Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Really thoughtful and inspirational short video. I think it's about following your dreams, being dedicated and never giving up. Anything is possible if you really put your mind to it.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Old ideas for new clothes

Everyone wants to be trendy right? Or at least have their own individual style. Think about this the next time you are shopping for that vintage look: the destroyed jeans or the pre worn out shirt. I found this on a hoodie that I got at American Apparel. Hand made clothes in downtown Los Angeles.

"Wear It In

This garment is brand-new. There are no fabricated holes, sandpaper rubbed edges, deteriorating dye processes, or faux finishes of any kind. We encourage you to wash and wear it yourself. We'd like for our basics to last for a very long time. We strive to give you something that is in style, but not overtly trendy that you'll only love it for a weekend. You can buy it now, break it in, and still wear it well 20 years from now, or maybe your kids will find it in your closet. Long term fashion is more sustainable. It's the vintage of the future."

Something cool to think about. I think we could all use some more sustainable clothing.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Seeing time: synaesthesia!

I read this really cool article on the BBC News website. I never thought about this before, but I'm pretty sure I have this. They found that some people are able to see time. They explain it way better than I could in the article, so I'll just let you read some stuff I copied below. You can read the whole article at:


Can you see time?

By Victoria Gill
Science reporter, BBC News

Imagine if you could see time laid out in front of you, or surrounding your body. And you could physically point to specific dates in space.

Important dates might stand out - birthdays, anniversaries. And you could scan a visible timeline - to check if you were available - whenever you made plans. No actual diary necessary.

According to Julia Simner, a psychologist from the University of Edinburgh, there is a reasonable chance you can. And that you may use the experience, unconsciously, every day.

Dr Simner studies synaesthesia - a condition caused by an unusually high number of connections between two areas of the brain's sensory cortex, making two senses inseparable.

Synaesthetes, as they are known, have experiences that might seem extremely strange to any non-synaesthete.

The extra connections might be between the brain area that processes colours and the area that processes language.

"One of the most common variants is called grapheme-colour synaesthesia," says Dr Simner.

"People with this variant know the colour of letters of the alphabet. So they know that the letter 'A' may be red. But not just any red, it's a certain shade of crimson. And B is turquoise-blue."

These colours are different from person to person, but for one synaesthete they are very consistent.

"If you are a synaesthete with a red A, your A has always been red and will always be red. And it's so intrinsic, that many synaesthetes never question whether this is unusual."

But synaesthetic experiences are not only triggered by a sensory experience - hearing a sound or reading a word that starts with at coloured letter - they can also triggered simply by thinking about things.

In the case of time-space synaesthesia, a very visual experience can be triggered by thinking about time.

"I thought everyone thought like I did, says Holly Branigan, also a scientist at Edinburgh University, and someone with time-space synaesthesia.

"I found out when I attended a talk in the department that Julia was giving. She said that some synaesthetes can see time. And I thought, 'Oh my god, that means I've got synaesthesia'."

So what exactly does she see?

When I'm making plans I can look at my mental calendar -Holly Branigan, synaesthete

"For me it's a bit like a running track," she says.

"The track is organised around the academic year. The short ends are the summer and Christmas holidays - the summer holiday is slightly longer.

"It's as if I'm in the centre and I'm turning around slowly as the year goes by. If I think ahead to the future, my perspective will shift."

There are at least 54 different variants of synaesthesia and Dr Simner thinks this might be one of the most common ones.

"If you ask all the people at your work, or in your family, you're likely to find at least one person who has it," Dr Simner says.

But for those who have it, time-space synaesthesia can be useful, even fundamental to everyday life.

"When I'm making plans, I can look at my mental calendar," says Holly. "I always find it odd that other people don't have that."

Friday, October 16, 2009

Random Thoughts from 25-35 Year Olds

This is hilarious. Thanks to Alison Sykora for sharing. I went "oh this one's me!" to so many of these.

- I wish Google Maps had an "Avoid Ghetto" routing option.

- More often than not, when someone is telling me a story all I can think about is that I can't wait for them to finish so that I can tell my own story that's not only better, but also more directly involves me.

- Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

- I don't understand the purpose of the line, "I don't need to drink to have fun." Great, no one does. But why start a fire with flint and sticks when they've invented the lighter?

- Have you ever been walking down the street and realized that you're going in the complete opposite direction of where you are supposed to be going? But instead of just turning a 180 and walking back in the direction from which you came, you have to first do something like check your watch or phone or make a grand arm gesture and mutter to yourself to ensure that no one in the surrounding area thinks you're crazy by randomly switching directions on the sidewalk.

- That's enough, Nickelback.

- I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger.

- Is it just me, or are 80% of the people in the "people you may know" feature on Facebook people that I do know, but I deliberately choose not to be friends with?

- Do you remember when you were a kid, playing Nintendo and it wouldn't work? You take the cartridge out, blow in it and that would magically fix the problem. Every kid in America did that, but how did we all know how to fix the problem? There was no internet or message boards or FAQ's. We just figured it out. Today's kids are soft.

- There is a great need for sarcasm font.

- Sometimes, I'll watch a movie that I watched when I was younger and suddenly realize I had no idea what the f was going on when I first saw it.

- I think everyone has a movie that they love so much, it actually becomes stressful to watch it with other people. I'll end up wasting 90 minutes shiftily glancing around to confirm that everyone's laughing at the right parts, then making sure I laugh just a little bit harder (and a millisecond earlier) to prove that I'm still the only one who really, really gets it.

- How the hell are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?

- I would rather try to carry 10 plastic grocery bags in each hand than take 2 trips to bring my groceries in.

- I think part of a best friend's job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die.

- The only time I look forward to a red light is when I'm trying to finish a text.

- A recent study has shown that playing beer pong contributes to the spread of mono and the flu. Yeah, if you suck at it.

- LOL has gone from meaning, "laugh out loud" to "I have nothing else to say".

- I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.

- Answering the same letter three times or more in a row on a Scantron test is absolutely petrifying.

- Whenever someone says "I'm not book smart, but I'm street smart", all I hear is "I'm not real smart, but I'm imaginary smart".

- How many times is it appropriate to say "What?" before you just nod and smile because you still didn't hear what they said?

- I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars teams up to prevent a dick from cutting in at the front. Stay strong, brothers!

- Every time I have to spell a word over the phone using 'as in' examples, I will undoubtedly draw a blank and sound like a complete idiot. Today I had to spell my boss's last name to an attorney and said "Yes that's G as in...(10 second lapse)..ummm...Goonies"

- What would happen if I hired two private investigators to follow each other?

- While driving yesterday I saw a banana peel in the road and instinctively swerved to avoid it...thanks Mario Kart.

- MapQuest really needs to start their directions on #5. Pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.

- Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.

- I find it hard to believe there are actually people who get in the shower first and THEN turn on the water.

- Shirts get dirty. Underwear gets dirty. Pants? Pants never get dirty, and you can wear them forever.

- I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind of tired.

- Bad decisions make good stories

- Whenever I'm Facebook stalking someone and I find out that their profile is public I feel like a kid on Christmas morning. 546 pictures? Don't mind if I do!

- Is it just me or do high school girls get sluttier & sluttier every year?

- If Carmen San Diego and Waldo ever got together, their offspring would probably just be completely invisible.

- Why is it that during an ice-breaker, when the whole room has to go around and say their name and where they are from, I get so incredibly nervous? Like I know my name, I know where I'm from, this shouldn't be a problem...

- You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you've made up your mind that you just aren't doing anything productive for the rest of the day.

- Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after DVDs? I don't want to have to restart my collection.

- There's no worse feeling than that millisecond you're sure you are going to die after leaning your chair back a little too far.

- I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten page research paper that I swear I did not make any changes to.

- "Do not machine wash or tumble dry" means I will never wash this ever.

- I hate being the one with the remote in a room full of people watching TV. There's so much pressure. 'I love this show, but will they judge me if I keep it on? I bet everyone is wishing we weren't watching this. It's only a matter of time before they all get up and leave the room. Will we still be friends after this?'

- I hate when I just miss a call by the last ring (Hello? Hello? Dammit!), but when I immediately call back, it rings nine times and goes to voicemail. What'd you do after I didn't answer? Drop the phone and run away?

- I hate leaving my house confident and looking good and then not seeing anyone of importance the entire day. What a waste.

- When I meet a new girl, I'm terrified of mentioning something she hasn't already told me but that I have learned from some light internet stalking.

- I like all of the music in my iTunes, except when it's on shuffle, then I like about one in every fifteen songs in my iTunes.

- Why is a school zone 20 mph? That seems like the optimal cruising speed for pedophiles...

- As a driver I hate pedestrians, and as a pedestrian I hate drivers, but no matter what the mode of transportation, I always hate cyclists.

- Sometimes I'll look down at my watch 3 consecutive times and still not know what time it is.

- It should probably be called Unplanned Parenthood.

- I keep some people's phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.

- Even if I knew your social security number, I wouldn't know what do to with it.

- Even under ideal conditions people have trouble locating their car keys in a pocket, hitting the G-spot, and Pinning the Tail on the Donkey

- but I'd bet my ass everyone can find and push the Snooze button from 3 feet away, in about 1.7 seconds, eyes closed, first time every time...

- My 4-year old son asked me in the car the other day "Dad what would happen if you ran over a ninja?" How the hell do I respond to that?

- It really pisses me off when I want to read a story on CNN.com and the link takes me to a video instead of text.

- I wonder if cops ever get pissed off at the fact that everyone they drive behind obeys the speed limit.

- I think the freezer deserves a light as well.

- I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with Miller Lites than Kay.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Oh, the Places You'll Go!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
Oh, the places you'll go!
-Dr. Suess

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Monday, August 17, 2009

5215 Green Street Quote Wall

May 2007 to April 2009
Some funny quotes from our time at 5215 Green:

Robyn: Let’s play a game
Katherine: Is it called slap your own ass? Cause I win!

Robyn: Katherine you’re not supposed to be naked!

Robyn: It’s hot in here!
Katherine: Take off your shirt. Oh wait, you already did.

Adam: I took the phone from your room.
Matt: That’s okay, it doesn’t ring anyways.
Adam: That’s because it’s not plugged in.

Lisa: We should go to Citadel Hill.
Kendra: I’ve heard there’s stuff up there.

Wang messaging Kendra
Kendra: You gotta be a lot hard than that for me to feel anything

Tom: Speaking from a strictly culinary perspective, a sausage square sound delicious

Adam: Thought I found a big rat turd in the drier, but it was just a raisin. False alarm!

Robyn: Think your legs are spread wide enough? It’s like you’re Katherine on a Friday night.
Adam: No, my pants are on, I’m Chelsea!

Jordan (while playing Jenga): Some people think the hard part is pulling it out, but it’s really getting it on top!

Chelsea: Wooooh, my foot’s so heavy
Chelsea: No, it flunktuates
Chelsea: It’s like a frog, I just need to ribbit
Chelsea: Everything in here has an extra layer, I feel fuzzy

Robyn: I don’t know about you, but I’m rocking a pretty sweet side pony right now

Robyn: Is watching movies code for doing it with batteries?

Frank: I got the bigger piece of bone, which means I won the wish, which was to get the bigger piece of bone!

Frank (Talking about the George Foreman grill with a cover): It’s so cold, even the grill’s got a sweater on.

Jordan: Does this apple look okay to you?
Katherine (Swatting apple): Yeah, but there’s a bruise on it right there

Adam: After you’re done with her, it’s like...now you owe me

Katherine: I’m just a hotter guy than you are

Chelsea (On how many guys she cock-teases): I just can’t keep track of those.

Adam: Do you know what would make this party better?
Kendra: More liquor? Weed? No, poutine!!!

Jordan: Well I’ve got a layer of fur. I might as well use it.

Frank: My sexiness isn’t translating onto film

Adam: I’m bad with chips
Jordan: I’m bad with crackers
Adam: White people?

Adam (About the barbeque): Ahhhh, it’s one fire! Give me something long and hard!

Lisa: I was in Orlando in January
Kendra: Oh yeah? Did you go to Marineland? In Niagara Falls, Ontario, there’s always a fun place to go....
Lisa: Well, no, Orlando is in Florida

Talking about how we get called the wrong names:
Adam: I get called Andrew a lot for some reason. I guess people thing I look like an Andrew.
Jenny: Yeah, I get Wang a lot
Adam: That’s what she said

Kendra: It’s called a push-up bra because it hurts them?
Lisa: Yes
Kendra (Trying it on): It doesn’t hurt at all!

Lisa: What’s on your shirt?
Wang: Oh, I was holding a cat earlier
Lisa: I thought it was from a blond haired girl
Wang: I wish, but either way I was getting some pussy

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Helping to make you feel better

If you think your life sucks, check out some of these hilarious stories from people. It will make you feel better, unless you are one of the people who posted a story...


Sunday, February 01, 2009

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Crashed Ice!

I ended up heading to Quebec City last weekend with Red Bull for their Crashed Ice event. If you haven't heard of it, it's an insane frozen track down a huge hill that people race down on skates. It was sooo cold, but we made up for the weekend with lots of booze. I think if I ever see another Jaggerbomb I'll be sick. We left on the Atlantic express bus from Dal at 6am, people started drinking while it was still dark out. They were the ones passed out by Fredericton. The bus was fun, and there was definitely some insane stories from the weekend.

Best things from Crashed Ice:
-sleeping on the bus in the dark while everyone else drank
-free beers and lunch at the UNB Social club
-Jersey's off at the french Swiss Chalet
-low raffle number for the on-board bus bathroom
-cheap/free beer
-redbull/Jagger action belt, haha
-50km/hr down a frozen a 550m ice track
-its so cold out, pee freezes all over the go-johns
-layers in the extreme cold
-front and centre for MSTRKRFT
-huge dancefloor at the Dag
-packing drunk at 6am with no memory

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Thesis mentioned in local indy weekly

The Coast, the local indy paper, is only once a week but is pretty popular in Halifax. This column was writting about a Master's student in Jeremy's lab, my former thesis supervisory, that is continueing some of the research I helped Melissa on the summer I worked for him. My project/thesis is mentioned briefly about half way down the article (about the 50+ green roofs found a few years ago). Haha, no name mentioned or anything, but still pretty cool!

Liven up your house: Building green roofs could create the "Hanging Gardens of Halifax"

by Chris Benjamin


There are secrets to greening Halifax in the coastal barrens of Peggys Cove.

Scott MacIvor is conducting groundbreaking research there as part of his master's degree in applied science at Saint Mary's University: "I'm studying the plants."

MacIvor notes that coastal barrens plants live in similar conditions to those you might find on a Halifax rooftop. "There are high winds, they are exposed to sun and drought and they are regionally specific, accustomed to our climate," MacIvor says. He and his supervisor sought local plants that survive in harsh conditions in the hope of revolutionizing Halifax rooftops.

A green, or living, roof is a plant-based extension up from an existing roof. It requires extensive waterproofing and protection from root growth, a drainage system and relatively lightweight plants.

"I'm passionate about green roofs because I've always lived in urban environments," MacIvor says. "We have a lot of impervious surfaces, roads and buildings, which don't allow water through."

Concrete and asphalt create storm-water runoff, one of the reasons Halifax Harbour is polluted. These hard surfaces also trap the heat of the sun, creating the "urban heat island effect," whereby cities tend to be a few degrees hotter than surrounding greener pastures.

MacIvor lists the many benefits green roofs provide: "They counter the urban heat island effect and mitigate carbon dioxide and other air pollutants; increase biodiversity; provide refuge for valuable urban wildlife including carnivorous insects for pest control; allow for storm-water retention; provide cooling, insulation and energy savings and they protect the roof membrane so the roof lasts longer." Green roofs also increase sound insulation and fire resistance, improve general health and reduce stress.

The environmental and health benefits of green roofs have been documented as far back as the hanging gardens of ancient Syria and in Western European nations such as Germany and France they blossomed into a multimillion-dollar industry in the early '90s. We've been slower on the uptake in North America, where the benefits are poorly understood. According to MacIvor, we have the potential.

"I see increasing growth across North America," he says. A few years ago, a survey of green roofs in Halifax turned up more than 50 examples, atop institutional buildings and personal residences. MacIvor notes a few recent highlights, including a green roof at Citadel High and a second, bigger green roof being installed at SMU. He says that with an increasing understanding of locally appropriate plant technology, the number of green roofs in town could explode.

"Green roofs in North American conditions are not well researched," says MacIvor. "And you have to do it city by city; you can't copy what we know from Toronto in Halifax." The climates are too different. Most of the world's research on green-roof technology comes from Germany, which means that we may not be using the best available plants for our climate.

MacIvor's research, conducted out of SMU's Green Roof Testing Facility, aims to enhance our green-roof plant selection and bolster efforts to green Halifax's skyline. The data will be used to create "habitat templates," plans for real living rooftops.

If these hardy flora prove effective, Halifax may be the perfect milieu for a green- roof renaissance because of our low density and relatively flat cityscape. According to a recent paper from the American Institute of Biological Sciences, "Green roofs will have the greatest effect on energy consumption for buildings with relatively high roof-to-wall-area ratios." In other words, low-rises.

Green roofs offer the greatest energy savings for homeowners, who may eventually benefit from another advantage of coastal barrens plants: "They can grow in only two inches of soil," says MacIvor. This saves money and reduces weight, a factor in making green roofs workable on smaller

Aside from the lack of local research, cost is the biggest reason green roofs have yet to flourish on your street. Costs vary widely depending on a roof's size, type and angle, but generally fall between $10 and $20 per square foot. It's a serious investment for something that could cause its progressive new owner a winter of suffering over die back---when the plants go dormant.

For that reason, many "green" builders prefer to stick with tried-and-true solar panels, but MacIvor resists the garden-versus-solar-panel debate. "Solar panels can be used in combination with green roofs," he says. "But green roofs offer benefits to the environment beyond thermal benefits, like absorbing storm water." Green roofs also save money long-term due to energy savings and increased longevity of roof membranes.

Overseeing the economic and the scientific is the political. In European states with large green-roof industries, inevitably you find legislated green-roof requirements written into building codes. So far, Halifax has talked good sustainability talk, but regulated little other than building heights and planning processes.

Friday, January 09, 2009

The prophet T.I.

When most rappers are going to shit, this song has some cool lyrics about the crap state of the music industry. It could use some help with the grammar though. But I started listening to the song because it's sampling an old AIESEC dance song, haha

I'm the opposite of moderate, immaculately polished with the spirit of a hustler and the swagger of a college kid.
Allergic to the counterfeit, impartial to the politics.
Articulate but still would grab a n***a by the collar quick.
Whoever havin problems, with they record sale just holla TIP.
If that don't work and all else fails, then turn around and follow TIP.
I got love for the game but ay I'm not in love with all of it.
I do without the fame and the rappers nowadays are comedy.
The hootin' and the hollerin', back and forth with the arguing.
Where you from, who you know, what you make and what kind of car you in.
Seems as though you lost sight of what's important with the positive.
And checks until your bank account, and you're about poverted.
Your values is a disarrayed, prioritizing horribly.
Unhappy with the riches cause you miss-poor morally.
Ignoring all prior advice and fore warning.
And we mighty full of ourselves all of a sudden aren't we?

Just live your life, ay ay ay