Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Happiness sucks?

MSN Slate
Happiness Sucks
Why joy is bad for you.
By William Saletan

A study suggests extreme happiness may be bad for you. Findings: 1) "The highest levels of income, education and political participation were reported not by the most satisfied individuals, but by moderately satisfied individuals." 2) Extremely happy people "earned significantly less money" and earned lower school grades than moderately happy people. 3) They "may not live as long," either. Theories: 1) Happiness makes you complacent and kills your drive. 2) It makes you slow to adapt. 3) It makes you too optimistic and insufficiently vigilant about your health. 4) It may overstimulate your cardiovascular system. Researchers' conclusions: 1) "Happiness may need to be moderated for success." 2) "Extremely high levels of happiness might not be a desirable goal." Human Nature's conclusions: 1) Success may need to be moderated for happiness. 2) Extremely high levels of success might not be a desirable goal.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Streets of Halifax

I was talking to Chels just the other day about how none of our close friends don't just get together to chill and hang out like we used to. Everyone lives off campus and keeps to themselves more often. Most of us are just a lot more busy than we used to be. Jenny is heading to France for 5 months to study (French maybe?) and we all went over to 5311 South last night to give her a surprise. We dressed up as people you see on the streets in Halifax. It went along with the street sign theme of their house, after they had 'borrowed' a lot of construction signs from the South end. Jenny got there and Katie met her at the door as a super-excercise freak. Jenny: "Katie, why the hell are you dressed like that?" Haha. Anyways, it was an awesome night to catch up with everyone and just chill, plus everyone was hilariously dressed up. I was the Liquor store pirate, Lisa was a pregnant hooker, Chels was the flower guy, Jenna was a walk of shame, Seymour was a squeegie kid, Kaitlyn as an American, and Cathy was a Starbucks cup. I guess all it takes to get your friends all together is to go far away. See you soon Jenny, bon soir!

Monday, January 14, 2008

The new music

Before Christmas, I bought the new Radiohead album online. The album took my favorite band about two years to finish. Wow, it is amazing. Every track pushes the boundaries of music. It takes music to more than just beats, I think it is more like an art form that you can listen to. This release is the band's first album after the end of their contract with EMI and the end of the longest gap between studio albums in their career. Because they were not under contract with any company, the record was released online in a digital format. In a completely revolutionary move, the band let fans choose the price of the album. Radiohead will not confirm how many records were bought online before the release in store, or how much they made off this online sale. Despite these advance sales, the album's release topped the charts around the world as the number one album for sales.

What a cool way to get music. Hopefully the band tours somewhere near Halifax this summer. The frontman for Radiohead, Tom Yorke, has stated many times that he is not in favour of touring simply because of the negative effects on the environment and the contribution of Carbon Dioxide to the atmosphere causing climate change. Maybe I'll be lucky enough to get tickets for a Boston or Toronto show. Shipping things around the world also gives off a lot of pollution. Although CDs are a very small thing to ship, it still helps to download the album in a digital format to save on shipping.

Drunk teenagers, let's start a fight, I'm getting hammered on a Saturday night

This past Saturday we at a big party at our house. 5215 Green street was party-proofed before everyone got there, and we took special measures to make sure the cops didn't show up this time. The window blinds were shut, the apartment downstairs wasn't going to be home, and the front window was covered with garbage bags. Everyone started arriving and we started to play catchphrase. It's a hilarious game where you have to get people to guess a word without rhyming or doing actions, etc. Once more people arrived and we all had a little more to drink, Joel Plaskett was pumped from the living room to turn the floor into a dance hall. The police never did show up and it was a great night with lots of friends from home, from SMU, and AIESEC people. Of course, we ordered 3 large poutines for a late night snack after most people left. Thanks to everyone who came and had a good time, stay tuned for the next party.

Monday, January 07, 2008

World Events of 2008 so far

While I was away in Montreal for a week, I was a little isolated from everyone in the outside world. Sometimes it's nice to be disconnected from the internet and media, but you also miss a couple big important events. At conference, we had a new updates on PowerPoint every morning. A couple of the big events so far this year were:
-Elections in Kenya and the rising violence
-Cease-fire stopping in Sri Lanka
-Oil hitting $100 a barrel
-Canada winning Gold at the World Junior's for the 4th straight year
-Obama pulling ahead in the races for the Democrats

What else will 2008 bring us?


Welcome to 2008. Last year flew by, it was an incredible year. One of my goals for this year is to start and continue to blog again. So hopefully that works out. It's been a long time since my last post, almost a year.

Here's a very brief summary of the things that happened to me last year:
-became SRC Science Rep for SMUSA
-received a NSERC research grant to do research on Green roofs for the summer at SMU as my co-op workterm
-got a certificate of Distinction for Charter day from SMUSA for work with AIESEC, Environmental society, and volunteering
-finished off year as Returning RA, won Best Rice RA and best Returning RA
-became a student Ambassador for SMU doing campus tours
-Dump and Run Yardsale
-went to AIESEC's National Leadership Development Conference at Ryerson in Toronto. Saw Niagara falls and partied in TO, had awesome sessions at conference related to leadership, etc.
-moved into a house in the south end of Halifax with 5 other people (after just a few renovations), living at 5215 Green street with Chels, Jordan, Robyn, Katherine, and Christian (and some awesome subletters for the summer)
-SMUSA 24 hour relay, for the NS Abilities Foundation
-spent a lot of relaxing weekends at my cottage in Brule, loving the beach and the hot summer
-finished research on green roofs in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and urban microclimates
-going to miss Jenna Delaney
-Summer: Jazzfest bartending, bbq's, Multifest, science building meetings, beach trips, Canada day camping, learning to drive a stick, Joel Plaskett concerts, Lokanda pub crawl, boat cruises on the Silva
-road trip to NYC with Lisa, Seymour, Alison, Jordan, and Sarah: saw everything in NYC in a weekend, and drove from Hali and back
-final Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows book release
-Frosh camp
-mumps shots for everyone
-Working with SMUSA, SMUES, AIESEC, etc for a busy semester
-Matt Good and Tragically Hip in concert
-SMU winning the Uteck bowl and advancing to the Vanier Cup in TO
-new job at the TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language) Centre as a Cultural Assistant
-writing up my honours, presenting the data at GRHC conference in Baltimore, but writing it up over Christmas break
-going back to work at Canadian Tire for Christmas
-Skiing with friends in early December
-Chevy's reunion night
-going to Montreal for National Congress 2008, kicking off AIESEC's 50th anniversary where it all began

If you read this blog, please comment on some of the posts, let me know what you think.