Archive | May, 2011

Mark Zuckerberg – Eat what you kill or I will unfriend you.

30 May

Over the last few days, media outlets have been buzzing over Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s announcement that he would only be eating the animals that he personally kills.

He sent out a message in early-May stating that he had “just killed a pig and a goat”. Shocking facebook conversation-starter? Maybe. But, crazy life decision? Maybe not. Though the multi-billionaire’s actions have elicited some mixed reactions from the public, is it really such a horrible notion to actually have to do the dirty work yourself if you want to enjoy some animal-based protein?

For most of us, we simply do not have the counter or storage space to make the ‘eat-what-you-kill’ concept a viable option. My apartment is too small for a 3-seater sofa, so I can’t imagine where I would fit an entire chopped-up cow. However, it’s safe to say that people would certainly put more consideration in to their meal-choices if they had to see the preparation from ‘moo’ through to meat kebab. Truth be told, if I had to kill the animals myself, there’s a 99% chance I’d be a vegetarian.

In addition to the moral issues that meat-eating raises for some, a meat-heavy diet can take a toll on your cholesterol, and also pack a punch on the environment. A 2006 study showed that livestock production accounted for 18% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Another study also broke things down in to laymen’s terms, stating the production of 2 pounds of beef uses approximately the same amount of energy as driving a car around for three hours. Yikes!

Now all statistics aside, I’m a meat-eater and surely won’t be abandoning the meat procurement services of Sobeys or the Superstore any time soon. I absolutely prefer my chicken breast to be boneless, and when you serve me a fish I want the head cut off. I think these are pretty standard North-American viewpoints, and I think this reinforces that we’re all pretty disconnected from where our food actually comes from.

Despite my own hesitance to ever be responsible for killing what I eat, I can’t deny that there is certainly merit to The Zuck’s new lifestyle choice. So what do you think about the ‘eat-what-you-kill’ idea? Is it a legitimate attempt to bring sustainability issues to the forefront? Or is it just a carefully planned publicity stunt cooked up by the Facebook media machine? Either way, for sparking conversation on something other than group messaging and privacy settings, I’m going to have to say that Mark Zuckerberg – you’re doing it right.

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Is @oldmansearch real?

25 May

Recently, @oldmansearch has surfaced on Twitter. At first we were hesitant to jump on this bandwagon because there are so many people trying to ride the coattails of S*&* My Dad Says. But, alas, @oldmansearch has not let us down. In just 57 tweets he has won the hearts of over 90,000 follwers on Twitter.

If you haven’t heard of @oldmansearch you’re missing out. His bio reads, “My dad is 81 years old. I’m teaching him how to use the internet. I told him twitter was how to search things on Google. These tweets are what he’s searching.”

Amoung his first were “empty threes”, followed by “MP3”, and then later came “night blindness”. Then, “I’m night blind.” Each time he tweets I find myself holding back tears from laughing so hard.

Despite how funny this account may be, the obvious thing to think here is that this must be a hoax. What old man would fall for this? What on earth does he think happens when he hits “tweet” and sees no search results? Wouldn’t he give up and chalk the internet up to some useless device used only by spies and hooligans?

The one string of tweets gives me hope that this account is legit are the ones where Norman N. seems to be looking for an old flame by the name of “Shirley Tarnow”. At first he was trying to find her on Facebook and then after discovering her married name he searched her obituary on “Google”.

This poor old man has finally gained access to the internet, is trying to find old love, Lipitor, and the hours to Cracker Barrel, and instead has no answers but has become an internet phenom.

Because all of us who follow @oldmansearch are already on Twitter, we are already that far ahead of the curve so we are quick to judge the validity of this account. Might we remind you that there are still over 84 million people in the US alone who are not using the internet? And even if you have the internet it doesn’t mean you know what you’re doing with it. There are a lot of people out there who have no idea how to do a Google search let alone know what Twitter is. My mom is pretty tech savvy and even she thought following someone on Twitter without them knowing was illegal.

So what do you think? Is @oldmansearch just some clever kid sitting in his basement getting an insanely huge kick out of this? Or is Norman N. really out there?

The Bee’s Knees: Adam Lisagor

19 May

Adam Lisagor, or Lonely Sandwich, is a pretty big hero of ours.

One of the members of the You Look Nice Today podcast, co-creator of Put This On, and the person behind the best product videos ever, he’s a man of many talents.

I mean, check out these videos:

Birdhouse

Square

JAMBOX

Amazing, right?

So we were absolutely thrilled when Adam agreed to an interview. Adam is hilarious (even–or especially?–when he’s making fun of us). Please take a read, and make sure you’re following him on Twitter. And you can find out more about him on his site AdamLisagor.com.

How did you get into making the best product videos in the world?

It turns out it’s really all about the product. I’m someone who gets really excited about a good product, and I use my skills as a filmmaker and my tendency to share experience through storytelling to serve that product. The first time I made one of these videos, I did so because I was excited about my own product. Then, other people making good products started asking me to get excited about their good products, and it turned out I was able to apply the same skills as I’d applied to my own product. Now, I have lots of fun working with great people and great products.

What are your favourite blogs?

I gave up RSS about two years ago because my reader had dominated my life like only email should. So I get all my blog content through the Tumblr Dashboard and Twitter now, and I trust that two things will happen: interesting things will be filtered down and make their way to one of those channels, or people doing interesting blogs will publish through Tumblr. It’s a leap, since there’s still a whole lot of interesting blog content not coming in through Tumblr (stuff like kottke.org, of which I’m a huge fan), but I find that treating Tumblr as my gateway turns out to be a great way to attenuate the glut of timesucking reading material out there on the web.

My one exception is Daring Fireball. I go every day and enter the URL in my browser, just like we used to do in the early aughts. Because Gruber’s writing must be experienced through the medium of his site.

To what extent do you credit your beard for your success?

90%. No, 91%.

Our blog has a theme song. Do you agree that all good blogs should have a theme song?

No. No, I don’t agree with that statement. But I’m truly glad you enjoy yours.

What is your favourite food, and why?

Shabu Shabu is my favorite. And my favorite place for shabu shabu is Shabu Shabu House in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles. I encourage you to look it up if you’re unfamiliar with the cuisine (translated as “swish swish” in Japanese), and make your way to the nearest shabu shabu establishment in your area. Why? It’s fun to eat. And tasty, too!

If you had to choose between having one large testicle the size of a grapefruit OR 25 tiny testicles the size of berries, which would you choose?

That question makes me want to barf, and I’m not weak of constitution. The idea of a sack of 25 small testicles literally makes me want to barf.

What’s your favourite website?

http://websites2000.com

What do you think just needs to stop?

Podcasts longer than 45 minutes. I’ll be honest—I’m not sure whether this applies to your show [Ed. Note: It doesn’t]. And I don’t even listen to podcasts because I work from home and I need all my focus while I work. But I find it rather obscene that podcast publishers demand the span of attention of their listeners on a regular basis. Brevity being the soul of a good podcast, and all. Come on, p’casters. Tighten that shit up already. To do otherwise is lazy.

What do you think is the bee’s knees?

Bob’s Burgers makes me unintentionally produce a tone in my laughter that I identify as being good for the soul.

Photo by Flickr user Alex Erde.

Royal Wedding Photo Coincidence? I think not.

13 May

Recently a picture has been circulating the internet that has warmed our hearts even more and truly made us believe that the Royal Wedding between Kate Middleton and Prince William truly was a fairytale wedding. The picture below shows William and Kate next to newly-wed Disney characters and then shows Beatrice and Euginie (Fergie’s loovely daughters) next to an image of the ugly stepsisters from Cinderella.

When I saw this picture I swooned. I thought wow, these two really are the fairytale couple. Then my incredible knowledge of Disney movies got the best of me. Now let it be known I do not like raining on people’s parades especially that of the love story surrounding Will’s and Kate. But all you suckers out there need to know the truth. Those pictures are fake.

Let’s start with the Disney wedding that happens to look pretty much exactly like Willam and Kate. Who the hell are these two? The only brunette Disney Princess was Belle. Sometimes Sleeping Beauty looked like she had blonde hair but that is simply bad lighting – it was made in the 1950’s after all. Also, no Disney prince in history has been a member of the British Army, and if there was  one that I’m missing, I highly doubt her was recently dubbed Colonel of the Irish Guards which is what allowed William to sport that handsome suit on his wedding day.

This leaves us thinking that the photo must be of the one and only Cinderella. Cinderella had beautiful flowing blonde hair and did indeed marry her Prince Charming. However, after extensive research it is important to note that there is no proof that “Charming” is actually a Prince at all! In fact, the term Prince Charming is given to a man “with great attractiveness”, which I’ll give him. He is pretty hot for a cartoon. But if Prince Charming’s father dies, he will become the King of Nothing.

And finally we now must take a look at Beatrice and Eugenie. Although these poor girls are much like myself and have names most commonly found in an old folks home, they showed up looking like quite the spectacles at the Royal Wedding. Again, seeing the Disney picture of these two had me SO excited because I had said they look like the Ugly Stepsisters from Cinderella from the get go. Now while they’re outfits do have a striking resemblance to Drizella and Anastasia they are not actually in fact the same colour.

So today I must break the shocking news that these images circulating the internet are in fact fakes. Photoshop is a powerful tool my friends, and it has blindly lead us to believe that the Royal Nuptials were the product of a life imitating art phenomenon.

Below are the two original images from the Disney movies. I will preface this by saying I have used Photoshop to resize these photos but have made no other alterations to the photos.

Sorry kids. But you needed to know the truth.

Happy Birthday Sarah!

12 May

Today is the birthday of Sarah Carver.

Almost a year ago Sarah and I met. We became friends almost instantly (well, I told her after knowing her for about two days that we were going to be friends one day. She eventually relented).

Soon after, Sarah met Amy and Sylvia, and the four of us became the wacky team you know today.

And, today, we wish Sarah the most fabulous of birthdays ever. She deserves it.

If you don’t know Sarah well, you’re missing out. She’s hilarious, witty, incredibly smart, and an amazingly caring and supportive friend. When you need help, Sarah’s got your back. When you’re in a good mood, Sarah’s in a good mood with you. She’s the kind of friend that people talk about when they talk about that friend of theirs that’s always around to help. Always there when you need them.

In tribute to Sarah, please watch her two favourite YouTube clips. Have a laugh, and raise a glass (later on today. It’s probably too early right now) to Sarah Carver, the best friend a person could have.

Core Essentials & Yelp!

11 May

On Tuesday night I had the pleasure of going to Core Essentials in Dartmouth to take part in a fitness event put on by Yelp! Given the horrific weather we’ve been having I’ve been having a bit of trouble getting motivated to hit the gym and eat healthy. I want to go home get into my sweats and hibernate and stuff my face with Skittles. But despite this weather bomb I was excited to get to Core Essentials and try something new.

The second I walked through the door I knew this wouldn’t be your typical workout experience. Core Essentials is on Queen Street in Dartmouth in what looks like a classic old home. The atmosphere is inviting and dispels any misconceptions that all gym are full of cutoff shirt wearing juice monkeys.

We started off using the RealRyder bikes. RealRyder bikes are not your average stationary bike. These bikes actually move from side to side to simulate a road bike. Accept that before you take your first RealRyder class that you’re going to feel like a fool but it’s well worth it. Not only are RealRyders an awesome way to enjoy an indoor spin class – but the view is top notch. Who wouldn’t love a spin class overlooking the water?

Next up came kettlebells. I have been wanting to take a kettlebell class for a long time but had never taken the plunge. Until you’ve actually used a kettlebell it’s hard to explain just how incredible the workout is. Just a few minutes into the workout you’re feeling the burn and realizing just why people get ripped from doing this.

Lastly came the TRX. This is my new favourite thing ever. I might even love TRX as much as I love the idea of the sun shining which is A LOT. TRX was developed by Navy Seals and is a simple rope system that is meant to be able to be done anywhere. The idea of TRX is that you always have part of your body suspended. Image doing pushups STANDING UP. Push ups are my least favourite thing to do in a work out and I could have done 50 more using TRX. We did arms, legs, abs and stretched on these bad boys. Awesome sauce.

An hour and half and a ton of endorphins later I left Core Essentials inspired to step my game up. The atmosphere combined with amazing instructors make you feel like you’re taking part in a workout that will actually help you reach your goals.

A huge thank you to the lovely Ben at Yelp! and Laurissa and her fantastic team at Core Essentials for putting this together! I can’t wait to get back!

Pigeon Woes

10 May

I moved in to my apartment in January. To my delight, it came with a balcony that faces towards the water.  But balconies aren’t particularly useful during the Nova Scotia winter, as there is too much rain/sleet/snow/wind to contend with, so it has remained unused for the past several months. Nevertheless, I went through the winter with hope in my heart and a dream of warmer weather and lovely evenings on the balcony. As the cold season wore on, I realized that although I never went out there, my balcony was actually used frequently throughout the winter months. In fact, it had multiple daily visitors. Some of them stayed there from dusk til dawn, and to my horror and disgust it appeared that not only were they using my balcony as hip and happening hang-out, but also as the avian equivalent of a public washroom. Translation: my balcony is infested with pigeons and they have been crapping all over it since the beginning of time.

Exhibit A

Now that we are in to May and (allegedly) the weather will be warming up, I want to actually use my balcony. But my hatred/intense fear of all things winged makes the situation particularly problematic. This is in fact, a 2-tiered problem.

1. How do I get the pigeons off the balcony?

I originally thought that my presence on the balcony would be enough to scare the pigeons away. Untrue. The other day I was knocking on the glass, opening and closing the door, making high-pitched noises (so basically looking and acting as crazy as possible) and trying to shoo them away.  The pigeons just sat there looking right at me. If I could read pigeon minds, I’m pretty sure they were thinking: “Bitch please. No amount of flapping and screeching from you is going to move us. Finders keepers. Now we invite you to enjoy our obnoxiously loud cooing. Performances start daily at 6:00 am.’’ I’ve heard of various tricks that people employ to get rid of pigeons – giant plastic owls, cayenne pepper, metal spikes, bird-be-gone goo, but I haven’t actually tried any of these tactics yet. My main issue is, if I use cayenne pepper or bird spikes or whatever, won’t that drastically decrease my own potential enjoyment of the balcony? What to do, what to do?

2. How do I clean the balcony of all the pigeon fecal matter?

The amount of shit on my balcony is actually quite distressing. I was told that the only thing that could possibly clean it is a pressure washer on full-blast. However, due to the fact that half of the crap out there appears to be fossilized, I am not optimistic that a pressure washer will do the trick. I was also warned that this might make my balcony extremely splintery – so bad for pigeons, and humans alike. Alternatively, I was advised that pigeons hate the smell of bleach, and the best thing to do would be to get down on my hands and knees and scrub every inch of the surface with a bleach solution. But that means actually coming in to contact with all of the pigeon excrement. I will now direct your attention to this seriously devastating story about a 23-year old Fredericton woman who contracted cryptococcal meningitis after coming in to contact with pigeon feces, and is now blind. BLIND BECAUSE OF PIGEONS! (http://dailygleaner.canadaeast.com/cityregion/article/1402419) If this isn’t reason enough to remove oneself from any possible encounter with pigeons, then I don’t know what is.  And I definitely don’t know how I’m supposed to do any cleaning or balcony-related relaxing.

Exhibit B

The fact that these vermin are so filthy and disgusting that they can potentially threaten a person’s health is incredibly alarming and upsetting. To me, the ideal solution would be an investment in a pellet gun and some target practice; unfortunately, I think this is frowned upon, so I’m going to have to hold off of popping a cap in these pigeons. For now at least. Currently the weather is pretty horrible in NS, so there’s no point in venturing outside anyway. But when it’s finally nice out – what do I do? How do I get rid of them? How do I put an end to their incessant trespassing? How do I clean up the unholy mess they’ve already made? Will I ever be able to use my balcony?! I can’t answer any of these questions – if you can, please advise post-haste.

In summation, I hate pigeons. They need to stop.