Well, I’m full of blogger love today because of the outpouring of kindness from you all yesterday/today welcoming me back. It’s been a while since I’ve written a real post (I’m not counting yesterday’s), and for that I’m sorry. BUT…today will be a good one. I hope. *Nervously checks Google for blog ideas*
Actually, this is a post that I’ve wanted to write for over a month now, but I just haven’t had the time. It is regarding a topic that is near and dear to my heart – the English language. You see, we have an ESL programme at my college, and it amazes me how so many of those ESL speakers actually speak the language better than most of us native speakers. Now, don’t get me wrong here – I’m not trying to get on my high horse at all…I make many mistakes when I’m speaking/writing/stuttering/stalling for more time before I state something.
BUT…what follows is a rant of the most annoying words/phrases and non-words/phrases in the English language that I hear every day:
1) “Whatev” – just finish the word please. And then, when you do, that will annoy me as well.
2) “Ridonkulous” – who even made up this word? That guy should be forced to listen to people say that word, over and over again, for 17 hours straight. (That’s the worst kind of torture that I can think of).
3) “Whole nother” – this is the most annoying of all words/phrases that I’ve ever heard. Where did the “n” come from? If it’s a shortened version of “whole another”, please note that that is still wrong…doesn’t make sense. Please stop saying this.
4) “Incentivize” – you know what would give people more incentive to work harder? If their bosses didn’t make up words in the boardroom and then smugly look around as though he just coined a new catchphrase.
1) “May or may not” – well, obviously. I mean, either will or it will not…stop trying to sound smart by using this expression. It’s not smart. It’s ridonkulous.
2) “It is what it is” – I say again, obviously it is. Stop trying to fill in the gaps of conversation/awkward silences with phrases like this please.
3) “Same difference” – I don’t even want to talk about this one. That’s how much it annoys me.
4) “Better sooner than later” – Really? Because, had you not said that to me, I would have thought that things were always better later than sooner. Thanks for setting me straight with that gem.
5) “I’m just sayin‘” – no one is ever “just saying” something…there’s always a hidden meaning behind what they’re saying when they complete their story with this phrase. They say things like, “Well, [insert spouse’s name here], that’s not the way my Mom used to make mashed potatoes. I’m just sayin'”. C’mon…you know what that person is really trying to say…
6) “What not” – why do people say this? You know, it’s always something like, “I like Big Macs, but not brussel sprouts and carrots, and what not…” I’m annoyed just thinking about this phantom conversation right now.
7) “No offense” – this has to be the most annoying thing that could ever be said to someone. Whenever someone says this, they clearly mean for you to take offense at what they just said.
1) “Hull-arious” – it is rather clear that there is an “i” in “hilarious”. Make use of it.
2) “Fuss-trated” – why is “frustrated” so difficult to say?
3) “Flustrated” – I know that it can be easy to combine “frustrated” and “flustered” sometimes, but if you do it more than 3 times, you might have a problem…
4) “Li-barry” – if you pronounce “library” like this, perhaps you need to spend more time in one.
5) “Suppos-ably” – sometimes, I wish we had spellcheck for our mouths.
6) “Ex-specially” and “ex-scape“, et al – these words feel more complicated to say than the proper words, don’t they? I mean, I actually have to put in effort to emphasize the “x”.
7) “Vice-a-Versa” – I don’t know why the “a” is sometimes added into this one. If they meant for it to be pronounced this way, they would have spelled it this way; however, it’s pretty clear…”vice versa”.
8) “Nu-cu-ler” – this is a personal favourite of George W. Again, the word “nuclear” is spelled just as it is meant to be spoken.
9) “Pro-nounc-iation” – I know this one can be a bit tricky, but it’s “pro-nun-ciation” and “pro-nounce”…it’s easy to combine them to make one word, though. I know.
I don’t know. Perhaps I’m being, like, far too ridonkulous about all this. I mean, I shouldn’t get to fusstrated with people’s pronounciation of words. I mean, whatev…it is what it is. It’s just that sometimes, it feels like they’re speaking a whole nother language…supposably, it’s English. Same difference, though I guess. It all just annoys me, though. No offense….
What are the words/non-words/phrases that people say that annoy you the most?
Do you ever correct people when they say things incorrectly or things that are non-words?
Do you think the author of this post just needs to relax a little and stop ranting?
Filed under: College, Education, University, Writing | 71 Comments
Tags: Education, English, humor, language, native speakers, ridonkulous
First of all, please forgive my absence as of late. I have been far too busy scolding neighbors for not taking down their Christmas decorations early enough and realising what a huge nerd I am that I haven’t had a chance to post in a while. For that, I do apologise. I know that you’re all just on the edge of your seats, awaiting a new post, right guys? Right? *Cricket cricket*
Well, I have a new post that I’ll put up tomorrow, but, in the meantime, I wanted to write this very thankful and heartfelt post today. You see, for some reason, I was given the Versatile Blogger award. I have no idea why…I don’t deserve that kind of credit. I’m terrible at this blogging stuff, and I’m pretty sure most people don’t care what I have to say, but, as I said, for some reason, blondegirl008 has bestowed this honour on me. She’s some kind of crazy, isn’t she? 😉 Actually, she’s pretty awesome and hilarious, so feel free to drop by her place.
Anyway, I just wanted to say a VERY big thank you to her, and to all of you who actually take the time to read my blog (and even those of you who just skim through to look at the pictures and read the captions underneath. C’mon…I know there are a few of you who do that. Admit it) and comment. You have no idea how thankful I am for you…it warms this little clumsy ninja’s heart to know that there are people that care what she has to say, even if the people she sees every day make fun of her to no end…usually for being so clumsy. And for calling herself a ninja. And for being quite a nerd.
Anyway, I guess with this award, I’m supposed to let you in on a few unknown (at least to you all) things about myself…here are the top 7:
- I can’t sleep if my bedroom door is open. I have no idea why. It just freaks me out. Probably because I think that the monsters are out in the hallway, just waiting for their chance to get me.
- I like every single vegetable that exists. Seriously. There isn’t one sort of vegetable that I don’t like. (Hmm…perhaps I should venture out and try something other than carrots and potatoes?)
- I play piano and [mediocre] guitar. I like to sit in my room in the dark with my guitar and write music. Yeah, I’m all emo like that.
- When I was younger, one of my many nicknames was “Gobstopper Eyes” because my eyes change colour the closer to my pupil you get…like Gobstoppers. Yeah, I know. Weird, right?
- I’m afraid of Virginia Woolf. There’s just something about her work that has always freaked me out.
- I have a hard time watching a TV show or movie that lasts longer than 26 minutes. That’s it. That’s the cut-off point for me.
- I am not Sebastian Vettel‘s girlfriend. For some unknown reason, this is one of the most common phrases that people search on Google and it brings them to my blog. I just feel like I need to set the record straight here. We are not dating. Hopefully, that’s clear enough.
So, after all of that, I’d like to show my gratitude and pure respect for 5 other bloggers whom I’ve had the privilege of getting to know (at least, in a blogger-to-blogger way) with crazy amounts of talent….much more talent than I could ever hope to have. 🙂
EduClaytion – this guy’s the real deal. I’m such a huge fan of his that, if he sold posters of his face, I would probably buy one.
AnneSchilde – this girl can write short stories like no one else I know! She’s got mad skills, y’all!! (<— I can’t pull that off, can I?)
The Flight of Reason – smart, witty, and says what he thinks. No apologies about it. Love that.
Dear Optimists – honestly, there is no better way to start your day than a quick clip and a cartoon from Den and Nadia. Trust me.
The Good Greatsby – I can’t even explain to you how hilarious this guy is…you just have to see for yourself. 🙂
Thanks again, guys! And I promise I’ll have a new
rant frustration-filled post up tomorrow! 😉
Update: Thanks for all the blogger love, guys! I can’t believe that so many people noticed my absence from the blogosphere! So thankful for you all! 😀
Filed under: College, Writing | 39 Comments
Tags: award, Education, humor, Sebastian Vettel
This truly is the most wonderful time of the year. Houses are lit up with the glow of Christmas lights, shops are open 24 hours a day, colourful wrapping paper and bows adorn the boxes underneath the tree, and people are quite jolly (<— have you ever noticed that no one ever uses that word the other 11 months out of the year?). Yes, it’s a magical time indeed!
So, why do I feel like such a bah humbug? (In my family, we use the term as a noun to describe someone who has issues with the holidays…it’s carries more impact, we find).
It’s because there are certain things that happen during Christmas that only happen during Christmas. These are the things that drive me crazy…and if you’re being honest, you’ll admit that they drive you mad as well. I’m sure that you’re probably sitting at your desk right now saying to yourself, “Now what could PCC be talking about? What on earth would bother her so much that she would feel the need to write about it? And I’m sure that I don’t feel the same way about the holidays as she does!”
Really? How do you feel about this stuff:
1 ) People who decorate the trees outside of their house but only decorate it halfway up the tree – either finish it or pick a smaller tree.
2 ) People who say “Happy Holidays” or “Season’s Greetings” instead of “Merry Christmas”
3 ) People, in general
4 ) The fake smell of pine
5 ) Christmas shoppers
6 ) Trying to find parking anywhere, at any time of day, during the entire season
7 ) People who wear Christmas sweaters
8 ) Presents that are not perfectly square — otherwise they’re difficult to wrap
9 ) Running out of tape, mid-present wrap
10 ) People who put those massive inflatable Santa Clauses or nativity scenes on their front lawns
11 ) Tiny stockings – they should be proportionate to your fireplace
12 ) People who wear Christmas earrings (the shapes of trees, Christmas lights, candy canes, etc. Any other annoying shape, really)
13 ) Getting the meat sweats from eating too much turkey (so gross)
14 ) Falling asleep on the couch because of the meat sweats (so gross and lazy)
15 ) Getting socks or underwear as a gift
16 ) Made-for-TV Christmas movies
17 ) Santa Clauses with fake beards
18 ) Elves
19 ) Jingle bells on doorknobs (are you listening here, Mom?)
20 ) Musical ornaments
21 ) Mistletoe (c’mon…no one actually likes that)
22 )The song “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” (perhaps the worst Christmas song ever recorded)
Since my brother is about the biggest bah humbug there is, I asked him his thoughts on the matter. These are the things that he added to the list (within about 37 seconds of me asking him, I might add…):
1 ) Pulling out small decorations and littering the house with them
2 ) Christmas lights (on garland or for the tree) that burn out and you have to search which bulb(s) went
3 ) Parking lots
4 ) Aggressive people fighting to buy a limited stock item (or, on the flip-side, re-gifting)
5 ) Boxing day chaos
6 ) Faded lights on houses (<— my personal favourite of his entire list)
7 ) Unpacking Christmas decorations – too messy
8 ) Traveling between many homes for dinners/to visit family
9 ) Packing Christmas gifts to celebrate Christmas away from home
10 ) Gluttonous consumer spending (okay, too serious, but true)
But, the one that tops my list (so much so that I needed to make it a separate point/sentence) is when people use the term “Bah Humbug” without even knowing what the term actually means. (You want to click on that link so badly, don’t you? Even if you already know the many meanings of the word “humbug”, you still want to. It’s okay…I did too.) 😉
So, now that I’ve aired my grievances about the holidays, I feel compelled to tell you that, as much as these things bother me, it’s totally worth putting up with them! (Except for the Christmas sweater one). Christmas is awesome.
I’m just being a Scrooge right now because I’m the only one at my college today as I don’t start my holidays until next week. I’m just ranting because I’m jealous that I don’t start my holidays for a couple of days. By this time next week, I will look like this:
Hope you have a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year!! 😀
What bothers you most about the holidays?
What does the ugliest Christmas sweater you’ve ever seen/worn look like?
Do you know of an efficient way to untangle Christmas tree lights?
Can you please come to my office to keep me company until my holidays begin?
Filed under: Education | 66 Comments
Tags: Christmas, Education, Holidays, humbug, humor, presents, stress
Last Friday, I had a revelation. I’m kind of a nerd.
At my college , we have a free Aptitude Assessment that we offer to potential students so that they may gain a better understanding of which area of I.T. they may best be suited for (I.T. Engineering, Programming, etc.).
Well, for some reason, I got it into my head that I’d like to do the assessment.
I’ve always been told that I should work with people because I’m more of the out-going type; from what I’ve seen of programmers, they’re more introverted. “Obviously”, I said to myself, “I am not a programmer. Programmers are usually awesome nerds. I’m not awesome and I’m not a nerd, therefore, I’m not a programmer.”
Apparently, I was wrong. I did the test and it said that I am well-suited to be a computer programmer.
Once I received my results, I began wondering if I even know who I really am. Apparently, I’m a nerd and I never realised it before. “How is that possible??”, I thought to myself. Then, when I really started to break it down, I realised that I am, in fact, a huge nerd. Here’s why:
1 ) I love Star Wars.
I have watched each of the films numerous times and can quote them verbatim. I am also very picky about which episodes count as the real Star Wars (Hint: I only like episodes 4-6. Episodes 1-3 assaulted my eyes and ears with its horribleness).
2 ) The first time that I watched Big Bang Theory, I completely identified with Sheldon.
I, too, have a spot on the couch that I have claimed and never want anyone else to sit on. It is equidistant from the fridge and the TV, and ensures optimum temperature is met year round.
3 ) I have a blog.
(Oh, relax…we’re all huge nerds for having blogs…)
4 ) I would rather contact my friends via social networking sites than actually call them.
This either means I’m a nerd or that I’m anti-social. Wait…maybe that’s the same thing…
5 ) I found an online nerd test and took it.
It said that I wasn’t all that cool. That’s pretty definitive.
6 ) I sympathise with Comic Book Guy from The Simpsons.
7 ) I appreciate people who have taken the time to learn Elvish.
While in university, I found out that one of my professors was a huge Lord of the Rings fan and spoke Elvish. I once asked him to demonstrate his mad Elvish skills in class. In front of other people. And then praised his ability. In front of other people.
8 ) I like puzzles.
I buy books from Chapters that have nothing but puzzles and brain teasers in them. I actually pay money for these books.
9 ) I have a hard time watching films that are scientifically inaccurate.
I then point out the inaccuracies to the people that are watching the movie with me. For some reason, people don’t like this.
10 ) If someone says or does something that I don’t like, I try to use The Force on them.
This proves especially effective when someone tries to steal my candy.
11 ) I can do this:
12 ) I know what “Ubuntu” means.
13 ) I classify the dictionary as “light reading material”.
When I learn a new word, I try to use it in everyday conversation at least 3 times that day: “I don’t find what you’re saying to be cogent, but I will grant you clemency for being so capricious” (I also like to alliterate as much as possible).
14 ) I frequently begin my stories with, “A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…”
And when I say that, I gesture towards the sky with my hand. In slow motion.
15 ) My favourite candy is Nerds.
Again, pretty definitive.
I have always had mad respect for nerds (computer programmers, math whizzes, child prodigies of any kind, really)…probably because I consider my brother to be a nerd. I’m all, “You’re such a nerd. You’re brilliant, talented in everything, fluent in C++, people love you, you’re hilarious, and you have a beautiful family. Pfft. Nerd.”
And then I realise that I’m none of those things and question the whole legitimacy of my nerdiness…
Do you consider yourself a nerd?
Are there things in your life that make you a nerd?
Do you think the author of this post should take up computer programming? Is loving Star Wars enough to classify her as an awesome nerd?
Filed under: Education, IT | 91 Comments
Tags: Big Bang Theory, blog, computer programmer, Education, Geek, humor, Lord of the Rings, nerds, Star Trek, Star Wars
Have you ever watched a movie and have been so confused by what’s happening and what time period the movie was set in that you have no idea what actually happened in that movie?
That’s how I felt when I saw Wild Wild West.
I have always thought that Will Smith was a pretty great actor. He’s battled both aliens and zombie-ish guys, and was one of only 4 people that made neon green parachute pants look
cool not horrible in the early 90’s. But this was one film that had me completely confused. I didn’t understand what I was supposed to be looking at: Was it an action film? A Victorian comedy? A Sci-Fi thriller?
What, Will Smith? *throws hands up in the air* What??
(Sidenote: is “Victorian Comedy” even a thing? If so, I think that’d be about the most boring and un-hilarious genre ever created…)
And that’s when I asked the question: what the smurf is that? (<— I had to say “smurf” because I knew what a smurf was…didn’t know what “steampunk” was at that point).
I saw all of those big clunky gadgets, Victorian dresses, and futuristic technology and I was certain that it must be a result of one of 3 things:
- Warner Bros. had a lot of props left over from filming The Terminator and Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman and thought, “Hey…let’s just throw all of this stuff together and see what comes of it. Might be fun.”
- Will Smith had lost his mind
- After watching that movie for 19 minutes, perhaps I had lost my mind (probably the most viable of the 3 options)
As it turns out, none of those things were accurate. (I know. I was surprised too.)
It seems as though Wild Wild West was just a film involving Steampunk. I know that there are several of you out there who already know what Steampunk is, but for those of us who don’t know what it is, (I am certain that I’m not the only “old lady” type out there who isn’t all up on robotic nurses, iPhone apps, and microwave popcorn, or whatever else you kids talk about these days…), I will attempt to
poorly explain it all here.
Steampunk is “a sub-genre of science fiction, fantasy, alternate history, and speculative fiction” and involves a “setting where steampower is still widely used – usually Victorian era Britain or ‘Wild West’-era United States—that incorporates elements of either science fiction or fantasy” (this explanation has been brought to you by
Wikipedia hours of extended research).
That being said, there are still a lot of things about it that I don’t understand.
1) I don’t understand how these glasses (sorry…spectacles) make you see any better:
And if you break them, can you just take them into LensCrafters for repairs? Will they have them ready in an hour or a fortnight?
2) I also don’t understand this:
Is it a bracelet? A clock? That thing you have to wear on your head when you have braces on your teeth? Seriously, what the steampunk is this??
3) I don’t understand how to ride this:
Do you have to use a ladder to get to the top of this thing? If you need to run to the store to get some milk, is this the most practical vehicle for you to use? If you get a flat tire, where do you find a replacement?
4) I don’t understand how to play this:
Are the strings on this instrument made out of steel? How do I tune this? If I walk on carpet and touch this, will I get a shock? (<— a valid question, I think…)
5) I also don’t understand how to use this:
Is it a laptop? Is it a typewriter? Do I use it to send emails or telegraphs?
6) I don’t understand why this had to be made:
Of this, I am only curious about one thing: would Professor Xavier approve of this? (You’re the expert here, Cocca).
After all of this, I can’t help but wonder if I glued this:
would my steam-whistle-sweatband, in any way, be similar to the creations shown above?
I think I may try to do it sometime this week and take it out for a test-run. I just want someone to walk up to me and say, “What the steampunk is that?”
And I would say, “What the steampunk? What the steampunk, indeed…”
What do you think about Steampunk?
Are you a Steampunk? If so, what was your motivation to become one?
Do you think the author needs to watch Wild Wild West again in order to appreciate the beauty behind the Steampunk genre? If so, if she watches it on Fast Forward, does that still count?
Filed under: College | 40 Comments
Tags: costumes, Education, Geek, humor, steampunk, Technology, Victorian era, Wild West
Last week I read an article that should have shocked me, but it didn’t. It was all about how, according to Congress, frozen pizza is a vegetable and will be served to American students as such. We all know that everyone needs to eat 5-10 servings of fruits and vegetables a day, and Congress has informed American children that they will be receiving at least one serving of vegetables per day if they eat a slice of pizza each day.
People are all up-in-arms about this because they like to claim that frozen pizza is, in fact, not a vegetable. I beg to differ. I mean, there is 2 tbsp of tomato paste slapped on that slice! We all know that tomato paste (“paste” just screams “healthy”) is made from tomatoes (vegetables), so, ipso facto, it is a vegetable.
Ketchup? Heck no. Tomato paste? Couldn’t be more clear.
I feel like we need to educate the children of North America into making wise decisions. For some reason, my generation always seemed to go to school or head off to college with the ideas that true vegetables grow in the ground, that fruit grows on trees, and that dairy products must actually be made solely of dairy. What’s up with that?
Apparently, both Congress and myself share in the desire to see healthy American children, so I would like to share with you all a list of my top 3 favourite healthy foods:
1) Big Macs
(Yeah, you all knew this would be the first one…)
Big Macs have
about 4 shreds of wilted lettuce on them, as well as what I can only assume is 3 heat-lamped pickles. The way I see it, that’s 2 servings of veggies. BAM! I’m almost halfway to my daily vegetable goal.
They also have 2 slabs of
processed cheese stuck somewhere inside of them, which constitutes 2 servings of dairy products (the daily minimum), as well as 2 ground chicken horse boots ummm…I guess beef patties. Then, the whole concoction is thrown together delicately placed inside 3 pieces of over-processed sugar-filled white hamburger buns.
All in all, a
heart attack waiting to happen proper meal.
Also, I’m pretty sure that the “special sauce” counts as 2 glasses of your daily water intake…
2) Starbucks Venti White Chocolate Mocha*
It’s really a shame that Starbucks tends only to market towards
teenagers who know that holding a Starbucks coffee cup will make them look cool adults. I mean, it’s pretty evident that their products are solely aimed at making you diabetic healthy.
The White Chocolate Mocha is full of
fat and empty calories dairy products, like whipped cream, milk, and chocolate. It’s very clear that Starbucks just wants to give you diabetes the best and healthiest option for you to become fully diabetic healthy.
*In order for this one to really be healthy, it’s important for you to ask for an extra helping of whipped cream on top.
3) Chicken Carbonara Breadbowl Pasta
Since bread, cereal, rice and pasta are the basis of healthy eating, I think it’s pretty clear that this dish should be the foundation of your
imminent heart attack diet. There is clearly a large amount of fat grains and fat carbohydrates, so you should feel good about your decision when you opt for this on the 10 easiest ways to cause your own death list menu.
I’m pretty sure that, after reading through this list, all of you students out there have received quite an education as to what is healthy and what is not. Since Congress has approved the notion that frozen pizza is, indeed, a vegetable serving, I have no doubt that these items will soon make the list as well.
If you’re still unsure about these meal choices (although I have no idea why you would be), might I suggest eating something that you know will soon be considered healthy by the USDA: cardboard. You know they will find something healthy in it…like bran. I mean, after all, if it looks like bran, smells like bran, and tastes like bran…
So, now it’s lunchtime for me…I’m heading out to eat a balanced diet of a Whopper Jr., a milkshake, and a nice healthy piece of cardboard. *Sigh*…I love eating healthfully.
I might even throw in some exercise!
Lifting my Whopper Jr. from the table to my mouth and back down again counts, right USDA?
Do you think frozen pizza constitutes as a vegetable?
Would you rather eat frozen pizza or cardboard? Or do you think they’re essentially the same thing?
Do you think the author of this post has lost her mind or is being just incredibly sarcastic? (Not gonna lie…I’m not sure either…)
Filed under: College | 41 Comments
Tags: Congress, food, food pyramid, frozen pizza, hamburgers, health, USDA, vegetables
For those of you who have followed this blog for some time, you are probably aware that I am known around my college as Old Lady. “Why is that?”, you ask? It may be for the simple reason that I prefer Green Tea to coffee; perhaps it’s the fact that I usually prefer reading scary stories (like Anne’s) in actual books as opposed to those on my eReader, or maybe even because I use words like “moxie” (see paragraph on Leo Plass in this post).
Either way, this “old lady” decided to find out what’s new in the world of technology and came across some both stunning and disturbing videos that I decided to share with those in my office. Upon watching them, one of my colleagues responded by saying that Google is basically equivalent in power to The Terminator and as soon as it’s able to interface with his toaster, we’re all dead.
Once you finish this post, you, too, will agree, and you’ll wish that you could go back to the good ol’ days before you ever knew this stuff existed…well, that or you will want to become one of the developers. I don’t know.
So, friends, I give you: “As Soon As Google Interfaces With My Toaster, We’re All Dead…” (or “The Creepiest Things I’ve Ever Seen in My Life” – not sure which title is more accurate).
1 ) Big Dog
This robot is both amazing and creepy for the exact same reasons. It is able to walk over any terrain, it can regain its balance (even if it has been kicked), and can walk on icy pavement much better than I can. The technology behind this robot, courtesy of Boston Dynamics, is unbelievable…it also freaks me out because if it comes at me some day, I want to be able to kick it over and then outrun it on ice! Imagine seeing this thing in the woods…
2 ) Shape-Shifting Robot Blob
Just the name alone creeps me out. I mean, the words “robot” and “blob” should never be in the same sentence, unless the sentence reads, “Hey…we should never make a robot blob”. This thing looks like a brain and can expand and deflate at will, and has the ability to move itself into small spaces. Yeah, ’cause that’s what I want…a robot who can think for itself, shape-shifting it’s brain-like blobby self under my doorway and wandering around my house.
The first part of this video describes how the robot blob actually works, but if you just want to see it in action, watch the clip from 1:50 on.
3 ) PetMan
As if Big Dog wasn’t enough, the good people of Boston Dynamics decided to also bring us PetMan. Now, they tell you that
he it he it (is it an “it” or a “he”??) was developed to “test special clothing used by US Military personnel”, but you just watch this video and try to convince me of that – it looks like The Terminator…with a red light bulb for a head (I guess they thought adding a head to it would up the ante of the creepiness factor. I’ve got news for you, Boston Dynamics…too late! It’s already freaky.
I mean, if this thing decides to turn on you one day, there’s no way you’ll be able to out-run or out-smart it. Also, I’m pretty sure it’s made of Adamantium, so it’ll be like trying to fight off Wolverine (<— comics reference especially for you, Cocca).
4 ) A Mind-Reading Headset
Have you ever been playing your XBox or your PS3 and thought to yourself, “Self…this is just too much work. Hitting all of these buttons exerts far too much energy. I wish that there was a way I could just sit on my couch, stare at my screen, and control this game with my mind”? Well, good news. Now you can!
Is there anyone else out there who thinks that the last thing we need to give these computers is access to our brains? No? Just me, then?
5 ) Hatsune Miku
To be honest, this one doesn’t really creep me out, but I do think it’s bizarre. Hatsune Miku is 5ft 2, looks to be about 16 years of age, and plays sold-out concerts. She is one of Japan’s top-selling entertainers. She sings, she dances, and she’s just so darn cute…all looking like an anime character and stuff. Oh wait…did I forget to mention that she’s a hologram? And that she sings via software from Vocaloid?
Thank you Crypton Future Media!
6 ) Lockheed Martin HULC Exoskeleton
The whole purpose of this exoskeleton is to “ease a soldier’s load by temporarily turning him into a robot”. Am I the only one who sees a problem with that sentence?
Evidently, Iron Man is real…
7 ) RIBA – The Teddy Bear Robo-Nurse
I have to applaud Toyota Motor Corp. on its ingenuity and forward-thinking. Clearly, the population of Japan has exploded and there is a limited number of people able to or willing to take care of the nation’s elderly. Toyota has a cure-all for this problem…the robo-nurse. The developers state that they designed the robot to resemble a teddy bear so it would be non-threatening. Really. Because if I woke up in the middle of the night and saw that face in my room, I would freak out and hit it with a bat until that smile-moustache-thingy on its face was completely demolished.
This robot can pick up a human being and move it.
I find that very threatening. Very threatening, indeed.
8 ) Robot Girlfriend
And now, I give you the pièce de résistance in creepy robotics…the Robot Girlfriend. She is designed to smile at you, converse with you, laugh at all of your lame jokes, and…oh yeah…blink. Apparently, if a robot doesn’t blink, it freaks people out a little too much; they find it extremely uncanny. So, this one has been programmed to blink so as not to alarm you.
As soon as I got to 1:33 in the video, I knew that my day was ruined. I’m trying to remember a time in my life before I saw a robots eyes shift around like that…and I can’t. It’s all I can think of now.
I miss the days of Green Tea, using words like “moxie” and “huzzah” (though I’m not the only one – thank you Den!), and assuring myself that robots will never take over the world. I have no doubt that Google is interfacing with my toaster this very minute…
Do you find these videos disturbing or amazing?
Are you excited about the leaps that technology is making?
Do you think companies should take a step back and evaluate what they’re doing before moving forward even more so?
Filed under: College, IT, Technology | 56 Comments
Tags: Boston Dynamics, Education, hologram, Japan, robot, Technology
I recently read an article about a very old man who completed a marathon here in Toronto. His name is Fauja Singh and he is 100 years old. And he completed a full marathon. Without dying at the end. Seriously. I mean, that’s pretty impressive. I don’t think I can even complete a half-marathon…or even a 1/8 marathon.
So, all of this fuss about Mr. Singh got me thinking…what are some other incredible deeds that others have accomplished that inspire me? This, my friends, got me all distracted until I could do nothing else than scour the internet for crazy-smart-kid geniuses and old people who would put Jack Lalanne to shame.
And, now I give you, my Top 7 List of People That Inspire Me, With Whom I Have (Almost) Nothing in Common:
1) Michael Kearney
This guy is so smart that he graduated high school at the age of 6, completed an Associate’s degree by age 8, and then finished his Bachelor’s degree by age 10, which made him the youngest university graduate in the world. He then began teaching at a college at the age of 17. And, all the while, he suffered (is that really the right word here?) with ADHD.
Michael and I clearly have much in common. I
barely made it through successfully completed high school at the same age as everyone else in my graduating year, and I nearly drove myself insane and cried myself to sleep every night but completed my university degree in the appropriate amount of time, and I also now work at a college…but I’m not 17. I guess that’s our only difference.
I wish I could have accomplished as much as Michael did in my early years, but it’s not my fault that I didn’t…I suffer from ADHD.
Oh…wait a minute…
2) Leo Plass
Leo is one of my favourites on this list. As of 15 June, 2011, he became the world’s oldest college graduate at the age of 99. As a young student in his final semester at Eastern Oregon University, Leo was offered a teaching position at a small, 20-student school, which unfortunately, closed down before he was able to graduate with his teaching degree. With no job hanging in the balance and The Depression (yes, I mean THE Depression) running amok of things, he decided to leave school to take on a logging job as it offered more security in such trying times.
Well, the next 79 years just flew by and, before he knew it, he was 99 years old without a post-secondary education; he then decided to complete his teaching degree. I’ve never worked as a logger, and I’m not 99, but I sure admire this guy’s moxie (<— I’m told, by my colleagues, that’s a term from Leo’s era – I use it on a nearly-regular basis, so I’m known around the office as “old lady” because who else says “moxie” anymore?).
3) Sebastian Vettel
Sebastian is the youngest two-time Formula 1 champion in the world. Why do I respect this man? Because he is praised for his speed on the road and is paid millions for it. I also drive rather quickly, but instead of getting paid a sick amount of money, I have to pay speeding tickets.
I am still hoping to one day be the fastest-three-time-female-Formula 1-champion in the age 24-32 category. (What? That exists…)
4) Kim Ung-Yong
This guy was speaking 4 languages and solving integral calculus problems at age 4, and has a reported IQ of 210.
I am a whole lot older than 4 and can speak 1.5 languages (I can only kind of speak French), looking at a calculus book makes me cry, and I am too afraid to find out what my IQ actually is (what if the test confirms all of my secret fears that I am, in fact, a moron).
*Sigh*…how I wish I was Kim Ung-Yong…
5) Akrit Jaswal
This kid performed his first surgery at the age of 7. On an actual human being.
Akrit had never been formally trained in medicine, but doctors at local hospitals took notice of how interested he was in medicine, so they allowed him to observe certain procedures at the age of 6. By the same token, based on what I’ve watched on TLC, I should be allowed to do face lifts on over-the-top cougars and deliver babies.
Also, he was on The Oprah Winfrey Show. I’ve never been on Oprah. Just another thing we do not have (but should’ve had) in common. I did see the episode, though…
6) Daniel Cook
This kid is someone that I both wish I could have been and someone that I aspire to be. At the age of 6, Daniel had his own TV show, “This is Daniel Cook“, and travelled all over the place, learning about all kinds of things, like Tae Kwon Do, gymnastics, animals (among others) and has all sorts of adventures. It’s an ideal life. And I want it.
Besides all of that, however, is the fact that Daniel Cook has had an incredible opportunity in life to do and see all sorts of amazing things at such a young age, but there is one thing that separates him from all of the other child prodigies; something that gives hope to us all that we may, one day, accomplish all that he has – he is not a genius.
That is why he and I are the most alike out of all of the people I’ve listed.
7) Fauja Singh
Of course, I could not finish this list without mentioning the man who inspired it all – dear Mr. Fauja Singh. He has completed a marathon and, I believe, is the only centenarian to do so. He is super old and yet has completed something that I still have not done in my young life. He has taught me that you’re never too old to live your dream – even if it takes more than 8 hours to do.
While he was rounding the last corner of the race, Mr. Singh said to his coach, “Achieving this will be like getting married again” – I’m still trying to work out if he meant that it was an accomplishment of which he will forever feel proud and excited over, or that it was something that will just kill him in the end.
Who are the people that you admire the most? Who inspires you?
Do you know any 100-year olds who have done something amazing (besides living to 100, of course)?
Filed under: College | 38 Comments
Tags: College, Daniel Cook, Education, genius, humor, marathon, oldest person, Sebastian Vettel, youngest
For some reason, I decided to Google “13 October day in history” today…just to see if anything interesting has ever happened on 13 October. I figured that there would be a list of things (which there was), but I’m not sure I would classify
any of them many of them as interesting…except for one.
Apparently, due to the Gregorian Calendar being introduced in 1582, the 13th of October was eliminated from that year in Italy, Poland, Portugal, and Spain – as in, that day never existed in those countries. And that got me to thinking: what if there was a day that I could just completely erase from my life and memory, never to be remembered again…which day would that be? Have I ever done something that I regret to this day? Have I ever said something to someone, only to have them reply back (while shaking their fist in the air), “You will rue the day, PCC…RUE THE DAY!!”, and 3 years later think, “Man, that guy was right! I am so ruing that day right now!”
To be honest, I think there are many days that I would like to obliterate from my memory, but here is the list of my top 5:
1) I rue my first day of kindergarten…
During the course of that day, my teacher explained to us that she was going to take us on a quick tour of the school to show us where everything was. She asked us to slowly walk to the front door and line up. Apparently, I did not think that was necessary because I ran to the front door. At top speed. And then I pushed a kid out of my way so that I could be first. Why is that so bad? Because it was the first time that I got into trouble at school (and on my very first day!) for breaking the rules. This led me down a path of in-school-rule-breaking and also speeding while I drive – I realised that running to the door got me there faster than anyone else, and that I could apply that same logic to all things in my life.
BOOM! Day is now obliterated. I have now never broken a school rule and, subsequently, have never received a speeding ticket.
2) I rue the day that I ate my first Big Mac…
For those of you who are loyal readers, you understand that I have a quasi-addiction to Big Macs. If I could take back the day that I first tasted one, then I wouldn’t have this love of a food that is so SO bad for me and also kinda makes me sick to my stomach too – it’s a love-hate relationship (I love them, they hate my stomach). Also, I’m pretty sure my brain cells would thank me (Big Macs kill brain cells….right? I’m pretty sure that’s scientifically accurate…).
3) I rue the day that I first listened to a Backstreet Boys CD…
Why? Because I now have to admit that I once listened to a Backstreet Boys CD. Worse still, I secretly enjoyed it.
4) I rue the day that I chose which university I wanted to attend by flipping a coin…
Seriously. That’s what I did. I couldn’t decided which college I wanted to go to, so I flipped a coin and let fate choose for me. Don’t get me wrong; I went to a great school*, but just imagine what I could have done had I put a little more thought into it. I could have studied Law, Information Systems Engineering, or even Clown Cabaret! I mean, the possibilities were endless! So, my advice to all you kids is: choose wisely and carefully where you want to study. Don’t flip a coin. Coins don’t care about your future. I care about your future [insert cheesy-moment soundtrack from Full House or Family Matters here].
*Fate chose to enroll me into Jim Bob’s College. Nah…I’m just kidding. I didn’t go to Jim Bob’s College. They didn’t accept me…
5) I rue the day of 7 July, 2007…
I was asked by a couple of friends to write a song for their wedding and perform it on the day itself. As they prepared to sign their marriage certificate and take a few photos, I strolled over to the piano, sat down, and began to play. Half-way through the song, I forgot the words. To my own song. In front of 207 people. I decided to fill the time with a lot of “ooh aahs” and “la la yeahs”. If that doesn’t make you look like a no-talent idiot, then I don’t know what does.
I rue that day like no other, my friends…like no other.
As painful as it is to re-visit some of these ridiculously embarrassing and regrettable moments in my life, it’s somewhat cathartic to share them with you here. I feel like I’m confessing to you some of my more rue-able (what? That’s a word!) moments in life in hopes that you will not make the same mistakes that I have…or at the very least, I hope you read it and think, “Wow…that’s lame. I’m glad my moments are not as bad as hers!” 😉
Now, all I need to do is make up a calendar somewhere (a la the Gregorians) and just pretend like these days never existed…
What is the one day that you rue above all others? Has anyone actually ever said the words, “You will rue the day!” to you before? If so, please tell me because that will make me laugh like nothing else…
Filed under: College, Education, University | 36 Comments
Tags: College, Education, humor, regret, rue the day, school, University
Sometimes, I think that the most alluring and yet terrifying aspect of going to college is learning how to date at a college level. You see, there is a difference between high school dating and college dating – such a drastic difference that many students don’t know how to navigate around it their first few months at college, so I thought I’d share a few bits of hard-earned wisdom with you:
1) Asking someone out
In high school, asking someone out is pretty complicated. You tell your friend who tells her/his friend that you like her/him, in hopes that that friend will, in turn, tell the girl/guy that you like. If it comes back through the grapevine that he/she likes you, then you’ll ask that person out; if not, then you pretend like nothing ever happened and
walk past them confidently awkwardly stare at the floor, maturely smile at them with your hands in your pockets, every time you pass that person.
It’s exhausting (even just typing out that whole ordeal was exhausting…).
In college, if you see someone you like, man, you take that bull by the horns (not literally because that’d just be weird) and just ask them out! Right then and there. No games.
2) Should you bring flowers?
Guys, I’m going to help you out a little here. When you’re in high school, it’s not at all expected that you bring flowers. You’re still too young and aren’t probably making nearly enough money to afford that, and the girls realise that. They’ll just be happy to be out with you. However, if you do bring flowers for your date, she will think you are amazing, will have those flowers in a vase on her dresser for 2 weeks, will then dry them when they look like they’re about to die, keep them pressed in a book, and will talk about what a sweet guy you are for the next decade. Seriously. That is what we do. You will become a legend.
If you’re in college, try giving your date just one nice flower. She’ll think you’re being all romantic because you’re a poor student and yet you thought she was special enough to spend your last $15 on such a beautiful flower (even if you bought it at the local A&P for $1.97 ).
3) Where to take your date
Here are some appropriate places to take your date if you’re still in high school:
- Burger King (it’s pretty inexpensive and you get a toy with every kid’s meal, so that’s always pretty cool…)
- the school cafeteria (you eat there every day anyway, so you might as well just sit at the same table and call it a “date”)
- 5 pin bowling (you must also ask the staff to raise the bumpers to prevent gutter balls…raising them will also raise your self-esteem and score. Win-win situation).
- Chuck E Cheese (you are able to eat tons of pizza and hit moles on the head with a bat. Who doesn’t want to do this?)
If you’re now in college, you might want to re-evaluate your options and include some like this:
- a medium grade restaurant (something a little better than Burger King, but not too good – you don’t want to spoil your date to have high expectations of you. You’ve gotta save something for his/her birthday, right?)
- the campus pub (always good because the food is cheap and you’ll probably run into people you know, thus alleviating the pressure of a first date. Also, if the date is horrible, you can end it early by whispering the fact to your friend and making them come up with an excuse for you to leave – I’ve done that before. Don’t judge me.)
- 10 pin bowling (because you’re all grown-up now and that’s the way they roll in the big leagues…)
- anything but Chuck E Cheese
4) Who pays the bill?
If you’re in high school, then the answer is “whoever gives you your allowance”. Usually your parents. So, make sure to thank your parents for a lovely evening, and tell them that you should do it again soon.
If you’re in college, the answer is easy: whoever does the asking. That’s it, people. No arguments.
What are your dating tips for college students? Do you think that eating at Chuck E Cheese is okay at any age? Do you expect your date to bring you flowers? Who do you think should pay for the date?
Filed under: College | 39 Comments
Tags: College, dating, Education, humor, Napolean Dynamite