Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Somewhere in a science lab some high school kid is learning about electrons and protons and how they hold molecules together. He might learn about history, math, art and lots of other stuff. He might make it right into the deep n-th level calculus and be able to calculate the half life of some esoteric isotope. He won't however learn how to balance a chequebook, he won't learn how to build his credit profile, he won't learn how to not get ripped off when he buys a car and he certainly won't learn how to negotiate his first job terms. Most people have to learn this stuff by screwing up and then correcting. Some people never learn this stuff and live hand to mouth day in day out and wonder why it is that they can't ever make ends meet.

So here's my recommendation for some new high school courses that I wish I took that would have come in very handy:
1) Basic personal cash flow and finance
2) Negotiating fair deals
3) Financial independence
4) The generation gap explained
5) Self confidence and learned optimism

Having said that, being the idiot that I was in high school I doubt that I would have voluntarily taken those courses.

Monday, October 29, 2007

More on Control

I finally saw Anton Corbijn's Ian Curtis biopic "Control" on Saturday. It's everything that I thought it would be, bleak, severe and torturous - much like me when I was 16. I guess seeing this movie was a lot like picking an old scab but now I'm almost doing it from a third persons perspective. If you like indy music or Joy Division, it's worth seeing. However, if you are looking for some light entertainment then avoid it like yellow mayo.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Being Upfront

It's actually easier than you think, change your outlook and do what you say. No so hard right? So why is it that so many people flap their lips and don't follow up with action? Most people would rather not face the unpleasant part of being honest upfront. In the real world, being upfront leads to awkward situations like when you have to say no, like saying no to doing something you don't feel right doing. What's the option then? Say yes and don't show up and then avoid the person? Sadly, most people don't have the backbone to be upfront with the people around them. Frankly, I'd rather avoid those kinds of people because in reality it seems that they aren't upfront with themselves and to me that lack of self confidence sucks energy out of those around them (i.e. Me). Fuck it, life is too short - I'd rather hang out with 2 people that inspire me than 100 who bore me.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

On Homogeneous Societies

I find it sad and troubling that Quebec French Canadian society seems to be rejecting multiculturalism on such a grand and public scale. How ironic is it that an ethnic group so fiercely intent on preserving it's own culture would like to do so by obliterating the cultures of other minorities. The laws of Quebec are in place to prevent the assimilation of the French culture but at the same time the great hypocrisy lies in the equally intense desire to assimilate those who are different. Smells of institutional demagoguery and xenophobia - sad, pathetic and frankly embarrassing

"Giving a majority to Harper would have disastrous consequences for Quebec," said Duceppe, accusing the federal government of failing to protect the French language in Quebec.

He also blasted "Canadian multiculturalism" and said he will present amendments this fall to exclude Quebec from the Canadian Multiculturalism Act that promotes the preservation of various ethnic cultures and heritages.

Post Oct 14, 2007

A majority of Quebecers -- 56 per cent -- think minorities should be discouraged from forming their own communities here and, what's more, actually abandon their cultural practices, a Leger Marketing survey said.

By contrast, only 20 per cent of other Canadians feel that way. As well, only a minority of Quebecers -- 44 per cent -- think society should try harder to accept minorities' customs and traditions. In the rest of Canada, a strong majority -- 75 per cent -- thought so.

The phone poll of 1,500 Canadians, including 1,000 Quebecers, was done over the Thanksgiving weekend, between Oct. 4 and 10, on behalf of the Montreal-based Association for Canadian Studies.

on Immigration

Other articles:
Bigotry on public display

We don't have to look too far to see how well this policy worked for France where 9000 cars were burnt and thousands of attacks were launched against the police forces by disenfranchised immigrant youth. How well did assimilation work there?

More on Staglieno

Who knew that the biggest tourist attraction in Genoa was the Cemetery?

Here are a couple more tours:

Saturday, October 20, 2007


If you like Joy Division then you probably appreciate the aesthetic of the artwork that went with all of their releases. My favorite was the album cover for closer and the 12" Love will tear us apart.

The photograph on the cover of Closer is of the Appiani family tomb in the Cimitero Monumentale di Staglieno in Genoa by sculptor Demetrio Paernio, photo by Bernard Pierre Wolff.

These photos taken in this cemetery have a lot of familiar statues and monuments but taken from different angles.

I especially like these two from the covers;

Something creepy

It took me a while to figure out what it is that creeps me out about this dood other than him being a pedophile, then it struck me. He looks just like Moby YUCK!!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Cheap(er) Flights

I've been spending a lot of time in airports these days so I've had a chance to use a few different web sites to book my travel. Usually I use Expedia or Air Canada/Westjet but these days with the Canadian dollar above par, I'm using quite a bit. Overall they seem to be finding me flights about 25%-30% less than I usually pay and with much more variety in schedules. Highly recommended, give them a spin sometime.

Thursday, October 11, 2007


Anton Corbijn's film Control is coming out any day now which is a biopic of Joy Division's rise and fall. This is prolly the film that I've been most anxious to see this year. JD were for me the most important and underrated band of my lifetime.

"This is why events unnerve me,
They find it all, a different story,
Notice whom for wheels are turning,
Turn again and turn towards this time,
All she asks the strength to hold me,
Then again the same old story,
Word will travel, oh so quickly,
Travel first and lean towards this time.
Oh, Ill break them down,
no mercy shown,
Heaven knows, its got to be this time,
Watching her, these things she said,
The times she cried,
Too frail to wake this time.
Oh, Ill break them down, no mercy shown,
Heaven knows, its got to be this time,
Avenues all lined with trees,
Picture me and then you start watching,
Watching forever,
forever,Watching love grow,
forever,Letting me know, forever."

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

It's a little hard

to keep writing this blog from airports and rental cars which is where I seem to be spending most of my time these days. I was wondering if I should just delete this whole thing but I figured I'd give it another shot.

Here are some cool cooking gadgets from PopSci.