdoch (below, left), who not only is a good curling, but is also good looking, and has a fantastic accent as well. Or how about Norway's Thomas Ulsrud (below, right), ditto on the good qualities. 
It's all on TSN, so quit watching hockey because the Oil ain't going to the playoff anyways, and take up curling for the next week!
Thanks to The Scottish Curler for the pics (yay, they've been saved!).

Needs Routine, aka Big Baby

The Edmonton Journal was not in my mailbox this morning.
That usually means the day is ruined. Seriously, if I don't start the day with a bowl of cereal and the journal I'm one grumpy sourpuss (I mean, even more than usual).
Plus, I hate reading the news online. I like to spread out the pages, scan the headlines, and savour the comics. I will never convert to an online subscription. Yes, I know newsprint is bad for the environment, but I recycle the old papers. And yes, I know all the newspaper companies are going under and that one day I'll be forced to read the news online, but for now I'm supporting my local paper, and the local economy and will continue to read the paper. In paper.
Except today, because it's lost.
And that's all I'm saying.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Random Links For A Friday

Here are 3 random links that came through my RSS feeds today:
Blackbeard Pirate Relics Found! - Seriously, I thought he was fictional.
Best Cities - For singles, midcareer, families, empty nesters and retirees, see, Etown isn't all that bad!
An inside look at the Cascades recycled paper towel (and toilet paper) factory - From one of my favourite blogs, this is actually super interesting!!
And if you're still bored, come out to The Pawn Shop tonight for The Deep Dark Woods CD release party...

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Play flyguy. Your Sanity Will Thank You.

Bored? Tired of writing term papers?
You need to take a break and play flyguy.
Not kidding. You'll love it.
via thinkversusthought.