Tuesday, 30 April 2013

On Creativity

"There are certain conditions which do make it more likely that you will get into the open mode and that something creative will occur." 
-John Cleese
  1. Space: Quiet space for yourself where you will be undisturbed
  2. Time: For a specific period of time (when it starts and ends)
  3. Time: Give yourself a good chunk of time to tolerate discomfort
  4. Confidence: Don't be afraid of making mistakes
  5. Humor: Laughter brings relaxation and humor makes us playful

Monday, 29 April 2013

On the Tar Sands

Discussing controversial issues in a classroom can lead to positive discussions and/or brainwashing accusations.

(Aerial photograph of the tar sands by Louis Helbig)

Sunday, 28 April 2013

On Wheelchair Access

There's no point in being wheelchair accessible from the outside if there are no elevators or ramps inside.

(A solitary wheelchair at the National Arts Center)

Saturday, 27 April 2013

On Swamp Water

The tea-colored water is due to the fact that chlorine can cause illness so natural water is pumped that contains tannins from decaying vegetation.

(A sleeping alligator in the Florida Everglades)

Friday, 26 April 2013

On Pit Bulls

An entire breed should not be punished for the vicious misdeeds of certain individuals.

(My friend's dog Kobe; the friendliest pit bull alive)

Thursday, 25 April 2013

On Fuel Efficient Vehicles

Aside from saving gas, and being less of a burden on the environment, low-emission cars can also get preferential parking spots in some places.

(Prime parking spot in Fort Lauderdale, Florida)

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

On Plane Food

Bring a credit card when traveling on short trips as cash payment for food is no longer accepted on most airlines. 

(Landing hungry at Pierre Elliott Trudeau Airport)

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

On Hands

"Remember if you ever need a helping hand, it's at the end of your arm, as you get older, remember you have another hand: The first is to help yourself, the second is to help others."
-Audrey Hepburn

(Hand-shaped bronze sculpture at Homigot, South Korea)

Monday, 22 April 2013

On Earth Day 2013

Small steps like recycling, buying local/organic, or growing your own fruits and/or veggies can make a huge difference in the large scheme of things.

(A road  in the South Korean countryside)

Sunday, 21 April 2013

On the Berlin Wall

If students and adults can look at a piece of this wall 20+ years after its collapse for lessons maybe there is hope for humankind after all.

(Part of the Wall at the Ottawa War Museum)

Saturday, 20 April 2013

On Learning ASL

Just like with any foreign language, following along with music/lyrics is the best way to master American Sign Language.

Friday, 19 April 2013

On Claws

Over time pets will find ways to trim their claws so clipping (not removing) them will save your furniture a lot of wear and tear.

(My cat trimming his claws in the backyard)

Thursday, 18 April 2013

On BBQ Covers

Be careful which ones you choose as some of them are actually dangerously enticing to squirrels and other wild animals.

(Our BBQ cover chewed up by squirrels over the winter)

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

On Spring Gardens

Don't get discouraged by the state of your garden mid-late April as it's still too early (in most of Canada) to tell if it's got any potential.

(My Montreal garden looking pretty pathetic in April)

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

On Guilty Pleasures

If you're going to indulge in a rare guilty pleasure you might as well get the whipped cream on the side.

(Creme brulee cake at a dessert/coffee house in Ottawa)

Monday, 15 April 2013

On the New Liberal Leader

All eyes are going to be on him for the next two years while he (hopefully) sets out to prove that he was elected for more than just his name and good looks.

(Justin Trudeau giving his acceptance speech last night)

Sunday, 14 April 2013

On Cat Naps

Even though there may be a dozen more comfortable spots, cats will often choose the oddest ones just to be nearby.

(My cat opting to sleep on my school bag over a couch)

Saturday, 13 April 2013

On Shane Koyczan

"I've been told that people in the army do more by 7:00 am than I do in an entire day. But if I wake at 6:59 am and turn to you to trace the outline of your lips with mine I will have done enough and killed no one in the process."
-Shane Koyczan

(A hug and an autograph from Shane at Algonquin College)

Friday, 12 April 2013

On Giving

Sometimes giving something special away makes one feel better than holding on to it.

(Day of Pink coloring that I gave to a grateful child)

Thursday, 11 April 2013

On Recipe to Riches

Real talented chefs and foodies will be able to tell whether a recipe has the potential to succeed or not without even tasting it.

(My Pomergarlic recipe which almost made it to the semifinals)

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

On the Day of Pink

Having only one day to recognize homophobic and transphobic bullying in schools may not bring an end to it but it sure does raise an enormous amount of awareness to a much-needed cause.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

On Cherry Blossoms

Some trees and flowers only bloom for a couple of weeks each spring so appreciate them while you still can.

(Cherry Blossoms in South Korea)

Monday, 8 April 2013

On Graduate Studies

The benefits of graduate studies don't necessarily outweigh the high cost and effort required to fulfill all the demands.

(Faculty of Graduate studies at the University of Ottawa)

Sunday, 7 April 2013

On Spiders

In case they weren't frightening enough, spiders possess two pairs of eyes and are endowed with extremely heightened senses.

(A massive spider in the South Korean countryside)

Saturday, 6 April 2013

On Fires

One person's tragic loss can be a neighborhood's creepy entertainment.

(A house in flames a few blocks away)

Friday, 5 April 2013

On the Absurd

Everyone has a different definition and/or opinion on this matter so you might as well be absurd on your own terms.

(Poster of a play at the National Arts Center in Ottawa)

Thursday, 4 April 2013

On Shark Diving

It is less the (tamed) sharks and more the other random creatures that one needs to be aware/afraid of when in an aquarium

(Shark diving at the Busan Aquarium in South Korea)

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

On Entomophagy

Although unthinkable in North America, there are many places in this world where eating bugs/insects is considered normal and a delightful snack.

(Trying some larvae in Southeast Asia)

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

On Rejection Therapy

"Fear is like a pack of dogs - it chases us, and if we try to run or hide from it the dogs will continue their chase until finally, exhausted, we fall and are devoured."
-Gerry Spence, Rejection Therapy

(Tyson, a good friend's dog in Montreal)

Monday, 1 April 2013

On a Cyclist's Time

Although the weather may be too cold for swimming and too warm for skiing, it is perfect for cyclists, just beware of car shards on the side of the road.

(Snow melting along the Rideau Canal in Ottawa)