Saturday, October 30, 2010

Happy Halloween

Classic Halloween movie.

Short Thriller.

and then there is Indian Thriller...

and then there is German Techno Indian Thriller...

When zombies take over...

Bill Murray you are awesome!

I laughed so hard when I first saw this. Well...good bye ghostbusters.

Happy Halloween people!  Oh, I watched "How to Train Your Dragon" last night.  I thought it was pretty good...I love toothless (the black dragon).

Speaking of of my favorite clips from the boondocks.

now for something mildly Halloween of my favourite Venture Bros. clips

Saturday, October 23, 2010


One of my best buddies sent me this.  Made me smile.  Awesome. not trust fireproof curtains.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Sherlock Holmes

I really liked the "recent" Sherlock Holmes movie (I know a lot of people didn't but meh that's fine), so I felt like posting a couple of my favorite scenes.  Robert Downy Jr. is one of my favourite actors too so I am a little biased, but nothing wrong with that ;)

As shitty,lonely and/or frustrating as my days may get these scenes always bring a smile to my face.

Sherlock Holmes fight scene.  Link below since embed disabled.
Sherlock Holmes Fight (YouTube link)
The fight scene is great.  The fighting is superb and it shows the clever, calculating intellect of Holmes.  Also I like the scence right before this where Holmes analyzes Mary only to end up eating steak by himself. 

The bed scene (for kicks)

I always liked casually reading the Sherlock Holmes stories as a child, there was always something about them that brought me back.  There are many times it seems I can relate to Holmes, perhaps this is what brings me back to reading the stories or watching the shows/films (as terrible as some of them may be). 

I can appear to be a melancholic, cold, aloof asshole but if I am in the middle of a grand adventure or into something I truly love then I am beaming and passionate...regardless of what mood I appear to be in.  I am observant, perceptive, precise, deductive, knowledgeable, and logical.  I like to learn many particular skills as long as I deem them useful.  Logic and science are my life and anyone I have trusted has betrayed me or left me in the dust, usually at the worst possible time.  I am very weary of the opposite sex and even of the same sex so therefore I am a loner who divulges in my own self interests to ease /shield the pain and make life more enjoyable and interesting.  I can still be decently appealing and charming to the opposite sex (even though I am a little eccentric), but time has told me I have bad luck and should remain alone.  There is that one however, there is always that one.  I love the intrigue and espionage involved in the adventure.  Oh yeah, can't forget Canne de combat (French cane fighting), don't know that one yet but its fucking awesome.

Of course there is always a needed "side-kick", even for a loner.  Someone who keeps me going even though they may not know it (because I can be an arrogant, stubborn ass who doesn't admit it).  I may be moody and cold but there is always a strong bond between my Watson and I.  My Watson calls me when I sleep in or when I do not show up when I am supposed to.  My Watson kicks me in the ass when needed and tells me to get my act together, but at the same time is also calm and encouraging.  We go on great adventures together and have quite a grand time.  All in all I love my little Watson. 

Oh yes...and the dog...well there isn't quite a dog yet...or I have accidentally done away with the thing...maybe it's time for a new dog.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Nut-cracking Monkeys and Random Creatures of the Deep

One of my favorite scenes of the BBC Life Documentary shows the Capuchin Monkeys of Boa Vista, Brazil using stones as tools to crack open a nut.
Also:Nut-cracking monkeys find the right tool for the job (New Scientist Article)

I love the Blue Planet, Planet Earth and Life documentaries. Enjoyable study/work breaks.

Deep sea stuff is crazy too and at least directly related to what I am studying.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Diamagnetic Levitation

An oldie, but I love it.  Apologies for short, sporadic posts in the next few weeks.  I tad bit busier than usual I'm afraid.

Diamagnetic Levitation. High Field Magnetic Laboratory. Nijmegen

Levitating Frog

Levitating Strawberry

Yeah leviating frogs and strawberries with diamagnetic levitation is fucking cool, but it actually is quite useful/important. They can test the effects of weightlessness on living things. Pure, large protein crystals grow much better in a microgravity environment so diamagnetic levitation is also useful in this regard.

New Scientist: Magnetic gravity trick grows perfect crystals [Article]

Also, I have just been informed as I am writing this that Benoit B. Mandelbrot (The father of fractal geometry) has passed away (1924-2010).  At least he lived a decent and relatively long life.

In memory of Benoit Mandelbrot here are pics of the Mandelbrot set (each image is a magnification of the image before it)

Friday, October 15, 2010


I would love to have a chinchilla.  Cuteness overload.  They need dust bathes to keep their fur nice and soft, otherwise it can get gross and patchy.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Endurance: Shackleton's Legendary Antarctic Expedition

I will likely be MIA for the next week or two and although I may not have time to be postin' daily I will still read/support your blogs.

For now I have Youtube links (since embedding was disabled by the user) to one of my favorite documentaries. If you are into early 1900's expedition history, more specifically the heroic age of Antarctic exploration, you will probably like it. It is about one of the most epic stories ever told, The Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition (1914-1917) a.k.a "The Endurance Expedition". Also, looks like those trapped Chilean miners are to be released today...I really hope they come out at night because after not seeing daylight for a couple of months I am sure it would be quite painful if they were brought up during daytime in the Atacama desert.


The Endurance: Shackleton's Legendary Antarctic Expedition (2000)   97 mins.

Endurance, Shackleton and the Antarctic (1 of 11)

Endurance, Shackleton, and the Antarctic (4 of 11)

Endurance, Shackleton, and the Antarctic (5 of 11)

Endurance, Shackleton, and the Antarctic (6 of 11)

Endurance, Shackleton, and the Antarctic (7 of 11)

Endurance, Shackleton, and the Antarctic (8 of 11)

Endurance, Shackleton, and the Antarctic (9 of 11)

Endurance, Shackleton, and the Antarctic (10 of 11)

Endurance, Shackleton, and the Antarctic (11 of 11)

Gravity Wells

I know this is old but I still like it. (Yes some of the quotes are a little off but oh well, still good).

Gravity Wells

I have no idea why but this comic also makes me think of the novel Dune, part of a song by BT and part of a song by Boards of Canada.  Weird.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Kuwaiti Oil Fires

Kuwaiti Oil Fires block out the sun
In 1991 I sat with my father watching news clips of the Kuwaiti oil fires started by the Iraqi military forces as a final act of defiance against UN coalition forces as they retreated from Kuwait after the Persian Gulf War.  I was just a kid so I didn't really know what it all meant but I knew it was serious by the look on my fathers face even though I did not understand why at the time.  The world was changing drastically around this point.  The Cold War had just ended, the USSR was in the process of dissolution and the Berlin Wall had just come down a year earlier.  Apartheid was being dismantled in South Africa while the Yugoslav Wars were about to begin.  

Over 500 oil wells in Kuwait's Burgan oil field (which was the 2nd largest oil field in the world) were set on fire by Iraqi troops under Saddam's scorched earth policy.  These fires could have burned for over 100 years if humans had not intervened.  Even with human intervention it was initially estimated that the fires would still take 5-10 years to put out.  However, professional oil firefighting units from a multitude of different countries came together as a team to help Kuwait and showed us the compassionate, innovative and resilient side of human nature.  These specialized firefighting units were able to put out the fires in 9 months, 4 years behind initial estimates, which was an amazing feat accomplished because the people of this planet were able to put aside their differences and work as a single cohesive unit with a shared goal. 

Aerial view of well fires taken by fleeing Iraqi Troops

In order to get to the wells the surrounding desert first had to be cleared of mines and new roads had to be made around the newly formed lakes of oil.  The many pipes that led away from the oil wells eventually reached the ocean.  Saddam had initially planned to pump the oil to the coastline and light a huge line of fire preventing the coalition troops from landing.  In a reverse case the firefighters used the pipes to instead pump water from the ocean into the desert around the oil wells so it could be used to put out the fires.  The ground had to be initially cooled so the firefighters could get close enough to the well to work.  Many different techniques where employed to put out the fires as each well fire was unique and responded differently.  A very innovative technique by the specialized team from Hungary involved pumping water through twin turbo-jet engines from Mig-21 jet fighters mounted on old tanks in order to put out the fires.   

C4 was used to try and snuff out the fires.  It was quite effective as the explosives would use up the surrounding atmospheric oxygen in the explosion causing the flame to be extinguished.  If the well fire was really bad they would use a massive Venturi tube to help put out the fire.  It concentrated where the fire could go and directed it higher up.  Firefighters were then able to either bend the Venturi tube a certain way as to cut off the oxygen supply or they were able to shoot water or liquid nitrogen at the base and top of the tube to try to snuff out the fire.  Once the fires were out the high pressure oil would still come out of the damaged well.  Capping stacks would be added on to the new wellheads in order to regain control of the flow of oil out of the well.

 Mummified bird, in the hard top layer of an oil lake. 
The Kuwaiti oil fires are an economic and environmental disaster of monumental proportions.  It was not just a problem for the people of Kuwait, but a problem for the people of this entire planet.  Had these fires been able to burn unaffected for over a 100 years or even for 5 or 10 years every single human around the world would have felt its effects, but thankfully the fires were put out before long term atmospheric effects could set in.  However, the oil fires had a devastating effect on the local environment.  Sulphur dioxide, soot, carbon dioxide, unburned hydrocarbons, and heavy metals were a few things that polluted the surrounding environment.  Desert oases were now under lakes of oil, while birds dropped from the sky.  The smoke coloured the sky black as 75-80% of the sun's radiation was initially absorbed by this smoke.  However, there is hope for recovery as vegetation started to recover after a few years and over time the oil will eventually sink below the sand, although the effect of this on groundwater is unknown.

On one end of the spectrum humans are capable of being such terrible, selfish creatures while on the other end we are capable of such marvellous, innovative and compassionate things.  Hopefully one day we can learn from our mistakes instead of repeating them and not give in to our, at times, overly selfish nature.  

Our Pale Blue Dot.

As a side note, here is a little info on oil:

Black gold, or Crude Oil, is hydrophobic (water loving) but soluble in organic solvents.  It has a high carbon and hydrogen content and is a nonpolar substance.  Crude oil essentially started as a mass of dead animals and plants.  This organic matter was usually zooplankton, cyanobacteria, freshwater algae and land plant resin.  Over time this organic matter was heated to produce something called kerogen.  Once this kerogen is heated to the point where it reaches the "oil window" (60-120 degrees Celsius) it is then transformed into petroleum.  The crude oil eventually migrates from its source rock into a more porous and permeable reservoir rock where humans then extract it from.

Also, Here is an IMAX Original Documentary called Fires of Kuwait(35 minutes):

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving Weekend Canada

and a big hello to everyone else ;)

Picture of my thanksgiving meal for one.  Looks like shit, but tasted great.
Yeah, so the meal looked much better off was one of the best tasting meals I have ever made actually, which surprised me quite a bit. 
Cornish Game Hen with Double-Cranberry and Thyme Sauce
Kind of followed the recipe but I made my own adjustments.  I put the butter mixture under the skin first so it was extra delicious once cooked.  Wine was used instead of grape juice because wine tastes sooo much better.  I also used whole berry cranberry sauce instead of the seperate cranberry juice then whole cranberries.  As sides I had stuffing and roasted garlic mashed potatoes.  For the roasted garlic just throw garlic cloves and olive oil in a pyrex dish with some aluminum foil over top and let it cook for 30 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Turkey: The Crossroads between Europe and Asia

It would be nice to travel to Turkey. Such an interesting place full of so much history and wonders. I was seriously thinking about travelling to Turkey in this last year if I wasn't so poor and if getting there wasn't so expensive.

Turkey has such a diverse and beautiful landscape that it would be very difficult not to travel into the countryside. From the extensive coastlines along the Aegean, Black and Mediterranean seas across the Anatolian Plateau to the Pontus and Taurus Mountains there is so much to experience .

Earthquakes are a slight concern but well worth the risk of seeing such a beautiful, eclectic and somewhat controversial country.

Travelling along the legendary walls of Troy, seeing the glorious facade of the Library of Celsus, and visiting the massive Sutlan Ahmed Mosque would be one of many thing to do in Turkey.  

Personally one of the top places for me to see would be Pamukkale where hot springs in the area have developed beautiful travertine terraces.

It would be imperative to take in the culture by wondering the streets and Bazaars of Istanbul, Ankara and other great Turkish cities haggling for a bargain on jewellery, pottery and carpets all the while taking in the sounds of foreign music and the smell (and taste) of spices, tobacco and fuck awesome food.

Ohhh god food...god damn Turkish cuisine why do you have to be so delicious?!?! Where to start...if your on the go grab a kebab and some fresh ayran. If you want to satisfy your sweet tooth grab some baklava or lokum. Yaprak Dolmasi is fucking great. So are other dolmas and sarmas. There is a ton of variety of meat dishes especially lamb...YUM!

Fuck, there is a wide variety of any type of dish. Pasta, meat, veggies, everything. God there is so much delicious food I would need a whole blog dedicated to it.


In terms of drinks I don't think Turkish beer is all that great from what I have heard although I would be willing to try it. Local Turkish wine wouldn't be too bad depending on the region. The traditional alcoholic beverage Raki flavoured with anise would probably be pretty tasty and I would be quite willing to try it (unless I already have and I don't remember). In terms of non alcoholic beverages I would definiately go for black tea, turkish coffee, sharbat and perhaps some boza or sahlep.

 I'm hungry, time for a snack.

Music on the Train

A sample of songs from the days train ride.

Coil - Red Birds Will Fly Out of the East and Destroy Paris in a Night
Soothing as always.

Benoît Pioulard - Palimend
A good song to listen to while I was staring out the train window watching the sun rise

Venetian Snares - Fuck a Stranger in the Ass
When the train gets crowded and people piss me off this seems to be a good song to listen to (along with Boyd Rice's "People")

Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Dull Life

Depeche Mode - The Sun and the Rainfall

Soundgarden - Blow up the Outside World
LOL. Not sure if this is a good song to listen to on the train...sometimes I honestly think someone is going to blow up the train if I see one particularly dodgey looking individual.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Asses of the Caribbean

The Vice Guide to Sex:  "Asses of the Caribbean"
VBS TV: The Vice Guide to Sex: Asses of the Caribbean

This 15 minute long documentary was a little disturbing at first but then after the initial awkward period it is just hilarious as fuck.  It is about Northern Columbian men who fuck donkeys just so you know before you click on it.

Here it is:

Electric Independence with Chromeo

I love these guys.  "Needy Girl" is great, gooooooood fuckin times.Here is the trailer on YouTube with the link to the full length (9 minute long) documentary below:

Electric Independence with Chromeo

Mouse Party

Learning about drugs, the link just below is a neat little flash "game" (yes it's not a game and yes i know its old but oh well) involving drugged up mice.
Mouse Party Flash Game

Today is an intense rage day. Videos help for that.

That is all.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Snap, Crackle, Pop

I have no clue why they put the kind of music they did to it but oh well. These videos become addictive for some reason. WHY!!!! FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF!!!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Prime Dating Advice

with Pee-Wee, Cowboy Morpheus and COWntess.  What pill did you take this morning?

Friday, October 1, 2010


I am seriously appalled by how little grade school math teachers know. After taking a few education classes in Uni I am even more convinced that grade school teachers know shit all. Although to be fair there are a select few of them who are super intellegent, helpful and very good at teaching and therefore deserve a much higher wage then fat, useless, stupid, bitchy stresscase teachers. It also sucks when University teachers who actually know the shit can't bring it down to a level of understanding that suits the class or that they just don't give a shit.

Anyways, so a friend of mine was initially having a little bit of trouble in Calculus and all in all it is because the teacher is completely useless. As I was thinking about this and helping people with questions I realized that many people don't know or don't remember their Fundamental Identities or the Unit Circle or anything. LEARN IT!!! It will help you greatly and save you much time in the end. I didn't know shit about those things really until my second Calculus course and in hindsight I could have saved myself a shit ton of trouble by learning such simple things. It also helps to really understand and learn the basic steps of derivatives and integration instead of just rote memorizing questions without really understanding as a lot of people tend to do.  Yeah you can still get by doing math through rote memorization and depending on the teacher this can get you by quite well but it can also fuck you over later on in future math classes.  Once learned these skills can be applied to a multitude of other classes as well.  The rules I have learned in math have also been very useful in computer, biology, chemistry, atmospheric, earth sciences and physics classes.



here are lists of differentiation identies and integral identities.  At least learn the general rules and the trig rules.
Differentiation Identities
Integral Identities

If you are in math and learn these then it will help out a shit ton.  Also, when you do "u substitution" for integrals remember that "du is the derivative of u"...I have no clue why...but most people write it down and do the question without actually knowing this fact.  Weird.